Perhaps I was five years old when I spoiled my sister’s rabbit. It was made of a sort of pink velvet. It had long ears which were quite pretty.
One evening I put the rabbit close up to my sister’s cup of cocoa with the ears dripping over the rim into the cocoa. The lovely pink ears came out a dirty brown. My father, who was presiding over the evening cocoa, looked perplexed about the rabbit and about my action. He tried holding he ears under the cold tap but the stains remained. The ears later became quite hard, perhaps it was the sugar . . . .
Elizabeth Jolley, Meanjin 2010, Who Talks of Victory
I said writing was an exploration of human feelings and reasons and circumstances; perhaps even more it is an attempt to penetrate into the human heart and recognize our own inner being. I do believe if we are unable to recognize ourselves we cannot recognize anyone else. And without some kind of recognition how can we love. I think it is necessary to love and care deeply before attempting to write. Writing is an act of love carried out in such a way that every aspect of the personality can be examined not for criticism but for an endless questioning towards a hoped-for understanding. In trying to write I seem to start from a little picture, a few words, an idea so slender it hardly matters and then suddenly I am exploring human feelings and reasons and perhaps one day I’ll step across that threshold into some deeper understanding.’ Elizabeth Jolley ‘A Timid Confidence’