People don’t grow old; when they stop growing, they become old… DeepakChopra
Morag Anderson attended the Maggie Centre writing group longer that anyone else – over ten years through several recurring cancers. Writing was one of the ways of she managed her illness, expressed her feelings of despair, of pleasure and pain, sometimes joy and gratitude. As Anne Frank wrote in 1944:
I can shake off everything if I write. My sorrows disappear. My courage is reborn
Once Morag wrote that doors will always be there to frighten you.
Morag led the way – as so many others have – opened death’s door. She disappeared , the floor collapsed and then we met again at the House of an Art Lover where Ae Fond Kiss was sung so sweetly with tears rolling down all our cheeks – even the singer in perfect pitch holding her mother’s hand wept through every word and every note. Though death’s door has always been there to frighten us, Morag taught us to see it differently. The thought of death no longer creeps into the cracks between floorboards, no longer lingers semi-conscious. There it is. There is death in every breath, exhaling on a white horse or bog cotton waving on a hillside.
Mo’s birth-day was your death-day – what can I say now a year later introducing your anthology, your writing, the gleanings from your journals of your fellow scribblers. We open your notebooks – the doors to your inner life – uncertain, cautious, not knowing what gems we will find. We open the doors of your pain and pleasure – these doors have always been there to frighten you. No more fear now you’ve passed through the door of death – that unknown place hidden from the living. Where have you gone, gone, gone, gone beyond, gone altogether beyond? Oh what an awakening for all of us – your words still alive and speaking your truth, your joy and sorrow. That last time in the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice, we spoke few words. You were glowing with an exquisite smile holding a bundle of bog cotton over your chest.
Burning Words Foreword