Hands down, without a shadow of a doubt, it’s easier to coast on, to re-join the merry-go-round. Easier by far, to look the other way, to try to forget, to try to ignore the core of me that’s screaming away in its tightening vacuum. Easier, much easier to distract myself, to ‘get on with it’, to ‘solider on’, to ‘cheer up’, to ‘chin up’.
“Lets ave the beer another beer it’s a fine idea my man.”
Busy, do, do busy. Do, busy, do.
Silence, stillness and being alone in empty houses don’t help.
But moments of reflection come, whether sourced or forced, sought out or stumbled into haplessly. Whether it’s for a split second – a sudden jolt, whilst running in the morning rain to catch a London Euston train – or for 10 minutes or more – listening to someone talk about ‘purpose’ in life and work in a wind soaked marque in wet Windermere.
Refections render me useless – as a person, a shell of a man, a car crash of who I used to be Before. It’s because I’ve paused. I’ve stopped for a moment or for a handful of minutes.
Because I have no idea how I’m going to get over this. It feels like, in those moments, I never, ever will.
And later, I watch this video that Iz filmed on the 18th January 2016. They were in Chiang Mat, Northern Thailand, their first stop after a week in Bangkok (I checked the details in Iz’s diligently recorded travel notes, with her accompanying drawings to illustrate events).
It’s the one video on her camera phone that doesn’t seem like her. Izzy was boundless, relentless, ceaseless. She had a restless energy to explore and live life. She never sat still, she always turned the music up. She never shut up. For 19 precious years.
So, in this moment (44 seconds) in Northern Thailand, did she actually stop for a second?
Why did she film this? Was she looking for something? Was she struck by the silence and the ceremony of the ritual she and Beth were watching? Did she actually, for once in her precious, short life, take a moment to reflect?
Just to throw it in there, and for the record, thanks to Spotify, ‘Love Yourself’ by Justin Bieber was the last piece of music Izzy listened to.