Yesterday, I had the chance to head to one of my favourite places; the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). For anyone who doesn’t know the MCG, it is essentially a huge sporting stadium about ten minutes’ walk to the east of the centre of Melbourne.
But – more than just a sports venue – it is the platform for stories…stories of triumph, tragedy, celebration, achievement and connecting the Melbourne of over 150 years ago with now. There have been concerts, Olympic and Commonwealth Games, religious gatherings and so much more in this space. It is the main home for Australian Rules football in the winter, and cricket in the summer. It has had – and continues to have – sports of many varieties connected to it. It even served as military accommodation during the Second World War, and holds tight to its memories while still being a beacon of modernity.
The MCG…it is awe inspiring but comfortable, a place where the maze gives way to your personal viewing post. You typically share this space with your ‘tribe’ and it helps, in turn, to create your own traditions.
On its large scale, the MCG is a great example of a place where looking beneath the surface helps to uncover myriad stories and spark researching and writing motivation. Like so many other buildings and venues in a big city, the MCG holds a multitude of memories behind its stadium walls. It is in turn complemented by the residences in the quiet streets beyond, most of which have dates on their facades, and distinctive styles that have held true over many generations.
From such landmarks, we can then move beyond to our own lives and the buildings that create the stage for us. What sort of scene do they set? Who has been here before us, and how did they make a difference? The building is the platform, and we are the detectives and story tellers in what is one of the most rewarding forms of research and writing; looking into the world around us, and becoming acquainted with the people and stories who are part of our own continuum.