Easter rising

It is hard to know where to start, to speak of how changed this Easter will be from others in recent memory. Our memory of past years affects our expectations of this Easter and our experience of it. In some ways, it is a very different Easter, horribly so; and in others, it is closer and truer to the day of Jesus’s resurrection that we ever could imagine. Because everything is changed this year, I have been thinking of how that first Easter changed everything. Our lives have been disrupted thi

Empty shelves and Easter eggs

I went to the shops yesterday to do the weekly shop, plus a little pandemic prepping on the side. Into the trolley went the usual suspects of fruit and vegetables, milk and bread, but the non-perishables that consumers all around Australia are searching for were not available — things like toilet paper, disinfectant, pantry staples and some flu and pain medications. The shops have been cleared of many staples, just as bottle shops have also reported the binge buying of alcohol. If COVID-19 is th

Finding the right word

One night, a couple of months ago, my son asked me to help him write a poem for school the next day. He doesn’t usually find homework difficult, unless it involves writing. In this we agree. I find writing hard work, and good writing harder still. Words rarely gather meekly on the page for me; they prefer to slip through my fingers like fish. The evening crept on as we faltered through the writing. He found the search for the right words excruciating. We both did. And yet, in his agony (and min

Does the NSW abortion debate expose our indifference to truth?

The Macquarie Room is a windowless box in the NSW Parliament Building that could easily serve as the conference room of a mediocre airport hotel. Tables are arranged in a rough square; there are jugs of water, piles of paper. The microphones droop like wilted flowers. Conference calls fade in and out. This ‘no place’ room was the setting for the recent inquiry of the Social Issue Committee of the Legislative Council into the Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019. The fault lines between tho

We need more expressions of care for one another. The draft NSW abortion laws don’t fit the bill

The Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019 came quickly into the NSW Parliament, without much fanfare or advance warning. On the morning of the debate of the bill a friend of mine walked to work down Macquarie Street. He saw and heard the people who were gathered outside the NSW Parliament to protest the bill. His companions on the footpath saw them as well. ‘We need to crowd out these fuckers,’ one of them said. His companions crossed the street and joined a chorus of those protesting in fa

By the light of the moon

The moon has been headline news for days. This is a strange phenomenon for our demur neighbour, whose nightly changes are one of earth’s quiet constants. It’s to be expected that we would mark the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing, but there was another landing of equal importance that occurred a few days after the lunar one: the astronaut’s landing back on earth. Those who were alive fifty years ago often recall where they were when Apollo 11 landed on the moon. Although my husband does

The bloody irony of Sri Lanka's Easter Day massacre

Horrific news seems to bookend our days. Last week I awoke to news of the destruction of Notre Dame. On Easter, I set the table for lunch as blasts ripped through buildings in Sri Lanka. I shuddered to think of what might greet me as I lay me down to sleep. There is a painful sharpness to the irony of the bombings in Sri Lanka occurring on Easter Day. This is the day that Christians believe Jesus Christ rose from the dead. And yet, just in time to mark that miracle, death doesn't merely knock o

A tale for this week of death and resurrection

Notre Dame burned. Like many in Australia, I woke up yesterday to the news of the fire that consumes the Cathedral. The images on the television and in the churn of social media portrayed a blaze burning from the inside of the building as if there is a fire in the belly of the Cathedral. The images of destruction were terrifying. Like most people who have travelled to Paris, I’ve visited Notre Dame and walked up and down the side aisles admiring the Cathedral and the artworks it held. I studied