Anissa has lived in a war zone and in communes, cities and the wilds, writing through it all. Now she lives in a little house on a hill looking out over the sea in Karekare.
Climbing the chill tunnel of pohutakawa, watching the sunlight fall rash-like on the black sand and leaves reduced to bone, I hear the surf. Muffled, but relentless somewhere ahead, or near, it is hard to track the sound. My eyes squint at the rush of sun as the branches fall away to ghostly clouds. Coming up to the ridge, the track is held by banks of dune, grass and a straggle of fern. The warmth is a wall I walk into, skin reaching to savour the touch of summer I’ve been craving, but then it’s gone. My feet have taken me up, over and into the wind.
My eyes widen. The world drops away, the million things on my to-do list, the washing I forgot to hang up, the weeding of the garden and the deadline looming. It’s all gone. Swept clean by this vast chunk of blue sky, I am taken out to sea, past the loud crunch and crashing and receding of the waves, out to the horizon where it is peaceful.
It’s larger than I remember, this view, this place. Every time I come to lose my self and the incessant chattering and doing of the human world, it is larger. The people like cartoon insects moving ponderously under all this wind, the sky, under the weight of all my lists of things to do that I have unthinkingly thrown on them.
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Deborah thanks Rangimarie Kelly and Pikau Digtal for website design and artist Karen Jarvis for her image ‘Writers at the Devonport Library,’ (2023)