People who have more and more clever words and freely flowing intelligence than me have written about Peaches Geldof, and with their empathy, have done something to stem the tide of dumping waves of drivel written by people who see this varied, beautiful, hard, unique world in stark black and white. No, not stark: sanctimonious.
It must be simple to see the intricacies of life like that, with no margin for human-ness. No value on individual variation, or the magic of creativity. No striving for something rare, something raw, something real.
For I suspect that is the bland type of world we would have, if people, individuals, weren’t striving for truth, beauty and passion. And I suspect that sometimes those who burn the brightest are singed then scarred by their very own flames, and perhaps, in choosing to pursue the highest of ideals, they can get lost along the way. At least they are looking for a way. Forging a path. Instead of sitting comfortably at home armed with a keyboard, waiting for someone to fall and fail, so they can shoot out judgement on the choice of vehicle, or lack of navigation skills.
I have known six people with six different addictions, that started as something fun and ended (does it ever end?) in pathology.
One never even discussed her addiction, so normal it was. So much part of who she was. She was lost inside the behaviour, not even realising she didn’t know the way out.
One knew he was addicted, but chose never to say it in case that made it powerful, so instead he shrunk it down really small, tiny small, and hid that significant pebble somewhere in his marrow, never to be seen again.
One saw the problem, made an assessment, went through the steps, and stopped. “Forever”, she said. And to test herself, surrounded herself in the very substance, and all of the substance-users every day for work. Until she was diagnosed with death. It was the first thing she did, leaving the hospital, because “Shit, I’m gonna die anyway, I might as well die happy.” I was sad that she had deprived herself so long, if that was what she really wanted to do.
One was so riddled with demons and horrors that he would trip over them any time he ventured inside his own mind, and so he chose to keep them anaesthetised and groggy lest they chase him down, until one day they fought him to the death.
One was completely in control of everything. She could stop any time she liked. She only did it because she liked it. She was in charge go ‘it’. In fact, she shouldn’t even call it ‘it’, as it wasn’t anything. Every single day she woke up to stop it again this day. It was exhausting, but better than losing control again.
One knew it all. He knew he was an addict, and that he always would be. He knew he had to get clean, get clean, get clean because he had a wife and children and he owed it to them to be/do/see/have it all. He both owed them and resented them in equal measure, and he was sure that he would kick it for them, kick it tomorrow, but oh what he wouldn’t give for just a tiny taste. No more, just a taste. He told me he loved it more than anything else in the whole world, and part of me thought he should just be using and forget the rest, if he loved it so much. But that wasn’t for me to say.
Because none of it, not one bit, of any of it was for me to say.
Or pretend to know what life is like for another.
All I know is that we would all do well to look for something to love, something to love more than anything else in the whole world. I suspect then we should do that thing, as much as possible. And hope that thing is a good thing and not a bad thing, because the world tells us there really aren’t any shades of grey.
…From The Ashers xx