As an adjective the word implies being diametrically opposed or situated at the opposite sides of the Earth which is where I am not only in body but in heart as well as mind, in another world.
That my arrival in New Zealand was diametrically opposed to my transit through Lax airport can be understood if I compare being required to fill a questionnaire on a touch screen, be photographed questioned again in person by an immigration official and then finger printed all in order to get back on the plane and take off the sooner the better to continue my journey to the lady at arrivals in AUK asking me if she needed a raincoat to visit her daughter in Yorkshire in May. From then on it just kept on getting better.
The Air NZ planes in black and white graphic fern emblem design to a group of men from the Islands wearing woven skirts over shorts bare footed waiting for their flight, their perfect dancers bodies tattooed Maori style and note, these being the real thing was all very much another world to La France which had been my point of departure.
My last e-mail submission for Angel Wings a short novel set in Venice was to catch up with me with a rejection note some weeks after arrival . By now I am 3000 miles and counting out in the South Pacific ocean a dot not always on the map to the north-east of New Zealand so it hardly seems relevant.
My illustrious predecessors, the writers, singers and artists all, in whose footsteps I inadvertently follow perhaps had the same immense feeling of calm this affords me. My next work will come from these shores something not yet born along with paintings and the poetry of living. Warm tropical rain forms a mist over the luscious tropical peaks of the volcano the pungent perfume of Fragipanni flowers and Tiara Tahiti, creamy white seven petaled stars fall in spirals to the rain soaked earth. Welcome to the Antipodes!