Patrick White, insomniac, asthmatic. His hands seem not to have done a day’s work. Illusion, July was writing every day. His brain a tree, like other brains. Palm tree, Morton Bay fig, grow into distinctive forms. How stories, left to the elements and time, rise into novels. Lists of loves and hates are petty, prompt petty spats. He told his biographer: include the dirt or they won’t read it. Patrick would know. Everything – house frames, footpaths, humans, their shadows, Whiteley’s blue period – is result and haunt of waters where it began, place of arrival, deep shoals of the Harbour beyond.