I have just found out that my best friend when I was a teenager died a few years ago. I had been trying in vain to find her for the past few years and now I know why I couldn’t find her. She had a voice like an angel. She knew one thing, she was meant to sing. I waited for so long after we lost contact to see her singing on T.V, when I could say, ‘I know her’.
“At the end of my suffering there is a door. Hear me out: that which you call death I remember. It is terrible to survive as consciousness buried in the dark earth. Then it was over: that which you fear, being a soul, unable to speak, ending abruptly. You who do not remember passage from the other world, I tell you I could speak again: whatever returns from oblivion, returns to find a voice.”
The Wild Iris (abridged), Louise Gluck
How could this be? How could she be gone when she was meant to sing, to light up a stage with her golden hair and powerful voice. How can something that was meant to be drift away? Her death has shaken my understanding of the Universe, of how things are meant to be. If something as certain as my friend’s voice has become lost in the wind, surely the words I write will become damp from the tears that I have shed and wash away. Not meant to be after all. There are ghosts around me tonight. I feel her watching, whispering my name. But she died a long time ago, why would she be here now? Our friendship is a distant and yet clear memory. I knew her every hope and fear then. I knew her dreams, as she knew mine, and she will always be my friend.
Kerry Willcox 19: A truly wild iris