Those of you who know me IRL will have, to one degree or another, vicariously experienced the happy hay-ride that has been my recent relationship with an old friend who is now, alas, my ex. It was four months of mostly pure ecstasy, followed closely by four weeks of mostly unmitigated hell, but such is the way of things. Ohhhh - I can be slightly blase now, but, of course at the time the breaking-up part was terrible, and naturally from time to time it still is. His decision but, I really must say, for all the right reasons.
Many of you, in an infinitude of kindnesses, have sat through my delusional ranting, occasional anger and obsessional attention to the songs of PJ Harvey (no one really understands like she does). It's a wonderful universe that can offer up a trip to the bookstore and to the library, long phone calls late at night, a conversation about war, plane fare to the South Island, Wellington's South Coast beaches on a bright day, herons, two views from land's end, a sonnet, a writer's bursary, the offer of a weekend in the Coromandel if I want it, a cup of tea on an old brocade sofa, a compliment and the offer of a carving from a true tohunga, a seat in the stalls while Ms Harvey performed in Auckland, being left to cry, being distracted from crying, being loved, being respected, and being - the only thing you really get in between an infinitude of darkness, before and after.
In the last five months here have been two stark reminders of the darkness before and after being. A close friend of my sister's - in fact her ex-fiance - killed himself outside her Auckland flat in December, and this week a girl I was in primary school with was killed by her father before he killed himself. Mike was ill with depression, made worse by instances of abuse and Graeme and Sarah-Jane were both ultimately victims of Graeme's recently manifested bi-polar disorder. There's nothing to say - except that I feel just so goddamn lucky sometimes, to have escaped the worst of the vicissitudes of the mind. Long may this continue. And, of course, that I'm sad, and angry, and would wish it all undone, but that's not the way the world works.