I fell across the line last year, exhausted and dispirited.
Sustained ill-health and a world on edge
Combined to leave me blunted.
I felt vulnerable and weakened –
A wounded creature in an open field
Exposed to every danger.
I struggled to assert myself.
I lacked the energy and certainty to defend my needs or state my case.
This heightened my sensitivity to those who imposed their views on me
As though I were an empty bucket to be filled with their excretions.
The most belligerent opinions were always the most freely shared,
Broadcast at high volume without shame or reservation.
I felt myself imploding, unable to respond.
I sat in non-committal silence, complicit and diminished.
I took a break over Christmas and into the New Year.
If anybody asked me how I hoped to spend my time,
This is what I told them:
I want a long, even summer.
I want to move at ease from room to room
In the house I share with my gracious wife,
Every door and window open
Sunshine in the yard.
And so it came to pass:
A stunning Melbourne summer;
A serene, extended season of bright, warm days and tranquil nights
That roused me from despondency and renewed my optimism.
Summer light and summer warmth
Awoke in me a dormant self:
A sensuous and simple self;
An elemental being.
I gave myself to sand and sea,
Surrendered thought to skin.
And so replenished and restored
I found my voice again.
We turned the clocks back, last weekend;
There are colder months ahead.
To the summer that has been and gone
My thanks and deep respect.