Have found myself in Japan. Not in the spiritual sense. In the physical sense. I am in the Japanese wilderness by day, gathering with giant tail swoosh all the coloured blooms mountainside. Come nightfall, you’ll find me documenting my findings in my notebook. I am a collector of nature, trying hard to resist digesting my bounty of specimens. Given that I am uprooting so many plants and leaving a ploughed field in my wake perhaps it is silly to draw the line at not eating my findings. Perhaps I am no different to those shipwrecked sailors, pirates, and whalers who ate their way through several distinct races of Galapagos tortoises after all? You’d better enjoy what you can see of these blooms for shortly they’ll be no more.
Yours affectionately and foolishly plundering that which I hold dear,
+ You can now purchase the zine in which the above postcard tale features at the MCA Store in Sydney and through their online shop here. Conveyed by the postal system and other companions of the paper variety await your persal.
+ Extract from Eighty Years Ashore and Afloat, or the thrilling adventures of Uncle Jethro: Embracing the remarkable episodes in a life of toil and danger, on land sea by E. C. Cornell concerning the voyage of the ship Apollo of Edgartown, which sailed under Captain Daggett on a whaling voyage to the Pacific in 1816 (quoted in The Galapagos tortoises in their relation to the whaling industry by Charles Haskins Townsend (1859-1944) published by the New York Zoological Society (1925)):
We went hunting them every day for a week, and as they are so clumsy and move so slow, made it an easy matter to capture them. We built a pen to put them in, and while on shore lived on them mostly, and used hard bread from the ship for soups and stews and other ways: the cook dished it out to us. The small ones we caught we carried down to camp on our shoulders, but we had to drag the larger ones. They are perfectly harmless and never known to bite. We caught about a hundred during the time. At the close of the week we took them aboard. Their weights would range from about five pounds to five hundred and over. We put them on deck and between decks, and let them crawl around as they chose. It was all of six months before they were all gone. I never knew one to eat or drink a drop while they were on board, and yet they looked as fat as a ball of butter when they were killed.