Day 51

Written 8 May, 2020

Today we try to make another film on the beach about neuroscience and creativity. It seems wrong, selfish, self-absorbed, even silly not to share with anyone who wants to know this, the this that i’ve been harbouring and accumulating and reflecting on for almost 20 years and only teaching to people who can gather tens of thousands of dollars to attend courses, or who come for far less money to my little retreats. This knowledge should be available to everyone-  it should be in the water. So many people go their whole lives without knowing how vast their minds are, without remembering that they were creativity once, and can get it back. I must help them now, in case I get cut down in my prime, like so many poor souls throughout the world.


So we calculate that there’ll be a narrow strip of beach to draw diagrams on in the early afternoon before the tide’s too high. We look up the wind speed because last film, people complained about the slapping of waves. I organise my thoughts, check references, ask GG advice on pronouncing foreign names.  I remember at the last minute to brush my hair, find my lipstick, select my least worn-out, least shapeless jeans- strange how denim goes like silk after a thousand washes- from the world’s washing machines, there must be a crowd of fluff dancing on the ocean floor. I decide on the same top as last time and ask permission to wear K’s fur-lined boots again as the soles of my shoes seem to be going off on a different life from their uppers. Oh, to have shops back.

The plan is to do it all in one go, so GG doesn’t have to edit on the clunky Mac system. So no fluffs from me, no wonky camera from him, we say determinedly.

We do many  takes. We have to choose between ones where the water wasn’t so noisy but I fluff, or Gordon fluffs, or I stumble over my diagrams kicking them to bits, or I lean on the stick and it breaks so you’d roar with laughter, or I bend too far to look at the graphs and can’t get up, or  the camera reveals I’ve been standing all the time in the water in my borrowed fur-lined boots! Suddenly an oyster farmer roars around the bend and up the channel to check his oysters- his wake crashes on the beach. We wait, re-start. Normally he stays an hour or two to  water his oysters but today he’s roaring back – is that man always in a hurry? His wakes crashes on the beach again. We await, re-start. A rare once a day plane flies over, so close it might crash into the mountains. We wait,  re-start. Dy roars back from Brooklyn in his canoe with his new steering cable. He sees we’re filming, waves and, oh relief, he goes behind his house and lights his burning-off fire. That’ll be quiet. We re-start. Smoke drifts across GG’s screen – he decides it doesn’t matter. Then a chain saw starts up- a chain saw! but there’s no one here! Then we realise that there’s been all day a workmen’s boat on the far side of the bay. It’s the Italian workmen who camp at night near the jetty they’ve built, lighting fires that twinkle through the dark, and one night, singing an aria from Lucia DeL’Amanour, We wait, re-start and at last decide it’s a wrap just before the tide leaves us  no beach to draw on. I remember dates, names, experiments, and to smile. If hard is in a queue, remembering to smile is at the top.






At night we pack to go to the city the next day, where we’ll overnight at the flat. A dear Friend, R, knows we need to shelter somewhere for the cold winter months and has arranged for us to visit her 90 year old mother, who’s lonely and lives in a big, empty, echoing house in Coogee- on the grid, with town water! And would relish company! I’ve met her several times and love her, asking R to share her with me- I need a mum- but will GG and K? And will share love them? We can’t take K because it’s too hard with her agrophobia, but the two will skype. So, fingers crossed.

A drawing by Sophie:





3 Responses to Day 51

  1. Thrilled that your sharing your knowledge of creativity and neuroscience. You’re right it’s too important not to! As you know I’m constantly amazed at how utilising this knowledge has inspired my writing and made me more keen to write, and more confident that I do have stories to tell. Can’t wait to see the next film.

  2. Thank you Anne. It happened very naturally. Between the mud and the rocks, there’s a narrow strip of wet sand, like a blank page that could be filled, and I’m a writer who finds a blank page an invitation to play. Though filming is a gruelling way to play, when there’s only two people trying not to stumble, GG with his camera work, me with what’s in my head, let alone what’s under my feet! But delighted you find it useful.

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