Wish I was there New Zealand

The space opens in the late Sunday afternoon, overwhelming with the all consuming urge to reach out to someone; to share the inner reaches of my mind.

Phone my mother? … we’ll just talk about what she’s eating for dinner and things we’ve done … nothing that will cross the divide. My best friend, but she never answers. The guy from the dating site who wrote ‘you seem great’ but will never realize that sometimes just staring at clouds, the way they overlap, occasionally tenderly, other times domineering, and their shades, stallion grey, old soot, to apricot ice-cream hues, bring tears to my eyes.

And then, quite unexpectedly, she offers me this:

“Joe’s mother had lived in this street since she was born. Put her brain, together with the other million brains, women’s brains, that recorded in such tiny loving anxious detail the histories of the windowsills, skins of paint, replaced curtains and salvaged baulks of timber, there would be a recording instrument, a sort of six-dimensional map which included the histories and lives and loves of people, London – a section map in depth.” Doris Lessing in The Four Gated City and my eyes grow hot, because she understands and here we are, all in, together. This, makes everything worth it. And this is how we fight, all in, together.

And the trees of my city suburb dropping their fluffy yellow dish brush flowers, or throwing tiny dark combs into the gutters, or just plainly being stark and white day in and day out, they too, are in, altogether. And the cats that come to eye the chickens behind their wire mesh fence and jump away, at the chickens aggressive united clucking, their fur on end, they too, are in, altogether.

And here I go, dripping with an origin I thought I had left behind, long ago and my flatmate with her Sicilian sea-salted skin and the other with his Indian eyes observing, this Australian city, now, not quite new, yet still, surprising, fascinating. Here we go, all in, altogether.

Just watch us go. Because finally, here we are, all in, altogether.


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About duendest (Tina Cartwright)

Tina Cartwright grew up on the East Coast in the South of New Zealand. She lives and works in Melbourne. Her children’s picture book, Kiwi and Scorpion, was published with Penguin NZ in 2008. She edited and translated Taking Latin America Home – a self-published anthology influenced by Latin America which raised funds for the Sweet Water Fund in Nicaragua.

One response to “Wish I was there New Zealand”

  1. duendest (Tina Cartwright) says :

    I’ve been feeling quite emotional at not being in NZ for the TPPA protests. After reading that piece from Doris Lessing and thinking about occasions when writers are told they ‘don’t have enough life-experience’ to write anything worthwhile the two things united in my mind with the simple answer that I come back to time and time again: community.

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