When we met, Joe Oppenheimer asked me “So, what’s your story?”
To which I answered, “Once upon a time there was a girl from the western suburbs of Sydney who grew through shame and grief into a self-destructive, unexamined and unhappy adulthood, but by dint of a liberal arts degree, lots of music, appreciation of the natural world, a beautiful daughter and the friendship of some truly wonderful people, was able to attain self-knowledge and happiness of an unexpected measure.”
Trite, isn’t it? If only it were that simple. As you’ll know if you’ve read a few of these entries, I walk on a knife’s edge, a beautiful but treacherous precipice that might crumble beneath me and tip me into a river of despair. Or, it might broaden out and climb into an airy plateau, whereupon I can pluck amusing thoughts and delightful distractions like wildflowers in a meadow.
Gertrude has been a great solace to me on this journey, but her weekly creation channels my thoughts along the most frivolous lines, and she isn’t really me. Friends scoff at this, but I feel I have some case for saying so. Yes, sometimes I have been ruthlessly honest here about the circumstances of my life, but at most other times I’ve embellished for comic effect. For instance, I’ve never woken up with my head in a cupboard. Nor was I born in 1908, and I don’t live in a treehouse. More importantly, the really deep rhythms of my life are not translatable here. The point – rammed home to me by my collaboration on this script – is that stories hide the truth. Sometimes purely fictional, and at all times just a tiny selection of the feelings and thoughts that I have deemed fit for public consumption, this little blog is written for amusement, not revelation.
I have been told by one of my more intelligent and sophisticated readers that he doesn’t read my blog “for information”, he reads it “for entertainment”. And there’s my problem. Because the information I have is that we have a tiny window, the next 10 years perhaps, to save the world from the perilous consequences of fossil-fuel driven greed, and entertainment just seems a little insignificant in comparison.
My truth, the one I cannot escape, is that there is a lot of work to be done, and I think we all need to do it. Even the people reading this, who have continued to read GD over the years, and have given me the encouragement to keep writing it. Thank you.
Please visit here for the last word on Gertrude’s Diary.
I done it for youse all.