Saturday, December 05, 2015

Road shots

People are generous. Paul Janman has asked for some money to help him complete his film about the Great South Road, and has already received fifteen percent of what he wants. Tomorrow Paul and I begin our two hundred kilometre walk from the Puniu River up the Great South Road to Auckland. I had imagined that folks would want to see our sweat and blisters, in humiliating photographs shared through social media, before offering any donations. I've been preparing for the walk by looking through some images we've collected of the road. 
Otahuhu: the bronze rider advances, as slowly and determinedly as Zeno's tortoise, up the Great South Road to his long-razed stables. 
RAK Mason's Great South Road, 1920: berries from the family orchard and Latin conjugations have the same taste of dust. 
Looking into the enemy Tawhiao's country, through the Devil's Nest and Pokeno, where the convoys parked. All afternoon the trees stood straight and still, like sentries; in the twilight they lurched like ambushers.
All religions are available to the road's pilgrims. In Otahuhu we were Wesleyan; in Papatotoe we bowed before a sightless golden Buddha; in Manukau we hummed Chaldean hymns. 
Ratana's vision: a ladder reaching from a convertible all the way to heaven. He walked north. 

[Posted by Scott Hamilton]

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