Joseph Meeker said: 'The way we think about the world is the way the world tends to become.' As an epigraph to the Peaceful Space forum, I would add: 'The way we see, hear, and feel the world is the way the world tends to become.' For ultimately the way we think about the world is a product of the senses through which we experience it. In celebrating the role of the senses and the imagination in our experience of the world, this forum seems to me a place to seek out the music of these interrelationships. Peace is a wonderful guiding word for the gathering, as it evokes the sense of harmony that marks the most satisfying and responsible aspects of our behavior in, on and towards the earth.
I was inspired by living up close to conservation issues in Tasmania to begin teaching a course in literature and the environment in the early 90s. I transported the course and my interest in the role of creativity in the relationships we establish with the world around us to UQ and thrived on the way in which students shared my passion. Currently I am drawn to think and write about gardens as site of connections of many kinds with the environment - and as peaceful spaces.