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Do you miss me?

Because blogging has felt increasingly uncomfortable for me for personal writing, I am going to attempt TinyLetter instead. It’s an e-newsletter platform and you can subscribe here. It will deliver my ‘personal writing’ posts directly to your email rather than on this blog.

This blog was always supposed to be a place for very honest writing.

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I am hoping with TinyLetter I can feel a little more free again, because I will know exactly who is in the room with me when I am talking. I will always keep this blue milk blog going, but the e-newsletter might be the place where I do more of my ‘thinking out loud’ style writing; the way I used to do on this blog.

Letting Go
– Fay Zwicky
Tell the truth of experience
they say they also
say you must let
go learn to let go
let your children
go
and they go
and you stay
letting them go
because you are obedient and
respect everyone’s freedom
to go and you stay
and you want to tell the truth
because you are yours truly
its obedient servant
but you can’t because
you’re feeling what you’re not
supposed to feel you have
let them go and go and
you can’t say what you feel
because they might read
this poem and feel guilty
and some post-modern hack
will back them up
and make you feel guilty
and stop feeling which is
post-modern and what
you’re meant to feel
so you don’t write a poem
you line up words in prose
inside a journal trapped
like a scorpion in a locked
drawer to be opened by
your children let go
after lived life and all the time
a great wave bursting
howls and rears and
you have to let go
or you’re gone you’re
gone gasping you
let go
till the next wave
towers crumbles
shreds you to lace—
When you wake
your spine is twisted
like a sea-bird
inspecting the sky,
stripped by lightning.

Pretty Dead Girls

I can’t wait for this! I am in conversation with Miles Franklin shortlisted writer, Emily Maguire at a Queensland Writers Centre event on 22 September, 2017. We have a fascinating topic and Emily is such a great thinker.

A conversation on the fetishism of female victims and the limits to empathy. Maguire and Fox, both known for nuance in their writing, discuss the power of narrative in public responses to emotionally fraught events, the pathologising of risk-taking by women, notions of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ victims, and the way a rigid scope of sympathy can distance us from truth.

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Buy a ticket here.

You cannot watch this heartbreaking video of Diamond Reynolds and her four year old child being terrorised in the back of a police van after seeing Diamond’s partner, Philando Castile killed by police, without thinking the justice system is a motherhood issue.

Also, that we expect a kind of restraint under pressure from the mother that we have not expected of police.

Look at all these true winter colours.

I took Cormac with me on a business trip and after the work we turned it into a holiday together. It is the first time I have holidayed with him alone.

There is something very special about both that kind of intimacy and the nature of being away from home. It suddenly all feels quite effortless. You are a better kind of parent, more attentive, more patient, more capable of moving at their pace. And they are a better kind of child, more reasonable, more appreciative.

Life drawing model

I was a life drawing model for Amelia Draws and she painted this beautiful watercolour.

One of the things I enjoy about Amelia’s work, apart form her eye, is also seeing her discuss her life as an artist alongside it –  the single parenting, blending families, feminist parenting and day jobs.  This is my favourite piece of hers.

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The biggest problem with masculinity, Perry proffers, is that it’s based on a model that’s several thousands of years old, when survival depended on physical strength and male power. Or, as he puts it, “masculinity is to chase things and fight things and to fuck. Everything else is a bit of a mismatch.” This framework for men has remained remarkably persistent even as society has evolved past it, with modern jobs and relationships requiring a very different set of skills.

And what should masculinity evolve towards?

But simply by framing a repositioning of masculinity as a boon for men rather than a loss, Perry is doing something novel. “An emergent masculinity may be one that prizes tolerance, flexibility, plurality, and emotional literacy in the same way that strength, certainty, stoicism have been celebrated in the past,” he writes.

From Sophie Gilbert’s “The tragedy of men: In a pithy and insightful new book, the British artist Grayson Perry laments how ill-suited masculinity is for modern life” in The Atlantic. 

Homeless fathers, fathers in incarceration…

“Fathers are important. I never had mine in my life,” he says. “I try my best to make sure she’s happy, well fed, and has somewhere to sleep until I get it all sorted out.”