Tribute To A True Friend

I wrote this piece for a beautiful friend of mine who recently chose to end her life. I met her in Golden Bay on my first journey to New Zealand, and it was friendship at first sight. Cheyenne had a troubled background, and growing up she suffered severe trauma and abuse. Despite these hard odds, she was an inspiration and a joy to be around and I am honored to have known her. This is my tribute to a brief but powerful friendship that etched a strong impression in my being…

I could tell straight away that she was on a journey of sorts. Outside the nightclub, the fireplace in the cosy yard had caught her full attention. All around us carefree people were laughing and drinking, but as she sat on the ground and stared down the flames, her face was grave, with a strange hint of awe. I was a stranger in town and took my beer in a corner, observing the scene in silence. Suddenly she caught my eyes and fixed me with the most intense stare – piercingly hard and straight through me – yet it wasn’t aggressive but somehow almost pleading. Unusual. I could only return her gaze in hypnotic surprise. She was in a cosmic state of mind and seemed to be navigating a particularly rough patch of universe just then. A solitary psychonaut making her way home through a soulful storm.



Cornton Goes His Separate Ways

Sometimes I just have to stop and say a big “thank you” to my life for all the great characters I come across on my journey. One of them is my best buddy Anton, whom I’ve known for many a year and shared many a wonder with. I can’t even begin to describe what a good man he is. Anyone who has met him will know what I mean. What can I say, I hope you meet him one day, he will brighten your world without the shadow of a doubt.

For the last 4 months we’ve shared everything but sex to put it frankly. Our friend Corrie, with her lovely talent for teasing, calls us Cornton, and we have merged into some kind of twin-creature: All the time seeking advice from each other, working together, owning a car together, eating every meal together, saying the same lame jokes to each other and working out every challenge ahead as a team.

Now where did that image go?

This photo was taken at the Eclipse Festival in North Queensland, 2012, by a Japanese photographer using an analogue camera. He promised to send the picture by mail once he had developed the film back in Japan. I never thought he would, but hey, some people are just awesome like that.

I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much intense time with anyone and had so little arguing and so much mutual support. It’s been a great ride and a learning experience, driven by a shared apetite for life; for living and understanding it.

Alas, even good times must pass and now Anton’s visa has run out. I’m confidently looking forward to seeing his broad smile again some day somewhere on the planet. Until then, peace be upon you brother, may you wander and wonder well and come back with a tale to tell.

See you out there, somewhere, some day.

PS: Say hello to the Himalayas from me, tell them I said to look after you. No broken bones, alright?