Random thoughts

Monday, 21 October 2013

African Violets

Fremantle Markets

African Violets

This post is a collection of unconnected things, starting with these sweet little beauties that I bought on the weekend – my new African Violets. I gazed at flowers like sucking up air this weekend and it was comforting. I’ve always loved violets and these ones are particularly delicate – I love the way the white meets the purple at their tips, like an artist has taken a brush of colour to their ends and blended it beautifully.

I’ve watched and read a few interesting things which I’m still getting my head around. One of these is a book of poems by a Perth poet that I bought on the weekend. But it really deserves its own post, so I’ll save that for later when I’ve read all the poems. Here are the others:

: : The Kinfolk Cookbook: Small Gatherings You’ll Likely Never Be Invited To

This article basically summarises what I think about Kinfolk magazine in general. My thoughts about it haven’t changed since Jane and I wrote this post together. My thoughts about how this reflects certain aspects of the blogging community haven’t changed either. When Jane and I published our post on the craft of writing and the blogging community, we knew there would be backlash. I also knew from my personal experience that I would be getting emails about it. I still do get emails about this post, some positive, some negative. It became clear to me that people were reluctant to talk about the issues raised in the post publicly. Which is why it is great to read an intelligent article such as this one by Felicia Sullivan that clearly offers critique publicly. It’s well worth a read in full.

: : Autopsy on a Dream

I watched this documentary about the Sydney Opera House last night with an increasing sense of anger. Anger at how little things have changed when it comes to attitudes to the arts in Australia; anger at our continued complacency in the midst of so much wealth; anger that you could simply swap the conservative government discussed in this documentary with the conservative government of our own day. The similarities are depressing. More depressing were the snippets of interviews with Australian expats who discussed how they left because of the culture of anti-intellectualism in the 1950s and 1960s, and I’m sitting on my couch in Australia in 2013 nodding my head in recognition. We really haven’t progressed much. And isn’t that just sad? A few quotes that stood out in the documentary:

“This is Australia, why should we change just because it’s not right?”

“The Sydney Opera House: product of a people who had a genial bash at culture, and then went back to their beer.”

“We don’t need culture.”

We don’t need culture Australia, we don’t need culture.

: : Jennifer Byrne Presents, Tim Winton

I also watched WA author Tim Winton in conversation with Jennifer Byrne about two weeks ago on TV. I could listen to him speak for hours. Something that stood out in his interview was him describing how he introduced his granddaughter to the sea, noting how he thinks that for humans this is a type of return to a familiar space. Yes, maybe that’s why the sea resonates with so many of us – a kind of fluid of familiarity. And near the end of the interview he talked about privilege: how he never thought he’d be privileged, or middle class, with his precarious chosen profession of writing, and how strange it is that you can become oblivious to your own privilege so quickly when you have it. He said my favourite line of the interview, about how you should ask any white male about the obliviousness of privilege.

Anyway, that’s it for random thoughts for now ...

4 comments:

Robbie Krista Robinson said...

I just finished reading the Kinfolk article (and your post as well). I found both of them fascinating, informative, and thought-provoking. I believe there is a place for escapism in magazines - it is LOVELY to escape to pristine, beautiful places now and then where we don't have to clean or tidy or fix - but it feels dishonest to present an escapist magazine under the auspices of presenting a down-to-earth one. I really loved this: "While escapism looks lovely on paper, in practice it’s difficult and expensive. You don’t need a book to tell you how to gather, you don’t need a formula to cultivate simplicity. Find the people you love, a space to lay down plates, and a meal that binds the two." Beautiful and good. :-)

smallspiralnotebook said...

HIla - Thanks so much for your kind words +support -- it means the world to me.

And Robbie -- so glad you enjoyed the piece. I definitely don't mind escapism, but when it's transparently so.

Warmly, Felicia

Hila said...

Robbie: Absolutely, many magazines and publications provide escapism, and there's no problem with that. I think the problem with Kinfolk though lies in a range of areas, not least of which is manufacturing authenticity as a select aesthetic. There is something disingenuous about it. Which I think is what you're basically saying in your comment too :)

Felicia: My pleasure, thank you for writing it, and thank you for your kind emails. I look forward to seeing what your plans are next!

rooth said...

I know this is totally random but my mom has African violets like that in her kitchen and I couldn't for the life of me figure out what kind of flowers they were. So thank you