Wrapped up in my crimson bath robe, with Closing Time (Tom Waits) on vinyl playing, rain pouring down, and a strong black coffee, I am enjoying being the happiest I remember in a very long time.
We are all just a collection of memories. Painful, peaceful, plentiful, poignant, and pregnant with possibilities we are packed full of plummy pieces of everywhere we have been, and all that we have seen.
A couple of days ago, we had some of the tribe around to our home as the skies opened up and sheets of warm rain drenched the decks, our yard, and our guests shoes. It was a magical day, and my friends held their gaze and asked me: “and are you okay?” or “but do you hear me when I tell you just as you tell me, that you are beautiful and inspirational and good?” and that set my eyes into streams that rivaled those falling from the eves of the home that has hosted so many moments over the years. This life cannot be perfect, and none of us will walk through it unscathed or safe from battle scars and hard learned lessons. But we all have our moments. Moments have made me feel like an outsider and unworthy of the Love and respect I so freely heap on anyone and everyone who crosses my path. Moments have made me feisty and fearless, but they’ve also clearly made me scared and unstable.
2018 was a testing time. For my family, for our friends and their families. The political, environmental and economic landscape of our planet has been tossed and tried in ways that have left the thoughtful among us confounded, and the fearful unfortunately fortified with an arsenal of untruths and unsustainable solutions to situations they perhaps don’t even understand, as the choices and chances they make and take do not serve them or those around them.
Meaningful moments this year were not always good, but sometimes they were magnificent and magical. A long night at a hotel bar in Edinburgh talking to a totally random team of huge hearted humans from all corners of the world changed me forever. Imagine this: A priest, a professor, a single mom, several Scots, an activist and some business men walk into a bar, and talk until it closes. Sharing laughter, tears, loving insights and truths often only strangers could see so clearly, and so many secrets that we will carry with us in our suitcases of memories since that beautiful night. One of that night’s tribe broke his arm skiing on Christmas eve, and others among us are battling with bills and bullshit in our various corners of the world. We can call on each other if and when we need, and it’s amazing that one or two fleeting moments made us meet and forever be entwined.
This year, I wish you magic and meaning in the moments you collect. I wish you the strength to see the sadness and struggles you’re given as a chance to be the comfort and kindness you know in your heart we all want and deserve. Bitter or better I think are both strengthened together, so seek those who see you for the beautiful being you are and find joy in seeing your success. Steer clear of those false or fair weather friends with velvet tongues and gimme gloves. Do the things that bring you joy and challenge you, and be ready to fail so you can then learn, and find a way to fly and coax others to do the same.
So, if you are reading this and you’ve suffered or struggled to the point you wondered where you’d find the strength to keep going, let me stop and congratulate you for carrying on and being here to read my meandering schmaltz. You made it. I made it. We made it through this exasperating year and we are both here.
The next few weeks will be full of family, friends for some of us, and quiet and lonely moments as well. It has been a blessing to be able to say I Love you to so many friends, lovers, collaborators and mentors over the past few days. Soon my soul sister Krissy and her two sons will arrive here in Aotearoa and we will travel around the North Island with no itinerary, just a tent and a Tesla. We will be collecting moments and maybe meeting up with some of you reading this now. I know we will pass through Tauranga and Thames, and hopefully make it to Wellington as we wend our way around paradise. Send me a message if you’re up to visitors and maybe we can make some moments of our own.
Thank you for reading this and so many of my emotional outpourings this year. I don’t know much about what this year is going to mean for me or so many of us at this moment, but I do know that sharing it with the vast and varied broken and beautiful angels on earth will bring new magical moments that I can’t yet imagine. So, buckle up buttercups. We are in for a bumpy and beautiful ride.
Aroha Nui (Big Love) to you all.