"Black, black, black is the colour of a Mexican night."
From its first memorable lines, Mexican Journal hints at the shadows that plagued the mind and spirit of P. K. Page during her tenure as wife to the Canadian ambassador to Mexico in the early 1960s.
In journal entries spanning the period of March 1960 to January 1964, Page attempts to compartmentalize her various selves as wife of a diplomat, tourist, silenced poet, visual artist and religious novice. Her entries acknowledge troubling phobias and spiritual barrenness, as well as her painful acceptance of the blackness of the Mexican night. They document Page’s study of surrealism and the country’s ‘dark gods,’ and reveal her struggle to overcome her personal dark night of the soul through the mystical teachings of Sufism, which would inform her spiritual life for the rest of her career.
Unpublished during Page’s lifetime, Mexican Journal acts as a companion, or more accurately a counterpoint, to the wondrous and sensual Brazilian Journal. Raw in its emotion and bluntly honest in its confessional style, it exposes shadows and undersides in its painfully intense but richly productive analysis of a self that reluctantly faces internal and external darkness.
Mexican Journal is third in series of volumes to be published over the next ten years as a complement to a proposed online hypermedia edition of the Collected Works of P.K. Page. The online edition is intended for scholarly research, while this first published print edition offers an artful text intended to be enjoyed by those few who cherish and wonder at the talent of one of Canada’s greatest poets.