Wednesday, 25 August 2010


“There is no substitute for the comfort supplied by the utterly taken-for granted relationship.” - Iris Murdoch

I am attending a national conference here in Melbourne for three days and so far, it’s been very good. Today’s session has been a workshop on effective leadership through changes in organisational culture. “Culture” is an interesting term especially when it applies to an organisation, however, more and more people are realising that this intangible concept is colouring people’s perception of the business and may influence positively or negatively the whole way in which the organisation operates. It was good to validate many of the things that I am doing as a leader in our organisation and mainly through a common sense approach, it turns out that I am trying to influence our culture in a positive way.

I had some bad news from an old colleague of mine today. He and his wife are breaking up, agreed to a mutual separation, then a quick divorce. “Irreconcilable differences” was the reason he gave, but there were deeper and perennial issues… Odd, as to me they always seemed the perfect couple, ostensibly in love, well-suited to each other, he handsome, she beautiful. But I was only a casual observer, an outsider.


Once the decision’s made,
You should leave.
No dilly-dallying,
No second chances,
No qualms,
No discussions.

It’s hard, I know, to pack;
A suitcase full of loneliness
Is a heavy burden to lift.
A note of goodbye,
Best left unwritten
Bitter words best left unspoken.

The memories, both good and bad,
Will hound you anyway;
So don’t bother to burn letters,
Tear up photographs,
Erase phone numbers,
Or give up on common friends.

When you leave,
The air will still bear traces
Of your perfume long after your departure.
On the mattress an indelible trace
Of your body shape will remain;
The dog will keep on expecting you home from work.

Once you’re gone,
The space you leave behind
Suddenly more substantial
Than your physical presence of years,
Your absence, suddenly, a stronger reminder
Of your existence.

And in the empty house,
I’ll mourn your leave-taking,
Inviting to the wake, your lack.


  1. So much honesty in this. Anyone who has been through a breakup will recognize what you describe. I'm sure it's not just me.

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  3. Beautiful and very sad poem, and as Becky says, for anyone who has been through a breakup, it describes so well the situation and feelings.