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Anne Townsend

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Ocean Liners Are Huge, Unwieldy Vehicles

Years have elapsed since I decided to investigate living in silence, without home internet. Decades ago I was still a novice, oblivious to my need for solitude. It has taken much research, experimentation, acceptance of my PTSD, introversion, greed/need for silence, and like-minded friends for me to be living in a private and secluded house in the Karoo.

Ocean-liners cannot change course without a change in direction. Ocean liners are huge, unwieldy vehicles and we watch them change tack only once the decision has been taken.Once that ocean liner is steering in the right direction, do not tell the ocean liner she is ”difficult” or ”avoidant” or ”running away” unless you want the ocean liner to tell you to fuck off.

Ocean liners don’t just change direction on a whim.

In my case, it has taken literally years of scheming, collages, research, writing, soul searching and investigation for the home and garden I now occupy to become concrete, real, live companions. For those of you who over-extend your lives, who thrive on busyness, stress, gossip, workaholism and living in chaos as your ocean liner thrives on these factors, cruise along, and at your peril, decide to try and navigate our lives based on your principles.

In the case of Ocean Liner Anne, she’s deeply committed to silence, solitude, investigating trauma, recovery, victim blaming, rape culture and misogyny.

As for the ocean she’s living on, it’s based on years of navigation.

It’s not your right to ruffle her ocean and make waves in her track.


Photo Credit Anne Townsend, Northern Cape 2019



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