One of my favourite Billy Bragg songs is Handyman Blues (see below for a video version with leading British comics): a wonderful consolation to those of us who are deeply admiring of our fathers and others differently abled, but who are far more capable with words and images than nails and hardware. I was thinking of this a few weeks ago when I made a rare trip to Bunnings Warehouse as part of a family wedding and move preparations in Canberra. What would be the equivalent of Bunnings Warehouse, I wondered, for those of us cursed and blessed with Handyman Blues? Perhaps it would be a Poetry Pavilion? As it happens, this year's London Book Fair instituted a Poetry Pavilion for the first time to promote poetry more fully (see here for one poet's account). How encouraging! In my soul's eye however, a Poetry Pavilion version of Bunnings Warehouse would be far more dramatic and quirky. For a start, quite unlike Bunnings' admirable practicality, like a Celtic rune, nothing would be straight, never mind the aisles. All would be curves and squirls, wiggles and squiggles. In contrast to the predictable sausage sizzle at the door, food would be of all varieties, with sensational mixes of spices and scents, and delicious wines abounding Instead of tools and serviceable items, in curious corners and angular alcoves, each decked with fascinating fabrics, metaphors and motifs would be hiding, with songs titles and dance themes a plenty. Nor would a single uniform be in sight. Everything would be free but would cost all that the heart requires.
Jo Inkpin is an Anglican priest serving as Minister of Pitt St Uniting Church in Sydney, a trans woman, theologian & justice activist. These are some of my reflections on life, spirit, and the search for peace, justice & sustainable creation.