I didn’t take notes. I wish I had now, he spoke so many gems. I would like to have shared them with you. Still, being extra unwell at the moment, I did well just to be there! So all I can do is recommend him and his new book to you.
Like most artists, his work naturally inspires others’ creative work. He intimated that he doesn’t feel that his work belongs to him. Once it’s created it belongs to the collective and ripples out. As he has been inspired by others, his work inspires in its turn and that, according to Leunig is just as it should be.
In the spirit of this process, I first heard some of my favourite Leunig words as a song when I participated in a social justice choir about ten years ago. I’m not a singer but luckily for me anyone was welcome to join! The choir leader was Fay White and she had put these beautiful words to music -
Love is born
With a dark and troubled face
When hope is dead
And in the most unlikely place
Love is born
Love is always born.
~ Michael Leunig
Feeling vulnerable but wanting to model courage I have recorded (on my iphone) me singing this poem/song for you. The music Fay wrote makes Leunig’s words, I think, extra poignant and healing and I want you to be able to share in that. My husband Marty, who is a musician is playing the guitar and singing too. Forgive it’s rawness, it is done with love!
To me, this poem is full of truth, worded with beauty and laced with hope. It allows freedom to take wing inside me and peace to settle more firmly in my heart. Leunig dwells at the soul level and that is what is so special about him. Last night he cited Carl Rogers, “What is most personal is also most universal.” I agree.
Let us all have the courage to bare our imperfections and vulnerable souls and meet our likeness in each other with love.