Monday, 28 May 2007


I am lying on the banks of the Torrens, my hands and feet touching the grass, my eyes turned skyward, when I see a white trail in the endless blue envelope around me. A colourless rainbow is the closest analogy I can find to explain the phenomenon. The memory of a passing aircraft. An image fleshing itself out on sky-paper. A slow-moving dissolve on a wide blue screen.

Cinematic screens and photographic papers spill the ink even as it forms letters and words. A structure etched on the surface of water. A fluid structure-less structure that captures the image in the sky, but does not reflect it. A camera of sorts then, one that follows the light and the lines of flight and disperses them in its own memory-image. The dispersal produces countless sparkling dots on the surface of the water, twinkling like stars in the sky, but disappearing into the waves.

My eyes turn skyward again, and I notice the trail has disappeared. What proof do I have of its appearance? The sound of a passing boat interrupts my meanderings and directs my attention to its own bubbling trail that disappears almost as naturally as it appears. Now, whenever I try to recall the absent sky-trail, I remember the then-present water trail. Yet they are unrelated. One’s cause bears no relationship to the other’s effects. There is nothing but my subjectivity to link them. To make image resemble or differ from perception. To perceive the image itself as an object and effect an image of the image-as-object.

Another boat approaches from the opposite direction and forks through both the water and my images and perceptions. As I try to imagine an aircraft splitting up the landscape of the sky, a child in the boat waves at me. I return the gesture and notice both the child and his mother waving back. A gesture reflected and dispersed. The dispersal does not cause it to disappear though. The boat has to go on. And so must this writing, with timely-timeless, present-absent, reflective-refractive gestures and trails.

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