During lockdown Anna was in a bubble of two with her partner Max and random tui in Waitakere West Auckland. Anna's mother passed away in Christchurch during level four and Anna was unable to return at that time. These two journal entries were written during the journal course ‘In Extremis: Writing a Journal in the Time of Coronavirus.’
Saturday 18 April Level 4
My Writing Space: Settling in and self-discipline
I have never used a dedicated writing space. Sometimes I have set up a lovely clear desk with a view somewhere but I have found that I rarely use it. Usually I write wherever I can be on my own whenever I feel like it; inside, outside, mornings if I’ve had a dream I want to record but for many years I recorded my day at night although sometimes there have been big gaps.
The curious thing is that although that has always worked for me in terms of it being an ongoing phenomena, what I want now is a sense of order, a discipline, a requirement. A commitment. And yet the reality is that I have actually been achieving success in a random way for many years so maybe I don't need to discipline myself. Maybe that’s just my internal critic, when in terms of consistency I really have been busy. Over the years I have created endless screeds of open-ended journals. Random topics, random times but have never taken the time to go back over them or reread them.
So if the feeling is that I need some structure to my writing, what is it that I am after? In terms of the discipline I feel I am waiting for something finite, a dedication to specific topics, a review and a finishing of it.
Wednesday 29th April 2nd day Level 3
Writing Exercise: Danger and Safety — what does it mean to be living in the time of coronavirus?
The world changed almost overnight. It seems a cliché when I write that, that an invisible threat has had such a gigantic global impact and has altered every decision, all perspectives.
For me the flight back to Auckland from Christchurch just as the international borders were closing captured precisely that feeling of danger and safety. Even taking into account my misgivings at leaving Mum when she was obviously unwell, although not uncommon in the last few years, I recall that Sunday evening flight as being strange. The plane was full of tourists from North America. I know this because when the plane landed there was an instruction to all those passengers not attempting to make connecting flights to Houston and San Francisco to remain seated. Maybe more than half the plane arose, and made their way forward. But the strange thing was the silence on the plane. It was totally silent. For that whole hour and a half there was an odd silence, not a cough, not a sneeze, a really awkward self-consciousness, a palpable tension in the air. People were not friendly. Everyone seemed drawn back into themselves, locked away, avoiding eye contact.