In April next year I will be eligible for American citizenship, and it will be fifteen years since I left Australia. If love of family is as this beautiful essay says the act of bearing witness – and I think it is – then I have not done very well either by my family of birth or by my families of choice. I am an intermittent presence in everyone’s lives. I suspect now that going voluntarily into exile is unforgivable, but I suspect, too, that I wallow in how unforgivable it is, as a way to avoid the hard work of doing the best I can under the circumstances.

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