Autumn 2011 #6
Bleak perhaps, but last week’s post was fact. ‘Bums and belts’, however, was only one facet of our Melbourne weekend. This, then, is the flip side, the head to last Sunday’s tail; the uppermost half of the brim-full glass:
A tiny Little Blue Man, barely two inches across, caught my attention amongst the flagstones of Federation Square where we were meeting my Godmother for lunch. It’s worth stopping for a moment to note that this beloved friend and I have a long history of remarkable, coincidental adventure; ‘Dumbstruck’ being the most astonishing. The Little Blue Man held my puzzled gaze until eventually it dawned on me that there was another about two feet away, and another, and another; all marking a wandering trail up through the centre of the Square. With my Favourite Wife and Godmother in tow, the hunt was on. How could anyone resist a trail marked by such reliable friends as Little Blue Men? Icons of access, harbingers of the privileged path*.
The terminus of our trail was a wheelchair lift; but more attractive to us was the restaurant next door. Perfect! We were shown to one table, but there was another, further in, against a dramatic glass wall. We settled in, Bugger and all, we ordered, the food was superb, and the view utterly absorbing. In the near distance the Yarra River; beneath us through the glass wall the timber-lined elegance of the Edge Auditorium; at its heart a grand piano, and at its keys a piano tuner engrossed in his trade. Perfect indeed! We sat enthralled in a sensory feast of good company, fine food and the intriguing drama unfolding below. Seats were being set and a growing number of black-clad minions with the insignia ‘VO’ were scurrying to and fro.
As we ordered dessert, and then coffee, and then more coffee, just to keep a stake on our table, the excitement was building downstairs. Through the glass wall we saw a well known face, that of Richard Gill, conductor of the Victorian Opera! Then through the glass wall we saw another well known face, that of my cousin! Crikey! A flurry of excited hand waving and urgent SMSing conveyed an invitation to come downstairs. And that is how we came to join in a rehearsal, and later that night to sing in a massed choir with soloists from the Victorian Opera. Crikey indeed!
Well, advocates of the Chaos Theory propound something called the ‘sensitive dependence on initial conditions’. Hence the Butterfly Effect, where the tiny beat of a butterfly’s wing in Brazil creates – or cancels – a tornado in Texas. And when life seems to turn for better or worse on a moment of chance, one can wonder if chaos is king. But there was nothing chaotic in our day! It was perfect; rich with unexpected adventure, exhilarating friendship, good food, music, laughter and life! I much prefer the Congruence Theory, believing that even a Little Blue Man points to destiny.
As for the King in Federation Square … well, who could have organised all that? You be the judge.
*More on the wonders of Little Blue Men.