I’m just home from a radio interview. You probably didn’t hear it, it was on Community Radio in Sydney’s Inner West, but it was in a real studio with a mixing desk and headphones and microphones and other important looking equipment. I thought I would be intimidated by all the electronics, but I wasn’t, largely because Jessica Revill, the interviewer, made the whole thing feel like a chat around her kitchen table. Her interview style was very relaxed and chatty, so that’s how I was too. We talked about the book, the themes, the characters and related them to real life.
The most difficult question was whether I believe that ‘everything happens for a reason’? My book is about a woman who loses her beloved 4 year old child, and another woman who is living in an abusive relationship. When people ask THAT question, it always feels loaded; they ask as if there is something positive to come out of even the most hideous of circumstances. If they asked with an open mind, the question would be more about whether I believe in a higher power who makes things happen, and to whom I could attribute a reason. I do not, and cannot. So my answer was, no, I do not believe that everything happens for a reason, but I do believe that if the outcome of even those most horrible of events is positive, then we like to tell people they happened for a reason; to make us stronger, to test out faith/resilience/stamina, to make sure we met whoever it was that helped us through – there are myriad justifications we use for what happened, perhaps to make us feel better about the fact that we had to go through them in the first place. But for those who are stuck, who have had dreadful things happen to them through no fault of their own, and again, through no fault of their own can’t find a way out, then no, I don’t believe things happen for a reason. Life is shitty sometimes, and we have to accept that fact. Which isn’t to say we shouldn’t try to do something about it, but it does acknowledge that sometimes we can’t.
Rant over. I didn’t rant on air, so I had to do it here! Jessica had a text from a friend who had listened in who kindly said they thought it as a great interview and that I’d stayed on track. Wish I could have heard it!