“Hiraeth beckons with wordless call
Hear, my soul, with heart enthrall’d
Hiraeth whispers while earth I roam
Here I wait the call “come home”.
Tim Davis 2018
Landscapes that are not quite visible.
Exploring the village here at Bogong, I am reminded of the word “Hiraeth” - it’s a difficult word to translate as there is not a direct English translation from the original Welsh. It talks about the concept of yearning to bond with a place – sometimes a place that you have never actually visited. It’s about the idea of a place – a landscape that is not quite visible. The shadow of places lost in the past, and our longing to return. It’s in the wind, the river and the trees. Shadows that are nowhere, yet all around us. The landscape of the village is beautiful, but not complete. Landscapes of a village are more than just the visual – they also incorporate the sounds and smells of human habitation. Houses need people to give them a purpose. My time here at B-CSC has created a connection for me with the empty houses, I want to know their stories, I want to hear their tales, I want to know their future. I want to understand this connection that we form with places and investigate what is place, what does it mean? The most difficult thing about place is that it is so hard to describe or identify – except through emotion. Place is personal, intangible, yet we all understand the concept of being attached to a place. Place often exists only as a memory and maybe that is the purpose of the empty houses, the empty village – it stands as a memory of those who were here, who performed on this stage as the players in the theatre of Bogong Village. The incompleteness intrigues me and creates connections for me with this fascinating place. I can’t wait to return.