Saturday, 19 January 2008


NZ has been rocked by the brutal murders of three young people in the space of a week. The latest death was of a young Scottish woman visiting our country. Adding to the surreal nature of these events have been the deaths of Sir Edmund Hilary and then the poet Hone Tuwhare. It's been a little weird because the latter deaths (both relatively peaceful) are of men, both in their eighties, who have made much of their lives and who have become NZ icons; yet the young people died horrible deaths and were robbed of any chance to live long and successful lives.

The other morning on the way to work, I took a corner too quickly and on the wet road, the car went out of control. Until I managed to regain control, I was a whisker away from a serious collision with an on-coming car. Of course I couldn't help but wonder if I too could have died that morning.

This week, then, has been a heavy one in many ways. However, this morning I felt the heaviness lift a little. Some fantastic flying by the young albatrosses out at the Albatross Colony helped. Plus there are now two chicks that have safely hatched. I am beginning again to believe the quote by Louise Bogan which I use on my header.

Surely the strange beauty of the world must somewhere rest on pure joy ...

RIP: Sophie, Michael and Karen


Mama Llama said...

Oh, Chief:

What a powerful post indeed.

It made me think about a lot, remember a lot. I know you understand.

Each and every day, we need to count our blessings.

Today I will drive with the children a couple hundred kilometers to the south. The snow isn't supposed to start until the afternoon, so I am sure I will be there in time. Please think of me; I do still get so nervous...and hate admitting it!

Be well, Chief.

carole said...

Such sadness for the families of those young people. Edmund Hilary was indeed an icon. I remember watching the film of the conquest of Everest at school and that it came at the same time as the coronation of the young Queen Elizabeth - those were very different times.

rel said...

The untimely deaths of youth forces us to face man's inhumanity. It's a concept too grievous to accept!
Glad you pulled out of that skid in time to avoid collision. What a scary incident; I've been there and the adrenalin spurt is not a pleasurable one.

Catherine said...

I'm so glad for that whisker. We don't want you to become another statistic. I really felt bad about the latest murder of the Scottish woman, because she loved New Zealand and thought it a beautiful place, and I don't want the Scots to think badly of us. I feel such a strong link to Scotland.

About Hone Tuwhare - my boss's son (an accountant) said "who's he?" I guess the world of poetry is still quite a small one, despite his stature.

Avus said...

I read of the murder of the Scottish girl in Taupo and remembered our time there and the views over that beautiful lake. Such an occurance seems unbelievable in such a paradise. Yet; "et in Arcadio ego".

Becky Willis Motew said...

Oh, those deaths must be very chilling, CB. I am so glad that you regained control of your car. A semester does not go by that I don't see a student who has had a family member or dear friend killed in an auto crash. Life is fragile.

Glad you're in it.

Di Mackey said...

My world was rocked over here, as I learned first of Ed Hillary's death and then Hone Tuwhare.

And I've been following the story of the young woman murdered up north, stunned by the tragedy of it all.

I'm glad the albatross lifted your spirits and that you regained control of the car. Very glad.

Take care

Anonymous said...

Great post--yes, the news is shocking. I'm also concerned, as a teacher, that schools and school grounds are increasingly the sites of horrible violence. And take it easy on the road!

McDinzie said...

oh my....I dont know if I liked reading about your close call....but at least I am reading about it from you instead of something far more tragic!! a lot of sadness there this week....I wish they had given us a public holiday for tomorrow...I would have liked to have watched the celebration of a mountain of a man!

S. Kearney said...

Poignant post, CB! I'm glad you righted the car! :-)

Katherine Dolan said...

Yikes! I'm glad you're ok, Chief.

I didn't hear about the three murders, but will think about those three young people today.

Joyce Ellen Davis said...

"Men are, that they might have Joy."

So sorry about those young people. My brother is dying. He said last night "they" were playing Faure's Requiem for him, asked his wife if she had ordered it...he said I was a good sister, I asked him to hug Mama and Daddy when he sees them, and to be sure to leave a light on for us. Like Motel 6.

But maybe you don't have Motel 6's in your neck of the woods.

Kay Cooke said...

mapi - I trust the trip went well and safely. I will be paying a visit to your blog soon to see!

carole - Yes, very different times ...

rel - Thanks - so true.

catherine - It's very sad.

avus - Taupo is a lovely place - we can't let it be spoilt. We all feel for her family.

becky - Thanks - glad you are too!

di - Thanks Di. We need some good news.

harvey - I am driving very carefully.

mcd - A mountain of a man - I like that!

shameless - So am I actually :)

katherine - It is kind of sobering.

pepek - Such a lovely comment - that's sad about your brother. Haven't heard about Motel 6 - but appreciate what beautiful sentiments you've written.

Clocking Out

 I have been neglecting this blog for some months. I think perhaps I should face facts and accept that it is indeed time to retire this blog...