Kurilpa Bridge, Viewing Platform

The moment you step onto Kurilpa Bridge, a deep thrumming runs through your body. And it only builds as you walk along it, stopping at the Lookout. Your whole body tingles.

Lissa smiles.

“Good, you’re getting more sensitive.”

The bridge shivers in the breeze. There is the constant scuffling of runners’ boots, the click and sigh of bikes accelerating past, and then, most constant of all, the expressway, a river that flows parallel to the real one.

She reaches out and holds your hand. The air shimmers, and it is as though the great skin of reality is sliced away, revealing another skin beneath.

“Here! You can see the Underworld from here.”

And you can. There’s a great Morton Bay fig growing from Mt Coot-tha, and great is an understatement. Its branches extend over the entire city. The tree creaks, it groans – the sound as constant and all-encompassing as the roar of traffic in the living world.  The tree’s shadow is the darkness extending like a storm front over the city. And it takes your breath away.

“The One Tree,” Lissa says.

You’ve heard of it, of course. Every Pomp in training has. You’ve even seen a few grainy videos of it, but to actually see it now. It takes your breath away. There’s a weight to it, an awe-inspiring, vastness. It’s the tree of a god. Once there was a forest of such things. Now there is only this. You feel like you are falling. You can hear yourself laughing, though it sounds so distant it could be someone else.

Lissa lets go of your hand, and you experience for the briefest moment a merging of the lands of the living and the dead. Traffic and tree’s creaks intermingle. Runners slap past. And then you’re there on the bridge with Death beside you. You want to see it again.

“This is our world,” she says. “The other, it’s too easy to fall in love with, but it isn’t ours. You need to remember that. Now, where to next. Close your eyes and concentrate.”

Highway Sign GOMA: There’s something calling you to the Hotel Sign and Bodhi tree at the end of the footpath out the front of GoMA. A weird and urgent sort of pulsing within you, the sort of thing it’s best to either ignore or chase, you’re not sure. But maybe today’s the day for bravery.


QAG Black Sculpture: Almost as strange is a presence you can sense out the front of the Art Gallery Forecourt near the Cultural Centre Busway, by the great black sculpture and under the suspended flying artwork there. It feels grimmer and colder. Thinking about it makes you shiver. You’re getting good at this.