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Archive for the ‘this moment’ Category

I was very flattered to be a guest writer for Meanjin this week for their series on writers reading. I was told to be very reflective on my year and.. I was that. Eek.

There’s a small child in the bed with us. I hold the sheet over me and reach down blindly to find clothes on the floor. Under the sheet I slip my underwear and t-shirt back on. So, this is dating now.

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Picnic lunch watching my brother-in-law play cricket. He’s the one batting below.

(Note the black armbands all the players are wearing in memory of the dead cricketer, Phillip Hughes).

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In my garden.

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Baby asparagus shoot.

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Cormac, aged 5.

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So many eggs.

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This weekend:

I felt contented, for the first time in a long time.

I mended a broken door, all by myself like it was no big deal and these things don’t completely baffle and/or terrify me.

I cooked. Rosemary and lemon roast. Spinach quesadilla. Tomato and basil risotto.

I took the kids for a bike ride first thing in the morning.

I bought them advent calendars, the old-fashioned cardboard ones with windows. I let them open a window early because they go to their dad’s tomorrow night.

I laughed at text messages.

I watched Boyhood.

 

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Oh my god, this poem by Dean Rader.

Relational Self Portrait

The universe has not been built to scale—
everything is bigger or smaller than
it seems: the sea, the hole, a ship, a sail,

your line, the hook, your heart—that’s where the nail
of desire drives deep. Sorrow can span
a universe that is not built to scale

even though rungs are strung from star to shell
and back. We end of course where we began
(that ship, that hole, that sea). And so we sail

full speed toward the iceberg—too fast to tell
if size or scale or course is plot or plan.
The universe will not be built to scale.

The dead in heaven, the living in hell,
blaze and burn in the blue of all that can
rise and fall. The ship of this life will sail

until its stern snaps beneath the stretched swell
at the end of the end. We find out then
the universe has not been built to scale
and that our want expands like wind not sail.

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My latest column is here:

Much of the inner turmoil is displayed inside the house. That is where you really let loose. Privately. Sometimes manifesting as complete chaos and other times as an urgent desire for order. Mine was the latter. But the garden, beyond your immediate attention and yet on display to the street can betray your confidences. One day I noticed, or rather it was pointed out to me, that mine was making something of a statement. Herbs gone to seed, thirsty stalks in pots, unfinished projects and overgrown grass; it seemed to be telling the street that I did not have my life together.

At the time, I wasn’t much interested in gardens, and because I really did not have my life together what I really wanted was a new room, one that wouldn’t remind me of anything. Instead, I had a holiday and rather than going away I simply walked outside. And there in my garden I found a room, and then another, and another after that. They were quite tranquil rooms or at least, had the potential to be. Different parts of the garden offered different moods – they received varying amounts of sunshine, had a range of outlooks, provided assorted degrees of privacy or community, leant themselves to meals outside or children playing or solitude. With a little bit of work I realised they could become new living space.

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Here. (Thanks to Tedra for this link and so many other good ones).

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My article is here:

It strikes me from all of this how incredibly difficult it is to disassociate your identity from your child’s. How your child’s differences can easily be felt as rejection just as their expression of self is seen to be a reflection on you. But parenting in reply to your childhood is a conversation with the past. Just as parenting as reinvention is a conversation with an unknown future. What both these conversations lack is the present.

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For it to be a genuine encounter, we must always be able to assume that it is the beginning of a possible adventure. You cannot demand an insurance contract with whomever it is that you have encountered. Since the encounter is incalculable, if you try to reduce this insecurity then you destroy the encounter itself, that is to say, accepting someone entering into your life as a complete person. It is precisely this that distinguishes the encounter from libertinism.

This whole interview is magical. I recommend it. Alain Badiou in Verso Books.

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