How important is culture in belonging?

How important is culture in belonging?

This week I had my own nugget of belonging, a whisper of connection. I was doing some research for the writer in residence program I want to set up at a school for migrant and refugee children when I met a young woman. We smiled, shook hands, and had a brief...
Belonging starts with giving

Belonging starts with giving

One of my journalist friends here pointed out that November marks the beginning of Silly Season. Australian culture — with it Aboriginal and Anglo-Saxon roots — is actually quite Mediterranean. Lunch break shopping trips gets longer, the days are hotter...
Why it’s important to be open to unexpected friendship

Why it’s important to be open to unexpected friendship

Last weekend, I went to a children’s performance held in a church and had a momentary wobble of claustrophobia. The modern church where the show was held had no windows. No view to outside. No opening to the horizon, to the sky, to the world beyond the beige concrete...
Finding inspiration from playwright Andrew Bovell

Finding inspiration from playwright Andrew Bovell

While I was running under the mauve of the jacarandas and through their leafy puddles, I realized that although I admire the spirit of some Australians and the beauty of the landscape and the peculiarity of the wildlife, right now I do not like the message that...
Making opportunities for belonging

Making opportunities for belonging

It is, of course, Remembrance Day and I have found myself thinking once again, had it been me, would I have been found lacking? Would I have had the courage to fight in the resistance like Bertie Albrecht who was executed in 1943? I’d like to think I would have...
Still just writing: Anne Tyler, failure & me

Still just writing: Anne Tyler, failure & me

I’m feeling like Anne Tyler. You know, the Anne Tyler who wrote Breathing Lessons and The Accidental Tourist ? Yes her, I feel like her. But not the Pulitzer prize-winning prose powerhouse her. No, not the author of 19 novels her. No more like the other her. The Anne...
What learning to draw teaches us about belonging

What learning to draw teaches us about belonging

A couple of weeks ago, a friend organized a last minute drawing course for us. Had I read the email more closely I would have been intimidated by the ”life drawing” prefix to the course and probably not gone. As it was I skimmed over the email, gathered my...
How to find belonging in little gestures

How to find belonging in little gestures

Last week was a doozy. The Belonging Blog website and email subscription service wasn’t working properly and then Sunday, I broke a veneered front tooth in half, on a piece of bacon. Aside from the largely unknown fact that Australian bacon is dangerous,...
The power of words to alienate or include

The power of words to alienate or include

There’s lots of slang in Australia and lots that I don’t understand, like ”shirt-front”. Shirt-fronting (sporting reference): to charge at a rival and hit him so he falls to the ground, or to grab a rival by the lapels or the front of the shirt and...
Does belonging come from our children?

Does belonging come from our children?

I had a moment of clarity yesterday in my search for belonging. Walking across the polished hoop pine floor boards from our dining room to our entry way an answer arrived in my head. It’s a question I’ve been pondering for months. Can I get a sense of belonging from...
The supermoon of belonging

The supermoon of belonging

Yesterday I phoned my uncle who’s in hospital in Canada. We talked for about five minutes before I could hear exhaustion creeping into his voice. He laughed at my silly jokes and he was genuinely happy that my father’s back pain had subsided even though there...
Love clutter

Love clutter

Yesterday I took the train back from a meeting in the city. The suburbs that I usually drive through looked different from the higher position of the train. The train weaves behind the suburban scenes yellowed by winter leaves. I mused about how I see this city anew...