In our own hands

To offer consolation is an act of generosity. Arthur Frank, The Renewal of Generosity ANZAC Day: dodging the memorialisation of war by gardening, trying to distribute worm casts without ripping handfuls of living worms to bits. I’m feeling the dirt packed under my fingernails, and suddenly hearing Thom Gunn’s poem that skids to a stop on the matter of our cellular form: […]

Enhancing life

When a person dies, they leave behind, for those who knew them, an emptiness, a space: the space has contours and is different for each person mourned. This space with its contours is the person’s likeness and is what the artist searches for when making a living portrait. A likeness is something left behind invisibly. John […]

Never let me go

In an interrogation, blows have only scant criminological significance. They are tacitly practiced and accepted, a normal measure employed against recalcitrant prisoners who are unwilling to confess. Jean Amery, ‘Torture’ The perverse bureaucracy of a well-mannered killing is cranking up so fast in Indonesia. Plastic chairs, fresh paint, name tags to sort out family members from spiritual […]

What you cannot accept

So, how can we productively guard space upon terrain where agency is constantly affronted? Sean Michael Morris, ‘The Place of Education‘, Hybrid Pedagogy July 2016 I pray you find the courage to show mercy, as one day you will no longer have the power and will be looking back at your choices and your mistakes […]

Faith

I think about the day a person dies, how the morning is just a morning, a meal is just a meal, a song is just a song. It’s not the last morning, or the last meal, or the last song. It’s all very ordinary, and then it’s all very over. The space between life and death is a moment. Stephanie Wittels […]

The heart of it

The heart, in contrast, is a universal symbol that resonates across languages, cultures, and time zones. The heart is more expressive, enabling you to convey a range of emotions and easily connect with people. And in our tests, we found that people loved it. Akarshan Kumar, on #TwitterHeart Here’s the thing. There is no single […]

Words for the way we talk

1. January 28th, 1986 the Challenger Space Shuttle finally took off after many delays and concerns about safety. The parents of female astronaut Christa McAuliffe were watching from the stands, news cameras trained on their upturned faces as the shuttle exploded.  “Etched forever” is a meticulously pieced together account of the reactions of all those who prepared […]

Writing and dying

This weekend the situation in Indonesia has escalated. It shouldn’t have come to this, and yet here we are. Networks and timelines are filled with expressions of horror and sadness that the executions are going ahead. Families and loved ones are racing to get there in time; governments all over the world are appealing and protesting. The lawyers are […]

Vigil

End of life illness stories come to this moment: the final period of waiting and staying awake. Sleeping mats on the floors of hospital rooms, dozing in chairs, holding hands, keeping shifts and vigils, hard choices, knowing what is to come. There’s an intense wish repeatedly expressed to get there in time: for the living to […]

The reality

Even though I know what the reality is, it gives me hope, it gives me a purpose, it gives me something to do. However little time I have. — Myuran Sukumaran, Australian artist Here’s a story that ought to be filling us all with hope: a big tale of resilience, creativity, cooperation and opportunity, driven by a remarkable […]