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Dumbo Feather

Dumbo Feather

Issue 65

Dumbo Feather is an iconic Australian magazine. Published quarterly for seven years, and hailed around the world as a design leader, it is a magazine like no other. Our readers are people who want to be told a different story than the one they hear every day. Each quarterly issue features five extended (20 page) profiles of people worth knowing, across enterprise, education, science, sport, politics, fashion and the arts. Whether they’ve touched millions, or just those around them, we take the time to get to know these people, and ask them to tell us their stories.

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Country:
Australia
Language:
English
Publisher:
Dumbo Feather Pty Ltd
Frequency:
Quarterly
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4 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
editor

Dear reader, I’m often gobsmacked by how much my thinking has been shaped by the culture our dominant systems impose. While working on this issue, I’ve been unpacking my own (largely unconscious) relationship with rest, and realising how dismissive I’ve been of it in my life. Not in an overt way, more through the little stories I’ll tell myself. Like, “There’s a million other things I should be doing / learning / experiencing right now than taking time out.” Or, “The body’s like a rubber band, I can stretch it as much as I need and it’ll always return to its original form.” In the capitalist paradigm, productivity and exhaustion are heralded – we expect others to sigh and say “busy” when we ask how they are. And so for me,…

5 min.
minding my mothers

“Among its many violent and tender teachings, the ocean has shown me the value of respecting rhythm and rest, of listening to my intuitive whisperings, which can be life-saving in wild conditions.” The living world moves in pulses. Gusts of wind are punctuated by relative stillness. Musical notes resonate within the padding of silence. Rest and motion require one another for balance, beauty and life. Yet somehow we’ve built a culture that demands the impossible: leaving the tap on and emitting our own energy in constant deluge. I watched my single mother, Megan, attempt to do this – create a home for us, pay the mortgage, pack the lunches, make the deadlines and keep it all tidy with two hands alone. As a young mother, she committed to doing better than her…

6 min.
we need a break

“To rest is to lose one’s way, to stray from the labour of being found out, to build wilder coalitions with the world around us, to make kin.” In the beginning… I often imagined him wearied from the act, beads of sweat embroidering his forehead, average-Joe sleeves rolled into blue collar folds just above his forearms, his knees weak and awkward, a gentle sigh filtering through his white flowing beard. I cannot tell if my Christian pastors would have endorsed this private and teenage retelling of the first Sabbath, but the idea of a “God” who needed rest from his creative exertions – who needed to take a break from conducting red giants, brown dwarfs, quasars and a certain blue planet ex nihilo – appealed more to me than the more popular image…

3 min.
cycles of growth & rest

“A complementary sense of nature connection might lie in simply reconnecting with non-mechanical signals about when it is time to speed up and time to slow down.” The seed of a deciduous tree falls from the branch of its mother. Destined, like her mother, to become a female tree, she lands and rests upon the earth. Depending on seed and circumstance, she might rest there for years. If and when conditions are favourable, she germinates. A baby tree begins to grow. Nested within her life cycle, which may last centuries, an annual cycle plays out. As she grows, her trunk gradually thickens in alternating rings of lighter and darker wood. The lighter, thicker rings grow in spring and summer. The darker, thinner rings grow in autumn. As winter approaches, growth rates slow, leaves drop…

5 min.
the restorative function of dreams

“In each of us is another whom we do not know. He speaks to us in dreams and tells us how differently he sees us from the way we see ourselves.”Carl Gustav Jung A dream is first an encounter, a new experience, a range of imagery. Our dreams bring us beauty, surprise, strange happenings and sometimes terror. The dark forests of the night hold wise babies and strange old ladies, birds without beaks and winding streets. This mysterious realm nightly restores our untamed nature and speaks to us in the archaic language of image and symbol. The remembered dream is like a photograph: a yellow field, a small boat on the open sea, an old cemetery with toppled gravestones. We can revisit experiences that have expanded us, deepened us, and filled us…

3 min.
in the mind’s ear

“If we want to hear, we need to make ourselves still – but not rigidly still. Still like seaweed. Still so we can give ourselves over. Still so we can be moved.” Virginia Woolf was on the money when she said a woman needs 500 pounds a year and “a room of one’s own” in order to write. I absolutely cannot write music with rabid wolves at the door, nor with jackhammers, committees or children in the interior. The dog can stay, as long as he sleeps sweet at my feet. I need space and stillness so I can listen to the work. I say “listen” to the work because when I compose music, it doesn’t feel like I am “doing” the composing. It feels like I am “listening” to the composing.…