‘Hi Christine, welcome. Please come in and have a seat.’ The office had a small round table and two chairs opposite the main desk. It was very warmly decorated, unlike the psychiatrist’s office. Christine straight away noticed the box of tissues on the little table next to her. A clear message: obviously, people cry a lot in this kind of situation. It might seem strange to remember a simple box of tissues and not about other things that might have been in the room. To think about it, it is not strange at all: after all, Christine would use that box and its content very often in the visits to come. ‘How are you feeling today?’ Carol, the psychologist, was sitting in front of Christine, with a kind smile on her face. To answer her enquiry as how she felt, she decided to go for the word fine. This was, and still is, her standard reply to that question, meaning anything from ‘really shit’ to ‘wonderful’ or any of the nuances situated in between. However, fine couldn’t quite resemble how she was feeling. At that point, she was probably more tired from the panic attacks and even a bit disoriented. ‘Your psychiatrist told me he has given you some medicines to take. How are you dealing with it, and how are you feeling after taking them?’ ‘Yes, he gave me several kinds. Well, I am following his instructions and I am fine so far, although I haven’t really noticed much change.’ But it was very early days for any real results or complications, as she had seen the psychiatrist only a few days before. Also, she knew that those medicines were a temporary remedy, and that particular day was just the beginning of a long self-discovery 14 journey, as the feeling that something important was about to come to the surface started to grow inside her. ‘I see. And tell me, how do you feel about starting therapy?
Today we talk about From Shamrock to Springbok, a book by Christine Meyrick published with our publishing house Europe Books.
Europe Books had the pleasure of interviewing the author Christine Meyrick, to get to know her better, what prompted her to share her personal story with her book From Shamrock to Springbok, as well as what is the message she wanted to communicate to her readers.
Below you can find our interview. Take a seat and enjoy your reading!!!
- What prompted you to share your personal story?
To be honest it was not something I knew I was going to do. Indirectly, the one thing I think might have influenced me was the fact that no matter how bad our environment was, the love of books had been given to us from an early age; they were also an escape route when things were bad. Maybe that prepared me in some way. Early on in therapy it was suggested to me that I should write down the story of my childhood, not as a book, but as a cathartic exercise, I did try but was not ready until very recently. Getting older and thinking of leaving my story behind, suddenly did appeal.
- What sensations did you feel by ‘reading’ your life on the pages of your book?
It was weird at first, almost felt like I was reading someone else’s story. The best sensations were the bits that took me back to where I could literally smell, feel or touch the memories of the child when she was running free. Those memories perhaps were faded for years, overtaken by the pain of other memories, so in a way I maybe touched my inner child.
- What is the message you wanted to communicate to your readers?
That life is life and as the quote on the front of my book says: Life is a journey that must be travelled, no matter the road and accommodations. As I was writing I also realised that I had an opportunity to give the reader an ordinary citizen’s viewpoint on both the social and political landscapes found in each country and how much they mirrored each other.
- How did your passion for writing started?
Writing was not something that I had a passion about. What I have always had a passion for was reading, especially books based on fact rather than fiction. I suppose this, in a way, has led me here to the point where I have realised how important it is to collect ordinary people’s stories, to make it part of the history catalogue.
- Are you planning to write more books?
I would say that there could be one or two books I would love to write, however will I have the necessary time left to me – not sure. They would be both about setting the records straight, letting the ordinary reader understand the horrors that came with colonization and therefore coming to understand with more empathy “the have’s and the have not’s” situation.
Europe Books thanks the author Christine Meyrick once again for taking the time and answering our questions. We are really pleased to have walked alongside her on the editorial path that led to the publication of her book From Shamrock to Springbok. We wish her the best of luck for her future works.
To you, my dear reader, I wish this book teaches you to approach life as a journey to travel and to make it rich and interesting despite the difficulties or blocks you will surely encounter. Because this is life, beautiful and complicated at the same time and it is worth living it in all its facets because it is precisely those facets that allow us to remember what we went through, for better or for worse, anytime we feel the need!
So, my dear reader, all I have to say is to enjoy your reading!