Tender is the night

by Bonnie Pockley

This evening I started clearing out a bottom drawer I’d too-long neglected. As the sun sunk slowly in the sky, I organised, and ruthlessly disposed of, many things. Amongst the lot, I found this letter on a homemade card. I almost missed it shuffled-in between some other papers and recovered it only a second or two before it would have ended up, unread, in the bin.

Dear Bonnie,


You’re 28, 3 months pregnant with twins and about to move back to Australia from New Zealand. You’re reading Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Right now, something tells you that you’ll have a boy and a girl although you won’t find out for another few weeks or more. The odds are against it. All you know is that they are non-identical. You worry about what you’ll do for work when the twins are born – after they have grown a bit- when you have the time and freedom to think about career. You are confused by which direction to take: Jewellery, Pilates, Writing or Naturopathy? International Relations just doesn’t make sense anymore. Your heart isn’t in it. You’ve read about and have been lucky enough to meet some inspiring people. You hope you end up being successful, one day, and have started collecting stories of those who’ve made it later on, over 30, not young. Coco Chanel was one. Remember that. You want to travel, of course; to live in Barcelona and Turkey, go back to France and one day, visit Canada and New York. You want an inspired, creative, fulfilling life. You are – despite the way things have unfolded thus far – ambitious. Don’t give up. There are things you won’t remember from this part of your early pregnancy because day-long morning sickness seems to blank everything out. And so, let me now remind you of these things: you were enamoured with the sight of  Lilac and the scent of Damascan Rose, the wild-ness of the ocean never felt more frightening, nor beautiful to you and nothing seemed more tender than the night.

With all my love,