I am fortunate enough to live in one of the world’s great modern cities, Sydney, Australia.
There is every amenity you could ever need, a true diaspora of food and culture, and as cities go, Sydney is stunningly beautiful. It is even trying its best to gather up some history. Visitors pile in from all around the world and they love it.
The day before the Vivid festival of light and delight, it was date night. I went with my wife – shame on you to think otherwise – to the theatre. We were both left open-mouthed at Still Point Turning, a beautifully written bio-play of courage and fragility performed with great skill and compassion. It was fantastic. Even if you can’t get to see a production, read the play. It will be worth the effort.
On the way, we stopped for dinner at our newly crowned ‘best Italian eatery’ and blew our wheat quota on proper pizza. Yum.
Walking to the theatre, a gas-powered bus pulled up at the kerb, beeped and announced that “the mobility ramp is in use”. An array of respectful youngsters waited their turn before moving off into the night.
It was easy to feel blessed. Almost pinch-worthy just to be sure it was not all a delightful dream.
The next morning I had a meeting in the city and tuned into the ABC morning radio en route to the train station. The NSW state opposition leader Luke Foley was crapping on about the need for infrastructure for refugees. I use this term because he was having a whinge, using a minority to make his point and by doing so crossing the line into racism. He sounded like a total tool and it was shameful.
I turned off the radio.
As I write this post on the train that is comfortable and running on time, reflecting on delight and disgust, it seems that no matter how much good there is and how much of it there is too take in with all your senses buzzing, there has to be the opposite.
There will be someone, sometimes myself, finding as much bad stuff as is humanly possible. It is the human condition.
My advice is to drown in the good stuff when you feel it.
Let the warm feelings seep deep into your bones and let them glue themselves into the matrix of your being so that when the morning comes and reality brings the opposite to attack you, there is a defence, a barrier that you can retreat behind and smile.
Then do the right thing and don’t vote tools into office.