Christmas on the southern ocean

Every year at this time I come to wonder...
"What does a southern Christmas tree look like?"
The thought came from
A day when edie learned the words to "oh Christmas tree
Oh Christmas tree
How verdant are your branches"
And I realised
Of course the Christmas tree came to be so sacred in the northern winter around this time
Of year! It was the only tree that looked full of
Life still
A sign of hope and lifefulness.
We don't have the same experience in the south. It is wet
And warm
And the garden grows greedily!
Our pear tree has shot up out of nowhere and a sunflower has suddenly
Sprouted on the fence line.

More broadly then
What does Christmas on the southern ocean look like?
Yesterday Edie and I were driving in Wimbledon Heights and a reindeer leapt into the titree
- Remnant swamp vegetation so very sacred and symbolic of this area -
The reindeer glowed with bright white spots and wore a fawn coloured coat.
Her eyes darted dark brown
long slender legs almost carried her
Unbeknownst to her following head 
too occupied with eyes on us.
It occurs to me
Even richer for us is the play between a southern Christmas and its northern influences.
Something a little less sensical,
Nonsensical and fantastical 
when it doesn't make sense to worship a pine tree -
A weed - 
it makes it easier to cut one down for decorating
And what a sight, 
A special event,
to have a reindeer escape
From Santa's palace and dart around Phillip island accounting for all the new children to bring gifts!
So the story goes
That the reindeer were released from a
Local farm when schoolies tried to take a short cut through the farm and left the gate open.
They caught all but two
One was hit by a car and before the owers could collect it
A driver by had spotted its tasty potential and collected it up
The last is still "loose"
Apparently there are deer on the island 
They are hog deer
And they travel over here from the mornigton peninsula
From the mainland
by swimming across western ports western channel
Imagine the tidal negotiation
The timing
And the knowing required to wander
into watery terrain
Just to see where one may "land"
Its a good distance across 
and a deep strongly ripping current between -
Now isn't that fantastic! 

Any thoughts this month
Toward this space between a southern ocean and a northern traditional Christmas are


A Perfect Place

Drawn to your coast 
posted 16th September 2014, 8:18pm

A Perfect Place

paper collage

Some of my favorite collages were inspired by the calming hues of blue
along the Bunurong Coast and tranquility of the Tarwin wetlands along
Anderson's Inlet.

"Imagine yourself in a perfect place…
touched by the beauty of the South Gippsland coast.
Along the rugged Bunurong from Kilcunda’s rise to Inverloch,
sublime views of Bass stretch endlessly out to sea.

Serenity abounds as evening descends on the Inlet,
as sea mist gently embraces the bay.
Time flows seamlessly on the Tarwin,
as the sun bids farewell in this, a perfect place."

- Vasy Petros

water gives your brain a rest

Since ancient times, humans have assigned healing and transformational properties to water. In early Rome, baths were an important part of cultural life, a place where citizens went to find relaxation and to connect with others in a calming setting. In ayurveda, the ancient Indian medicinal wisdom, and traditional Chinese medicine, the water element is crucial to balancing the body and creating physical harmony. Rivers have long been seen as sacred places, and in a number of different spiritual contexts, water has symbolized rebirth, spiritual cleansing and salvation.
Today, we still turn to water for a sense of calm and clarity. We spend our vacations on the beach or at the lake; get exercise and enjoyment from water sports like surfing, scuba diving, sailing, and swimming; refresh ourselves with long showers and soothing baths, and often build our lives and homes around being near the water.
Our affinity for water is even reflected in the near-universal attraction to the color blue. We're naturally drawn to aquatic hues -- the color blue is overwhelming chosen as the favorite color of people around the world, and marketing research has found that people tend to associate it with qualities like calm, openness, depth and wisdom.
Wallace J. Nichols, a marine biologist, believes that we all have a "blue mind" -- as he puts it, "a mildly meditative state characterized by calm, peacefulness, unity, and a sense of general happiness and satisfaction with life in the moment" -- that's triggered when we're in or near water.
"We are beginning to learn that our brains are hardwired to react positively to water and that being near it can calm and connect us, increase innovation and insight, and even heal what's broken," Nichols writes in Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do, published in July. "We have a 'blue mind' -- and it's perfectly tailored to make us happy in all sorts of ways that go way beyond relaxing in the surf, listening to the murmur of a stream, or floating quietly in a pool."
Here, Nichols speaks about how water can heal the mind and body and help you tap into your most calm and creative state of being. Here are six important benefits of finding your "blue mind."
Water gives our brains a rest. 

