I’ve lived in a few different places in my life but until I moved here I never really felt like I ‘fitted in’ anywhere. This reminds me of a conversation I had with a few friends a while back that stuck in my mind. A few of us were all languishing on a deck under the stars after a wonderful dinner, our faces rippling with the glow of the fire we were surrounding. It was a clear night and from our vantage point high on the hill in Gordon with the expanse of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel spread before us the majesty of the moment was cause for some big questions to be asked and some profound observations to be shared.
‘You know’ my mate articulated, in his truncated timbre whittled over the years by a fondness for baccy and grog into a something that sounded like a 45rpm Tom Waits played at 33, ‘everyone to moves to Tassie is escaping something’.
I let that reflection seep into me as I reclined by the flames, where it slowly unrolled like a hall-runner, its tasseled border coming to rest at the front door of my soul.
This moment is recalled numerous times when I’m asked about Tasmania and what it means to live here. For me it’s all about finding my spiritual home.
I’ve lived rurally before and I never really had any sense of connectedness to the land on which I called home until I moved here. The best way I can describe it is like this: I don’t know if you, like me, are intuitively aware of a sense of unease or benevolence when entering a house you are considering living in. Some houses make me feel uncomfortable in a way I can’t really explain and yet others will have my pulse ticking over with the assurance of a metronome.
Tassie is like the latter for me. It puts me at ease.
Of late there has been a bit of national retrospection on what some consider the malady affecting Tasmania. In its most basic form, much of it sounds like an older sibling complaining about the younger one not pulling their weight.
Too often I think much of the patronizing attitude that many people in other states have toward Tasmania is to diffuse and distract from uncomfortable issues in their own territories being scrutinized. It’s a bit like the English bagging Australia for our hedonistic and it could be said, narcissistic lifestyle, whilst all the while coveting our sunny skies and sandy beaches.
Perhaps we need to stop forensically going over Tasmania’s problems like it needs a cure for something? Maybe it just needs more people?
Maybe Cate my wife is right when she suggests we need an ad campaign to attract more settlers to our Island?
Escape to Tasmania.