Written 18 November, 2020.
Victoria’s 17th double donut day, NSW’s 7th. Meanwhile, a cluster is developing in South Australia, from a health worker in a quarantine hotel. So far, 17. A 6 day lock down there, the strictest ever. Noone’s allowed to leave home except essential workers, and their children who can go to school, the only ones. While in the US a nurse tells what it’s like for her with dying co-vid patients who don’t believe in the disease.
Here, what a night.
Just on dusk, a call from Dee. He and Tripi were on Bar Island, the uninhabited island in so many of our pics, because the tide was too low to get into our bay. He’d tried and failed.
Bar Island is part of our history because Sarah Wallace, “Mother Marra Marra” is buried there, along with descendants. The local story is that she was visiting her people in Botany Bay around the 1800s and met there a charming young convict, a deserter from the British army fighting the French. She brought him to this blessed bay, her homeland, abounding in food and beauty, and they lived here for the rest of their lives, getting married “the English way” in 1816 with many children. Her husband always asked her to sit in the front of their boat:
Sit in the front dear, so I can look at your beautiful face.
While Dee and I talked, Tripi chased rabbits and, I’m afraid, hoped to dig up skeletons. I offered to row to Dee a thermos of tea but as he couldn’t get in, even my rowboat couldn’t get out. At dusk deepened, he tried again to come home, but the sea floor is uneven and his motor can’t be raised, as ours can, so again he got stuck.
Then my friend Wendy S, a composer who came to my ANU class, the Neuroscience of Creativity for composers, emailed to say that she’d started to work on our opera. Years before, she’d come out of the blue, wanting to make an opera out of my novel, The Secret Cure.