Month: September 2013

Redeeming qualities

My daughter is finishing her last year of school and we, her parents, have been asked by the school to write her a letter outlining her “redeeming qualities”. Implying, however unintentionally, that there is something to redeem. And in a final year of school where stress, work, general teenagerness and more stress have taken their toll, I suppose that is a reasonable assumption. It would be so very easy to list her annoying qualities. After all, the title of this blog sprung from a morning spent trying to find lost items in her room.

But then, it’s always easier to point out faults. The positive has an alarming habit of sounding schmarmy and false. (Especially for my kids who regularly reply to my attempts at encouragement: Well you have to say that, you’re my Mum) Where are the words of admiration, hope, blessing, understanding I want to write? I feel completely inadequate to this task. My first draft reads a little like a letter to myself when I had just finished school. 12 long years where I hated almost every moment. But my daughter is not me. She has flourished where I floundered. Perhaps that is all I need to say. That, and the fact I’m truly glad that the days of hunting for school socks are over for one child at least.

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In the Night Garden

Tabula Rasa is curating In the Night Garden, one of the events of the 2013 Sydney Fringe Festival. And a few of my words are going to be there, illuminated as part of the night.

Here’s a summary:

In the crevices of a darkened world in the back streets of St Peters glow exotic urban flowers that bloom but once a year and only at night. In the night garden light sculptures, installations and projections burnish the inky darkness, creating a sensory, evocative world, full of salacious suggestion, delicate beauty and an ominous shiver of fear. … Tucked into corners, skirting the line between heresy and transgression, the night garden feeds on folklore and superstition. So follow the glimmer along Mays Lane to visit the night garden that blooms at Tortuga Studios, its tendrils lighting the sultry dusk of Applebee and Hutchinson Streets from sunset on Friday September 13th 2013.