I quit Facebook and consequently have had muuuch more time to read for pleasure – books given as Christmas presents where you can buzz through the pages in a couple of days: Terry Pratchet/Neil Gaiman’s classic Good Omens & Gaiman’s How the Marquis got his Coat Back and a rather psychedelic book called Path Notes of an American Ninja Master by Glenn Morris. I’ve also been reading slowly to savour: Hiking the Horizontal – Field notes from a Choreographer by Liz Lerman (thank you Sonya L); Songlines, Tracking the Seven Sisters, Edited by Margo Neale (thank you Josie M) whilst turning to old and new favourites to set some questions/intentions for the new year.
Here are a few things:
- From Audre Lorde, Poetry is not a luxury, 1985
‘The quality of light by which we scrutinize our lives has direct bearing upon the product which we live, and upon the changes which we hope to bring about through those lives. It is within this light that we form those ideas by which we pursue our magic and make it realized. This is poetry as illumination…
As we learn to bear the intimacy of scrutiny, and to flourish within it, as we learn to use the products of that scrutiny for power within our living, those fears which rule our lives and form our silences begin to lose their control over us.
Possibility is neither forever nor instant. It is also not easy to sustain belief in its efficacy. We can sometimes work long and hard to establish one beachhead of real resistance to the deaths we are expected to live, only to have that beachhead assaulted or threatened by canards we have been socialized to fear, or by the withdrawal of those approvals that we have been warned to seek for safety. We see ourselves diminished or softened by the falsely benign accusations of childishness, of non-universality, of self-centeredness, of sensuality. And who asks the question: am I altering your aura, your ideas, your dreams, or am I merely moving you to temporary and reactive action?’
- From Omar Sakr, Head in the Sand, Meanjin, 2019 ‘Ask yourself: what will you do if things don’t get better, and also the world doesn’t end? Who will you show up for, and how?’
- Catalina Vicens playing portative organ, version of Audi Pontus, Audi Tellus from Codex Las Huelgas (circa 1300-1325, Spain)
- Singer, Anohni with Parrngurr Yarrkalpa and Martu women artists, video excerpt from Lynette Wallworth’s Always Walking Country (2014)
Happy new year!