Margaret is a reluctant memoir student, conflicted about putting her inner memories out in the light of day, yet wanting to compile at least one robust version of her life’s story. She is astounded at how much it feels as though she is doing open-heart surgery on herself without anaesthetic.
So many places where I feel at home and alive.
Waikaremoana: the Sea of Rippling Waters. I have been named a mokopuna of the taniwha of the lake. My spiritual home. Mists, deep bush, where I first felt awe and panic.
Totaranui: sky, sand, sea, and friends. I've lived there for more than a year in total over sixteen years of holidays with our children. In tents. The smell of canvas, creak of ropes, and snuggling down into a sleeping bag as the moon climbs out of the sea to ride across the sky. Other nights in tents as a child at Wainui Beach in Gisborne, or Napier, or Mahia Peninsula, The sound of surf pounding.
Where ever John is.
Any time I am at a large table with our family and or friends, eating and laughing and toasting life. Any time I'm sitting somewhere and talking with good friends about this and that, and everything and nothing. Sitting around this table now and listening to my fellow writers, as they tell their stories. How can I convey how moved I am? How much I value their taonga?
These past three days, talking with Elizabeth about her illness whatever it may be, that it is serious and most probably cancer, hopefully treatable. Talking to Andrew on Sunday night, in his house, strangely quiet with his son and wife away. Talking with Barbara yesterday, remembering, with her, days and people and events from our years back to when we were seventeen. Making what sense we can of life and its paradoxes and puzzles, its delights and sadnesses. Laughing at ourselves, that we are still a tiny bit competitive, even in our ninth decade!
All these are turangawaewae for me.
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