Photo Credit: Denise Johnson

I would rather be sad and remember than smile and forget. At this moment in time I cannot think of anything sadder than forgetting.

When I was nine or so (in the early 90s) I was given a bike for Christmas. It was sky blue with black plastic hubcaps on the front and back wheels, and lightning streaks of neon orange and pink on the frame. I remember seeing the front tyre peek out from behind the living room couch and being wowed when the full bike came into view. I thought it an object of beauty and very .

Although it is long gone, it remains one of my favourite Christmas presents.

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Christmas 2020 will be different.

My mother is losing her…


Wonderful, Clare. I think you have established something important here, in particular about the time-lines and time-spans that storytellers are trained to inhabit and share. Our current cultures are obsessed with housing data, and intelligence is somewhat mistakenly represented or prized. What we need more of is wisdom, and this comes from our storytellers and our elders, living in the spirit of generosity.


September and October signal a new beginning for millions of lucky people around the world. Children enter school for the first time or progress a year and sit at larger desks in new classrooms, and teenagers and adults pretend they’re not lost as they navigate a new campus, barely concealing their vulnerability and displacement with a new satchel or by burying their head in their smart phone.

Preparations for that first day at ‘school’ take days, weeks and maybe even years. …

Henry Martin

Author of ‘Agnes Martin: Pioneer, Painter, Icon’. Contributor to Hyperallergic, Phaidon Press, Irish Times. Editor at Signal House Edition.

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