I remember watching Michael Leunig be interviewed last year… while I was relatively familiar with his poignant cartoons, I had no sense of the man himself – intelligent, articulate and broad in his thinking.
So I was very disappointed that it was only on my third attempt at reading The Lot, his collection of essays, that I managed to find the beauty and the meaning.
The Lot is Leunig musing on life, politics, national identity, love, religion and the natural environment. It reveals a thoughtful man, swimming through the depths of our world, constantly aware of it’s contradictions and small moments of beauty.
It is a remarkable collection, one that you could open and read randomly, an essay a day to inspire you.
Although I had a few false starts (whoever ordered the first handful of essays made some poor choices, with some of the denser, less relatable essays right at the beginning of the collection) I read most of the rest of the book in one sitting, remaining curious and in awe of the connections Leunig makes with the world around him.
Some of the essays cover similar themes and ideas – although again a better editor could have organised these more efficiently to lead the reader through a process more organically. How you read this is perhaps one of the most important factors in enjoying the collection. Go through at your own speed, read what takes your fancy and be inspired.