Prof Claire Smith

A Spiritual Suicide

What in the world could a spiritual suicide be? What sort of rubbish statement is that?

It’s a question I could have easily asked myself thirty years ago, but not now.

Now I am a convert.

Converted to what?

Well, I really don’t know but it is something spiritual.

In the early 1990’s I was on an Aboriginal community in Arnhem Land watching my wife collect archaeological data from the Elders for her doctorate.

Welcome to Brazil

A conference had brought us to Brazil and I had arrived in Sao Paulo an hour earlier than my wife, Claire.

A student was meeting us so I looked about for a young person holding a sign. Strangely, a likely person, a young African male, refused to let me read his message. He hid it every time I approached.

It turned out he was the likely spotter.

Let me explain.

Claire’s flight had arrived but she didn’t come out with the others. Eventually she was there, pushing her white suitcase. She explained that her luggage hadn’t come out with the rest.

Guns and Whiskey

Australians never regret the money they spend on travel. I imagine it’s because we’re so isolated from the many places we want to experience.

Thus, my wife, Claire, and I travelled with our five-year-old son, Jim, to India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and anywhere else our money could take us.

In Nepal, Claire had hidden her valuables and passport under the mattress as we walked to dinner. When we returned it was all gone and a new passport without the essential Indian visa had to be had in Katmandu.

Tyred in the Outback

What is a great love story in one place can be statutory rape in another. So I find it harder to tell the story of the start of our forty-year love affair when we’re in the United States. But, I will tell it here.

At the grand old age of thirty-three I had broken free of the public service and become the 1970’s hippy I’d wished to be. Divorced with three children and experienced in life, or so I supposed, I worked in Sydney as a Manufacturing Jeweler and as a part-time counselor at the Wayside Chapel in Kings Cross.