An Irony – and Unforced Rhythms of Grace

The entrance to the Tairua Estuary with a strong-ish Nor’ester blowing in

the Tairua estuary

Driving over to Tairua, to give the second of my three author talks on the Coromandel Peninsula, I was thinking about how busy my life had become since publishing Kiwi on the Camino: A Walk that Changed My Life. I think I have commented before about the unexpected work that self-publishing a book produces in the marketing of the book. In writing this blog, it now occurs to me that even authors who publish through traditional publishers ‘hit the trail’. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy my trips about the place meeting such interesting people and making new friends. I like this aspect of my new life since publishing Kiwi on the Camino. It is just the irony of thinking about my second book with the working title A Slower Life: Living the Dream on the Coromandel and my concern about keeping busyness away.  And the reality is, there is no comparison with my former city life.

The comparison I am making, is my current life, with my life of hibernation – of living on my own for four months and just writing. What a luxury that was. Time just to be in the zone of writing. Few authors get that kind of space. I now need to learn to be disciplined and set the time aside each designated working day to write.

Leaving for Tairua, with the worry of busyness once again taking over, I made sure I left home early enough to be able to stop and relax. So I did stop at the rest stop to have a look across the water to the islands. I did take the time to walk the short path to the end of the bluff to get a better view. And after my talk, which threatened to not happen – I didn’t realize I need to take the data projector from the Thames Library across to Tairua – but the local printers came to the rescue and unearth their machine –  I found a picnic spot beside the estuary and watched the waves, the seagulls, greeted the few people as they passed by, and watched the speed boat head out across the Bar only to turn back. Such a sensible decision to turn back when the going is too rough. I will take that picture with me into the coming weeks. That it is okay to change my mind sometimes. To turn around in the face of too big a challenge.

How important it is to me to take the time to still myself and to reflect upon experiences. It is in the reflection that I integrate the various events in the experiences and thread them together with Meaning. It is in the reflection that meaning becomes possible.

So thank you Tairua Library staff for inviting me to meet and talk with you and some others. And I am thankful I was able to take time afterwards to walk upon the shore, smell the salt air so much more vigorous with the waves pounding upon the sand and wave to the boatie as he returned to the safety of the Tairua harbour.

It is in the reflection that meaning is made of experiences. I am looking forward to this coming winter where I begin to shape my notes into manuscript number two.

Buen Camino for our daily pilgrimage through our ordinary lives, which are afterall, pretty extra-ordinary.



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