A Short Ode to Sydney

by Jane

A draft of this summary of my weekend in Sydney has been open, courser flashing, pretty much since I got back. I would write sentences and then delete paragraphs. I can’t find the words to go with that city. I don’t know how it’s done it: how it has got under my skin in the best possible way a place can. So in lieu of a proper summary:

For a weekend, I breathed. I gave myself space I so rarely do. I walked, a lot, without a map and only in a general direction and a hope I wouldn’t get too lost. I sat in parks and read. I stood in art galleries and took my time. I ordered coffee and just sat with it.

I found my way past nondescript doors and up rickety elevators to a foyer of couches, divided from the theatre of thirty-seats by black curtains. I found an audience inexplicably filled with people from Adelaide. I found people who knew my name when I would have never expected they would. I found one of my favourite things: I found people making things. But more than that, I found people making things from the brand-new words people wrote.  NovemberISM was its name; I kinda love it.

I found people presenting Australian plays, in fully professional productions. I only saw Australian work. And even though nothing I saw blew me away, I am so happy to say I saw them. And they all blew some people away. Sometimes, that’s enough.

I spoke about Adelaide and blogging and theatre and art and women and film and science and Sydney and possibly a million other things with the incredible Augusta Supple. We hunted for fake bananas, and settled for the real thing. We drank coffee from bowls. She made me delicious eggs and spinach. She drew me maps and instructed me on the correct tunes to sing when following them. She made me love Sydney even more than I already did.

I told people I was going to Sydney for three days, seeing five shows. They would ask: is there a festival on?

No, I answered. It’s just Sydney.