Fair play


This is not the best or fairest image to accompany this post but darn it, it’s all I’ve got. And somehow it seems that people only like reading with a picture, and maybe I still need to visually pinch myself that this actually happened. So picture this.

I just sat down at the side of the bike path at Southbank and had a lovely solid cry and now I’m having a glass of champagne alone. I’m at some ho hum touristy restaurant with a blanket of noise but somehow I need to mark this moment and I’m out of options and, for the moment at least, companion.

Betsy Turcot and I were just honored to help host the New Farm Library Queer Literary evening, featuring Pascalle Burton and special guest Ian for Stressing of Leisure, Nigel Kimber, Tamara Pearce, James Bryant and David Hardy. Kudos to Michelle Richards and the whole team at New Farm library for supporting this event. Kudos and profound, heartfelt thanks.

In an hour and a half, the evening shared stories of writers and performers that have reminded me how complex, heartbreaking, joy-rising, mind-stretching and spirit centering stories can be.

I just tried to call my ex-girlfriend – that one special one who still remembers how hellishly awkward and wrong you felt coming out and how hopefully you thought working yourself out a bit would make it all “get better”. Remember how we kept each other alive?

Because this evening reminded me again how many places in art, in music, in story, in film, we looked to find ourselves made real because we could at last be seen, those places where we would make ourselves visible and therefore possible; dangerous in our “mere opulence”; clicked with our own castanets; destroying the past of our lovers so that they could Phoenix themselves, even as we incinerated with them; coming out of the closet with a goddamn Mormon choir heralding us; and answering a changeling child “yes, yes, we always love you”.

No fanfare, no ego, most writers actually reading, no one delivering an important impression of “great artist at rest”, just stories and words loosed from those silly constraints.

Beside me are two women who seem to be on a first date. I am eavesdropping with all the tenderness of the soul. These are the rare places of actual pride.

By Eleanor Jackson

Eleanor Jackson is a Filipino Australian poet, performer, arts producer, cyclist, writer, gal about town, feminist, freewheeler, and friend.


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