Job on a Dunghill

My time in shared supported accommodation has had a significant impact on the deterioration of my disability. This attains to using the phrase ‘on a dunghill’ as a description of my life in a shared supported facility. This term of expression gives readers an idea of the ugly reality; of the helplessness, immobility, failure to speak and see. The loss of my control and dignity manifests as motivation to change the delivery of care in the disability sector.


The image below depicts the scene of Job on a dunghill, enduring pain and humiliation as an attestation of his faith.


00013601 (1)
Werner Kuebler the Elder (Swiss, 1555 – about 1586)
Job on the Dung Hill, 1581, Pen and black ink, and gray wash
39.7 × 31.4 cm (15 5/8 × 12 3/8 in.), 85.GA.290
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

The description of the above painting, as provided in the Getty website is as follows:

His body covered with sores, the Old Testament hero Job sits on a heap of dung wearing only a loincloth. To the left stand his wife, hands impatiently on her hips, and his mocking friends. With long horns and a forked tongue, Satan claws at Job from behind. Armed figures steal Job’s cattle in the background, while his children flee a burning house. God allowed Satan to devise this series of afflictions and humiliations to torment Job and test his faith.

Werner Kuebler the Elder made this study for a stained-glass window, filling not only the circular central scene but also the surrounding frame with moralizing details. The figures of Patience, with a lamb, and Hope, with an anchor, perch on either side, references to the noble qualities that Job possessed. Lush bunches of fruit and vegetables ornament the design.

In my book, I used the term ‘dunghill’ to describe a situation that is foul. In the Bible, a dunghill is a place where you face up to degradation. Job, in his great suffering, went and sat on a dunghill.

Six and a Half Years on a Dunghill can be purchased from Amazon as a paperback or in kindle ebook format. It can also be purchased from Foyle, or Fishpond for Australians.

You can also order directly from me.

This was all done with the help of my brilliant and lovely academic support worker, Christina Irugalbandara.


Author: petergibilisco

Researcher, author and advocate. Bachelor of Business Accounting, PhD from Melbourne University. Dealing with issues involving disability.

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