Vietnam vet Kenn reckons he has all the answers
By BREE PRICE
MEET Kenn Austin in the streets of Nimbin and the first thing he does is offer you a thought.
From his side he pulls a small cloth bag bulging with laminated cards and asks you to pick one.
On one side of each card is a hand-drawn picture, on the other a thought about life coined by Kenn, leaving the recipient with a tool to better themselves.
"If we develop ourselves we can reach out to others," the Nimbin resident of 25 years said.
"There are 78 cards and, if people are genuinely looking for an answer, they are going to find an answer in these 78 cards.
"I wanted to write a version of the tarot people could relate to.
"It's all about the journey.
"It took me nine months to do the pictures and nine years to do the words because I had to live the experiences."
One of those experiences was fighting in the Vietnam War when he was only 19.
It was an experience that he said was never far from his mind.
"I came home from the war at two or three in the morning at Sydney airport and there were people rushing in every direction," the 53-yearold said.
"I was stuck in the airport all night long and being stuck there was lonelier than in Vietnam.
"Vietnam for me was like my second birth, my baptism of fire. You can't go into that and not be seeing real human emotion at its peak."
Kenn also said the birth of his daughter made him look at life differently again.
"I watched myself grow up again as I watched my daughter grow up," he said.
Kenn said his thoughts were often in demand.
"This is there for people. A lot of people are coming back daily, weekly, or even several times a day," Kenn said.