Dancing with Speeches #12 Tim Winton

2015 Palm Sunday Refugee Rally Tim Winton, one of Australia’s greatest living authors gave a speech that called us to rise up to our best selves and not harden our hearts. With echoes to Jesus in the temple, Winton overturned the stones in our hearts, the profit makers in the temple transacting business in turning back boats and detention.  This speech was printed in its entirety in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Turn back o man, foreswear your foolish ways so the psalmist sings and o what foolish ways there are to be had and will be revealed in the courts in The Hague in years to come, where our hard hearts and false sense of security will be on trial.  Being about to turn around is the metanoia this season calls for – to change our way of life as a result of our penitence, resulting in a complete change of heart.  The work of this time is to be changemakers of the heart, to break the stones and find the vulnerability. With the ego naked, the spirit is laid bare ready to receive the gifts of vulnerability. Vulnerability is state of being open to injury, hurt, betrayal, ashamed, defenceless, knowing all the while that you are still whole despite the pain and disappointment.  How we stand in the space of vulnerability as a nation is a step to be taken as we journey to metanoia – we have so much we need to turn around from and turn towards.

Turning around to face truth is a simple as looking into the mirror as Michael Jackson sang, all change starts with us looking at ourselves.  So I will be taking to the streets, yet again, this Palm Sunday as it is my journey to Easter to turn my attention to Calvary for once you face Jerusalem there is no going back.  The palms are blessed and into the palm of our hands they are placed, to be turned into ashes when the new season of Lent comes around the following year.  I will be working on getting my ego and vulnerability in place to receive the palms with an open heart to face the challenges embedded in the reception waiting for me when metanoia sets in.

Looking East” by Jackson Browne

Standing in the ocean with the sun burning low in the west
Like a fire in the cavernous darkness at the heart of the beast
With my beliefs and possessions, stopped at the frontier in my chest
At the edge of my country, my back to the sea, looking east

Where the search for the truth is conducted with a wink and a nod
And where power and position are equated with the grace of God
These times are famine for the soul while for the senses it’s a feast
From the edge of my country, as far as you see, looking east

Hunger in the midnight, hunger at the stroke of noon
Hunger in the mansion, hunger in the rented room
Hunger on the TV, hunger on the printed page
And there’s a God-sized hunger underneath the laughing and the rage
In the absence of light
And the deepening night
Where I wait for the sun
Looking east

How long have I left my mind to the powers that be?
How long will it take to find the higher power moving in me?

Power in the insect
Power in the sea
Power in the snow falling silently
Power in the blossom
Power in the stone
Power in the song being sung alone
Power in the wheat field
Power in the rain
Power in the sunlight and the hurricane
Power in the silence
Power in the flame
Power in the sound of the lover’s name
The power of the sunrise and the power of a prayer released
On the edge of my country, I pray for the ones with the least

Hunger in the midnight, hunger at the stroke of noon
Hunger in the banquet, hunger in the bride and groom
Hunger on the TV, hunger on the printed page
And there’s a God-sized hunger underneath the questions of the age
And an absence of light
In the deepening night
Where I wait for the sun
Looking east.



Girl Before Mirror, Pablo Picasso, 1932

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