Well, Australia has done it again; bushfires at one end of the country and floods at the other. If I never hear the word ‘devastated’ again it will be too soon. Across the country, thousands of people are being forced from their homes.
And what do you know? I’m one of them.
No, my house is neither on fire nor underwater, for which I am exceedingly grateful. I’m being forced out by that other great natural disaster; dumb luck. My house mates, including the one who actually holds the lease, are all moving out to new jobs in different states, leaving yours truly in the lurch once again, with just under two weeks to find a new place to live. Again.
For everyone this week, the chief lesson has been a reminder of how small we really are, and how transient even the things we regard as permanent, like houses, really are. As I was filling out application forms this afternoon, I got a real sense of powerlessness as I realise that something as crucial to the next phase of my life as where I’m going to live is going to be decided by an office worker somewhere who has never met me. An office worker who, for some reason, believes that in order to make that decision they need to know who I work for, who my previous landlords were, how much I earn per week and what sort of car I drive (seriously). I might not be burning or drowning, but I feel like I have just as much control over events as I would if I were facing down a fire or a flood tide. I suppose that’s a healthy state of affairs, but just at the moment it sucks.
There again, I haven’t actually lost anything from my soon not to be room. I’m definitely better off than the Queenslanders whose lives have been d… ruined by the floods. There’s a lot to be thankful for. I have a job; a job at which I am treated as an inconsequential child, but a job nonetheless. And I live in a city which hasn’t been destroyed for almost forty years now (we must be just about due). And I’m still able to keep focussed on the really important things in life, as evidenced by the fact that, in a week when thousands of my countrymen are without electricity or even a roof, somehow I’ve still managed to make this post all about me.
Make of that what you will.
Garry with 2 Rs