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Chasing Grey

Our world isn’t at all what it seems.

 Not in a spooky way, though, for that would imply a supernatural presence. Our world looks and feels like any other, with rules and nature and people and time. Not time in the regular sense, but the kind of passing you feel in your bones. It’s heavy, much heavier than any other element or idea.

 Nature is different too. Sunrise isn’t gradual like it is on Earth – it happens with a click of your finger. Sunset, too. Actually, it’s more like ‘sun-on’ and ‘sun-off’. There’s no in between – just day and night, right and wrong, black and white. The grey can only be chased, like the horizon line. You might be certain it’s there, but really you’re just on the edge of either black or white.

 If you look out towards the real horizon line, everything seems to spill over. Dirt bleeds into sky, trees merge with other trees, and sharp lines slice the view into shards. Amidst this tableaux there are creatures hiding everywhere. Some barrel through the landscape gnarling and screaming, disrupting the peace, taking pleasure in the chaos. Others simply stop – and watch. It’s a jarring theatre of unspoken anxiety where the air carries tension like a wounded soldier carted back to the barracks after battle.

 To enter our world, you must uphold our creed:

 1. What goes around comes around – and stays. Permanently.

2. Do unto others as they would do unto you. Unless you are small and soft – in which case, RUN.

3. Change is a privilege, not a right.

4. Bearing witness is a skilful art that demands indifference only few can master.

5. Fear is the most powerful currency – use it sparingly.

You and me – we go way back. We were raised by wolves but we didn’t know; we didn’t know what that meant. We travel, snapping and clawing our way through the dirt and undergrowth of this dank oasis, seeking shelter. Looking for a way out.

To those who know no better we take the shape of foxes, our dusty paws barely leaving behind any trace of our arrival. Prints so soft you’d swear it were a hoax (and there’s every chance that it was).

When we hear the deep, guttural moans of the beasts, we curl inwards. It is in this act we find our safety, our comfort. You were the one who taught me this, dear friend, and it continues to provide solace when, at times, my bones become so heavy I can no longer run. 

 I have learned that human skin is so thick but it won’t protect anyone out here. I offer my coat as sanctuary. Each strand of my fur is a memory, a loving reminder that there is no gender anymore. What is left, now, is a warning to heed: the beauty of silence tears truth apart from the inside, out.

 Tell me you still believe in truth? Don’t we all deserve more?

 Sit with me and open your mouth – let the broken pieces of your heart tumble out so I may put them back together again.


Dr Marion Piper, a Melbourne-based copywriter passionate about communications and creativity (as a way of life).  She’s exhibited and published widely, and spends her downtime drawing and teaching yoga.

About the Artist

Janice Gobey

Janice Gobey graduated from the University of Melbourne’s, Victorian College of the Arts with a Masters in Visual Art obtaining a 1st class honours. 

She was selected as one of the artists for the Linden New Art Innovators program as well as curated exhibitions such as The f Word at Ararat Rural Gallery, Fixation at the Town Hall Gallery and the f Generation at George Paton Gallery. 

Gobey was shortlisted for the Kennedy Art Prize, the Wyndham Art Prize, the Sunshine Coast Art Prize as well as the Toyota Community Spirit Sculpture Prize and has participated in numerous international residencies such as the NG Creative Art Residency in Provence, the Leipzig International Artist Programme in Germany, the London Summer Intensive, a joint residency between The Slade and Camden Arts Centre, ; Summer Painting Intensive at the School of Visual Arts, New York; Point B, New York and Takt, Berlin.

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