I’m happy to announce that I was recently published. I’m especially happy about this because I was invited to submit to this new magazine, having been published in it before. I wasn’t sure if my piece would be published because of the sensitivity of the issue in Australia, which makes me even happier.
I wrote this piece while living in Surratthani, Thailand. I was homesick and this came to me. It took several edits over a year and a half to get it to the shape it’s in now, but the initial thrust of what came is still squarely in the juice of it.
It’s based on an actual conversation I had years ago with an Aboriginal elder. The conversation was seminal – I finally felt okay to love my land and to feel the way I did – like I belonged, in a blackfella kind of a way, and not like a usurper. It’s strange to have the feeling that you need permission to belong to a place where you were born, but this feeling came on the back of a long line of realisations about colonisation, my own Dutch heritage and what that had been responsible for, and how I was, by existing, responsible still for the history of Australia and its accumulation and enactment in the present.
I’m happy for it to be published in the magazine put out by the Multicultural Writer’s Association of Australia, where it fits, where it belongs. Where I belong.
I’m especially happy about all of this because my vision for myself as a writer is to become a part of the voice of my Country, and I can think of no better place to start than with this piece.