It never ceases to amaze me how routine inspections of pestilence can reveal hidden gems. Recently we were called to a two story home because of a cockroach infestation and we found the place a mess of strewn packages of clothes, fabric, household-goods, newspapers, magazines, books, etc. But among the detritus we found a book entitled The Lives of Animals from 1893 and to my great surprise and excitement it contains a drawing of corals.
I am reminded of several previous engagements, such as the apartment in downtown Sydney where we found fabric imprinted with insects or the house on Robinson Street which was jam-packed with a huge variety of art works and other objects. I find myself increasing drawn to these artefacts and wish I had more time to understand their inner meaning and the place they held in the minds of those that created and collected them.
The dockyard area has held a fascination for all of the staff each time we have performed an inspection and they regularly vie to see who can lead the examination of that area.
Laura shot some photos this time to put on the blog. The rangers and staff, with the exception of Ted Wilson, have again been quite helpful.
I’ve been very busy with assignments but managed to get back to Ted’s cave this weekend. Since the lock was broken I can basically get in any time I want, though I don’t want to attract too much attention or they may lock it again. I also don’t want other people going inside and removing objects or rearranging things before I’ve had a chance to explore. It’s hard to know what could be in the mind of the person who made all this stuff. They feel like religious objects of veneration or the means to a ritual, but it is so foreign that it’s hard to image let alone visualize what is going on.
As I wander about I often find myself in a maze of twisty little passages, all of them different, as if I were in a colossal cave.
I have now had some time to puzzle over the many artefacts uncovered in the cave and elsewhere. I am drawn with a strange fascination, deeply seated, at times disturbing, towards the primordial, emotionally laden images and objects. Some I would hold close. Some I would enshrine. Some are too deeply imbued with the personal lives of others so that I am shy to intrude. This is a story that unfolds not only here on Cockatoo but at remote locations that I hesitate to reveal.
Listening in on some of the conversations in Building 2, I find there is a great deal of interest in finding a deeper meaning in the objects discovered and even to wondering what’s inside these artefacts. My pursuit of their inner essence led me to the idea of taking x-rays of the objects. I was fortunate that a chance encounter with my veterinarian, Stephan Grey, led to a discussion of these matters and his assistance in gaining penetrating insight into the core of the objects.
To our great surprise we determined that a significant number contain items such as rings, necklaces, etc. This, of course, has led to a quandary as to whether we might retrieve these inner treasures at the risk of destroying the objects that contain them. Not wanting to destroy Ted and Nelly’s legacy, I have created several of these artefacts myself, had them x-rayed, and then proceeded to destroy them in order to get at their essence. But in the end I realized that however deeply the x-ray insight penetrated, there was always another elusive essence within to the vanishing point of svabhāvaśūnyatā.
गते गते पारगते पारसंगते बोधि स्वाहा
I thought everyone would like to know that I have now opened Dr. Dusk’s Museum of Unrequited Artefacts and Wax. At last people will be able to appreciate Ted’s work (and my humble imitation). I also pray that putting these objects in public view will encourage someone to come forward and help me in my search for Nelly.
Here are some shots from the launch.
The opening was extremely well attended. Practically everyone was there. Is that Marcela on the right? I think that must be Angela at the top of the stairs.
Here is the museum from the outside. (There are only a couple of people visible because everyone else is inside.)