The place I belonged — for a time — where I studied Nature, Architecture, Planning, Design…
Walking the campus is a reminder that the layers upon layers of change I’ve come to see through the passage of life, when it comes to place, weren’t reflected in my teachings nor fully understood by the teenager who walked these grounds over a decade ago.
Only the passing time, the pace of change, and the accumulated experience of place could do that.
Walking in, scaffolding everywhere.
The pathways don’t look the same.
A father and daughter walk by.
The public health situation has done this.
“Covid times” is the casual reference.
A university eye clinic in a mobile van by a company called “Trakka” … Co-incidence? You tell me. Have you seen black mirror?
I spot a kind looking soul walking a dog.
I ask her if she knows where the new architecture building is.
She points me in the direction of place names I’d long since forgotten, but like a spark they light up my mind and my memory starts to return, as does my sense of navigation.
I venture in further after a warm chat that sojourned into dentistry before naturally winding up.
As I walk further in, I’m drawn to the governance building; perhaps just to note the juxtaposition between it and the surveillance camera?
Or perhaps to think “what is good governance in the era of 2020 and beyond?”
I move towards the centre of the campus… it comes back to me, I see the old with a layer of new.
A security guard appears from the building I happen to be photographing.
He tells me I can keep taking pictures.
I tell him “I know” and then overshare by saying it has crossed my mind that he’d come out because I was there, but I thought — no — of course not.
I told him I had not been here for a long time, and he told me Alice Hoy was gone.
I clarified “The Building?”
He confirmed, orienting me to her old location.
As I move down towards the lower half of the campus, I see a butterfly for a moment, almost inviting me to capture a photograph.
I miss it though, and instead make my way down to Arts West.
I am in awe.
If nothing else, I came here for this.
To be inspired.
There is a new building.
This is Solarpunk.
I look back at the past with a melting pot of feelings.
…and I thank the past, and let go.
I move forward knowing I have arrived at this moment and it is indeed a new beginning.
2020 is nearly over.
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