It's coming up to a New Year and American country and western singer Brad Paisley said, "Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one." I am hopeful that 2021 will bring more good pages than bad ones.
Will you join me at my Summer Writers' Salon on Sunday 17 January 2021 to write your first page? Let's begin our 365-page year book together with a day of writing at the Bay here in Whangaparaoa.
Can we call 2020 'bad'? Or simply say, 'It is what it is - a not so good year. We've had them before.' Not like this one, I would reply. I certainly did not factor a global pandemic into my 2020 business plan, no sir, although we did include earthquakes (possible here in Auckland) and a tsunami (also possible).
There is no doubt that this year inspired some extraordinary writing as we collectively experienced this COVID-19 virus. Many writers kept blogs, recording their daily thoughts during lockdown periods, expressing their fear, anxiety, sadness, depression - all of those emotions and feelings we have when normal life is off the rails and we don't know what could be coming at us around the next corner. I had never lived through anything like this before. Nothing even close to it.
Sometimes it seems that difficult times spawn more. They may be related to the main issue (COVID) or be something else altogether. I am still grieving for my old mate Miss Betsy-cat who died a few weeks ago, thinking I spot a flash of her tabby-brown coat in the sunlight under the lemon tree, or hear her pitter-patter on the roof. There are the orchards in Nelson/Tasman devastated a couple of days ago by horrendous hail, a loss of millions after a year of profound financial loss and struggle. Most people I speak to narrate tales of more loss, grief, challenge, change.
But there is brightness too. We're lucky here in New Zealand, able to wander about freely and enjoy a long-awaited summer of sun, relaxation, get togethers with friends and travel within our beautiful country. Tomorrow I am heading up north to visit a friend who has a magnificent property overlooking the blue vastness that is Doubtless Bay. We will talk, laugh, share, and bring in the New Year with good champagne and some neighbours, sitting on her deck overlooking what I hope will be a moonlit sea.
I feel humbled by all that has happened this year and I am going forward into 2021 with some care, stepping lightly, not wanting to make even a little wave just yet.
I have to feel my way a bit, test the water, see how it goes. That's what I'll be writing on my first page.
What will you write about?