MARCH 21 2011: Day no 80 of 2011 : The traveller sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see.

Gilbert K. Chesterton 1874-1936.

WINDSOR 053

Last year, I went South, looking for background on Melinda McNally Kendall who was born at Pitt Town way back in 1815. Specifically looking for evidence of her existence.  We looked all over the place and probably added to our visual imagery of place if not of time. What we didn’t see , due to being focussed on the other, was the very site of my family’s origins in the town of Windsor.  It wasn’t till later that I discovered we had been staying in a motel built on the site of the OLD GOVERNMENT HOUSE where my ancestor Johannah Ready was housekeeper way back in the even earlier 1800s.

I taught school for a time. Primary school and in NSW throughout the 1990s, the curriculum was what they called OUTCOME BASED. I never did fit well into the System, any system really but the OUTCOME BASED one was a low point for me. I stood often in front of a class, ready for the adventures of the day and the Education – educing- bringing out from within – and my vision was of wee little robotic beings achieving the assigned outcomes.  Seeing what they were told to see.

I stopped teaching school not long after those days. I like to see kids exploring and  seeking and getting on their mental and spiritual and emotional horses and riding off in all directions. Seeing what they See. Developing into something designed by a bigger, more benign and far wiser force than the Dept of School Education of New South Wales.

When it comes to travelling, I have never been a good Tourist. I like to travel about – looking. In the early 1970s I attempted the round Australia trip with Tony B but we didn’t get far. Each place we stopped held too much of interest for us to move on quickly. In the end we put a tent up on the beach in Port Douglas and stayed put for months. I saw a lot that way.

104I heard once of a young lad who went to Bali with his mother and had to be brought home because he wasn’t willing to simply stare at or ignore the poor and the hungry. He wasn’t made of the stuffing that Tourists are made of.

My Auntie Nita was much the same in India, so I am told, way back in the 1960s.

Casual Voyeurism.

Like the salons in Australian Malls where young Asian women tend our big white feet. Can’t handle that either. (I think the grief is getting me all crossgrained.)

Tennis Eddie told me we needed to be that way sometimes.  I had an incident in my life once which was rather grim and I was , in my naivite, attempting to forgive. Two good pieces of advice came my way then :

1. from Sister Clare who said – “ Why are you trying to forgive what God hasn’t forgiven ?”

2. Tennis Eddie – “ Sometimes we need that little blue flame of Outrage burning inside that says –‘ this will not happen to me again’ “.  A little blue pilot light of outrage.

My challenge in life now is to continue the travelling through the days seeing what I see rather than letting 60 years on earth determine what I am expecting to see each day.

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