A blog for her friends to check that she's still alive, when she's been missing for a while, and what she's whinging about now.

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Friday, August 27, 2004


'Dark mother always gliding near with soft feet,
Have none chanting for thee a chant of fullest welcome?
Then I chant it for thee, I glorify thee above all,
I bring thee a song that when thou must indeed come, come

'When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom'd'
Walt Whitman

'Where is my trust in what I believe...?

I was always the dark priestess, when it came to on or off-line priestessing and if there was a choice of priestesses. I'm the one who rang our entire family with the news that Nan had died, one by one, delivering the news that they had lost their mother, grandmother or sister. I was the one who then drove around ensuring that no-one grieved alone.

When folk die in the lives of friends, it could be anyone who responds, but I've always felt like the one most 'comfortable' for want of a better word. I'll 'phone them and cant with them about it. The dark priestess. Not just in death. I see my role as the first port of call in matters of madness, war, attack, all of the above. The catcher in the rye, in the sense that I understand this:

That is my place in time, except folk aren't generally children and can usually see the bloody cliff. Half the time, I'm just climbing down to get them off the ledge halfway down.

So what went wrong?

Nick Aylett, Clive Southall, Cham Patel, Kathy Davies and Warriormail Mike. All in the space of four months.

Those are just my friends. Me and Mum were canting either and she named another four people, all in their late teens or early twenties, who have died or been killed on our estate in the past two months.

I feel like I've not stopped mourning in living memory. WM Mike's funeral was today. I went to the other four funerals and was a wreck at Nick's. By Kathy's, I'm just glad that Aud was there. I've been pushing it all inside, but none of these people deserved to die. At least three of them were my hero(ine)s before they died.

By the time Mike died on 22nd August, I was hysterical at the news. I haven't eaten properly in two weeks, what with one thing or another, and I'm currently ashen and looking very drawn. It's only today that I've felt like I can function outside a haze, so I know I'll be alright. Monday night, I just sobbed and sobbed for them all and for the past decade. Mike's death broke my heart, but I think it was also the release for the other four.

I'm not guarding the cliff at the moment, but, as Anna pointed out, I'm not the priestess for this moment.

You know sometimes we need someone to take care of us so we can heal. Always being the strong one has it's drawbacks. I'm lucky in my life that I've not lost very many people in my life. Anna is right you do not have to be the catcher. You won't fall but we will be there to walk away from the cliff with you.
There's a time to be the Priestess and there's a time when the Priestess knows when to put her hat away and just Be. You are still strong. You're just mourning. The hat will be there when you're done.
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