Thursday, 26 November 2015

The Secret Answer.

There are ninety-two blog entries I have written and never published. I just counted them all. I wrote this one in August 2012 and called it "The Secret Answer." It was hard to write about my brother back then when he was still alive without "outing" him as struggling so hard with life, his darkness, his suicidal thoughts, his emptiness.

My brother Cambo killed himself in his flat in Newtown on a Tuesday morning in October 2013 - fifteen months after I wrote this blog entry see I can do maths. Last night when I finally got to sleep at 3am after my friend Zoe and me text words and voice messages to each other I dreamt I took a raw piece of corned beef sitting in my car in the hot sun out of its plastic and put it into my my slow-cooker that my mum gave me. I've used that slow cooker many times over the years to cook big family dinners back before I left the family unit and broke out on my own.

I was broke - not financially that's easy to fix. I had finally broken spiritually and that's hard fucken hard as shit man we do everything we can to avoid being broke spiritually but it always catches up to us we cannot outrun our broke or our dark or our fear or pain for very long you gotta stop and catch a breath. If you stop too long it all catches up with you and you face it and own it or you lay down in your flat in Newtown too broke and too tired and you close your eyes because you've run so very hard your whole life until that very moment and now you've decided to outrun your own breath.


The Secret Answer. 12th August, 2012.

I saw my brother last week. I never know how much time will pass before I see him again. When it came time to leave I followed him outside, hugged him, and didn't want to let go. My mind raced with inspirational shit to tell him. How do you give the world to somebody, hand it all on a platter with a nice bow, fix everything? You can't.

I cut all of my advice, my teachings, my truth ... into a few sentences for him.


"You can do any goddamn thing you want, in this world. It's all the unseen things that drag us down. Live your life with an open heart ... tell your brain to shut up. Your brain is not your friend. Pretend for a second that you don't know everything ... and listen to things you can't see. The answer to everything in this life is Spirit. Give more attention to your Spirit - it's the secret answer that not many people know. 

It makes heroin addicts not use heroin anymore. It gives suicidal people other options. The depressed among us ... something to hope for. It's all in your Spirit, man. I swear to God Cam. It's hard - it's why most people don't do it. But fuck me, it's worth it."

He smiled. Wryly goddamn it. He hugged his earnest sister, hard, and walked off. "See ya Eed."

I threatened all of my Angels. "You better bloody well look after him."

They will. They owe me.


In my dream last night I looked at the use-by date of the cut of corned beef I'd bought from Norm's butchery in Wentworth Falls and it said "Use-by Jan '16" because everything has a use-by date especially people. In episode one of Vikings season three Lagertha dared to ask The Ancient One "When will I die?" and I fucking fist pumped for her as only few among us would ask when we're going to die. Would you want to know? Lagertha wanted to know. Fuck yeah I'd want to know my use-by date. It would make life more bearable.

Anyway the point of my dream was the fact that corned beef was one of my brother's all-time favourite meals and when he lived with us years ago I'd purposely cook it to entice him over from his flat above our garage next door because I wanted to see him sitting at the table with my boys and husband eating a meal he loved. All the men I loved sitting at the one table. Cam would always, always help clean up after dinner. Always until I said "I got this, bro. You want dessert?" But he wasn't a dessert guy so he would thank me for dinner and creep out into the night but he wasn't a creep, oh no. He was a beautiful magnificent broken-spirited man until in the end both life and death got to him. In that order.

In my dream I opened the plastic wrap and put the cut of corned beef in my car and looked in my glovebox for a carrot, bay leaves, peppercorns ... all the ingredients I needed to make the meal I have refused to make since my brothers suicide because how dare I cook his favourite meal if he's not there to eat it? My car was overflowing with boxes full of objects from my entire life and I did NOT want to cook corned beef without my brother I mean I was standing on the side of the road out of breath and there was no power for my slow cooker anyway. Should I just sell my car? There's an answer. Most times there's many answers to one problem, right? Right?

Often there are no answers to things we need to know the most and for the rest of my life until my use-by date I'll be wrestling my brothers death like a crocodile because I have so many unanswered questions it doesn't make sense why he lived, why he left, why I'm still here, what I'm supposed to "do" because life is essentially meaningless we all know that and that's the source of all of our pain but those among us look to create meaning in our lives to make it more bearable. A year ago today I was in Uganda for World Vision. A year later I'm sitting in a half-furnished flat with an overflowing car and no meaning. I mean, I'm not mean. I'm just fucking inherently, filthily sad.

See that photo up the top there? That was the very moment Bono caught my eye in the sea of faces in the crowd of a U2 concert back in Sydney in 2006. I'd waited all day since 6am to claim my place at the very front right up touching the stage. Bono was walking around looking at the people and when he came to me he knelt down and held my hand and sang into my eyes for about twenty seconds. The song was "Love and Peace or Else." The exact words he sang as he and I looked at each other were:

We need love and peace 
Love and peace 
Baby don't fight 
We can talk this thing through 
It's not a big problem 
It's just me and you 
You can call or I'll phone 
The TV is still on 
But the sound is turned down 
And the troops on the ground 
Are about to dig in 
And I wonder where is the love? 
Where is the love? 
Where is the love? 
Where is the love? 
Love and peace 

At that point he let go of my hand and a stage guy handed him a white blindfold with the words "COEXIST" written on it and he sat at a crudely bare drum blindly banged on it. Blindfolded, he couldn't see, just feel. (My youngest son is learning African drumming with his dad. He drums on everything, He's a drummer now - you just do something and claim it, own it like Eminem says.)

I didn't sing along with Bono even though I knew the words I just let him serenade me and the look on my face I imagine was one of pure bliss, thanks, love .. for this man who means so much to me. The songs of U2 are the soundtrack to my life and Bono is one of the best poets this world will ever know. For twenty seconds he and I looked at each other and he recognised something in me as I stood there on my tippy-toes wearing red patent pointy shoes. Magic happens when you wear red shoes. One hundred thousand people roared behind me but that moment with Bono was one of the most intimate moments of my life. More intimate than any sex I've ever had. Spiritually intimate.

That moment? Was one of the moments I was trying to explain to my brother if you just stay and persevere and live this life.

These moments of pure joy in the Spirit do not happen often but when they do, Cam ... oh my sweetheart when they do they are worth everything. They are worth living for.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Write to be understood, speak to be heard. - Lawrence Powell

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...