I miss her so much.
Sitting here, at the Singapore Airport, it chills my spine to think how things might have turned out had I not come to Auckland, had I gone back to EFLU. It was just a little more than a year, the time I had in Auckland, and yet it seems almost impossible now that there is a very large part of my life when I knew nothing of Auckland. And it seems even more improbable that I would have ever not come to Auckland. Isn't it strange, how things turn out to be? Butterfly effect, they call it. You can't help but be amazed, when you really think about it, at how much impact a single turn of events can have, at what chain of developments might be set in motion through a single moment's whimsical action! It was a whimsical action, of course, when I applied to the University of Auckland almost three years back. I did not expect to hear from them. But hear I did. And now, here I sit, at Singapore, again, marvelling at all that has come to be. So much I have that I have gained, and so much that I have lost, and through it all how a single woman,through her life and death, has guided me out of the pit I had put myself in. Some people come in to your life to stay, but never really mean that much to you. Some just pass through, without noticing or being noticed. And then there are those who blow in like the cool west wind, ruffle the pages of your old diary, make a mess of your hair, blow a refreshing breath into your very being, and then, as suddenly as they had appeared, they disappear. Leaving you to wonder whether they only came to make that difference in your life, and having made the difference simply ceased to be? I am not a believer in fate, or fortune. But it does seem to me, that Carl Sagan's profound words of wisdom, "We are way for the Universe to realize itself", have so much more to it than you can ever imagine. I do believe that the most important people in your life come because you really truly needed them. Not because you wanted them. I suppose, then, that the coming is to be cherished, and not so much the loss mourned. For while the people may be gone, the impact they have on your life live on through you as testimony to the kind of people they were. Some have asked, given how close S.A. and I were, how and why I go about my usual academic pursuits so soon after such a loss? Well, I do it because I owe it to her. Not out of a misguided sense of gaining some academic achievement to cover up the gaping hole in my life. There are none that can, and I have given up 'hope' a very long time back, and I live my life one day at a time. I do it because I must. To not will be an insult to all she had helped me learn, so very patiently, over so many sleepless nights. Even now, when I get through my Confirmation of Candidature in less than two months when most take six, when I successfully handle three different projects simultaneously with two of the most famous academics in the world, quit smoking and give up alcohol all by myself, the most important lessons I learned remain the ones I learned from a slim, blonde, Scottish-Irish Kiwi woman, with a penchant for smoking and rebelling against authority. For what I learned from her, I was not taught.
I sit at the Singapore Airport rapt in thought, and in the background the lounge speakers of the Hard Rock Cafe start playing Grateful Dead's famous 1964 title: "What a long strange trip it's been"! How proper! How utterly, painfully proper! And what lies ahead? For once, I am not unwilling to go the distance to figure out.