Yesterday was my last day at the coalface of what I've done for 2 years. Monday I start a new job, and potentially a new career. So I celebrated with my little brother and the friend who will be my witness, in lieu of a best man, over Amsterdam Lagers at my local.
My little brother has been staying at a stressful time, and he niggles me a bit, no we niggle each other, with some of what my beloved calls sibling rivalry. Nonetheless I decided last night I can happily wear as much niggling as he, or we, see fit to engage in. I'm blessed to have found him, and to have this chance to be the older brother, to look after him while he tries to find his way and deals with the confusion of being 20. I only found him 10 years ago, and missed most of his adolescence.
He's the only person I'd still play support for in a band. I want to sing, but I really want to see him get up and use his gift. I can sing ok; I play guitar better. But my brother has a rare gift, an angelic voice that sounds strange and detached coming from an ordinary kid who likes to skate.
I'd play backups just to get him out there, and over his confidence barrier.
When I found my birth family I was able to note all the similarities and differences, the things I clearly learned from my life parents, the things that clearly came with my genes. Music was the glaring common ground, the thing we all have (or related obsessions like painting). The other, mirroring this, was the disappointment of risks not taken. The story of my birth mother, her sister, my older brother, the father of my younger siblings; all brilliant musicians, all having stalled, and still stalling, on taking that risk and going for it.
All unable to leave Hobart, as I was unable to leave Darwin, when I was 20 and an exceptional lead guitarist (now I can bust out a slow blues, that's it). The same path followed, though I knew nothing about any of them at that time. When I got into 2 courses at Uni; classical guitar and law, and chose law, I think I set the law up to fail, because it would always carry a portion of the blame for my own unrealised dreams.
My little brother has the dream too, but also the excuses, the defenses, that we all relied on when procrastinating our talents into history. He won't be pushed, I won't push him, but if I can use carrot to get him out there; play backups or set him up with musicians, then I will.
Meantime he better practice, because at our wedding, when my birth and life families will meet for the first time, he and my older brother are going to play and sing a duet while my beloved and I sign our nuptials.
It stresses my guts into rock and makes me smile all at once.
Rethinking tax policy for Australia - The title of this post is taken from that of the recent Treasury Discussions Paper on Tax, entitled Re:Think. Sadly, as I point out in this Guardian piece,...
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