Sidetracks

Photo by Derek Tickner

Photo by Derek Tickner

Hi everyone,

It’s cold here in Hobart, time for thermals, winter food and my favourite winter pastime – Dark MOFO. This year has been as wonderful as ever but the stand out for me was Antony and the Johnsons + The Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Here’s a short review from the Sydney Morning Herald. I was one of the many who wept and cheered, incredibly moved by the music and the moment.

The truth is, I’m in a strange head space at the moment. A very dear and old friend (one of the most vital people I know) is dying and I’ve been trying to come to terms with his imminent death. I haven’t seen him for quite a few years but I’m catching up in a couple of weeks, taking messages from other friends who are far away and probably going to gift him with a song I’ve been thinking about writing for some time.

Yes, I think about songs before I write them. They often start as phrases or a single line that I write in a notebook but when they start invading my brain while I’m trying to use it on other things, I know it’s time to act! I’ve got a chorus and almost two verses but we’ll see what comes out of the next couple of days.

Meanwhile, I should be working on a short story for uni and finishing off album art for The Woman on the Edge of the World. Oh well, that’s life. And death….

Take care wherever you are people, and if you have the chance, tell the people who matter that you love them while you can.

Debra ❤

A Future of Love

Usually, my posts are centred around music, writing and urban farming, but today is an exception. Most of you won’t be aware that I studied Sociology and Political Science, and worked for a time as a policy analyst for a Tasmanian politician.
With all the things that are seriously wrong with my country at present – our horrific treatment of legal asylum-seekers, our federal government’s head-in-the-sand attitude to climate change, our appalling and disrespectful bullying towards our neighbour Indonesia – I am heartened and inspired by this news story.
In this lecture, our current (alas, soon to be past) Governor General, proposes an Australia that I want to live and participate in.  
The full article, from ABC’s Radio National, includes audio from the speech.
This week, a momentous piece of legislation was passed into law in Tasmania. It is no longer a criminal offence to have an abortion in this state. And further, anti-abortion activists will not be able to protest directly outside clinics.
In recent times, there have been attempts to pass other forward-thinking bills in Tasmania, enabling death with dignity and same sex marriage, but sadly,  these were defeated. And now, with parliament concluded for the year, we approach a state election in early 2014 that will likely see a return to conservative state government, similar to the Abbott-led federal picture.
But nevertheless, Bryce’s speech has given me hope. Yes, it’s idealistic to suppose that we as a nation will all willingly embrace a republic, or even same sex marriage but surely we are prepared now to acknowledge the right of women to be treated with equality in our workplaces and in the choices we make in our lives.
I long for the day when I can celebrate with my friends and family our status as a republic, our rights to choose for ourselves what we do with our bodies, aren’t institutionally or financially discriminated against because of our gender and can marry whoever we love if we want to.
That’s a future that I can live with.