Thursday, 13 November 2014
Dear Inner Circle,
Not satisfied with the normal life-rhythm of love; its move from potential to actual to potential again; its move from intimacy to longing and back - a young woman told me just now about how she is strangling the bloke she loves. She wants to possess him. She wants him to be on call all the time. She wants him to be more predictable than a machine. She wants assurance, that he can’t give. No amount of control can change the nature of love; it is born and it dies and is born again. For this young woman however, the natural end of a loving event, threatens the end of love itself. I saw a learner driver the other day make a right turn and mount the footpath, knocking down a small tree. As I passed by, the driver was still so frozen to the steering wheel that I could see how she wasn’t in a good place to be moving and adapting and coping with all the shifts required in a task like driving. The young woman I just spoke about is in a similar spot. Stiffness and anxiety will not get her around the corner. Even if the woman could turn her partner into an object that could be controlled, the object wouldn’t be the man she loves but a shadow; a thing.
As I walked in this morning a short man, perhaps in his fifties rushed over and put his arms around me. I like this man. I could take him home. He told me that he’s sleeping rough again. Our team over the past year have done a brilliant job for this fellow finding accommodation but a couple of times, after achieving the impossible for him, the placement has broken down and he finds himself on the street again. I love this bloke. “It’s my anger” he said. I only know him as a sweet man but others have told me that he can fly into a rage. I had to leave him because I was due in a meeting but my heart is heavy for him and I’m keen to see him again.
We have so much to be thankful for at Wayside. Our past Governor, Dame Marie Bashir was our beautiful Patron for 10 years and the relationship continues. The new Governor of New South Wales, His Excellency General David Hurley has just now accepted the Patronage of Wayside. It says something lovely about this State that the highest office holder will have a connection with some of the most marginalised. I look forward to showing His Excellency around Wayside in a couple of weeks and that act in itself will demonstrate a community with no ‘us and them’.
We were honoured with a visit from Clayton Utz yesterday. This law firm is a major sponsor of our work with Aboriginal people; infact, we couldn’t do the work we do without them. A team of senior lawyers and partners spent some time with our staff and then had lunch with some of the community. That morning I spoke to an Aboriginal lady with blue hair. I fell in love with this lady at first sight. We talked about lots of things and by the time we parted, we were holding each other’s hands. I said to her, “You know my fondest hope for this country is that one day we will treasure our first people above all else. I long for the day when all Australians have a connection with the land that comes from a connection with Aboriginal people”. I said, “I think the day will come when love for the people and love for the land will be the same thing. How rich will we be when our love for the people connects us to more than 40,000 years of history.” The lady’s big, beautiful, brown eyes fixed on mine and all she said was, “Unna”, (sounds like “under”). I haven’t heard that word in years. I think it’s an Aboriginal take on the English “Isn’t it” but it’s used a bit like the English, “Amen” or “For Sure” or “Too right”. It’s interesting to me that, “Unna” is an expression that calls for mutual affirmation. It’s lovely and typical of this rich culture that even the expression for “yes” or “for sure” is an expression that creates and affirms community.
That’s probably enough, I express our love and gratitude to you our inner circle. Thanks for all the blankets and razors that are rolling in this week.
You are amazing,
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Previous Inner Circles
6 November 2014: The power of presence
30 October 2014: Paralysed by presence
23 October 2014: The joy of sight
16 October 2014: The best medicine
9 October 2014: Who would have guessed?
2 October 2014: There's no such thing as a terrorist
21 August: Saving souls
14 August: Squeaking out
7 August: A time for turning
31 July: You're okay
24 July: Happy tears
17 July: Let's aim higher
10 July: Gristle and good
3 July: The joy of not knowing
26 June: If not now, when? If not me, who?
12 June: Longing for riches
5 June: When you least expect it
22 May: Finding home
15 May: Flying
8 May: Tests, triumps and tissues
1 May: Skuse the French
24 April: Lifting the curtain
17 April: Collective love
10 April: Cardiac arrest
3 April: Awe struck
27 March: You're invited to something special
20 March: Rather a prohet than a loss
13 March: It's all happening at the wayside
6 March: Love makes all the difference
27 February: What goes around
20 February: The joy of being empty handed
13 February: Loving the growth spurts
6 February: Mighty glad to be back by the wayside
23 January: Some criminals have class
16 January: Wonderful surprises
9 January: Ready, set
19 December: Thanks for an awesome year
12 December: Mission and wishin'
5 December: The ups and downs and all is well
28 November: Kissed by the community
21 November: Our cup runneth over
14 November: A revelation from wayside
7 November: When excrement happens
31 October: I am therefore I think
24 October: We are surrounded by heroes
17 October: When you least suspect
26 September: A wayside wobbly
19 September: Knowing a gift
12 September: Advancing at the retreat
5 September: A little dose of good
29 August: Fighting with a feather
22 August: The boom is just beginning
15 August: True riches
8 August: Small is beautiful
1 August: Sensitive people miss all the best views
25 July: A whole lot going on at wayside
18 July: Kings Cross a place of courage
27 June: Holy ground