Operation Oysterhood: Day Twenty-Six

OYSTERHOOD is reclusiveness or solitude, or an overwhelming desire to stay at home.

@HaggardHawks

Wild Earth: I must admit that sometimes I don’t even look at the animals, I just close my eyes and listen to the sounds of the bush – acoustic balm for the soul.

I spent a lot of this day in bed, first in my PJs, then, even after I got dressed, I returned to bed for warmth, comfort and reading. I went outside only to eat curry leftovers in the afternoon sun and to watch the sunset on my stoep while sipping the last drops of the rosé. Obnoxious mosquitoes chased me back into the house.

218

I am reading a book about sexual assault. In the last four years, I have been reading a lot about the concepts and realities of consent and violation. It is a topic close to my heart, body and soul. Someone can violate you in different ways: physical harm, greed, betrayal of trust, theft – the list is endless. An uncertain future can also be a violation of your dreams. Once someone or something tramples on your integrity (in both senses of the word: “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles” / “the state of being whole and undivided”), life is never the same again. And, if you are strong and can keep your core somehow intact despite everything, you resume your life – routines, ambitions, dreams return; you get on with it. But no matter what, the brokenness continues underneath the surface, too, and it does not take much to bring it to light and to force you back into your own personal terrifying darkness. I think that the pandemic is unleashing into our lives what lurks beneath, and there is a reason why so many of us – especially the survivors of previous violations – feel so heavy.

This is what has been on my mind today. This heaviness.

Yet, I forge ahead. Not much happened today outside my head. But I did design concept drafts of two book covers for Karavan Press. I don’t want to share my amateurish efforts. In time, the designer will transform them into true visions. But here are two fragments of my ideas.

It felt good to work on these, to focus and think about the future.

But the main event of the day was opening a file that has been waiting patiently for me to return when I was ready. Ordinary. Take three. The final take. The novel only needs an ending. It does not have to be imagined, all my notes are there, ready to be transformed into full-bloodied sentences and breathing paragraphs. A few thousand words at most. Then the editing and rewriting. It’s time. It’s finally time.

216

I am still in love with these characters, their love and their brokenness, and the magic of falling. They deserve to have a chance.

I had pasta for dinner and listened to the President’s speech.

He said that we will “forge a new economy”. Spoke of overcoming and a better future.

What I heard was ‘people before greed’. Please. Always.

Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. Stay at home. Forge a new world.

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