departed australia by Philippa Moore

Ten years ago, I took the biggest leap of faith of my life.

In the lead up, I was permanently anxious, trembling inside, terrified of it all going wrong.

But I chose to push through that discomfort, for underneath it all was a wise, calm voice that told me I simply had to do this.  And I trusted that voice.

I couldn't have told you why. There was only a knowing that I had to listen, I had to trust. I couldn't explain it. Sounds dramatic, I know - it felt dramatic at the time. I was reeling from the breakdown of my marriage the year before, feeling restless and shaky-footed in Melbourne, like a baby giraffe learning to walk. Every step towards this dream felt so freaking hard. 

But healing is hard. Change is hard. Finding out who you really are is hard. Moving away from the familiar and into the unknown, alone, is hard. 

It didn't feel particularly brave at the time - it felt exhilarating, terrifying and a little bit reckless. I didn't know what I'd find on the other side. 

But I had to depart so I could arrive.

Whatever your dream, I hope you find a way to face your fears and make it happen. It's so very, very worth it. 

 

yes, and by Philippa Moore

Influence is a tricky thing. I think it starts with love, with resonance, with the exhilarating feeling that what you’ve read articulates something you’ve always felt but never had the words for. It’s reading something and jumping into the conversation to say, yes, it was this way for me too. Yes, and. The and is the writing. The and is the book that is your answer.
- Julie Buntin, from this article

something transformative by Philippa Moore

“I did not know what I was doing, and what I also did not know, facing my computer screen and a white wall, slowly turning pale, was that I was becoming a writer.

Becoming a writer was partly a matter of acquiring technique, but it was just as importantly a matter of the spirit and a habit of the mind.

It was the willingness to sit in that chair for thousands of hours, receiving only occasional and minor recognition, enduring the grief of writing in the belief that somehow, despite my ignorance, something transformative was taking place.”

 - Viet Thanh Nguyen in this article.

anzac day, 1949 by Philippa Moore

We remember nothing. Maybe for a year or two. Maybe most of a life, if we live. Maybe. But then we will die, and who will ever understand any of this?"
- Richard Flanagan, The Narrow Road to The Deep North

The photo above is from my vintage photo collection, and was a gift to me from my friend Erin. On the back is scrawled in pencil, "Anzac Day 1949". Only four years after the end of the Second World War, when the horror of it all would have still been so fresh.

What did these young men see? What did they endure? And what happened afterwards, what sorts of lives did they go on to live? I look into the eyes and faces of these young men, too young, and can only imagine.

Photographs like this can hold hundreds of stories. I hope all of them got the chance to be told, and remembered.

the chaos of what we are by Philippa Moore

"......what I think you discover when you write stories is in the end you're just there to reflect what truth you can find in this life, not to try to pretend how life should be lived. I don't even know how to live my own life.
"In a novel you're allowed to open yourself to the chaos of what we are. It's hard to admit all the contradictions we're made of. We may believe this thing one moment and abandon it and believe the opposite the next. We can believe one thing, act another way and say a third.
"What you discover as a writer is you're not one person. There's an infinity of people in you, some much more admirable, others much more despicable."
- Richard Flanagan