If I right this very minute pulled on my wellie boots and slung a leg over Shelly & Jeremy's fence, tiptoed through Charlotte and Johanna's funky ol' hodge-podge of a tudor house plus garden and threw myself over a second fence, I could be standing in her backyard. If I then pointed myself due south with a lean to the east and walked a block and a half, I could be at the edge of the water where her body was found. A couple of options are open to me at this point. I could turn on my heel, head straight north and land on my doorstep in a minute or two. Or I could.
I could trace and re-trace this triangle with sharp imaginary pens in my head over and over, from my house to hers to the beach, my house to hers to the beach, from my house, trying to fathom how I could not hear, help, or know this beautiful, brilliant, desperate young woman drowning herself in the cold Pacific waters one block from my home. While I slept. While we all slept. There is much in the space inside the triangle's lines.
Of course, how could I know? Our universal voice is pretty hard to hear in the chaos and minutiae of our every day. I could not.
I can be desperately sad. Confused. Sad some more. Not really confused. I remember.
I can remember what it is like to be 16. To feel overwhelmed by your body. To be overwhelmed by your mind and your thoughts. To not want anyone to think you weren't normal. After all, this is weird, right? I'm acting weird, right? To want the world and not be sure it is yours for the taking. Not sure if you really are smart, beautiful, special enough to take your place in the world. I can remember having an imperfect, non-nuclear family. I can remember feeling awkward, feeling like my ground wasn't as solid as everyone else's. I can remember. I remember my grandmother telling me that once I turned 18, I would feel better. I remember thinking she didn't know what she was talking about. My grandmother was right.
I wish Freya could have hung on, until 18, or until whatever it took to find and love herself again.
All I can do is re-trace my triangle and pray for Freya and her heartbroken family. I wish I could do so much more.
Rest in Peace, Love, Joy
Freya Milne, February 2, 2010
This song is beautiful: Ford Pier's "Why On Earth"