17
Dec
11

text by Peter Roebuck

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“We are, indeed, shadows passing across the mouth of a cave.”

“If perspective insists that our daily lives are not important, then it is a fool”

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What a great piece of writing by Peter Roebuck. Such insight into the human condition, so eloquently expounded.
Wise words about life. His wisdom will be greatly missed.

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Marcus Bunyan
Woody’s room
1993-4
Silver gelatin print

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“NOTHING is sadder than the extinguishing of a young life. Besides the loss itself, and the pain that follows, the premature ending of a life serves as a shock, reminds of the fragility and foolishness of our existences. When Princess Di died, her country temporarily became a better place. When David Hookes departed, the sorrow reached beyond his immediate circle and into the masses.

Not that is lasts. Still we complain about traffic wardens and shampoo bottles that will not open, and the weather, and the neighbours and taxes and noise and the rest of it. An then a child dies, or a friend is suddenly removed, or a familiar face vanishes, whereupon regret comes over us for the life unled.

Do not suppose your author is any wiser in these regards than anyone else. Everything works in theory and then a drill starts in a nearby house, or a traffic jam is encountered, or a queue, whereupon reason flies out the window. Rage resumes till someone is lost, a depressed youngster or an acquaintance amid a screeching of brakes, whereupon calm returns, for then the truth must be faced. We are, indeed, shadows passing across the mouth of a cave.

It is absurd that we take ourselves and our lives seriously when it all hangs by a thread. Yet it is likewise foolish to waste gifts, for they carry with them a certain responsibility. Without intensity, much less can be achieved. A man cannot spend his entire life with a gaga grin upon hisface. Blood, sweat and tears are part of the human expression, part of our growth, and there is no need to regret their place in our lives. Mozart and Tendulkar have provided myriad delights because they dared to pursue their talents.

Often it is the striving that provided satisfaction and then follows the laughter and the strength. If perspective insists that our daily lives are not important, then it is a fool. Nevertheless, much can be missed along the way and it can take an untimely passing to remind us that we are, in so many ways, behaving like fools.”

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Edited extract of a piece penned by Peter Roebuck after the death of cricketer David Hookes in January 2004

Author and journalist Peter Roebuck fell to his death from a balcony in South Africa in November 2011

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes the Art Blart blog which reviews exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia and posts exhibitions from around the world. He has a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne.

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