Leaving the Nest – Short Story

Nathan (right) with his brother Chris and I at his 21st birthday celebration in Brisbane a week ago.

Leaving the Nest – J.Leahy Short Story

One more of mine flew out of the nest. This time, not the feathered kind. As you often read, I write about lorikeets that leave our home. My son Nathan, 21, has moved out of home officially today. He has been moving furniture, but his mattress arrived this afternoon to fill the empty bones of his new bed. He had figured, he said, it was a good enough time to finally tell his mother – he was not coming home tonight.

“I’ll stay at my house”, he said with a smile. “But I might be back tomorrow” he added. His silly and cheeky grin was on. Tonight was his first night in his new home where he shares with two flat mates. It takes less than 15 minutes to drive to him; not far from where we live, but it feels like he has moved to another country. It has taken him 18 months to find a place of his own. I thought it was a threat initially, but now, it was a reality. I looked at him and couldn’t think of much to say so I repeated the same: “text me and let me know.” Somehow this sounded weird, because, I could not possibly check if he has gotten home (his home) every night. I had a flash of memory as he picked up his sheets and headed for the bus stop. (He would not let me drop him off).

19 years ago, he carried his school bag and ran off on his little chubby legs with a back wave and a shout “bye mum” as he ran into the kindergarten. I sat crying in my car before I dried my tears and drove to work. He never looked back that day, although he was under school age and was allowed to go to school. He could not wait to start school. Nathan has always been a very independent child – spending hours alone working out puzzles or building blocks, opening the fridge and feeding himself, even when missing his cup and pouring juice or milk on the floor. Watching him walk quickly away today, I thought to myself, I should be grateful, he didn’t leave our home earlier at 18 or 20 years old. At least I had him here for a few more years.

He took his new white cotton sheets (mine I never used) for his Queen bed. Only I had a Queen bed before. But now, he has the sheets, because he has a new bed, and his old bed was a single King. I was going to wash the sheets first but when I woke up, he had left. I rang him to bring it back, because he does not have a washing. So that’s why he came back with the sheets and waited while I washed and dried them.

All the trips to the new place, since he got his unit keys on November 27th has come to an end. November was a big month for Nathan. He turned 21, completed his exams for a Science Degree and even started dating seriously. It was all new for him and for me. I am proud and happy, really, I told myself that. I miss him already. And, I know he will be fine and will show up in the next couple of days with his silly smile.

Art for a Melanesian Hero


A few years ago, with other artists in Melanesia, I was invited to create artwork in memory of a Melanesian hero, Jean Marie Tjibaou who was assassinated in New Caledonia in 1989.

Above was a doodle of two ink drawings that I worked into two larger pieces for the exhibition. Read more on Tjibaou Cultural Centre here. This link provides an excellent interview with Emmanuel Kasarherou, Cultural Director at the Tjibaou centre.

I just found the drawings tonight, while going through some boxes from the storage. The ink on the left drawing was smudged from some water drops. Otherwise, the two images were still intact. The drawings brought back the story of this amazing man and an architectural phenomena that was built in his memory. You can Google both – a lot has been written about the man, the Kanak movement and the building, designed by Italian architect, Remzo Piano.

Briefly, Jean-Marie Tjibaou (January 30, 1936 – May 4, 1989) a son of a tribal leader, was also the leader of the Kanak independence movement and a politician in New Caledonia. I have visited this cultural centre more than once and would recommend it to anyone travelling through New Caledonia. It is a beautiful space.




Picture courtesy:le-bois.com


Omoru Church – Without Poles For Space

Omoru Church – Yokohama


Pictured above is the Omori Church. Built in 1959, the church was designed by a Japanese architect, a friend of a friend of mine. The church is in Yokohama, Japan. Notice the large space – created by exclusion of poles that we normally see holding the beams and the ceilings in the centre.  Instead, concrete walls holds everything in place. The construction started in April, 1959 and was completed in October, 1959.

The church needed to replace an old wooden chapel, built in 1922. My friend Kah Wah, an artist who is based in Singapore often reads and participates on the Tribalmystic blog.  On Cool Stuff, I posted pictures of some beautifully crafted churches and this story sparked an interest in Kah Wah to share the beautiful Omoru church with us. Unfortunately, we were unable to find the name of the architect who had been in contact with Kah Wah some years ago.

“The church was part of the projects designed at the R.I.A. Institute of Architecture (translation from Japanese to English). The chapel has been constructed specifically without poles to obtain the space.

The Omori Church belongs to Nippon Kirisuto Kyoukai; English Name “Church of Jesus Christ in Japan” (Protestant church, Reformed and Presbyterian ). The Omori Church was established officially in 1915 after about 10 years mission activities by foreign and Japanese ministers. Sadly, the number of worshippers has decreased each year. So far, the average number of worshippers recorded in 2016 is 54.”

If anyone reads this story and knows the architect – please share the information here. Thank you Kah Wah of this beautiful picture and story. Click on Kah Wah’s name to see some of his beautiful artwork.

The November Super Moon: Here Tonight

Super Moon




The most talked about November super moon is here. You probably can tell that I am fascinated by the moon, as I am about many natural wonders. In my culture, the moon affects many things including the seasons for gathering, the way people think and behave and also how it affects other living things.

Tonight, we started at our house, then the neighbours, searching the skies for the moon’s appearance. Then, my mother and I drove to the end of our street. We saw it rising, making the sky an endless ceiling of beautiful pink sheet with patches of baby blue clouds. After we watch it rise above tall leopard and wattle trees, we drove near the Brisbane River and through the gum trees in Bellbowrie, QLD, the large bright yoke creeped gently higher and hung over the water, throwing a shimmer as far as they could go.

The moon was quite bright and extra-large as predicted, so if you have not seen it yet in Brisbane – get outside your house now. It should be around for another night. My camera is not superior enough to capture this wonder, but here are some images I took this evening in various locations in our neighbourhood.

To my friends: Sue Coletta, I hope you are not disappointed with the pictures. And Kah Wah Tan – I have to tell you, it is a good clear night in Brisbane for howling.











Brisbane residents


Tribalmystic is storytelling about people, places, and things that have extraordinary stories. Author: Joycelin Leahy

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