TAMI NEILSON
THE BEDROOM NEAR RIVERHEAD FOREST, AUCKLAND, NEW SEALAND

Home used to be where the family band was. If they were touring all over North America, that was where she was rooted, right there on the road. Today, home is in a green, wooden house in the countryside near Riverhead Forest. She doesn’t really like the colour of the house and one day she will repaint it. In the meantime it blends into the greenery, into the rolling hills, the palm trees and the scattered Kauri pines that grow in the Ultic soil.

She slides the door open and walks out onto the deck outside the bedroom. Almost every morning there are rainbows in the hills below, almost every morning the sunlight bends in a million raindrops. The mist is rising between the cows, horses, sheep and the flaky Manuka tree trunks. She spots the small shed down the hill where they keep the baby calves. Her son is taking care of them, preparing for agricultural day at school.

She walks back into the bedroom and sees the plate where her childhood name is written. Twink, it says. The plate is hanging next to the black and white photographs of her boys, her husband, and of herself being pregnant. It was her dad who used to call her Twink, and now the old name twinkles on the white wall next to the drawings that her sons made not so long ago.

She does not get to write like this very often, but today she bundles up in bed with her guitar, her laptop, her pens and her books. Usually she writes in whatever little snippet of time available; in the car, in the shower, on the run. But not today. Today it is all quiet and no one is looking at her. The only stage is the one outside her bedroom window, the scenery of the landscape, the ferns and flax and the song of the Tui birds in the trees of the misty valley.

The walls are all white in the bedroom, but throughout the room there are accents of mustard yellow that look golden in the sunlight. The laundry is on a chair in the corner and it is always in a state of laundry whether it needs to be washed, folded or put away.

She takes a deep breath, exhales and looks at the beams under the vaulted ceiling. She hums and then writes something on a piece of paper. Soon she will hear footsteps and light voices spreading through the house. The family is in her music and music is in her family. She was born in Canada, but home is in the Southern Hemisphere now.

Reliefs in oak wood: Artist Søren Assenholt
Prose and concept: Author Sanne Flyvbjerg