Alien Shores

by Michelle

I woke up this mornning after a late night, reading, writing, then chatting by phone to Martin Edmond about the humours of the writing ‘screen’ (as opposed to ‘scene’: of which there is none, he suggested, because a scene would refer to a place, whereas we are mostly glued to our laptops or phones.) At some point during our conversation I received an email from a geek asking to postpone our appointment: someone on the waiting list for a hospital clinic had cancelled and it was his turn. Second cancellation. Relief.

Then the alarm humming like electronic birds, a day off. Then the routine: coffee, cereal, abcnews.com.au, feed the rabbits, pack lunch, fold and take flute. Tegan timed her brief speech on multiculturalism, which I thought was wonderful for its simplicity and understated flourishes. She didn’t want to talk about asylum seekers. She wanted it to be a broader topic.

After I dropped her off, I went for a long walk. The sun was dusty and bright but there were signs of decay on the pavement, leaves and petals. This gladdened my heart, each a little poem dispersed. I had been feeling lost as one does at the beginning of new work, and since it is like a journey into the unknown, sometimes anxiety, sometimes the frustration of failures. But the morning was colourful, tibouccina and jasmine flowering, the baked, curled tongues of magnolia leaves, like so many voices.

This week, I’m told, my copy of Alien Shores should arrive. It’s a collection of stories I can’t wait to read; stories of refuge and asylum by Indian and Australian writers, edited by Sharon Rundle and Meenakshi Bharat.

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