Hello Pip-Life

:: The View + Big Things

When I was a little girl, holidays at the shack meant spending a lot of time looking. Looking into the fire. Looking for blackberries. Looking for little sucky things in rock pools, those ones that you can stick your finger in and they velcro to your skin, you know? Looking for a comic that I hadn’t read. Looking in the book on them mantelpiece that had all the pictures of different fish species in it. Looking to make sure you didn’t step in sheep poo in the back paddock. Looking to see if the neighbours were watching as you nicked passionfruit from their lovely, lush vine.

My favourite kind of looking, though, was looking out across the water. Our shack sat on a little hill, overlooking a lovely bay at Tinderbox. You could look out towards Snug, where the boat sheds looked like tiny teeth on the waters’ edge. Or you could look out toward Bruny Island’s faraway beaches, green hills rolling down to the shore. You could even look between the two, out to where the sky and the distant hills intersected, your view slightly obscured by the huge gum trees that clung to the cliff top across the road.

Lately, I’ve been feeling a bit peaky and I’ve found myself longing for a view. Maybe not this childhood view specifically, but a view nonetheless. I guess as kids we give ourselves a bit more time and space to look at things, don’t we?

I said to Cam a couple of days ago, ‘I just want to sit somewhere and look out to something big and beautiful. For a few days. Just something lovely. Just nature. Just some sky or trees or sea…’ You know?

I wrote a little about that in yesterday’s post too. It’s on my mind.

Maybe it’s a post-Ubud thing or maybe it’s part of working from home in the inner-city and viewing mostly buildings and traffic and things. Probably a bit of both.

Awesomely, I was looking through some of the work my great-grandfather had published earlier today and the VERY FIRST PIECE I stumbled across was this…

Immensity is magnificent medicine. That is one reason—if we may let the cat out of the bag—why the doctors send us to the seaside. We forget the tiddley-winking in the contemplation of the tremendous. We lose life’s shallow worries in the vision of unplumbed depths.

Those who have read Mrs. Barclays Rosary will remember that, in the crisis of her life, the heroine, the Hon. Jane Champion, determined to consult her physician, Sir Deryck Brand. And, after having realized the fearful strain to which his poor patient’s nerves had been subjected, he exclaimed: ‘Here is a prescription for you! See a few big things!’ He urged her to go out west, and see the stupendous Falls of Niagara, to go out east and see the Great Pyramid. ‘Go for the big things,’ he said; ‘you will like to remember, when you are bothering about pouring water in and out of tea-cups, “Niagara is flowing still!”‘

…The tendency of life is to drift among small things—small anxieties, small pleasures, small ideas, and small talk. He is a very wise physician indeed who can prescribe for us a tonic of big things.*

Isn’t it weird how the things we find can be just SO RIGHT for where we are right now? Like, super apt? I love it. It’s one of those ace and inexplicable things that lets us know that we don’t really know how everything works, no matter how smart we think we are!

How do you feel about a big view? As lovely as the little things are, sometimes a big things is all that will do…

x Pip

* I’d actually NEVER read anything he’d written until this weekend! I think we have a similar writing style, which is so WEIRD and awesome!

18 Comments

  • Reply
    Linda
    October 9, 2014 at 5:02 PM

    Yep…you and your grandfather def have a similarly cool writing style.
    It’s pretty mind blowing when you discover family secrets such as this.
    My great grandad was a poet and he put together a book for his immediate family, of which I am honoured to have a copy in my name. I just love his whimsy writing, which I have the propensity towards myself….but, most of the time I chit chat…..hahah

  • Reply
    Reannon @shewhorambles
    October 9, 2014 at 4:39 PM

    I’m lucky to live on a big block, neighbours near by but fare enough away to not crowd our view & really the view isn’t of much, nothing special but it is very lovely to have open space for look at.

