Monday, January 30, 2006

Remember me - just talking

Winnie Larsen (nee Woods) with Koik kyenurruf(Stirling Ra.) in the background

I was thinkin' about the way in which thoughts can run round in your head like phantoms and ghosts, like castles in the air, until you're beleaguered with by possible futures. A spice trip on Dune. I used to call this - tripper's rules - back in the days when - what matters is what's said, not what's inside your head.

But then, words are never enough, you never say what you mean, and you can bleed all over the page...

I launched a book today, oh boy, written by an old lady who has won her war.
"The Dusty Road" - so named for the dust thrown up by the cars - like a weelo's call - a signal to run and get your best dress on or to hide - for Aunty Winnie and her sisters and brothers - if the gubba was coming 'to sort out your color' you'd better hide.

Winnie Larsen never learnt to read because she got kicked in hip by a bull when she was eight and spent the next 4 years in hospital and then was carted off to an orphanage until she escaped..

When she was in her fifties she decided to learn to read and write because she had a story to tell. So she went back to TAFE and learnt to write and she spent the last 10 or so years writing down her story and it was finally launched today.

It was a warm and enthusiastic and color blind crowd of 60 or more (not bad for a country town of 30,000 souls) that had cause to warmly applaud this quiet acheiver. The ripples of good feeling and idealism that were sent forth will flow through this town for a few days and perhaps act as a homeopathic remedy for a little while against the apathy and dissension that can poison all our lives these days.

I'm really proud of the part I played in publishing this book. It's only a small print run so far, although after today's sales, I'm planning a second run. I'll wait to hear the reviews from the locals which will surely be soon in coming. But, for me, her stories are already haunting my dreams.

There are fragments that are a sentence or a paragraph that expand in my head like cinemascope.

"When my sister Una arrived with her three little ones, she had nowhere to stay. I can still remember her pushing an old cane pram with her two sons and her daughter walking alongside, crying. Then the pram wheel fell off to add to all her sadness. She was pregnant as well, and I was expecting my second child, Jeannie, in a month. So mum set to and built an extra room for my sisters and her little ones to live in."

This is from when she was living outside of Katanning in the 1950's with her indomitable mother.

Anyhow - if you read this and are interested in the book then email me at wandinyil(at)gmail(dot)com - it's been a long day..:-)
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