Friday, 23 June 2017

Natural's Horatio

Today is Carmen's birthday. Graeme told me she was afraid of being forgotten. Her life and story have left a special imprint on my life.

One day, Graeme asked me to read his tarot cards. He had never asked before (I'd only offered). I was jazzed. I threw down all the cards. I was instantly emotional. I said, Graeme I feel very emotional. What did you ask. 
He said, it's a yes or no question, tell me if the answer is yes or no.
I looked down at the cards and began to sob
I had no idea why
but I said, your answer is no. 
I asked again, what was your question 
Graeme was quiet. 
The tears still ran down my face.
I asked a third time. 
He said, I asked the universe if I would make it home before my sister died.
My sobs became ugly 
His flight was for 16 December 2016.
I said no. You won't make it home. 
Graeme changed his flight to 2 December 2016

I missed him. I was exhausted 
It was a Wednesday night
I went to my usual yoga class
Then my girlfriend & I grabbed the deep fried chips
There was a dog there 
Sitting alone 
I'm a sucker for a lot of things but not for animals
I respect their power 
But their like humans
We don't all click 
Also, like pregnant women bellies, I never touch a domesticated animal without the owners express consent 
Don't be rude cats. Know your boundaries

My boundaries were uncertain
I was drawn to this animal 
I came closer and sat on my knees in front of him 
Even though it was in public 
He was old
He was also tired 
His owners arrived and gave me the okay 
I took his delicate silver name tag between my fingers
I said out loud: Horatio 
And then to the owners: Hamlet's Horatio, what a great name.
They smiled with thanks.
I know nothing about popular culture let alone memorized facts from culture culture. I've never read, watched or discussed Hamlet. I don't know how I knew the character Horatio.

That morning around 2,3 or 4 am (I cannot remember the time) I received a call from my husband. He said: Carmen died a few hours ago. Some people are showing up now to take her body away. The family was dying. 

My best friend killed himself 2 days before he was 19 on 24 June 2017 after writing me countless poems and songs about how much he wanted to goddamn die. I always said no death would affect me as deeply as his.

I became the death guru. For the years ensuing, when friends lost someone, they'd say - go to Natalie Craig, she knows what to do. 

I still do.  When someone dies I can feel the moment where the world stands still, benevolently watching, for their soul to gently leave their lifeless corpse. 

The sky opens up. The world silently watches. Their soul throws back in laughter, shakes their hands, shoulders and worldly weight; laughs in joy and says I'm outta here baby.

That's what happened with Carmen. It's what happened with my darling Matthew, Adrienne's Mama, The infamous D Robinson and my mama's baby. 

Horatio means time keeper. He was there when Hamlet died. More importantly, he was secretly Hamlets' best friend and confident. He was there every step of the way. Even though no one could see it. 

I met an old, tired, blue heeler mutt named Horatio in the hours she died. She's not forgotten. Through this story she's alive. 

She died 4 days after her brother came home. He changed his tarot and she didn't die alone. 

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Natural's Crystal Castles


I'd known they were coming for months
I'd asked most if they were keen 
The resounding answer was no
No group mentality 
No one knew who they were
No one knew them

The four weeks leading up were my darkest yet
It's not an exaggeration 
Ask anyone 
I'd painted myself in a corner when there wasn't time to let the paint dry
The moment was coming 
Where I'd need to sit on the unpainted small square of wooden floor
Slowly and reluctantly pulling each big girl boot over each of my tiny, tired hooves
Vibrating to every echoing response to the velocity of my gait through toxic smells and sticky resistance 
Axiomatic that I couldn't give a damn that it was all for naught and about the added mess on my way out

After two days of straight listening and a strange dream about the show, two brothers, four yoga mats, four lips and a kiss

I resolved to go it alone

I suppose my canvassing wasn't vigilant
Jamie Lee probably would have loved the shit out of it
But I didn't ask her
I don't know why
Wedged between a strange dream, the dark, a rut and the resounding ornamental sound 
My silent hill

That day, I'd had the worst day
It was the first time I'd ever said: I don't love my job; emotionally stonewalled; physiologically exhausted; neurally negative; all over drained; spiritually anxious; bindingly alcoholic; unequivocally alone; despairingly ugly. 

With them in my ears I proffered the following into the universe: Give me something. Give me anything. Just say yes or no.

The night came
I was tired
In my usually weird work clothes
Let's get real, they were weirder and more awful than usual 

B knew I was down, so we got up to our old dog day tricks and visited the Buddha with a bottle of red 
My veracious yogi joined
The lads got on as I knew they would
We gathered, communed and revelled
My spirits lifted, but that damned Peter Pan Crocodile with the blasted clock between his bearing teeth kept chasing me
I finally interrupted the flow
I said: it's time lads, I'm gonna go it alone 
I was slightly nervous, but going alone was better than not going at all 

VY said we could suss out the scene, so we sat back to let a gypsy sorcerer lead the way
Lit as the wild
The gates of the Tivoli were tattered and old save for the vibrations of that resounding ornamental sound 
I was running on my good name, but the gatekeeper wanted gieldan

In my true clumsy Canadian fashion I claimed that the puck had already dropped 
Between confusion of the terms or the kindness of the universe, without half a pence the heavy wooden gates battered behind VY and I
The two persons of least importance had arrived 

It would take me several thousand words, sounds, smells, photos and feelings to accurately convey the ensuing hours, so I'll sum it up in one:


That moment of breaking between the stillness of our tireless efforts to live  

I didn't even know till the moment of arrival it would work out at all. It didn't turn out in any way I contemplated, but it turned out. 

The universe shouted two things loudly that day:
Natural, sometimes the answer is yes; and
You don't always have to go alone