Let weeds tickle my bumper bar

Art and Soulie Spot 7

Stories from the Creative Path

Remember my favourite gate in the world?

Favourite Gate

Favourite Gate

The gateway to this gatePOST: Why oh why do I love this gate so? 

The gate is in a relationship. An intimate relationship with lichen. The gate does not shine with slick city neatness. It quietly shares the air with cows and kookaburras, ants and echidnas, as it finds its way back to nature.

And just up the hill from the gate lives a car. A parked car. A very parked car.

rust car art photo

Rust 1
Dr Carol Birrell

Today, Dr Carol Birrell, an Art and Soulie, friend and partner-in-creative-crime, provides for us a poetic peek at the car and a glimmer of her artistic process.

But first… 

Thank you thank you thank you, dear blog-appreciator,  for reading and sharing my deep-and-meaningful posts of the past weeks. 

I am touched by your feedback.

Now, introducing Carol (ready with the drum roll?). I love the way she somehow contextualises even the minutest of personal moments within a vast ecological view. 

She is a multi-faceted creator extraordinaire.
Here’s a bit about her creative grounding, plus a poem and some photos for your enjoyment….

art photo poem rust

Rust 2
Dr Carol Birrell

Ecopoieisis and a valley

Dr Carol Birrell

My arts practice is called ecopoieisis.

I draw, I paint, I imagine worlds, I write. Somehow, the mix of art modalities allows me to create a dialogue in places, one informing the other. It has also taught me about ‘ecological being’ through such a poetics.

Recently, Sally invited me to stay with her in Kangaroo Valley.

What a feast of possibilities! It was damn hot in the valley, hot and steamy, until it became thunderous and stormy, raining like cats and dogs. Coats on, coats off, change becoming the natural state of things. We smelt air like it was grown there, fresh and untainted, and we planted ourselves in that valley as stubbornly as fireweed. When the storm ceased, abrupt as a stubbed toe, we melted into the rising mist.

It’s easy to pray in a valley. It invites you to drop onto your knees and look up.

Birrell rust photo nature

Rust 3
Dr Carol Birrell

This old car, as rusty as all get out, was planted there too. Along with the images, this is the story it told…

rust nature photo Birrell

Rust 4
Dr Carol Birrell


I never intended to stay in the valley,

it just happened.

Happenchance, I think they call it.

I was made for fast highways, speedy lives and hair sweeping

Way out behind in a whoop of joy.

Don’t speak to me of a quiet life!

One time you need to stop the engine,

Rest awhile. 

When you do nothing more but stare,

And stare some more,

                               …Deep time takes over.

Feel the fade of glamour, the shiny life

As hubcaps cease reflecting other worlds,

And dullness has its own appeal.

I share no words now, no slick comment,

Silence is my best friend

Solitude my only teacher.

Let weeds tickle my bumper bar

Grow, glorious grass, grow up into my brake pad,

Consume me like I was delicious food,

Fit for a valley

No need for rear vision now

Rust is my earthworm, assisting a sink

To mother earth 

I crumble, holy and pious

                                 Back into the womb

                                               Of where it all began.

Birrell rust art photo nature

Rust 5
Dr Carol Birrell

PS One more Sally thank you: to the fabulous friend who lets me stay at her place in Kangaroo Valley, land of many muses of the rusty, licheny or hopping variety.


4 thoughts on “Let weeds tickle my bumper bar

    • Hey Julia. I reckon it’s lovely to see the valley through my eyes too. And Carol’s. And to hear the valley through my ears. Those exquisite birdcalls and riversounds day and night. Ahhh.


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