Australia has been gripped by the suspense of a tropical cyclone over the past few days. The news this morning is focused on the efforts of the people living in far north Queensland to protect their homes and businesses. Shops are closed, houses are locked and left empty, and airports, town halls and shopping malls are crowded with the displaced.
The precautions taken by the Queensland government follow recent floods which dispossessed many of their homes and livelihoods and took lives.
A while ago, I wrote on my personal blog that I found it difficult to sympathise with the struggles of my fellow Aussies in light of the sudden passing of my mother, just before the new year. In hindsight, I think this was not entirely accurate. I can feel with great acuity the tension and the dread which, I assume, has gripped Queenslanders.
In times like this, it is hard to see much further beyond your own survival. Each day requires dogged self regulation and muster. The emotional environment can lead to detrimental personal consequences – small problems seem enormous, emotions run high and violent and hope is elusive. Importantly, also, the things that once brought pleasure may lose a little lustre, and the tasks we used to apply ourselves whole-heartedly to may come to lack any kind of relevance.
On that note, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Chrissy for the work she has done in compiling this literary magazine. I am fortunate to have been grounded to my pleasures (literature) and to my tasks (writing) by her steadfast and loving determination to incorporate me into this project.
I hope that over the next week, as the magazine nears its release, we hear from more writers, poets, artists and creators who have found this project and been returned by it to their instinctive, passionately creative roots. That is what this project is about and what Chrissy and I would feel most proud to achieve.
*Image sourced from SMH