Living with bad and good fortune

In 1999 I lost a dear friend. Someone who was so outgoing and supportive. I remember swimming at Bronte pool and I was talking to my friend how I wanted to see Natasha and he looked at me blankly simply saying “she is dead”. I went as cold as ice. He tried to brush it off not really understanding my friendship with her. She and Melanie had organised exhibitions and events including me in them. Natasha was a fun person to spend time with. There were times when she opened up to me about her day to day struggles. We talked and I felt she was the most real person in my life. Losing her left me feeling empty and I remember feeling as though her spirit came to hug me one day. I felt her love and friendship even though she was gone from this realm. I always think of her but never really talk about it. She was the most supportive person I had ever met and I never really realised how special that was until she and her son departed this planet. Nature has been my biggest supporter since. My practice of Daoism has given me access to support. I will never meet anyone like her again. She lives on in the minds of people she knew. I know her spirit was always strong and even though she left the world that piece of me that connected to her wouldn’t let go. Like I said before I felt empty but something of her came back and comforted me. For that, I am grateful because she was so strong that her spirit came to comfort those left in this world.

In some ways, I closed myself off from a lot of people. I didn’t want to get attached to anyone. I just felt that I needed to simplify my life. I kept working on art and creative pursuits. Art was like my therapy. It was mostly dark and existential. Even my memoir never discussed that pivotal loss because most traumas left my memory. I literally forgot about a lot of my life. In some ways that were a by-product of my mental condition but also my attitude. There is so much I can no longer remember. Yet I could never forget how important she was to everyone around her. I am glad Melanie is still helping people and giving so much to those she helps in therapy and other pursuits. I kind of cut a lot of people off. Some of those people only because they didn’t seem to care. I took it to heart and didn’t want to deal with people who seemed so ambitious that they didn’t seem to care if people lived or died. It wasn’t that they didn’t care about anyone mind you. They just didn’t have the same attachments. I just wanted caring people around and I was lucky to get that with other friends. Now that we are all older we have experienced loss and good fortune in many measures. Death is a tragedy and it happens all of the time. In the end, I had to make attachments and me, probably have lost a few people here and there. Art and internal martial arts were the two things that I found comfort in. Natasha will always live on in my heart and mind. She wanted the best for everyone.

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