Leaving the Magical Land of Oz…

…as Sir Tom Does Dishes Down Under
Tom Keneally Washing Dishes in Australia
…And I depart with so little to show as a blogger! Ah, but instead, I spend my four days in Australia living and learning and falling in love with a community and almost no time behind my laptop documenting, feeding the beast of the bottomless electronic vessel. Instead, I’m a happy wanderer and a drinker of endless cups of tea around dining room tables being a very busy torch bearer, keeping the flame of our collaboration with the artists of Australia alive.

Which is to say, I have 300 new friends. And Theater J has even more – many more admirers after this whirlwind tour where – and you know the old saw about having to leave home before finally getting a little respect – people who didn’t know any better think our theater just might be the envy of the Jewish cultural universe. Well, who knows? Maybe it is! And we don’t really feel we need to leave home just to get a good word these days. We’s getting’ plenty.

But apologies for the news blackout just the same, since I promised, three reports on three different speaking/panel/workshop/presentational engagements. Now guess what? There’s no time to report on any of ‘em. Nevertheless, be happy with me that we’ve collectively served the cause of art, bridge building, and emotional global warming as well. Haven’t even downloaded the ten pictures I took – whereas in my minds eye, there are thousands of snapshots. How to share those?

I leave for the airport in an hour. Guess what? This trip was too short. Or as I was given to saying in our writers workshop yesterday – “too fucking short” – with the added colloquialism in due deference to Daniel DeRaey, who should have been here as we talked about him so much – and to the overall tenor of candor and lack of pretension that makes this culture so winningly attractive.

Let me get this posted. This good news, heart full, eyes tired, backpack stuffed missive out to the world and know that a connection with a whole of community of writers and artists has been forged and we’ll be reaping benefits for years to come. And what better, who better, than to be the cherubic Irish-Aussie leprechaun smiling down on every interaction than Sir Tom’s a-Keneally. Best photos to look forward to? Tom and Ari doing dishes in the kitchen of the Writer’s Center loaned-to mansion after our four-hour workshop yesterday followed by lunch. How the women cajoled us into doing that is another one of the mysteries of nature. But there’s evidence. We held court for hours with 25 writers and then did their dishes. Ah, the wages of indulging our hubris.
Ari Washing Dishes in Australia

A great time. Come one, come all. The citizens of Melbourne await.