Friday, June 8, 2007

World of Difference - From Journal 1 28th June 1978

"Of what does a traveller speak, when in congenial company far away, he is questioned about his homeland? What are the persistent memories to the source of which he wants most to return? From whichever Birmingham he may come - Warwickshire, Alabama, Michigan or New Zealand - he will hold to certain irreplaceable values, whether his childhood was spent in England, or New England, South Wales or New South Wales, he will be prejudiced. How much poorer would he be if he were not! Only by discovering a man's predilections may you begin to know him, the more you consider them, the more you will understand his country, for all knowledge and all opinion is centred in man. Ultimately you may understand his bias and even share his affections, but you will not lose your own."
- John Bechervaise - Australia - World of Difference, p.188

I read this book when introduced to it whilst studying geography at Monash University. It struck a chord with me because it made me consider my country through different eyes. I had never truly understood the vastness of this land nor the diversity of it's landscapes before, and for the first time I came to really understand it's beauty and it's harshness. The book was one of those that gave me a glimpse of an Australia I had yet to come to know and one in which I am still yet to fully explore. These words allowed me to look at things through different eyes to those I had used before.

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