The writer keeps the door open, so the world doesn’t close down …When you stand on the edge of the society you have been taught is everything, and plunge into an unknown territory, you feel you know everything in parts of your self you did not know existed. (from Snake in the Box)
Fern has just left the theatre she founded 25 years ago and is also stepping into the unknown. In 1991 I left a conventional bohemian life as a journalist in London and never went back. Sometimes it feels as if you cannot go anywhere new unless you relinquish everything and swim heroically against the collective current. And yet the challenge to host and gather, raised by the play, has found me in this last decade working in communities, curating events, editing collaborative books and online platforms, showing people how to write and edit as a team, and most of all finding ways to discuss, outside among the trees or in a teaching circle, what happens when our loyalties are not to the work we have been doing all our lives, or to the social classes we have or we have not been brought up in.
What happens to us as writers when we relinquish our inchoate desire to wage war on a childhood or imperial past, circumstances over which we had no control? Will we find other shards of ourselves buried beneath the drifting sands, tracks we can follow into the uncivilised wilderness?