Looking back to January

I'm multi-tasking here – pinching the copy from the 7-ON blog site to cover the first six months of this year. I love what I call the 'hinges of the year' – those seasonal moments when we seem to pass from one state to another. The winter solstice of 21st/22nd June is one of the big ones and feels particularly apposite in 2021 as we attempt to re-gather ourselves amidst all the mental, emotional, social and cultural chaos of one of the harder years in many of our lives. Here's the video I took on the night of the solstice (and yes, back on Kangaroo Island from where I'm also writing this post). The image feels to me like an encapsulation of the liminal space of all such hinges.







In our six-monthly note, 7-ON members speak of 'what we have done in the last six months'. It's fascinating to watch how each of our separate work patterns morph from furiously busy to 'in waiting' to just plodding along. As you will see from the copy below, I have been busy, with little to show for it, but am anticipating that the next six months may require a tad of juggling.


Ahem. Pinched copy.


For me this has been a period of gathering. I’ve been setting up projects that will begin in the next six months, and as is the way of these things I can’t talk about them yet. But they cover a range from poetry to prose to theatre to film so a tad of multi-tasking coming up. And I’m happy and excited about all of them, so…in these tricky old times, I’ll take that as a positive.


One very recent publication: Five Senses Education has just released releasing The Red Cross Letters, a play of mine from 2016. I’ve also been publishing a bit in the https://www.signalhouseedition.org a literary e-magazine which just gets better and better (Listen here to Luke Mullins reading three of Frank Prewett’s poems in an interview with author Joy Porter]. And…with my co-conspirator, yoga teacher and Vedic chant expert Sally Riddell, I had to call off our May retreat in the Flinders Ranges due to a lightning lockdown at the wrong moment in Perth where Sally lives. But we have re-scheduled for May next year at a better venue and with a tighter program, so all to the good really. And I’ve been following up on past writing efforts, which are stubbornly refusing to move.


The last two points are possibly relevant to other writers. In this punishing environment for artists and culture, we must all learn to diversify and multiply our entrepreneurial skills to survive. I can see I’m lucky here. Not everybody has an impressive health and spiritual practices person in their back pocket to pursue a different and interesting ‘other direction’. But I’m sure there are other choices for others of you that reflect this dynamic. And the other question – when to relinquish a project you are certain has merit because it’s having difficulty getting traction? When does self-believe and tenacity become a waste of one’s good time when after all the potential for narrative is endless? I really don’t know.


My very last point has little to do with writing but much to do with surviving. The thing that has helped me more than anything else during the Covid tyranny has been the natural world. That’s a bit terrifying given it’s under such threat. But this morning I saw a brown bittern sneaking daintily through the scrub on Kangaroo Island. I’ve never seen one of them ever in my life before and, given KI’s losses over the past year, a double cause for gladness; and last night I saw a bold red moon sinking over the silky night-black sea. Thanks, world.



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