May 2017 archive

The story Lessons

Stories teach us some contradictory lessons. One of the commonest is that, if we don’t stick up for ourselves, if we sit back and wait, if we’re polite and don’t rock the social boat, a hero will come along and do the right thing on our behalf. The movie Hidden Figures is just such a […] Read more…

In search of courage

My parents believed the world was a brutal slavemaster and hey were its special victims. Every day they shivered in expectation of attack. My father sought relief from his fear in work and drunkenness. My mother buried herself in stories of romance in exotic places.   As their daughter, I was also marked as a […] Read more…

On Work as the joy of writing

There are many ways in which I feel out of step with the century. The latest is the idea that writing can or should be easy. I’ve heard a few people say this. They sign up for workshops, lured by the teacher’s assurance that writing is easy. These students are tired of hearing that writing […] Read more…

Life after death

On my way home yesterday after celebrating the Buddha’s birthday at Federation Square, I read the following sign strung up along the iron fence at Melbourne Cemetery: LIMITED RELEASE ON EXCLUSIVE GRAVES. What on earth do they mean? That the inhabitants of certain graves are given a night off to roam the cemetery and neighbouring […] Read more…

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