News & Insights

Some of What I Know

Lorna Hannan

This piece is from the collection, In The Time of Refuge.

Time is the experience of sequencing events and ideas and how they mirror the multiverse.

Time is a clock whose hands are moving inexorably out of a past it’s trying to understand,
into a future that has no shape.

Time changed the past. Time changed what the first Refuge had been.
Over Time, some of the threads grew into rope. Ruth Crow Corner was one of those ropes.

Ruth Crow Corner weaved storytelling, to capture experiences that could be recognised by all of us, personal life-stories, and how the stories gather people around their meaning.

Like my story.
Under my skin is the knowledge of the Irish famine and my body,
and my instinct calls on that knowledge and allows me
to empathise with First Nations Peoples
in ways that I am not otherwise conscious of.
Fundamentally, the famine is there.
Some of my fears and hopes are generated by that.
Even though I didn’t personally experience it, the events of Time are in my blood.
Time is the way in which people play with it.
You can walk into a faeries’ den and be there for 300 years.

Conversations are memorable because of the decisions that are made in them.
Some things are done by being said, over and over again, that’s how I think about Refuge. 

In our final Refuge, the futures were fading,
and the memories of the past came into that space and filled it up
with empathy.
Without empathy, you can’t have hope and without hope you don’t have a future. 

Empathy is the foundation stone of the future.

My name is Lorna Hannan.
I am 87 years old.
And this is some of what I know.


Header Image: Ruth Crow Walks by Lorna Hannan and Hannah Morphy-Walsh, Refuge 2021, Photo by Anne Moffat.

Image description: A group of people in a park stroll off path and into a field of grass at dusk.  Melbourne cityscape is in the background. In the foreground a woman in her 80’s wearing a long cream coat and an army green cap walks in the middle of the path with her head whisked to the left looking into the distance.



About Lorna Hannan

Lorna Hannan has lived in North Melbourne for over 50 years and watched the many changes that have made it a distinctive place to live in. Her father was the headmaster of the Errol Street State School, the school that all four of her own children attended as well as a mix of cousins and later quite a high proportion of her grandchildren. Links with the area have given Lorna's life a richness that she treasures and many stories to enjoy and retell. Refuge gives her the opportunity to harvest these stories and to savour the arts of conversation.

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