5 years ago today in rural New Zealand, a drunk driver crossed the centre line and plowed head first into oncoming traffic. My handsome dad, the driver of the car Drunk Driver crashed into, died at the scene holding a kind stranger`s hand. A pretty major shit sandwich to hit my family. All I have left of my dad is a silver gun necklace, some holey woollen work socks, memories of growing up with handmade go-carts and treehouses, listening to Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith records. And a white cross on the side of the road.
I don`t usually post such personal truths but felt it important, on this day, to share and remember that life isn`t always going to be pumping waves and tropical sunsets. That sometimes, unforeseen and random shit sandwiches are handed to each of us. I can`t believe it has now been 5 years since the phone call that night, but if anything the way in which my father passed away has viscerally reiterated to me is the fact that our human experience truly is short so don`t waste time. Do the things you love and which make you happy. Do them regularly. Surround yourself with good people and good vibes. Take a deep breath and keep smiling. Tell the people you love that you love them.
And please, please don`t ever drink and drive.
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter`s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
KAHLIL GIBRAM, from his book ‘The Prophet’
Challenging myself to find my happy place. Maldives 2012.
Nowhere is my mind more focused and my spirit more recharged than in the ocean. This one is for you Dad!
*If you, or someone you know, is currently experiencing a traumatic event, depression or just a sucky low point in their life, we have found the following organisations and communities who may be able to help. Please feel free to leave other recommendations in the comments below:
Live More Awesome (NZ)
Wave Project (UK)
So Worth Loving (USA)