I watched a play reading last night as a conscious effort to find my own resonance for what is regarded as a huge deal in Australia: Anzac Day. We have a public holiday and people get up before dawn to go into the War Memorial in droves to remember the soldiers, raise/lower the flag etc. While I have much much empathy for the soldiers who have returned from the horror of war and have to somehow continue their lives, I struggle with the air of nationalism, glory and heroism war and soldiering. Like most of humanity, I feel so averse to the idea of governments sending men to slaughter each other in fields and forests. I am newly horrified this week by a photo of our irrefutably unhinged prime minister sitting up in a war plane costing several billion dollars grinning like a boy with a new toy.
Well, last night I went to a play reading my friend Mark invited me to. It was "War Hero" written by Michael Galvin, a New Zealand actor and playwright. The play is about Archibald Baxter, who in 1916 was a pacifist conscientious objector and was tortured and punished terribly for it. I loved the experience of sitting there in the theatre with the actors all sitting in chairs reading this beautiful, funny, moving story. The experience was akin to how I remember listening to radio plays and story records as a kid. I watched the actors with fascination, but part of me could see every scene as well.
At the end, I felt so heartened that there are people telling the story of non-violent resistance to sanctioned murder. I look forward to spending the next Anzac day in a similar way, perhaps even watching the full production or listening to it as a radio play.
I have been knitting up a storm of little leaf bookmarks for the Creating a Welcome (blog here) market at Chalice Uniting Church, Northcote. It's so lovely to have something tiny and portable to knit wherever I find a spare moment. Simply an i-cord with leaf pattern from here.
Think I'll yarn along with Ginny and Natural Suburbia.