section: Arts And Culture

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Crossing borders in a Kombi van

    • Brian Matthews
    • 16 February 2021
    6 Comments

    The border-obsessed times we live in reminded me of some really tough borders I encountered in years past. It is October 1961, the place: rural Turkey. Where you would have expected to roll on down the deserted dusty road, there is a boom gate and four sentries. This can’t be a border, however.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Long conversations over low fences

    • Jamie Dawe
    • 16 February 2021
    1 Comment

    In a stilted, modest Queenslander in Cumming Street we lived. Pets, organic alimentation and perishable bartering. Egg producing Cackling Rhode Island Reds, Leghorns and Bantams. Freedom to explore the countryside without fear or anxiety. Long conversations over low fences.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    True friendship

    • Barry Gittins
    • 04 February 2021
    2 Comments

    All three of us are parents, we’ve all been adversely impacted by COVID-19, and prior to that we’ve shared the usual rough and tumble dynamics of male friendships and bridal party affiliations. We have been in and out of each other’s good books, hard conversations, interpersonal dynamics and orbits. We’ve been through a lot as mates. COVID-wise, though, that affinity has been at a remove.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    When the city spoke back to me

    • Laila Nawsheen
    • 02 February 2021

    Come the next set of lights, you won't remember what I look like. You'll all go back to your lives thinking about your wives, girlfriends, kids, parents, brothers, sisters, lovers, friends, husbands, boyfriends, whoever, not me. But I needed a night out in the city and the city spoke back to me when I had no one else to spend the night with.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The year that turbocharged fatherhood

    • Mike Kelly
    • 21 January 2021
    35 Comments

    Men, it seems, have been looking for more opportunities to spend time with family. Research on young fathers, conducted by the Diversity Council of Australia a few years ago, reported that 79 per cent of new generation dads wanted the flexibility to improve their work and family life. For all its downsides, 2020 provided the opportunities.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A very varied Christmas

    • Barry Gittins
    • 17 December 2020
    5 Comments

    What does Christmas mean for you? What does it have in store? Preceding and in the midst of the annual celebration of life and hope that is Christmas, we will always have those, as H L Mencken noted, are obsessed with the ‘haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy’.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The shepherd wife

    • Jena Woodhouse
    • 17 December 2020
    3 Comments

    The shepherd wife has one word for her cosmos – isychia: here is isychia, she tells strangers. Without amenities — no water, electricity — her house clings to a small crease in the hills, a tortoise shell; sea forces strips of blue between the planks of outer walls that have no windows to admit the sky, the hills’ harsh beauty.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    A living memoir of my father

    • David Ishaya Osu
    • 15 December 2020
    2 Comments

    I have stared at this photograph of me and Dad for more than five months. The picture was found in Mum’s drawer. After some calculations and contemplations, Mum said I was three years old in the photo. How much can I remember from age three? How far back in time can I go? What I could only do was stare, imagine, and ask questions.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    Language as an open door

    • Andrew Hamilton
    • 10 December 2020
    13 Comments

    If we want to renew religious language and images we must begin with attention to the words we currently use, noticing their resonance as well as their meaning. It is then important for the language of prayer and reflection to be grounded in deep contemporary experience.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The poem poised to be written

    • Thuy On
    • 08 December 2020

    Precipitation before thunder/anticipation in the dusty wings/ premonition & catalyst/excavation site unseen/the poem poised to be written/a treble clef before dancing notes/the dapple around the whisper/a story unbirthed & untold.

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    We gather to remember

    • Geoff Page
    • 08 December 2020
    1 Comment

    Twenty-five years from his death we gather to remember, swapping anecdotes like bank notes weathered in our wallets. The one on how as deputy he’d learn, while pausing in a doorway, the names of all three hundred new Year Sevens in a week. And how when actors failed to show for one of his rehearsals, he’d stride the stage himself.  

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  • ARTS AND CULTURE

    The way we were at Christmas

    • Gillian Bouras
    • 08 December 2020
    18 Comments

    When I was small we spent Christmas camping by a river in NE Victoria. The festivities began on Christmas Eve, when campers and residents of the township of Bright gathered for carols by candlelight. During the singing of my favourite ‘Good King Wenceslas,’ I never wondered about the absence of snow ‘deep and crisp and even.’ I don’t imagine anyone else did, either

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