I am one

My name is Sunday Walsh. Apropos of nothing, I just had my first birthday. The relevance of that, apparently, is that the angle subtended by the Earth-sun system through the plane of the ecliptic is the same as that angle when I was born.

I’m writing this because Daddy has no ideas. Writer’s block, they call it. I can’t have writer’s block, because I can’t write. I know some vowel sounds though, and I’m acquiring consonants. I can roll my ‘r’s (Argentinian nanny). Daddy can’t do that.

Daddy has been through some rough times, lately. Not as rough as his close friend Robert (who could also roll his ‘r’s). Robert died a couple of weeks ago. Then, a couple of days ago, ‘out of the blue’, Daddy got a French knighthood – Chevalier des Artes et des Lettres. He was pretty chuffed about that. ‘An acknowledgement that Mona has some global reach’, he muttered.

But (and this is the genesis of his writer’s block), how can he be happy and feel pride (it’s a ‘deadly sin’, after all), when his friends have suffered? In fact, does he have the right to feel joy while there is suffering in the world? All philosophers and priests grapple with this, and I’m not the one to resolve it, since I spend all my time blissfully free of the burden of knowledge (my uncle put it this way: ‘my biggest problem what to eat, my biggest love my sister[s]’). Daddy seems to think he has insight into all this. But in the here and now, he doesn’t know how to resolve his personal conflicts.

Pride can burn through all that is worthy. Stop giving Daddy prizes, or he might turn into a right royal prick. I need Daddy to be nice to me for a few more years.

But he still wants to be a member of the Order of the Elephant.

32 thoughts on “I am one

  1. Dear Sunday tell your Daddy not to worry & to enjoy life’s small pleasures as his friend Robert would not like to see him sad.As we age we lose those close to us & its hard with each & every one…we are so lucky to greet each day,smell the flowers & enjoy family & friends.Your Dad must have deserved that award not sure about the Elephant thing..will post a poem for your Dad shorty ta ta

  2. Happy 1st birthday little one. You might want to tell your Daddy to just chillax and spend quality time with you because that is what all good Daddy’s do – spend time with their princesses. There is plenty of time for him to receive unwanted prizes and attention. We peeps in Tasmania however will keep him on the straight and narrow because we just like your Daddy because he’s such a good bloke not because he keeps winning wanky prizes and honours from overseas. So what if he has writers block it could be worse, like some terminal illness but alas he has you to focus on Miss Sunday and so long as you are being loved up he doesn’t have a worry in the world. Blessings little one xx

  3. Daddy should relax and have fun and stop being so Catholic .God wants us to be happy. Simple ! You try and remind him of that Sunday. Besides he needs to be a good role model for you in how you seize and validate your happiness.

  4. Oh…Seems like daddy is human after all…thank heavens for that little one. Hope you had a great first birthday

  5. Don’t worry Sunday

    You’ll re-wire his neural paths for many years to come to suit your needs. It’s a keystone of ‘survivalism’ he’ll be mulling as it occurs.

  6. Elephants are wise
    Knowing grief
    They value their family.

    Honors do not make a man
    they illustrate, decorate
    in their bestowing
    unlike death that casts a mantle
    we all must wear,
    it only requires relinquishing life to die
    Robert remains alive in spirit as long as he is
    Plant a tree in his honour.

  7. Dear Sunday, Happy 1st Birthday. Tell Daddy, that those of us who are lucky and enjoy good health and even wealth, should do a fabulous job of living well and being happy, on behalf of all those who cannot, and each day spare them a thought. It is not a privilege but a responsibility. Dear Robert, such a shame, a good life cut short. Love Michelle and Dave

  8. Dear Sunday, please tell your Daddy it is possible (although confusing and somewhat upsetting) to feel pride and grief and overwhelming sadness all at the same time. Tell him that all his friends love him, and if the dead ones were still here they would be sharing his conflicted joy at life and raising a big fat glass to his well-earned pride.

    • Dear David,

      As a sometime visitor to MONA I am chuffed that you received that richly-deserved French knighthood. But do not worry about hubris: I seem to recall that the French screwed Syria after WWI, collaborated with the Nazis in sending Jewish children to the gas chambers, and blew up the Rainbow Warrior. States, like human individuals, have feet of clay. Therefore the gift of your knighthood is tainted by human frailty. Honours are part of the game; that knighthood can be your calling card, but it’s not the real you.

      As regards writers block, please don’t feel obliged to mechanically churn out a column for the benefit of the unknown public in cyberspace. Leave that sort of obligation to hacks. Actions speak louder than words, and yours in creating MONA etc speak eloquently.

