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Other Writings > Letters to the Sydney Morning Herald — Heart Felt

Sydney Morning Herald

Sometimes, an issue or event just demands you write a letter…


On a short-lived celebrity call for tolerance during the Marriage Equality debate [sic]…

If there's one thing my poor, battered, and bruised old heart just won't tolerate it's being "tolerated" by bullies.

May 3, 2017


On the death of Edward Albee…

Scene: Heaven
The Pearly Gates open
Enter Edward Albee, late of New York
Albee: What a dump!

September 19, 2016


On no free vote for Marriage Equality…

When I asked my parents, both Liberal Party members, if they supported marriage equality, it was heartbreaking to hear they didn't, that they didn't want the same things for my brother and I, that they didn't see us equally. Watching my Prime Minister use such duplicitous tactics to ensure I remain an unequal citizen for as long as possible rubbed salt in that wound.

I guess the personal challenge is to respond to such cruelty with love, to not judge their love, however flawed it may appear, and remain steadfast in the knowledge that love wins, always has, and always will.

August 13, 2015


On the death of Malcolm Fraser…

It appears that after only five months of Gough's heavenly reforms, the Almighty had to dismiss him and call in Malcolm as caretaker. Vale.

March 21, 2015


On the alleged "science" that, neurologically speaking, love is created in the brain…

In his haste to expose the fallacy of a love created in the heart, Professor George Paxinos perpetuates the reductive fallacy that it's created in the brain ("Be still my beating heart, love is on the brain", February 14-15). In truth (as distinct from mundane fact), love is created by imagination, the unexplained part of us that creates our reality every day. If imagination didn't create love, we couldn't experience it, be hurt by it, or remember it.

Without imagination's fundamental role, love and everything else we experience would be nothing more than brain chemistry and we would be no more than wet machines driven by computer-like brains kept alive by hearts that are mere pumps, a parlous state only loveless post-enlightenment science would dare posit.

Imagination's gift doesn't stop with the mystery of everyday experience: she also gives us poetry, that we may share that experience with others.

Poetry places love in the heart that we might be reminded it's not something that can be understood or reduced to formulae and statistics and mechanics, but rather something we must feel in our vitality, in the well-imagined heart of a lion, in poetic truths that, even when ineptly wrought, are better understood than all of science.

February 16, 2015


On the limits of humanism…

Every creative sort I've ever spoken with about the creative process admits they have no idea where ideas come from, only that they know for sure they don't come from them. This leads me to conclude that if we all lived as humanists the last thing we could do is imagine and create, which hardly makes for a wonderful world (Letters, January 9).

Secular humanism's ideals may be laudable, but it would appear the best of humanity requires something beyond the merely human, something that paradoxically requires human imagination to be experienced, something that eludes both the allegedly religious and the fervently not, a divine irony if ever there was one.

January 10, 2015


On the death of E. Gough Whitlam…

Dead at 98? Well, we could hardly expect Gough to wait around for a telegram from the Queen. Vale.

October 22, 2014


On a royal birth…

You can tell he's a royal: even at a day old, Baby Cambridge manages a wave for the crowd. Bless!

July 25, 2013


On the celebration [sic] of Halloween…

It's not the celebration of Halloween that sticks in the craw, but the lack of celebration. Merely buying a whole bunch of seasonally adjusted disposable rubbish appears to celebrate nothing but how shallow we are. Show me a celebration replete with myth and ritual and based on something truly insubstantial and I'll be the first to join in the trick that is the soul's treat.

November 5, 2012


On the death of Harold Pinter…

Is Harold Pinter really dead or just in the middle of [a] long and meaningful pause?

December 27, 2008


On the death of Marcel Marceau…

If you listen carefully, you can hear the angels laughing themselves silly at the ultimate mime routine: Bip at the pearly gates. Vale Marcel.

September 25, 2007


On press coverage of a lunar eclipse…

That something as simple as our shadow falling on the moon continues to possess the ability to capture our imagination and make us gasp at its simple but profound Beauty gives me the confidence to remain hopeful and optimistic about our often cruel and frequently cynical world.

August 29, 2007


On the death of Graham Kennedy…

Let crows and fans keen one last subversive "faaaaaaaarrrrrrkk" as we remember how dull the box is without its King.

May 26, 2005


Your headline "Compassion back in fashion…" is an offence against decency. For some of us, compassion is not something we could even contemplate describing as fashionable because we view it as a fundamental attribute of our humanity.

July 14, 2004


Tired of the September 11 one year on…

Does anyone still grieve in private?

September 12, 2002


The Reconciliation walk across the Harbour Bridge

As I walked across the bridge today, I couldn't help thinking the land itself had sent that strong cold westerly wind to blow the colonial cobwebs from our minds and invigorate our stride for reconciliation.

May 30, 2000


On the death of the Princess of Wales…

I feel the last shred of my childhood has been torn from me: my fairytale princess didn't live happily ever after.

September 2, 1997


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