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If Tom Wolfe had it right, when commenting on the “trouble with Leary and his group”, that intellectuals have always sought “another country, the fatherland of the mind, where it is all better and more philosophic and purer, gadget free, simpler and pedigreed”, then Australian thinkers need not look further than their own backyard, and the ancient law held by its Indigenous people.

I do wonder if many flee because they feel like the country is not truly theirs. Or perhaps it’s because it’s so edgy and also an entirely oral culture and consequently, extremely difficult to enter and grasp. Alan Watts though, found a way into Zen and the Tao by taking time to learn Chinese and as part of the process, understand their unique way of thinking. But to lean on Watts again, and in particular Bernard Shaw in, “no man can truly master any other language than his own”. 

Further, some things are just beyond intellectual understanding. 

Alpert went to India

Ginsberg America’s gutter*

Kesey just kept going further and when it was all over

Leary the moon.

I read in Tyson Yunkaporta’s, ‘Sand Talk’ that knowledge can be encoded in the hands. In every finger, knuckle and crease. Try it. Once you have a few elements (of a complex system or an idea or piece of thought or a series of relationships for example) locked in, allow your thumb to slowly brush back and forth over and across and between each finger. The “wisdom [you are looking for] lies in the connections”. And I might add, just how many there are.

My fascination in the hand print here goes beyond the aesthetic and it’s potential to encode and embody knowledge. This is a sacred symbol. Not only in Australia but across the globe. It is “a meaning remembered everywhere”. Of many things. One of which is commonality. A fundamental common ground**. Which goes beyond words. Beyond conventional knowledge and its system of abstractions and subsequent reduction. The hand print is a call home. 


Not sure. An alternative to linear time was the first prompt. A First People’s Learning Objective the second. A search for a fundamental common ground the third. And I guess the last was / is a deep curiosity, delight in weaving intricate tapestries from the ideas of others and challenging my own along the way.


Cabarita Beach Skatepark 2022


Wolfe, T. 1968. Electric Acid Kool Aid Test. Farrar, Strauss and Giroux. United States of America. 

Yunkaporta, M. 2021. Sand Talk. The Text Publishing Company. Australia. 

Ginsberg, A. 1956. Howl and Other Poems. Woolf Haus. United States of America. 

Cohen, L. 2006. Book of Longing. Penguin Books. England. 

Powell, John …..


harding 2022

Remembering Perry Lane’

Alpert went to India

Ginsberg America’s gutter**

Kesey just kept going further and when it was all over

Leary the moon.

** Fundamental Common Ground

Leanoard Cohen. 

Book of Longing’

Page 226. 

‘Half The World’

“ … uncovering the two of us

on that fundamental common ground,

where love’s unwilled, unleashed, unbound

and half the perfect world is found”

*America’s Gutter

It was an exquisite gutter. He sat in it with Kerouac hungover … 

“like old bums on the riverbank”

“… bleak and blue and sad eyed, surrounded by the gnarled steel roots of trees of machinery”

Alan Ginsberg

Howl and Other Poems


A Way Forward

I also read in Yunkaportta of a process. “A way to come to Indigenous knowledge”.  A series of questions and a framework;





I scribble in the margin, “note the order – the direction”. For so many do it the other way. 

I Flee Too

But then again compared to the men and women I read and reference, I’m not much of a thinker. My preferred state would be, “wide awake with barely a thought” .