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BURPENGARY: STRANGE NAMES

Sam Cutler

Sometimes it's interesting if a writer leaves OUT an explanation! Why shouldn't people wonder how and why a place got its name or think the name strange? I mean we have towns in Australia that have extraordinary names, many of them of Aboriginal heritage, most of us don't know what their names mean. Goondawindi ? Wooloomooloo ? Burpengary is no different .. who knows what it means? I certainly don't and when I was writing about coming here I didn't feel the need to explain it to my American friends. Better I tell you that it's a small town in the bush with a train track that bifurcates the town much like small towns all over America. And, that I am sitting on the front deck of a house that looks at the train tracks and (nominally) working on my novel. Trains like thoughts thunder into view from my left and trundle off out of sight to my right. Or conversely, the trains come from the right and depart to the left. To-ing and fro-ing like the particular thoughts, the trains arrive and depart with yours truly blissfully unaware of where they originated and to whence they travel. It doesn't matter. The trains do their thing and I do mine. Once in a while a horn sounds from the train .. there seems to be no rhyme or reason for the blast of noise. It woke me up at four o'clock this morning .. perhaps there was a cow on the line? A drunk headed home across the tracks? Who knows? There's so many things we don't know in this life that are really not that important. Most of the stuff we read in newspapers, for example. I have decided to stop purchasing a daily paper, and along with that momentous decision I have decided to stop going out for coffee. The coffee I make in the bus is better coffee and costs a quarter of what's available in cafés. Instead of the 'novel' presented by the press, their little 'WASP paradigm', I shall work on my own novel, and soon a giant train will roll through my brain loaded with tons of good ideas and I shall steal some of them for my ever developing plot. Who knows where they come from or where they are going? Both train and brain are subject to 'higher powers'. As the immortal Oscar Wilde said (and he said almost everything) 'talent borrows and genius steals' and here I am, the morning thief, looking at the railroad track waiting for a train to enter my brain. Sound like the lyric of a poor pop song! Yesterday I met a beautiful woman and her son. But I wont tell you her name. I have yet to find out what it means! One love


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