Life. Why can’t it just stay still for a little while. Please.
Two years ago a series of major earthquakes rocked my city, triggering a couple of the most unsettled years of my life. I’m halfway through my 6th house move since the earth started shaking. Sometimes I’m not sure how I’m coping. It feels like every time I just start to get settled and start writing again I get given notice to move again. This latest novel (book 2 of the Dominion series) seems to be a series of interruptions. I’ve moved 3 times since I started it.
So I’ve finally left the city and have relocated to the wild and woolly west coast of New Zealand. Raw mountains smothered in rain forests, wild beaches and mirror still lakes. The place is beautiful, feral and very inspiring. I believe that given time I’ll be happy here, but I miss my poor quake torn home. I miss my slumbering volcano and my half mad horse friends. I miss riding over the hills and looking down over the harbour with it’s silver sea held so lovingly by hills of gilded gold. I miss fields spread out around me, the grass rippling in the wind and dotted with vibrant yellow and purple. I miss the raw red volcanic hills and the light at that particular time of day.
I don’t miss the aftershocks or the broken streets and buildings. I don’t miss the sadness, the struggle and the grief of a community bought to it’s knees. More than anything I don’t miss the underlying energy of stress, fear and anger that pervades the ravaged city. It’s funny though. I never considered myself a patriotic person, yet I feel like I am abandoning Christchurch in her time of need and I have a strange and uncomfortable grief about that.
I wonder if any of this will come out in my writing?
I was talking to a friend not long before I left the city. We were discussing the sense of lethargy and lack of motivation we have both been struggling with. Talking about how trapped in the daily routines of life we both felt. I said something along the lines of – What happened to me, I used to be wild. I driven a house truck alone around the country, swum naked in the phosphorescence under the light of an orange full moon, spun fire in a thunderstorm, performed in front of 8 thousand people, created art from my soul. I have lived a red velvet life and now I’m a mother in beige. – My friend laughed at me. He said – In the last two years you have published your first novel, graduated with distinction from a writers institute, got a horse and retrained to natural horsemanship and survived a natural disaster. You are still living a red velvet life, you’ve just stopped noticing.
He’s right. My colours are still streaming, my fire still burning. Now it’s time to start feeling it again. Time to leave the earthquakes behind me and start to recognize that I am still alive in the most vital of ways.
So Good Bye Quakey Town, I’m moving back into the wildness of me.