      It is self evident that one must not fail to enjoy any happiness that comes ones way, for the simple reason that it can all disappear in a trice. And what of the suffering of others? I can only suggest that if you can help even one fellow creature in this life, you have done something to alleviate the balance between suffering and happiness.

      Best wishes,

      (London, U.K).

  9. Tell Daddy he is irrepressible so he doesn’t need awards, just a quiet nod in his direction should be enough. We live for those who have gone before us, for those who live now and for those in the future.

  10. Well Sunday, you are very lucky to have a Daddy who will show you the nuances and wild contradictions of being human. A never dull, full life awaits you both. I am sorry for your loss, grief makes you question everything – what you truly value and who you want to be. Stay strong and continue to find the beauty in all things. And congrats on your Daddy’s knighthood! His bravery and generosity deserves recognition.

  11. Hullo Sunday At your tender age you are far removed from the ache that us adults know when we lose someone who’s special to us. Your father is betwixt emoions about the loss of his friend and the honour of being recognised by France for Mona. Especially a great honour as France has been embattled

    in many ways and yet someone took the time to think about other places and the significance of Mona and praise your father with such an award

    Keep on rolling your rrrrr’s We would all so be lucky if we had that ability

    The Order of the Elephant eh? perhaps when the solar system aligns other than for birthdays



  12. Dear Sunday.

    Your daddy has built one of the most amazing museums in the world. (And I have seen many) I loved going there…

    The Dalai Lama says “Everything is as it should be”

    A friend (and a great artist) wrote this poem. I hope you enjoy it

    … I cannot
    think that this, all
    this, is anything but
    night-flying, with the
    vague remnants of the
    map somewhere deep
    inside us, as we steer by
    stars, sun or anything
    that dazzles, that’s bright,
    that lights, even for a second, the labyrinthine
    trails within…
    Domenico de Clario .

    Take care

  13. Little Sunday, I find living up to the expectations of high praise is unsettling to say the least, thats what awards tend to do. Take comfort in the knowledge that they are not asked for, but given to make others feel good about celebrating something that they love too. Wishing you a wonderful year ahead.

  14. Your dad might disagree but there is a good chance that goodness and all non materials exists before and beyond, that life is a miracle and death is the nothingness — like the darkness or disbelief.
    Although a surprise to us all, there is a goodness chance that Robert is live and well 🙂

  15. Maybe you could let your daddy know, that he has many friends and allies to cheer him up, and who support not only his originality, but also his unique life force.
    This has lifted Tasmania out of the doldrums, and provided a real heartbeat to the state.
    The pulse of progress beats strongly in my chest as well, and I would like to develop an industry incubator to more rapidly put local concepts on a larger stage.
    I hope to meet him soon and share some of my creativity with him, just for fun, because doldrums are dull drums!

  16. Hello Sunday. My name is Brendan. We’ve not met. It seems that your daddy would need to take the time to feel all emotion. The weight of the world is not on his shoulders. He does amazing things though… He does have the right to feel joy and pain. It very much saddens me to hear the news of Robert. I am holding a smile for him with fond memories. Thank you for your post. Please say hi to dad . Please pass on I am so sorry to hear about Robert. x

  17. I know why Walsh has “writer’s block” it’s because he has surrounded himself with more or less sycophants. Their writing is atrocious for content (except for Jane).

    Pay me and I’ll give you “perturbation” for an “antifragility” ethos.

  18. Dear David , Happy birthday. Congratulations on your achievements over the last decade.; I would especially like to mention the schools garden programme. Vanessa teaches at Austin’s Ferry Primary and has told me that the garden is very fantastic! Getting the kids to grow their own food, with your help has been wonderful, and I believe it is the first step in breaking the cycle of dependence that is intergenerational to a large percentage of the students. Getting the chefs to come to the schools and prepare what they have grown into delicious food will help the programme reverberate through the whole community. Thank you again.. I hope you are spoilt rotten by those around you on your day. sincerely Shuvus

  19. Dear Sunday
    If Daddy were a Member of the Order of Elephants maybe he could have Pavlova with Pavlos, the Crown Prince of Greece !!
    What do you think …?
    Id love a pen pal if your not too busy.
    My friend Steve Manning in the UK built a life size herd of elephants from willow and Moss for PRINCE PHILIP ….you would love those ….
    As a Bone of Fact ,if your daddy ever get the Order he can Hob Knob it with the best and have his own Herd of Elephants ….!
    Now Mummy and Daddy may construe them as constructs of magical realism… but don’t worry i think because of your age they may think it appropriate as its a lot of fun when your young………..
    Bye for now ..
    Julie x

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