Last minute solstice check-in: The gift of the outback

With one hour left, in my timezone, to the longest day of the year, I have decided to forego the solstice updates I have written for the past three years. On this day in 2014, I found myself unable to work and facing the fact that I had become very ill under extreme workplace stress. A job I loved was no longer mine and years of living a deeply closeted existence left me without a close friend to turn to.

Three years later, I have a job interview tomorrow morning for a position that, should I be fortunate to get it, would involve outreach and advocacy within and beyond the LGBTQ community.

When I left for Australia in May I carried three personal objectives. One was to challenge myself physically. The second was to open channels to the grief I am carrying. The third was to seriously reflect on my ongoing disconnection from queer community. Each one of these goals was met, albeit in ways I had not anticipated. I returned changed in small but profound ways.

I came back carrying the outback in my soul. There is hardly a day that I wake up without dreaming about being in the red centre. It is in my system and the experience of the place and the people has coloured the way I see and want to live here, back at home.

Today, on summer solstice in the north, winter in the south, that is all I want or need to say. Except that, appropriately, this is also Aboriginal Peoples Day (renamed Indigenous Peoples Day) here in Canada.

Author: roughghosts

Literary blog of Joseph Schreiber. Writer. Reader. Editor. Photographer.

14 thoughts on “Last minute solstice check-in: The gift of the outback”

  1. Lovely post, one to give hope to others currently struggling. Travel can be a wonderful thing for those of us fortunate enough to be able to do it, helping us to see ourselves – and the world – differently. The very best of luck with your interview!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, I know exactly what you mean about the landscape changing you in subtle ways. When I was 21 I was fortunate to be selected to go on a scientific youth expedition to the Wet Tropics on the Queensland coast and those 5 weeks in the rainforest, living under very trying and personally challenging conditions, changed me forever. I have such fond memories of that trip. It made me grow in so many ways and informed my outlook on life which remains with me to this day. Travel can be good for the soul.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Time and the nature of your interaction with the place makes a difference too I think. Two weeks in Alice Springs and out in the outback was a gift. And to spend time with people who live there. Many visitors come for a few days, climb on and off tour buses, and leave thinking that “Alice Springs isn’t a very nice place.”

      Liked by 1 person

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