Category Archives: Hi

Hard feelings

a graffiti ghost

Stuck in the mud of your own brain.

Walking through a deep valley where the name of an old hurt keeps on echoing.

Growing pains. Shrinking pains.

Misconstrued, like the world’s a bad first date presumptuously finishing your sentences with mediocre observations you weren’t about to make.

Profoundly unnecessary.

For depression


My dear old cranky friend, today I am grateful for you.

The way you are a scratchy blanket muting what’s too hard to face. A quiet cave; as much a retreat as a hiding place. As many buried treasures as monsters.

Your paradox: how you shut people away from one another, and you create intense connections between them in the tender places.

How you are a messenger, spitting & cursing your way through a critical missive that couldn’t be shared in polite company.

Your itinerant ways: how even when you move in without asking, track mud over the floors, eat all the good snacks, use the clean towels, fill every room with suffocating white smoke – eventually, eventually you leave again.

How you could have been worse.


(See also: this story)

Ten things I have been learning, lately

love you

  1. Every puzzle is more possible to solve than it first appears. There are always tools, tricks, allies, new approaches.
  2. The extent to which my level of introversion depends on the environment I find myself in. Surrounded by smart, interesting people, I can be as energised and engaged as a proper extrovert.
  3. That no-one else has all the answers, either.
  4. A useful metaphor about procrastination and attention that is helping me change my relationship to work. One of the monkey’s most useful insights: the importance of play and anticipation.
  5. How if something is meant to happen, it probably will eventually. At the same time, if it’s within your control to make it happen, you are never going to ‘feel like it’, so you may as well do it now. (Related: the art of self-administering a compassionate kick in the pants).
  6. Positive deviance: maybe just a particular kind of ‘strengths-based approach’ – the idea of solving problems within communities by looking for examples of people who have already solved the problem, and working out how to share their knowledge.
  7. The critical importance of storytelling: to make change, to build connection and to be heard.
  8. That some time in the last couple of decades, ‘catalyst’ became a strategic planning cliché. Which is a shame, because scientifically speaking, it’s a perfect metaphor for certain kinds of aspiration. A catalyst is small, almost nothing, but is exactly what’s needed to change everything.
  9. The value of workplace ritual: ordering, setting intention, making things happen. Post-it notes as spiritual mechanism.
  10. “If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s.” – Joseph Campbell.

Thanks Marianne Elliott, whose writing inspired this post.

Hello again, world

Heraclitus quote on a piece of Melbourne street art that resembles an official street sign

You can never step into the same river twice, said Heraclitus.

All things flow: the river might have the same name but it’s made of different water; you grow and change so that you’re not the same person who took that first step.

It’s been almost fifteen years since I puzzled out HTML and built my first website on Chickpages, a pop-feminist clone of Geocities which the internet has so thoroughly forgotten that it doesn’t warrant a Wikipedia entry.

Years have smoothed some edges, sharpened others, and carved me into a thirty-something version of myself who has collected new ways of thinking, and found different things to say. Teenage Moira Clunie might have recognised this person, but could not have imagined its existence.

And this big information stream (remember when it was a superhighway?) has grown to a river, shifted course, washed away old assumptions about the ways things needed to be. It’s a prominent part of our landscape now, not the obscure little brook that geeks and misfits once waded through.

So: here is another website. I have a lot of opinions, and I wanted somewhere to share them with the world. Hello, again.