Elizabeth is an actor and a poet and finds the two not dissimilar. A blank page is like a first rehearsal.
- dedicated to the “women in squares”
I want my journal to be personal but have the usual fears that it might be too trivial and boring. Who am I writing it for, anyway? But then I do want to document the period of covid19, the lockdown in this weird and extraordinary time. I want to thank my daughters, their partners and two of the granddaughters. I have been living with them for two months. I’m hugely grateful for the care, the meals and the loving atmosphere. I anticipate living alone again with some trepidation.
On the other hand I do need my own things around me.
I have attempted keeping a journal before — during the celebrations for the centenary of women’s suffrage, documenting a rehearsal process for a play, surviving my first year in a new soap opera (this became too libellous to continue) and holidaying with a group of friends at Mimiwhangata. I admit to finding these sorties into journal writing quite diverting and at times sobering to read through.
I would also like to document this process of growing old. How is being eighty-three different from being sixty-three or twenty-three? I have no answer to this. It’s reassuring that when I write about the past memories rush into my head and it’s quite a job to marshall them into coherence.
When I go back home and other events crowd into my life, will I keep up with this journal? I have enjoyed the weekly zoom and the company of the women on the course. I treasure their personal disclosures and the laughs we’ve had together. My heartfelt thanks to Deborah for guiding and shaping a coherent and interesting programme.
View from my Writing Table
this morning the sky was golden
“shepherds warning,” they say
my delight to see such light
over snow topped Kaikouras
and tiny island in the bay
bright foam on waves
breaking on sea-weeded rocks
wind shivers the cabbage tree
long grasses bend and wave
I breathe in the air
so clear in the crystal light
Elizabeth McRae April 2020