Creativity: by retreaters

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January 13, 2020
Sue posted a very short video of one of my comments in Tuscany, on that deck overlooking that gorgeous countryside with the Marble Mountains rising above the valley.
As you that were on the retreat would know, my Mum had died the previous month, and I wasn’t terribly with-it in Tuscany. So I was surprised when I recently heard what I’d said on the video. I hadn’t expect Sue would use any of it, I thought what came out was just a jumble that wouldn’t make sense. When Sue was interviewing me for it, my head was a mess, off elsewhere, and I didn’t really think about what I was saying. And yet strangely it did make sense. More than sense. Sue said I hit the nail on the head when I said, I've got nothing interesting to say... then- wham!
I shouldn’t be surprised I suppose. Isn’t that just what happens in the lull?
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January 12, 2020
Trying to make sense of what has happened to our precious forests and environment in the past few weeks, I wrote the following poem which I'd like to share with you.
It's also been submitted for Ginninderra Press's forthcoming anthology on protest and dissent.


The most potent media ever devised
- television, worried thoughts about a lover
and a diffident friend brought to enragement–
deliver images of punishing nature.

As fire blinds and maims,
a vacuum of political action howls,
multiplying as the blaze eats
the landscape,
emptiness deafening.

The media advisers spin inaction
into a tornado,
powering the 24hr news cycle,
blowing it off course.

When even the wind succumbs to exhaustion,
we are left with an unearthly noiselessness,
- the silence of what’s lost,
the soundless mouthing of platitudes
and my friend now quiet again,
hoarse from shouting.
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January 9, 2020

Art transcends
The slippery slope
Of sliding centuries
And catches
Our small truths
Of joy and folly
And turns them
Into a mirror
In which we
Finally see
Our silly selves
And laugh
Or cry
If that’s what
Art demands
Art is honest
Art is sly
But art is not
To be denied
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January 7, 2020
After a number of attempts, I've started a diary again this year. This is mainly to create impetus to write something - anything - every day.
I am also reading the Diaries of Donald Friend which are quite stimulating. They were given to me recently by a friend who was moving house. 4 thick volumes covering his life from around 15 years of age. My first diary - which I still have - starts off with my travelling to Japan as an exchange student at age 17, on my first ever overseas trip.
I see Helen Garner has also released her earlier diaries. I must grab a copy!
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January 7, 2020
Simply couldn't get into the lull yesterday- Mangrove Mountain fire 25 km away, smoke blowing in, and I'm keeping an eye on both the phone app and the tide. My mind completely haywire, as if I'd never lulled in my life. Where's the switch?Today I found it, thank you god, somewhere behind my rib cage..YM
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