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Keywords: Summer

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Flapped by computer scam butterfly effect

    • Brian Matthews
    • 13 November 2015
    3 Comments

    'Bloody amazing in life, isn't it, how things link up when you don't want them to.' Mac was now talking to me over his shoulder because he was putting mail in the local boxes. 'The man's son is in IT, and his specialty is security. But the young bloke's just got married. He's on his honeymoon and, though he's due back on the very day this scam business happened, he can't come home because where do you think he and his wife are honeymooning? In Bali. Under the volcano. All flights grounded.'

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Windows to grace on the school bus

    • Brian Doyle
    • 13 October 2015
    6 Comments

    I am present in the kitchen window at 7.39 exactly if at all possible, to be given the gift of a kid licking his window, or a kid waving at me, or one little kid inarguably and thoroughly picking his nose. You wouldn't think that a boy picking his nose would be a glorious and poignant and thrilling and joyous sight, something that seemed truly and deeply holy, but it sure was, to me. All children are my children and yours and the bus bounces down the street every morning and we are not dead and all is grace.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Oppressing compassion in Europe and Australia

    • Bronwyn Lay
    • 28 September 2015
    16 Comments

    When refugees walked into Europe, away from distant distress sites, their presence made the global issue visceral for Europeans. Australia doesn't have asylum seekers walking en masse through ordinary streets. Our border is one of established hatred. 'Stop the boats' policy denies ordinary Australians their compassionate impulse, and creates a history that our children will face judgement upon. It denies humanity's collective memory after World War II.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The gloriously flawed humanity of our federal politics

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 20 August 2015
    9 Comments

    Recent weeks' events in federal politics stretch the imagination. The search for historical parallels brought me to the start of the Burke and Wills Expedition to the Gulf of Carpentaria, the disappearance of Azaria Chamberlain, and the race that saw Fine Cotton unravel. Each of these events was characteristically Australian. In Les Murray’s memorable phrase, they all had sprawl: the mingling of excess, overweening self-confidence, and the cutting of corners. 

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The holy mystery of why the Sisters are not in charge of the Church

    • Brian Doyle
    • 19 August 2015
    27 Comments

    Not one of them ever raped a child or moved rapists from one parish to another. Not one of them ever played havoc with church funds. Not one of them ran off with a secretary. As far as I could tell each of them embraced hard work, and kindness, and humility and was every bit as committed and dedicated to the ancient mission of the Church as any priest or brother or abbot or bishop or cardinal or pope.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What might have been for the toddler in the suitcase

    • Jen Vuk
    • 07 August 2015
    8 Comments

    Behind scrub on a nondescript South Australian highway lay a battered suitcase. It had been abandoned and largely forgotten, yet its presence was incongruous in this vast, unforgiving landscape. Last month, one passer-by was so disturbed by what he found after peering inside that he contacted police. Just off the Karoonda Highway in Wynarka, in South Australia's Murray Mallee region, a terrible secret had lain in wait.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Greece's lonely season

    • Jena Woodhouse
    • 04 August 2015
    5 Comments

    A tarnished pomegranate warms the chill niche of the windowsill, mottled like a faded kilim, mellow rose, dull gold; the island in the autumn thrums to lyres of the bourini, the pagan tongues of log fires in the chimneys; ancient ferries plying the Aegean in the winter run the gauntlet of the gales like emissaries of reason. It is the lonely season.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Winter chill has a purpose

    • Megan Graham
    • 03 June 2015
    2 Comments

    I can't hate the season entirely. Perhaps winter gives the sun the due reverence it’s owed - a chance for its power to be known intimately through its absence. Over a book, warmed by the words on the page and the cup of tea in your hand, you can muse about what it all means to be alive. Sometimes a little hibernation is what it takes to heal.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    This boy's life on the autism spectrum

    • Tim Kroenert
    • 09 April 2015
    2 Comments

    Nathan was diagnosed when he was young, and was encouraged by his parents to view the diagnosis as a gift rather than a curse. It manifests in part as a prodigious talent for mathematics. Nathan finds patterns soothing, and so mathematics becomes a refuge as much as an academic interest. He shares a close bond with his father, but his mother, despite her best efforts, struggles to connect in the same way.

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  • Non-judgmental remembrance of two gay men and their love for each other

    • Garry Eastman
    • 09 April 2015
    26 Comments

    I looked down at the two coffins resting at the edge of the sanctuary and shed a tear for the tragic loss of two great friends. I shed another tear also to see such public recognition of the love these two young men had for each other, to see that it was embraced by the public face of the Church which said clearly, 'Who are we to judge, they are our brothers.'

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    In memory of Leo

    • Diane Fahey
    • 24 March 2015
    8 Comments

    'If I'm deported back to Sri Lanka, torture is certain because I'm a Tamil.' On the day I hear of Leo's death I pass a tall maple, its star-like leaves, blood-red and flame-red, irradiated. The Australian government refused the visas applied for by Leo's family so that they might attend his funeral. As three Tamil men at a microphone sing a long hymn in Tamil the Basilica fills with an undertow of sound.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    How to be a gym junkie and a food junkie at the same time

    • Isabella Fels
    • 11 March 2015
    5 Comments

    How I love sweating in the gym. I frantically try to keep going on the treadmill to burn off as many of the naughty calories as I can. I can really feel myself spinning, almost like a spiritual awakening. My personal trainer is my motivator, and in many ways I feel like I have already won the battle of the bulge just by turning up.

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