The Victorian bushfire emergency is not yet over, and to write or think about anything else seems unspeakably trivial; yet thinking and writing and reading about it has become almost unbearable. We live a long way from the fires; we don't know anyone who's been directly hurt by them. We are incredibly, amazingly lucky.
And yet the fires are everywhere.
The air today is orange with smoke haze. The kids are waking up with nightmares. They made a pile of precious possessions to sit by the front door in case we had to flee for our lives. There is a little girl at our school whose family have been burnt out; she's come to stay with her aunt. She's part of our community now. The school is holding a gold coin casual dress day to raise money for fire victims; all the kindergartens and creches and workplaces have overflowing donation bins (way more than are actually needed). And I know I'm not the only one who wakes with a sick hollow in the pit of my stomach, wondering what fresh horror will be revealed today.