Thanks to Queensland Writers Centre for asking me to contribute to WQ’s Writers in their landscapes series. Here’s an extract:
‘We are the children of our landscape,’ wrote Lawrence Durrell in The Alexandria Quartet. ‘[It] dictates behaviour and even thought in the measure to which we are responsive to it.’
I think often about four kinds of landscape: the physical, the natural, the dream, the psychic. All dictate my behaviour and thought, but my responsiveness to each varies.
I’ve learnt that I can’t manipulate, and must accept, my dream and natural landscapes (reiterated by experiencing 2015’s Tropical Cyclone Marcia, which sparked a series of poems for my first collection Glasshouses, and Rockhampton’s 2017 post-Tropical Cyclone Debbie flood), but can largely control my physical and psychic landscapes.
‘All truly great thoughts,’ declared Nietzsche, ‘are conceived while walking’, and while I don’t agree entirely (some of mine originate in dreams, at my desk, while watching films), I do know that walking, especially at 4pm, when the light is ‘perfect: buttery and dense and fat’, to quote from Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life, on desire paths or constructed tracks or both, is crucial to my writing.
You can read my piece in full here.