I was worried that if I summoned the guts to get up to ask a question at the Capitol Theatre last night I would have gone all American Awards Night and gushed, "I luuurrrve you, Mr Leunig" and then looked like a right dick afterwards.
But it's true. Out of all of the People That I Don't Know, I love you the very mostest.
In the best of all possible worlds, you and Helen Garner would come to me wearing giant chicken wings, and would enfold me into your collective chickeny breasts for an entire year, where I would have space and silence and write and daydream all day while the bills paid themselves.
What I love most about your work is the journey that it takes to get there. And then there is a present to unwrap at the end. I don't need to make myself shiny to start off walking. In fact, the way into the middle of your stuff is right through the guts of the Leonard Cohen crack. I get to bring all my shit with me, and then when I arrive, that shit is soothed.
Which is a particularly unromantic visual, really, but there you have it, that's the life mess, right?
And so I think that's what makes experiencing your work so heartfelt to me and steers me towards the inclination to gush. I think that whole experience might be called redemption.
I've been struggling a lot with health issues in recent years, and combined with a personality trait that makes me a thinker who wants to see and not be asleep, staying upright in a world where a small bunch of Elite Psychopaths are in charge is a hard deal. Your stuff heartens me and props me up. And that's a pretty damn near amazing thing to be able to do for people. It's just, like, the best. I mean, what else is more important right now than giving people courage and reminding them of the humanity they have and that the feelings they have about how different the world could me (can be? will be?) are not naivety but are visioning?
And that's all she gushed. Thanks, Michael. Very muchly xoxo