Winter is Blue.
Piha Beach lies 30 kilometres west of Auckland but it feels much further away. It is remarkable for its black sand, the remnants of a 16 million year old volcano. Perhaps you remember Jane Campion’s gothic masterpiece The Piano? Piha was the star of that film. The dangerous, unforgiving canvas where Holly Hunter arrives on a Maori canoe with her beloved piano to begin a new life.
I’ve been struggling lately, with a lot of things. I don’t have a clue how most people do this thing called life. I get so caught up in it, analysing everything to make sense of it all, but really I have no idea. I’m constantly rushing around doing a million things as though one day I will finish a task and go ‘there, finally sorted this life thing out – cup of tea?’ I try to live in the moment. I’ve heard the moment is where it’s at, but somehow I get caught up in the future or start thumbing back through the past.
Tom and I packed the car full of guitars and food and headed out to Piha Beach for the week. We spent the mornings drinking coffee, cooking big breakfasts and listening to our favourite albums. After a long walk we spent the afternoons playing guitar and singing.
At night we watched movies. I saw Rosemary’s Baby for the first time!! How good is that film? Can you imagine Polanski pitching it to the producers? “OK, so I have this great idea for a movie, just hear me out…”
Rosemary (Mia Farrow) moves into a Manhattan apartment block with her husband (John Cassavetes) a struggling actor. There they meet an older couple, Roman and Minnie Castavet, who seem a little eccentric sure, but nice enough. After a couple of dinners at the Castavet’s things start to get a little crazy. One night Rosemary feels woozy after one of Minnie’s chocolate mousses. She goes to bed early, passes out and hallucinates she is the sacrificial sex object of a strange group ritual lead by a naked Roman Castavet.
She dreams she has sex with a horned beast only to wake up in the morning next to her husband, a little hungover and covered in claw marks. ‘Sorry!’ says hubby, we just got a little randy last night… Rosemary falls pregnant and becomes anaemic and withdrawn - OK, I won’t spoil the story in case you haven’t seen it yet, but let’s just say Scrabble boards, people going blind and a coven of retiree witches start to feature heavily in the plot line. And all there, happening right under your nose, in New York City!
Life is complex and random, a little like the plot line of Rosemary’s Baby. It’s often passionate, wild and beautiful like The Piano. But most of the time it’s just doing the drill, ‘pressing on regardless’ as my Dad says. Moments of joy, grief and mystery amongst the laundry and the paying of bills.