December 19, 2006

The power of youth

I think I have lost some insight in to what I was like 8 years ago. Late teens. Monstrously selfish, a microscopic, insular appreciation of the world. My world. Complacent about how great I had it. My mother. Paltry, petty things had such a catastrophic impact on my self-conception. Hormones. Petrified of change. The struggle to claim identity. So much to look forward to.......

My little sister's good friend died in the weekend. She just didn't wake up on Saturday morning. Her father went in to wake her when she didn't get up. He attempted to revive her when he discovered her unresponsive. She was 19.

My sister is taking it hard. Her group of friends were very tight. For me, there is something powerful in the inexplicable, peaceful way she died. The autopsy is inconclusive. Nothing suspicious about her death. She just wasn't meant to wake up that morning. And as a result, Kelly says it breaks her heart, she sobs in my arms, recounting how her friend's father treads emptily around the house struggling to find something to do.

In my job, I am conscious of my slight frame, my innocent visage. I am a not unattractive woman in my mid twenties sitting at a bench of rotund, homogenous men who have silver streaks in their hair that often falsely proclaims their experience and wisdom. At the same time that I try not to choke on my pacifier, I feel as if I am perched, clasping a beautiful golden chalice. I swirl in my mouth an amber-coloured elixir that will see me, if I was to so choose, standing in that courtroom long after those wispy-haired badgers fail to remember their own names or manage to wipe their own backsides.

I feel fragile and vulnerable right now. I have been manic in the gym, unhealthily interested in the firmness in the mirror, unduly concerned by an imperceptible reduction in the elasticity around my eyes. I seek solace in this transient husk that is my body, that in a celestial second will be dessicated, an indistinguishable part of the earth. My children will remember me, their children less so.

I am going to stop watching the news, because every time I read or hear something about those little kiddies crushed under that landslide with their parents looking on.....or think about Kelly's friend's dad, his spirit just as crushed at not being able to protect his little girl even in her own bed..... It makes you scared to love, and terrified to not love enough in the very brief time we have in this life.