Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Final reflections of the year

It has been an interesting last two weeks of the year. I've completed the Queen Charlotte track, had a smooth family Christmas, went tramping in the Waitaks and swimming at Piha with my sisters, conquered Mt Pirongia (the walk almost conquered me!), cafe-hopped with my eldest sister and then went to a bar and cafe with friends last night (going to a bar is a rarity for me). Today will bear a nice lunch with mum and a party to see in 2009. It has definitely been my most relaxing, pleasant end to the year that I can remember with any clarity.

I haven't really had a chance to really look back on 2008 with any deep consideration. It has been definitely been epochal; traumatic as well as stimulating. It redefined my future path to the extent that I'll probably let the first half of 2009 run along before setting substantial goals. 2009 is a great unknown for most aspects of my life. I cannot predict where I'll be, what I'll be doing, who I'll be with nor what I want come December 2009.

My new residence in central Auckland has been an experience in itself. I'll think long and hard if it is where I'd like to live longer than the 6 months I've promised. It has been the perfect place for me at the time I came.

Yesterday I made a disappointing discovery: my left rear brake light was smashed (with the pieces on the ground) and a black mark had appeared on the bumper. Someone in my apartment complex or a visitor had pulled out or in unskillfully and damaged my car. There was no note or anything like that. It is possible that someone in a four-wheel drive (that would fit with the damage) with the music on might not notice such a contact. It is very true though that this place is an enclave of predominantly bad drivers. I have, on more than one occasion, had to take evasive action as people reverse out of their car-parks without checking for on-coming traffic. Such is life.

The only thing that I can say with pleasure is that I'm very happily Daniel and, come what may, I'll be pretty pleased with whatever happens. I wish you all a pleasant change of calendars and hope that the time till you have to head back to the grindstone passes with exquisite slowness so that you can enjoy every moment.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Fate for me is not the predestination, but the poetry of life; it is the coincidences and harmonies that mesh the flow of time. It is indiscriminate in its benevolence and cruelty (and infinitely so!): the unlikeliest salt appearing on your recent wound; the gift when you need it most; the synchronicity of our lives; those that enter your life; those that leave; the people who act in concert with you; and those who move against you, beyond words and agreement.

One can believe in personal agency with this kind of fate; in fact, I'm more than happy to exacerbate the effect by chasing it to its conclusion. You have a choice of whether to do so or to just let the moment of coincidence slip by as just a coincidence. I've had my fair share of opportunities and while some of the fate has stabbed; some have opened into fresh fields.

On my right hand, my latest pursuit of the scent of fate ended in a composed, yet wry smile. It opened a window beyond what I knew; it let me see more of myself; but it came up empty. On my left hand, I've been followed by a seemingly inescapable fate, one that nags at me, torments me, tempts me and shadows my steps.

"Coincidence is not a kosher word..."
( a Jewish saying recorded in The Penitent, by Isaac Bashevis Singer)