"Here is liberty, all I have to do is be quiet, sit still." — Thomas Merton, Run to the Mountain. (1955), p. 20.
Every work day, I drive past this 11 metre wind-driven whirling object which appeared on the median strip of Yarra Glen Drive three years ago. At last I've troubled myself to find out that it's Dinornis maximus, aong-extinct bird species and a "Kinetic sculpture" by New Zealander Phil Price, a "wind-powered ballet in the sky". Price says he seeks a "combination of movement that provides a flow and a dance".
It's large, but motorists can ill afford to glance at it, for it's close to a busy and potentially dangerous junction.
It moves in the slightest breeze, and the curved blades change colour as they move, yellow and orange against blue. But you share this experience only if you take your life in your hands, walk up to it, and spend time looking. Its siting is the source of of its problems. It's impossible to park and walk over to take a look, and by the time it catches my attention, I'm already somewhere else.
The 90th Birthday of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh was celebrated recently. He and HM the Queen are rightly applauded for their life-long work and service.
Yes, these folks are no longer young. But to me, their lives of activity and work are examples of what could and should be normal.
By all accounts, the Queen and her husband eat and drink well but in moderation. They exercise, and don't smoke. They have good health care and housing.
With a determination to be active and engaged with the world around us, most of us who enjoy reasonable circumstances can look forward to long and productive life.
New Yorkers are a driven, over-busy people, opines the New York Times ("Editorial: On the Art of Puttering", 24 Jun 11). So too are Canberrans.
But every now and then there comes a day for puttering. You can't put it in your book ahead of time because who knows when it will come? No one intends to putter. You simply discover, in a brief moment of self-awareness, that you have been puttering, or, as the English [and Australians] would say, pottering. [. . .] You move through the morning with a calm, oblivious focus, taking on tasks — incidental ones — in the order they present themselves, which is to say no order at all. Puttering is small-scale, stream-of-consciousness problem-solving. It is setting sail on a sea of random course changes. The day passes, and you have long since forgotten what you were looking for — or that you were looking for anything at all. You feel as though you've accomplished a lot, though you have no idea what. It has been a holiday from purpose.
"The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crisis maintain their neutrality."
— John F. Kennedy (misquoting Dante Alighieri) at the signing in Bonn of a charter establishing the German Peace Corps, 24 June 1963. (Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: John F. Kennedy, 1963, p. 503.)
The always insightful Dave Walker offers this as a representation of the cartoon-making process. I would say that it's also a fair representation of Australian government policy making.