‘Why don’t you carry on with your history in a hundred objects idea,’ said Ginny, ‘ didn’t you start it?’
‘Yes. Ten years ago. When History of the World in a hundred objects was first broadcast.’
‘It was such a good programme.’
‘ And it was back on the radio during the lockdown while I was working on my manuscript.’
‘ Well there you are.’
‘Yes. Thanks for reminding me.‘
‘Well I always thought it was a great project. You’ve just finished something very intense. This will give you the freedom to go wherever you want in your imagination and fun choosing which object.’
Having just handed my manuscript to my publisher I was feeling adrift. Perfect I thought – Let myself drift. Create a fragmented structure for a fragmented life. Time travel – ‘kiss the joy as it flies and live in Eternity’s sunrise’.
Dear Ginny, you somehow get it right. As I started to gather what I had, I remembered the significant dream.
It was 2005 and I’d been offered a small part in a film which would take me to Simla and that night I had a dream –
I am travelling to Simla with a group and Ginny is with us. I am slightly anxious, wanting it to be right for her. And then in the last part of the dream and I am in a hotel bar, when there is a long distance call for me: it is Rez. As I go to answer it, a voice in my head tells me not to mistake weakness for goodness, and then, before Rez can tell me what it is that he has called me about, the telephone goes dead and I wake up, somewhat relieved but also disappointed not to know the next part of the dream.
‘Everyone in a dream is part of yourself so you have to work out what these people represent to you, what part of yourself is revealed. What does Ginny represent for you? Who is she?’ asked my sister.
I tried to put my thoughts into words: Ginny was the first friend of my age I had since leaving school in India at 14. It was the early sixties, we were both seventeen and the only girls in our term group at drama school and we never ever had a row. For many years I allowed her to slip out of my life because of my own insecurities and I was very happy when I found her again
Ginny is someone who has worked on herself, suffered and grown and is finding her way..
‘Well there you are,’ replied my sister, ‘maybe she represents the part of yourself you have worked on, that has grown and deepened, that you allowed to slip away, have rediscovered and now guides you, and is accompanying you to Simla, where you were born. And you are anxious for this self that you have reclaimed and need to protect so that all goes well.
She’s also a positive peer figure. You’re both actresses and you are going as an expression of your own independent creative life. What about Rez?’
‘ Well I was besotted with him, again I was seventeen, he introduced me to Khalil Gibran, Kazantsakis, Dostoevsky, Fidel Castro, but he also is someone who took advantage of me, so I’m being made aware not to be weak.’
‘Maybe also you mistook your father’s goodness for weakness, because in the lack of appreciation for one’s own self, one attracts abusers and can’t recognise those who really care. But you have to work it out for yourself.’
Weakness for goodness. It resonates. But what did it mean?