The Teaching: Summary, Contents Autobiography, Contents Diagrams
By Kathleen Long
Why was I born? I think that any accurate biography would answer that question for any individual.
All autobiographies must be a collection of memories. The memories I have chosen are those I feel have had the greatest share in answering that question. As far back as I can remember I have felt that there was an object in my life, something I was living for and although mostly unconscious of it, whatever mental changes took place, this conviction persisted. I do not know when I began to feel it was connected with my writing. When I was about nine I was given an exercise book and decided to use it for writing stories. I went off to the beach with it to write a tale about the sea but soon found myself stuck; nothing came that seemed right. Then occurred what is still the clearest cut memory of this incident. I knew that it was too soon to write, that I had not lived long enough, did not know enough. This overcame my feeling of frustration. I put it away and just accepted that as a fact.
There was a second occasion when I was married and living in Portuguese East Africa. A friend who was writing his first novel spoke to me about his work. He was emphatic about the ease and interest of writing and persuaded me to try. I sketched a plot and went as far as writing the first chapter which he favourably criticised. I cannot remember now why I didn't go on, probably because about that time I began to teach my children, a task I liked but which kept me busy every morning until we left Africa.
It was not until I was thirtyeight and we were settled in New Zealand that my special experiences began. These continued for over twenty years before I wrote 'The Summary', which was an attempt to collect in reasonable form the gist of those experiences. Nothing could have been less like the novel I had imagined I should write. It took me two years to complete and when it was finished, I was asked to write this personal account.
Kath at the age of about 22
Kath with her family in South Africa
Kath on a hunting trip in South Africa
Kath in her older years in New Zealand
For further and/or deeper information look at Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9, Chapter 10, Chapter 11, Chapter 12, Chapter 13, Chapter 14, Chapter 15, Chapter 16, Chapter 17, Photo 1, Photo 2, Photo 3, Photo 4.