A report was handed down in Australia yesterday. Another report wasn’t.
The report looked at the death of a man who wanted to be Australian and the people who killed him, acting on behalf of all Australians.
The report that didn’t happen involved our best Aussie Rules footballer, Gary Ablett Jnr, not being cited for elbowing his Western Bulldogs opponent.
The Cornall report, prompted by a fatal bashing and other violence on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island, will attract minimal public interest. The action occurred offshore, out of sight, out of mind, rather than during a televised sporting event.
The Ablett non-report will generate much discussion and many column centimetres. It will trigger allegations of bias in favour of the AFL’s reigning best and fairest player. Morons will boo the little champ each time he takes the field.
There’ll be little or no cat-calling about the asylum seekers being hit with much more than a stray elbow.
Fairfax journalist Tony Wright says it will take historians to appreciate the true significance of the Cornall report.
God help us if we have to wait for history to turn the spotlight to where it should be shining.
My brain has already added Vasoline to the lens through which I see my memories of the past month. All is in soft focus – particularly the maelstrom of writing workshops, author events and book promotion that was Book Week.
While I’m rapt to have a new novel to show people (as distinct to telling them ‘this is what I’m working on’,) the urge to lock myself away and plunge into a new project is intense. I’ve shirked writing for much of this year, mainly because I wanted to be in the right headspace for editing and rewriting Five Parts Dead. Now that excuse is no longer applicable, it’s a good feeling wondering what will come next.
The frenzied recent weeks have also made the gaps between activities all the more potent. Perhaps it’s in these moments that, as the old hymn says, the “still, small voice of calm” can be heard over the earthquake, wind and fire.
And, as tends to happen when I’m focused on a particular thing, my awareness is heightened. I see more of it around me.
Here are some other thoughts on savouring the space in between:
1. “Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.” – Diarist and holocaust victim Etty Hillesum
2. The indomitable FirstDogOnTheMoon on the pause between Australian Federal Governments
3. The Age newspaper’s National Affairs Editor Tony Wright on waiting for a new government.