Archive for the ‘Weird experience’ Category

We’re up in Sydney for Games Day, which is the big hoo-hah get together for Games Workshop fans. In case you don’t know, Games Day is where fans of Warhammer and Warhammer 40000 miniatures games and related things like books from the Black Library are experienced and purchased. My partner, Matthew Farrer, is here to sign books during the even tomorrow.

We are staying near central. I decided that we would walk to the Games Workshop event in the City store, near the Queen Victoria Building, rather than catch a train. I felt like striding out after sitting in the car all day as we had driven from Canberra. My energy was bubbling and I wanted to experience the night. The three of us walked along (young James is with us) and I had this weird sort of experience. The sort of experience you have, I suppose, after rusticating in the country for many years and then plonking yourself in the middle of the CBD.

Sydney is my home town. There are places here I know in my bones and that have been here as long as I can remember from the early trips into town as a child. So you think that visiting Sydney, as I do on occasion, is no big deal. Well tonight I felt I was travelling along a time walk. Part of me, the inner part, knew the city, but felt disconnected. Another part of me was riding the now, the sounds, the sights, the people, effervescing along with the current and another part of me was excited and full of wonderment and yet not really there either.

I’ve been pondering those sensations these last few hours. At the time, I had words running in my head, a sort of blog narrative that I wanted to capture but I had no pen, no moment to scribe it down, no place to pause. I had to keep skimming the moment or I would lose my ride through time. I saw the old things, those icons of youth, the Town Hall, Woolworths, the line of theatres in George Street and a smattering of other buildings. Then I saw the new and the changing, the different food on display, the range of people crowding along the streets, like corpuscles being pumped through veins, some moving slow, some moving fast, some congregating and others randomly stepping out. The traffic, the lights, the confusion all crowding in, smothering memory and thought.

As I pondered this experience, I thought about the cities I have visited and why this experience seemed so strange. I’ve been to London, New York and Rome and they were intense and wonderful experiences. Perhaps that was because I’m not a part of them. I was only ever a visiting organism drifting in the blood vessel of the city, fleetingly feeling its pulse. There was no time travel slide, no sense of disconnection, no tendrils of me reaching out to anchor me on streets I once trod. It is not the city then that caused this frisson of feeling, this spasm of mind and heart, but a moment of time growing taut like a string pulled tight, surging me from the past to a present that is alien and yet not.

Once out of the streets and at the event, the feeling faded rapidly. Later, at the pub over dinner and conversation, the feeling receded further still. Walking back along George Street, I was there in the present, feeling like I belonged, feeling a part of it all. My trip to the city of the past/present had ended. I was no longer sliding between time, but firmly here. I remember wondering what Matthew was feeling or how James was taking it. Then I realised that their experience was going to be different to mine. I don’t think they came time travelling with me.

I thought I’d blog this because that is what was in my head at the time, although these words are nowhere near as articulate as those imagined ones. It’s something I want to remember and also an experience I might find useful one day when writing fiction.

I’m putting this post up now, Sunday morning before we head off to participate in Games Day Australia 2012. I’m sure it is going to be fun and interesting. After playing with fondant and food paint, I’m curious about painting miniatures now. I might give it a go.



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