I'd planned a different post for this morning. A post about technology, about simplicity and design excellence. A post about great ideas and the flawed realities. A post about my inner geek.
But I've just been watching parliament on TV and somehow it isn't so important right now.
I've been watching Kevin say sorry (I'm sure within minutes of posting You Tube will be able to show you all about it).
I'm just a regular white girl, with only the most passing of contact with the aboriginal communities of my country. But I feel the pain of even imagining having my babies taken from me, of being taken from my mother, of watching my siblings ripped from the family hearth.
Like many other descendants of colonists and migrants, I have long wished to hear our government say sorry. I've signed petitions and worn T-shirts. Sent letters to parliamentarians. I've felt helpless to be able to do anything real about the great divides.
Indigenous affairs is a really really complex area. As a policy analyst I have some inkling of just how hard it is, and as a citizen I find it entirely overwhelming. Fear of getting it wrong, of doing the wrong thing, of insulting and being ignorant is a powerful disincentive to taking action that might make a difference.
But the Stolen Generation cuts across this for me. No matter the intent. The images of forced separation I have in my mind, the stories only recently come to light, fill me with such deep deep sorrow. How can we not say sorry? How can we not see and recognise the hurt felt by those who have suffered what is surely every child's, every parent's worst nightmare.
So I sat watching parliament at 9 o'clock this morning and I cried, cried like a little girl scared of being taken from her mother. And I wanted to say soemthing about that. I am sure my apology means nothing to any of those who have experienced the kind of loss I can only begin to imagine. And there are many grounds for criticising Kevin and Brendan, they are human and flawed and have differing points of view.
But I have hope for the first time in a long time that this might be the beginning of something. That in recognising what has happened, in speaking out loud about the hurts that have been born in private we may begin the real work of the present and future.