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Anne Townsend

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Are you stuck? And where?

I am stuck in my Blue Room. I can’t facilitate one on one counselling sessions (based on free writing and various left/right brain activities) because:

1) The room is not secluded enough (traffic/pedestrians go by).

2) The desk is too large. The desk is too small. I need another desk(s).

3) The cream antique sheeting I used as curtains lets in too much light.

4) The room is too ………???? Not …….. enough ?????

5) Barrydale will eat me for breakfast. That stupid woman from Cape Town is CHARGING us to write and do various activities we could do for free??!!

6) People will stop me in the street and tell me their problems, even more so than they already do.

7) I may do well, & I’ll have to deal with success.

8) I may fail miserably & I will have to deal with gossip and insults.

9) I’ll effectively be ‘running a business’ so I can’t pack up and run away.

10) My anonymity, seclusion, and Low Key Persona will be ruined. (!!!)


(Throat) 2018-02-01

Sealed Lips)

Photo Credit: AnneTownsend

Incest is a long-distance train

It doesn’t matter how you swing this. Breaking Silence sucks.

You destroy a family. The paedophile’s family. You ruin your health, you wreck your bank balance, your peace of mind is a distant memory. People you’ve never heard of, be it a cousin’s ex-wife, or distant relatives you’ve only seen on Facebook, associate you with a predator.

It’s always your fault. It’s your fault for not speaking. It’s your fault for speaking too late. It’s your fault for being alive. It’s your fault for being a child. It’s your fault for not going through life complicit, silent, avoidant.

Naomi Wolf has told us, that the women she knows who’ve spoken out about campus harrassment, are never better off for having spoken. She advises them, to this day, to get ‘a good lawyer’. She wishes it wasn’t so. But it is.

Dylan Farrow has spoken out, insistently, about Child Sexual Abuse. Is she better off for having spoken? The intensity of keeping open the wound of incest is labour-intensive. It’s all-consuming. Someone has to do this.

Dylan Farrow tried to move on. She couldn’t. She hasn’t. What are her options? To rest. To take breaks. To accept every ounce of empathy, love and support that is rushing her way. To raise a glass to Colin Firth for taking a stand. To raise a glass to every actor who has donated his/her earnings from Woody Allen movies, to charity. To thank every actor who has agreed never to work with her abuser, ever again.

Once you’ve been on the Incest Train for as long as I have, the train acquires some cool & mysterious passengers. You never know who’ll climb onto the seat next to you. Who’ll blow the whistle and try and get you arrested. Who’ll listen with care and growing fury. Who’ll offer to drive up the coast and give someone ‘a bloody good piece of my mind.’

All you can do is to trust your Invisible Army. They support you. They cheer you on. They wave at you from the side lines even though they can’t always understand what you’re up to. Perplexed but trusting, they let you be.

You order the train meal. You open a book. You’re on the train for life. It’s a long-distance journey. The views are spectacular. The end is in sight. And you plan the words for your tombstone. Floodgates? Or Fuck You. xxx

Gagged VisualGagged VisualGagged Visual

Glow – 2017-12-30


Photo Credit: Anne Townsend

Fugitive: 2017-12-26


Photo Credit: AnneTownsend

Seventy Two Hours on Twitter

Alicia Lutes‏Verified account @alicialutes Nov 9

I refuse to trust anyone who loves Woody Allen/is influenced by him

Jack Kornfield‏Verified account @JackKornfield 7 minutes ago

What we practice becomes habit. Societies can repeat destructive collective habits of racism, hatred, and revenge.

Matt Haig‏Verified account @matthaig1 Nov 18

I am sometimes looking at an argument online and thinking both sides are incomplete halves of a whole that refuses to be joined. Twitter is all thesis and antithesis and not enough synthesis. Which is famously why Hegel was never on Twitter.

Anne Townsend‏ @AnneTownsend007 Nov 18

If we have a lingering horror of parties, we should be generous towards our hunches. It doesn’t mean that we don’t like other people, rather that we have too ambitious a conception of social contact to put up with what is on offer at most parties. (Alain de Botton)

Dalai Lama‏Verified account @DalaiLama May 1

Anger may seem to be a source of energy, but it’s blind. It causes us to lose our restraint. It may stir courage, but that too is blind.

Augusten Burroughs‏Verified account @augusten Nov 17

There’s so much iron in our well water I feel like a vampire every time I take a sip.

Naomi Wolf‏Verified account @naomirwolf Nov 16

Statutes. We need to do away with statutes of limitations. How is a crime less of a crime if time has passed?

Pico Iyer‏ @PicoIyer Nov 12

“My school report used to say, “Takes no part in communal activities,” said Lucian Freud. I thought, “Well, at least I’ve got something right!”

Pico Iyer‏ @PicoIyer Sep 27

There’s only one hope for the North Korean impasse: send Melania to Pyongyang!

Alain de Botton‏Verified account @alaindebotton Oct 9

You can be quite sad and reasonably content at the same time. It only sounds impossible.

Donald J. Trump

✔ @realDonaldTrump

Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me “old,” when I would NEVER call him “short and fat?” Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend – and maybe someday that will happen!

2:48 AM – Nov 12, 2017 · Vietnam



But Why? Why did I Wait So Long?

Like most addictions, the first 24 hours. Wow. I, like, didn’t leave my bed. Baths were not taken. Coffee was made. Linen rumpled. But why? Why did I wait so long?

48 hours later: Rage. Fatigue. The cross-eyed bewilderment that stems from tweets that distract from sexual abuse by pondering: Democrat/Republican? Whiners (especially women) who still don’t ‘get’ that Hillary is a spokesperson for gagging. This is a woman who holds a hand over voices. She silences. Trump’s ingenious post to Kim Jong Un. Did I laugh? But the (short/fat) dude has nuclear weapons. (Did you not see his hair, Donny?) PS: Can we have a Golden Labrador for President?

Alain de Botton. Joyce Carol Oates. Augusten Burroughs. The Dalai Lama!! Do we connect? Or do I go off them on Twitter? I can’t afford to go off Augusten B. He’s too dear to me. (((Caution)))

72 hours later: Elizabeth Gilbert’s tweets are as annoying as the other words that tumble off of her.

Old friends from yonder. Plugging away at grey jobs.  Exotic lives that melt into years of beige.

Days pass. Elephants. Trophies. Meat eaters: Elephants must NOT die. (((Huh??))) (((Selective Scorn)))

Barrydale. Acres of glittering fields. Farm houses. Dogs. Warm smiles. Talks with faces accompanied by body language and sounds. My. Addiction. Peaks. And. Wanes. Barrydale waits. Twitter. (((Home)))



(Silk) 2017-11-09


Photo Credit: AnneTownsend

(Garden) 2017-11-09


Photo Credit: AnneTownsend

(Eggs) 2017-11-09


Photo Credit: AnneTownsend