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Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Reading, writing, eating
It rained most of the weekend, with that dreary drizzle that doesn't seem much until you go out in it. How perfect it was for the 'Words Uncorked' Readers and Writer's Festival this weekend. Everyone was more than happy to be inside luxuriating in provocative debate, stimulating discussions, impassioned readings, wine and food and, being Margaret River, more wine and food.
Most creative endeavor is a lonely pursuit and living in the country adds to that isolation. We were lucky enough to sit with Tony and Maureen Wheeler, founders of Lonely Planet, authors Robert Drewe, Stephen Scourfield, rap artist Miles Merrill, editors, publishers and writers too numerous to name individually. Visitors came from the city and one couple on bikes were from Switzerland.
White haired retirees sat behind young women knitting, and a girl with dreadlocks rapped along side trendily dressed high school students and shy young men who rode bikes. Drawn together with the love of the written word, the mood was mellow, participants gently excited at the beginning of each session, passionate in their applause as it finished.
What struck me most was the respect that expressed itself in considered attentiveness: in the way people made room for each other to speak, move and participate as equals. The event was warm and welcoming to everyone. Heading out into the damp cool Sunday night felt a little like leaving family. I am lucky enough to live here, so I see these people often. The visitors I will carry with me as words I can revisit at anytime. The joy of connection is only a book away.
I was inspired to write a poem:
I hold my breath silent between words
Grey heads lean forward, hands clasped in supplication