I am drawn to the coast by a need to dwell in rhythms

Drawn to your Coast
September 2014

posted 10th September 2014, 10:16pm

"I am drawn to the coast by a need to dwell in rhythms. Being filled with the feeling of tides, moons. The play of light and water, the textures that make me remember what it is to live in a body. And the sky... seeing a horizon and being awash with metaphors of limitless existence."

Pako and I

Drawn to your Coast
September 2014

Pako and I walked the Colonnades 
Posted 10th September 2014, 9:49pm

"Here is a photo I would like to share. Pako and I walked the Colonnades beach every morning for the last 2,5 years, maybe I missed one or two mornings. I got to know the beach, the sky, the rocks, the pools, the colours of the water, the shifting sands and the dunes very well, like a continually evolving story with familiar friends. With Pako always in the picture, as he walked in front of me, he too would notice slight changes, alert and curious, a new fallen down bit of dune or grass, something washed up, or just a new shape in the sand.

I have lost my friend, and with him I lost a bit of the story of our beach. With time I hope to start a new story with another special loved friend."

Call for contributions - a new exhibition

Drawn to your Coast
September 2014

Recently our friends lost a loved one
a dog
a dear darling dog
with spirit and spunk
and a lotta love to give.
Our daughter Edie loved this dog.

There is something about them
Something about a dog that draws out deep love
so we can like and even love ourselves
through their eyes.

They also take us places
like the beach.

Its got me thinking
how many people have come to love our coast 
through their daily visits 
drawn by their dogs or something else
to sandy stretches

I'd like to hold an exhibition on what draws us to the coast.
This exhibition is in honour of Pako who drew his owners
into western port and bass coast
taking them to the beach daily
rain hail or shine
bringing them to make friends, and make a home here, 
creating western port

What else draws US to the beach, coast, into places around home where we find a space to breath and be a little deeper in a rich life, come to feel at home, nested where we live?

I'd love some responses, just one line, a photo, or something else?

I'll be looking for artworks around town that bring me to think about this question and will be posting them here for the next little while.

happy pondering


Dreaming in-between human and other

Skin is moist
green algae
Codium pomoides
In Legano gallery
They have a desk here now and its Sunday
I'm going to write while
Sitting immersed in todays
 I look up
Fairy-tale like scenes
Of bears picnicking
And animals socialising 
In a human way.

They are dreamy scenes
spin on chair
A giraffe and rhino and bear are playing in a cubby house behind me
Soft edges
Whisper images
Am I dreaming?
What kind of a dreaming is this?

Nia spoke of dreaming
The kind that is knowing and being in place
oh I missed the owl
Hoot hoot
And a girl with head bowed and hummingbird on finger
In awe? 
The lights are going on and off and my breath is shallow.
I just heard on the radio that there are two towns where fires are so close people cannot leave and are brin advised to take shelter.
My body heaves to try and understand 
What this is for these people

The images are dreamy
And in them humans and animals intersect in some way.
There is a chimp too
I wonder about this artist.

Body cools in stillness
Hair is freshly cut
Roughly as if with blunt knifing or sharp stone
I like it
A girl is looking at images she wants the bowing lady ('come fly with me') on her body.
I want it so bad she says 
I wonder about tattooing 
On the place that is our

Those multicellular
that are only but a part of the
assemblage (Barad 2010)


An exhibition by 
Peter Baird 
held at 
Saraghi Space
 Thomspson Avenue Cowes 
15th December 2013

(c) Peter Baird

(c) Peter Baird

(c) Peter Baird

Pete Baird with his beautiful work.

A drive-by scene of Western Port from just off the Anderson Round-about
a little  something from me
November 2013