Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Shower – does the drain really spin clockwise in the southern hemisphere?

Actually, she had no idea which way the drain emptied this morning. Until she sat down to jot this note, the coriolis effect of the two hemispheres was the last thought on her mind.

Instead, the angst of the previous morning infiltrated her shower meditations at 4:14 a.m. eastern Australian time – well, that's not accurate – more like Queensland time because Melbourne and Sydney both function on some kind of daylight savings during this period of the calendar – urgh. Ironically, she, who hated the thought of a clock determining the order of the day, actually demanded regularly to know the time.

One of the delights of travelling 10,000 miles or 13,000 kilometres was that she allowed her body to tell her what to do. So bedtime last night was when her eyes simply would not stay open any longer. Later she computed that to be about 7 p.m. in her corner of Oz and 4 a.m. in the prairie world from which she had travelled.

Her need for orderliness – not just any orderliness, but her own kinky manner of doing things - required that after four and a half months of being away the lamps must be returned to their rightful corners, the wall hangings re-arranged with the children at the centre of the universe.

Loaded with baggage, out of breath from climbing the back stairs, her first words upon entering the lounge and surveying the room, 'This simply will not do.'

Annie, the erstwhile and accommodating youngest child of the Australian, the one willing to change her work schedule in order to pick them up form their international flight, quickly retorted, 'It's not me. I didn't do it!'

There had been previous discussions about whether the children ought to be hanging in the middle of this old Queenslander in their larger than life photo taken when the eldest was thirteen and the youngest were ten and eleven. But the American loved the photo, loved the idea of the three children together at that time in their lives, rather liked the composition of young Australians and the natural environment where they pose together, but are oh so separate. They look directly at the camera. They are complete within themselves even then. And at the same time the relaxed state of their posture relates another tale that claims they are entirely comfortable with each other, with the sibling arrangement they have created.

She missed the metre square photo joining all the corners of the house into relationship.

Apparently the young blond who rented the space while she was establishing a new home in America – a home far too small to accommodate the Aussie trio – had felt a level of discomfort at the family photo and replaced it with a vermilion Buddha meditating beneath his banyan tree. Fine for the guest room – hardly appropriate for the centre of this house where the three young adults had come of age.

It took the weary traveller an hour to find the framed photo with its face leaning to the wall beside the bookcase in her office. Face to the wall? What message did that send? Enough!

Her American angst and promise of retribution muttered repeatedly within that first hour of arriving home gave her Aussie partner reason to invoke sarcasm, impatience and discomfort. Sigh.

All is well in the world now that the family is back on its appointed wall. Comfort levels may even return to normal since she has been able to control the environment, to recreate an atmosphere conducive to her own sense of propriety.

Just thought you might like to know what the important issues in the American's life are these days! 'Don't be messin with my wall hangings and we can, possibly, be friends.'