• Nimbin Museum

    Nimbin Museum

Gather no Moss

“Nature is the one true teacher.” I read it some Indian gurus’ book while wandering India fifteen years ago. It stuck with me, had that ring of truth, and years of gardening only seemed to confirm it.Lately I keep thinking how flexible, how adaptable nature is, the creative is, or whatever you call “the force.” And the times, the 1990’s really calls for it. There is so much going on, and it’s all moving so fast, we have to be able to move with it.How do you make God laugh? – Tell him your plans for the future! It comes home time and time again.

I continue to be amazed by the feral show on 60 minutes. It’s largely envy I reckon, a frustration throughout heaps of the working world. Almost everyone has a fantasy about going back to nature, bringing up the family laughing sunshine and wild flowers. The log cabin and peaceful pure idyllic nature. Thank God we’ve really got this fantasy! And thank God there is a few, a very few really, who have a go at living it. I’m so grateful to be one of them, and in awe of the fact that, out of the 6 billion humans on earth, we are here, in OZ, and able to do it! The transition from growing up in suburbia to living in the bush is a huge one. That’s the creative spirit I’m talking about, flexible, adaptable.

And the people angered watching “the ferals go wild on tax payer’s money?” Jealous! Imagine it, locked into a mortgage and job syndrome, if you did make the break your spouse would probably leave you and you don’t want to do that to the children. So…..it’s difficult eh? Be grateful to be here and throughout our failings and messes we should remember, “We’ve done well just to get out of it.”

Louise Riddell got on council. Well, well, well, she sure knows how to play the game. Two women from Nimbin on council, one from each side of the river. I wonder if they’ll be able to find a peaceful middle ground. Impossible if greed isn’t put aside, but then I have great faith in Nimbin, in the very land itself, bringing everyone down to size in their own time. It is a healing and initiation ground after all. I always think of Nimbin as that.

Speaking of developers, the relatively new landlord, of the building the Museum is in, has told me she doesn’t want to renew the lease when it ends on October 31st. (1995) I’m told this is because of one complaint! I have a three year option which I told her want to renew, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens.I understand that some people would like to close the Museum. Some people even think it is the cause of the street scene! That’s silly!

For me, the Museum is a temple. And it covers lots of ground. For visitors it gives them an insight into our culture, lifestyle and values. For locals it’s a chance to contribute, and remember why we are here. And it’s also a quiet for children to get of the street as well as adults.

I know it could be a lot better, it needs work, there’s probably too much on drugs and lots of other stuff. But the street scene will be there with or without the Museum. And that is where we have to flexible and adaptable. Instead of trying to get rid of people why not fit them in? Accept them. Junkies are inferior to niggers on a racist scale these days. Yet the many I know, are as human as you or me. And that is why I am so passionate about the drug laws. The injustice and tragic consequences of prohibition is all over Cullen St. everyday for those who eyes to see. And who’s to blame?

One thing’s for sure, drugs are here to stay. So why not deal with it in an honest and caring way? I’m sick of saying it.

But the Museum is much more than that. It’s an expression of our culture and I can say with confidence that virtually everyone from far and wide, who follow the rainbow serpent through the Museum agree with us. We make sense, in fact a lot of people admire us and what we are doing in this community. Nimbin flies a kind of freedom flag which the general public is gratefull exists. They may not do it but they are glad we are.

Many people, ever day, are thrilled to discover the Museum when they visit. You only have to stand and watch them come out – many really love it – and it changes their understanding and attitude towards us.

In the Lonely Planet travel guide it says, “the weird and wonderful Nimbin Museum is on Cullen Street near the rainbow café. Admission $2, and it’s worth it for the conversation you’ll hear before you gat through the door.” This shows just how much travellers and visitors can enjoy what many locals see as scum. Living here, it’s easy to lose perspective on how unique this town is. Many visitors comment on how open and friendly the people are here.

If we don’t want the town to be remodelled into a Noosa we’ll have to stand up for what we believe in. Development has arrived and it can all change very quickly. Be in touch with what’s happening around you. This is real life monopoly and Cullen St is hot property right now! We are the human zoo!

Flexible and adaptable, accepting and tolerant, I love these qualities Nimbin shows more than just about anywhere. Don’t give yourself or others too much of a hard time! Another thing nature shows so well is that everything is growing and living as much as it can. Everything, plant, animal, insect or bird is flat out trying to have as good a time as possible. It’s the same for humans I reckon. Everyone’s trying their hardest. There’s no one to blame, it’s all a mirror.

Michael Balderstone.

This article has been copied from the October/November 1995 issue of the Nimbin News.

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