So the other day I came home to discover my house had been burgled. Yes I went into shock and all manner of emotions kicked in mostly those that sit on the side of the spectrum where anger, fear and sadness dwell. Things had been turned upside down, had been rummaged through, had been strewn around and stolen.
If you read my previous column you’ll see that I had downsized my life to focus on one project this year. That meant that everything I had was important but not necessary except for the portable hard drive I bought to store all my work on. The computer I work on is dying so I immediately transfer work onto that hard drive which means, it’s now all gone. All of it. Photos from my recce for my films, the one and only latest draft which I had worked at for three months and other projects I had been writing with the intention of making them once the film had been Produced. And no, I didn’t have a e-file anywhere or any of it sitting on email. And don’t remind me of the personal photos. I was devastated because suddenly everything I had gone through in the last year was now wasted.
It took four days and the support of friends to get my head together. The Police were kind but I could see they weren’t going to be holding their breath. In a funk, I sat down and watched bad television (no they didn’t take the tv, we’re going digital in NZ and my tele is destined for the recycle yard). They couldn’t take the stereo because they probably couldn’t see it hidden as it is amidst a pile of books. The books they left and the art work but they grabbed armloads of clothes, food, speakers, dvds, jewellery and my hard drive. Probably what will happen over the next few weeks is that I will reach for something and discover it isn’t there.
Anyway, I woke this morning and for the second time in two days, Wellington was hit by an earthquake. Instantly I leapt out of bed and made a dash for the doorway then I fell about laughing, probably it was hysteria but actually it felt like some sort of catharsis. I realised that it would have to be an earthquake to shake me out of my self pity and it worked. I sat back (after the shaking stopped) and reviewed what I had actually lost and decided that nothing was that important. I realised that with a bit of dedication and time, I could write that script again and all the other works could be wrenched from the cosmos from whence they had come initially. I’m going down the pathway of those from the old school and have started writing on cards with pencil and when the time comes that I have to deliver an electronic copy, I’ll just type it up. The work isn’t in the computer it’s what exists in the heart.
It’s going to take more than a burglary, more than an earthquake and more than my own inner obstacles to stop me. I’m looking up at my picture of Frida Kahlo and do you know what - it looks like she’s actually smiling at me. Righto, back to work. Now where is my…