Benang: From the Heart by Kim Scott

By Kim Scott

Oceanic in its rhythms and realizing, remarkable in its use of language and picture, relocating in its largeness of spirit, compelling in its narrative scope and elegance, this exciting trip is a party and lament—of starting and go back, of obliteration and restoration, of silencing, and of strong utterance. either tentative and bold, it speaks to the current and a potential destiny via tales, goals, rhythms, songs, photos and files mobilized from the incompletely stated and nonetheless dynamic prior.

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Ah, so perhaps there is something my grandfather and I have in common, after all. The publican would shout him a beer or two. That was enough. Ernest Solomon Scat went up on the roof whenever he thought the woman would be in sight. ‘That roof is taking a long time,’ the publican shouted from below. The young woman’s name, the publican explained, was Kathleen, and she worked for Sergeant Hall who had as good as adopted her. ‘Must’ve been a couple of the old people survived, after all,’ he said. Ernest did not ask for an explanation.

Despite the power and strength I felt at such times, I nevertheless felt impoverished, weakened, reduced. It appeared that in the little family history my grandfather had bequeathed me options had disappeared. It seemed an inexorable process, this one of we becoming I. This reduction of a rich and variously shared place to one fragile, impoverished consciousness. Once I would have insisted this little story represent nothing other than its grumpy, unhappy narrator. This fuck-me-white and first one born.

I had spent months looking after him, and no sooner had he regained some fluency to his speech than he uttered those words, trying to manipulate me once again, grabbing at power whichever way he could. He lifted himself from his chair and took a few steps toward me, and I wrapped my arms around him. It gave me a weightiness which increased my strength. Laughing, 32 I returned him to his chair and did not succumb to the temptation to let him fall. Despite the power and strength I felt at such times, I nevertheless felt impoverished, weakened, reduced.

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