On the Couch with John Burbidge

John BurbidgeWho is John Burbidge?
I am a 64-year old gay man, am married to my partner of 25 years, and live on a small island in the Pacific Northwest (USA). I divide my time between writing/editing, running a small caretaking business, and participating in community life.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
If I could afford to, I would divide my time between our present home and another place in a less developed and less expensive part of the world, either SE Asia or Latin America.

Who inspires you and why?
People older than I who continue to work on projects they have a passion for, such as the author Tom Keneally, who at 78 has produced 33 books and is working on his next.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Stop eating meat.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
A toss-up between Lombok, Indonesia and Ecuador. People in both places have strong ties to their culture, welcome you warmly, have great food and enjoy life.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
Since I live on a tiny island, I would take them on long walks through the forest, without electronic devices and with minimal talking, in order to learn how to observe and reflect thoughtfully.

What are you currently reading?
Works by the Australian expatriate author, Sumner Locke Elliott.

What are you currently listening to?
Classical music, particularly Chopin.

Happiness is?
Australia winning a test cricket series.

What does the future hold for you?
Guaranteed expiration when I reach my use-by date.

Australian born John Burbidge has lived and worked in Belgium, Canada, India and the United States. For many years, he was Communications Director for the Institute of Cultural Affairs, a non-profit organization engaged in community and organisational development, before becoming an independent writer/editor.

His current writing projects include a memoir on living as a gay man in India and an anthology of travel-inspired essays. He has edited four volumes, a national newsletter, magazines, book chapters, reports, manuals and theses. His latest book is Dare Me! The Life and Work of Gerald Glaskin is published by Monash University Publishing.

Image: John Burbidge