• Lara Flanagan

Choose joy

I had a conversation last year with one of the professional bush poets from Oracles of the Bush last year. It was a random conversation where he expressed his concerns that bush poetry had always been based on humour and an Aussie irreverence yet increasingly he saw poems being performed about tragedy. He said there was a place for sadness, but he could not understand how there seemed to be more weight given to tears than laughter.

I often think that with social media. Increasingly, I hear about the need to be authentic which is fair enough as god only knows there are enough pretenders out there. But sometimes it is like the world thinks that the more you reveal your pain, your tragedy, your struggles and your despair, the more authentic you are. But I am not sure about that. I hope people don't forget about the simplistic beauty of joy.


God only knows I have shared stories about my struggles covering everything from dealing with a diagnosis to the most debilitating grief. I am sure it is a cathartic form of therapy. But the things I love sharing most and the things that I hope Archie and Rissie see if ever I am gone, is the joy.

Lately, when I have any spare time, I have been working on getting all my photos in some semblance of order in the "CLOUD" and I have been travelling down memory lane. I had to share this series of photos as they made me laugh. It was our first big snowfall in Providence, Rhode Island. For an Australian, snow will always be a magical event. I can remember approaching the river and the sun was rising and I said to Archie - "Oh my god, it is beautiful, this would make the most amazing photo. Get me directly in front of the sun Archie......," and I gave him my camera.

I walked towards the sun, imagining how brilliant the photo was going to be. Then I took one more step and all of a sudden I was floundering waist high, in some sort of great big snow sink hole. As I tried to get out of the hole, effing and blinding, I was laughing so hard I wet my pants. It took me so long to get out of that bloody hole.

I never got the perfect photo, but that moment will always make me smile. Moments of joy are the best ever. I hope we never forget to keep on sharing those moments, because those moments will stay with us forever, so much more so than anything else.

I choose happiness. I choose joy. I choose hope.




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