    Your grandpa’s writing is beautiful x

  • Reply
    Kathy Douglas
    October 9, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    Oh I sooo understand this feeling… I have a hunch it might be a deep need of a creative person. I have always had to work near a window to look OUT and UP and ACROSS and OVER and pull the ‘out there’ into me to keep going. I used to live in Melbourne, and now we live in a country town, and slowly there are a few buildings going up around me, chipping away at my favourite bits of bigness out my window… and just this morning I looked at the real estate websites to look for somewhere new with a new bigger view.
    Boy this resonates with me today.
    Maybe it’s the full moon.
    Maybe I’m just being greedy.
    I sooo need the bigness of sky and my feet on the dirt to feel like me.
    x x hope you can find the bigness you’re after. 🙂

  • Reply
    sue
    October 8, 2014 at 11:11 AM

    Pip, I just cant believe how right your words are for me here and now! In a week or so I plan to drive from north of Perth across the Nullarbor into my old home country South Australia. I am looking forward to being surrounded by that vast expanse of plain and having the bigness of it wrapped around me. I’ve done it before but never on my own. This trip I will make time for solace and stitching by the light of the lantern.
    Your Great Grandfather seems a very wise man and writes beautifully, and you Pip….you’re just like him. Thankyou so much for sharing those words. sue x

    • Reply
      Meet Me At Mikes
      October 8, 2014 at 6:21 PM

      Sue… your comment made me cry. For all kinds of reasons. Because I’m so touched and excited about your trip. Because I can imagine how beautiful it will be (and hard too!) And because you said I’m just like my G-G. Thanks for sharing. I’d love to hear tales from your trip! Think BIG! x

  • Reply
    Anna Hardy
    October 8, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    Your grandfather’s writing is beautiful, thanks for sharing, Anna

  • Reply
    Caz
    October 8, 2014 at 9:25 AM

    I feel exactly the same way at the moment. I think the weather and changing light has something to do with it too. Your great-great grandfather was a wise man!

  • Reply
    Kate @ One Small Life
    October 7, 2014 at 8:59 PM

    I love a lot about this post. x

  • Reply
    Malinda @mybrownpaperpackages
    October 7, 2014 at 8:13 PM

    There is nothing quite like getting lost in a big view whether it is an endless ocean, a city skyline, clouds in a bright blue sky, rolling hills of tall trees or an inky night sky littered with stars. Letting your mind wander, letting your eyes just see. There is something so peaceful about it.

  • Reply
    Emily
    October 7, 2014 at 8:07 PM

    We had lots of family breaks at Walkerville when I was growing up, such a beautiful place! A couple of years ago I went back with my hubby and girls and it is nearly the same, amazing. Pip I hope you find yourself with a view ASAP, sounds like you know just what you need at the moment x

  • Reply
    Jasmine
    October 7, 2014 at 7:26 PM

    Beautiful words by your grandfather …. I love living in the country, but feel like coming to the city opens my eyes and stimulates my brain.. It’s all relative I guess! You are welcome to come visit and climb the mountain nearby… Amazing views….! X

  • Reply
    karen
    October 7, 2014 at 6:30 PM

    Thanks for sharing this piece of writing Pip.
    I’m fortunate enough to live in a house with an ocean view but still forget to look beyond the immediate, suburban view of the neighbours and road.

  • Reply
    Lila
    October 7, 2014 at 5:59 PM

    My favourite place to live had a big view, I think I would never have left there given the choice!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    October 7, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    This is so true! And why I live here in Tasmania – I crave to be in the big wide space sometimes, to rest my eyes on the bigness. I think it’s innately human. A chance for our problems to feel small and insignificant in the big wide world. I think we forget about that in our modern lives sometimes, but it is really important!

    I hope you find a big wide space soon
    x

    • Reply
      Meet Me At Mikes
      October 7, 2014 at 5:56 PM

      That’s it exactly! YES! I knew you would get it! Of course! x

  • Reply
    michelle
    October 7, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    I grew up in Tassie too, and every so often (not so often actually) I crave the BIGness of it. Melbs is awesome but it isn’t nestled on the lap of Mt Wellington, and you can’t just get in the car and see something breathtaking in under an hour.

    Sometimes I drag my family down to Squeaky Beach in Wilsons Prom just to stand next to those big rocks, breathe in the air and feel it deeply. Then back in the car and home again.

    I think there’s something that gets in the blood from Tassie. I wasn’t born there but my soul is buried deep in the wilderness and calls to me. I need a teleporter to beam me over & back.

    • Reply
      Meet Me At Mikes
      October 7, 2014 at 4:49 PM

      Oh yes! I feel JUST the same about the PROM! Yep. It KIND of feels like Tassie, doesn’t it? It almost feels like home… (Thanks for the great comment Michelle!) x

      • Reply
        Meet Me At Mikes
        October 7, 2014 at 4:50 PM

        Actually, Walkerville Beach feels a bit like that too…

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