Debbie’s Gift

Kate Wright


I attended Debbie’s last public lecture at the Australian Museum in Sydney in 2018. I remember her saying ‘the gift of life is a gift that must keep moving’ (‘Gifts’). For Debbie, the gift of life was a way of expressing the complex entanglement of ethics, time, relationality, entropy, energy, memory, culture, and inheritance, in living, mortal systems. The gift of life is not something we choose or something we can opt out of. The gift is fundamental for survival as living systems weave webs of togetherness in a planet that tends toward dissolution. The gift, Debbie wrote elsewhere, ‘is the way life evades entropy’ (‘Multispecies’ 136).

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