“Understanding Nourishes Belonging...a Lack of Understanding Prevents It.”

Nikki Gemmell’s feature article “worlds apart” subjectively presents her emotional journey as she spends time with her extended family in Lake Macquarie. She descriptively conveys being changed as a consequence of sensing that she belongs to the place and her relatives. Written in first person the article presents her intimate observations about the transformation she is experiencing because she feels connected: “In Lake Macquarie our world is simpler, easier. I’m in the energy and rhythm of you children. I feel so energised”. Gemmell’s understanding of the impact that this experience is having on her supports the observation that belonging is nourished by understanding.
Gemmell is clearly nourished by a new appreciation of her inner thoughts that have arisen from a secure sense of belonging. She quotes George Sand in the first paragraph “another i is beginning”. Her creativity and sense of identity emerges as a consequence of feeling connected to her extended family. Gemmell uses second person to address her children throughout the article as an expression of the bond she feels with them and also as a way of imparting her personal reflections for her children to read sometime in the future, “...You children have hauled me into life. Joyously”. The use of positive emotional language conveys the fulfilment that Gemmell derives through her family. She refers to her grandmothers as “Glorious, fabulously different women” and metaphorically describes them as a gift. The warm tone that is used in describing her family is evidence that such understanding nourishes belonging.
While Gemmell has used a range of language techniques to emphasise her personal nourishment, contrast is also used to illuminate her experience of being “torn” by her existence. Her London life is described in stressful terms, where her life in Australia is “easier, simpler”. She contrasts the simplicity of belonging in Lake Macquarie with the complex needs of her husband, for example “ he needs his...