[Insert audible groan of indecision mixed with ‘Oh well, why the hell not’-ness.]
I realise that ‘Year in Review’ blogs and lists can seem as passé as flash mobs and….. other things that are passé.
Like saying that things are ‘passé’.
But as per the opening sentence, ‘Why not?’.
As with many things that I’ve written since age 14, this may provide a mixture of utility for others (especially if I’m reduxing your interview or news event) and utility for me. It’s a natural progression from the Year in Review emails and Farcebook notes I’ve written in years gone by.
This 2012 version was prompted by that nonsensical Farcebook function that purports to consolidate your 20 biggest moments of 2012, using an algorithm that was obviously created by a very finitenumber of monkeys on a finite number of very old typewriters.
My glittering pseudo-career on community radio took an extended break in May when I hung up my boots from Artsound FM.
I love presenting radio programs. I’ve discovered so much good music, so many talented performers and met so many good people through it. But it’s nice to have a little more breathing room and leisure time.
I tend to throw myself in to things like this, boots and all, somtimes at the cost of sensible balance with other things, so I have enjoyed putting my energies into other areas.
It galvanised for me two of the things that are most core to my being:
1. My favourite word in the English language (and several others I either speak or have some capacity with) is ‘diversity’.
We can identify, celebrate, and understand our differences.
The more we can resist saying, ‘I don’t understand’, and the more we can say, ‘Help me to understand’ when it comes to differences, the better off we can be.
In my very humble opinion.
2. Never assume. I offer this as a serving suggestion. You can do whatever the hell you like. I suggest that to assume anything is to cut off so many fruitful opportunities.
The older I get, the more I have grown to dislike the word ‘assume’ and all the connotations around it and others like it.
‘I assume, I presume, Obviously, As you are aware’: they’re all illegal in my book. It’s like aversion therapy just being on the planet some days, hearing these repeated ad nauseum. Keep some tally marks today as they’re trotted out around you.
I can hear the words of my late father ringing in my ears: ‘Don’t jump to conclusions, Billy; you’ll break your leg’.
On Sunday evening 20 May 2012, I was walking back from Manuka qnd Forrest, after catching up with some friends. It was one of those wonderful, clear, crisp Canberra nights in late Autumn when the air is still; and so long as you have a warm jacket on (preferably in an outrageous 1950s pattern) and an over-sized beanie, you’re sound as a pound.
As I walked through Parkes (the Parliamentary Triangle) and passed the statues of former Prime Minsiters Chifley and Curtin, I got to thinking about reconciliation, the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, and the coming Sorry Day.
Earlier, while walking from the city out to Manuka, I’d happened upon a sign advertising the Bridge Walk this Friday and had spent some time (ultimately unsuccessfully) trying to re-plant it by the side of the road.
So this was all buzzing around as I approached the tent embassy along King Georges Terrace at about 8pm. I could have stuck to the path and the streetlights and headed off towards Commonwealth Avenue, but something drew me towards the ceremonial fire and I’d just descended one or two steps when a resident called out from the shadows: