Saturday, September 12, 2020

25 years ago

25 years ago today, I arrived in New Zealand as a tourist, marking the beginning of the story arc I lived for 24 years. Until last year. Since then, it’s been a new story arc, one that in some ways has barely begun.

I left New Zealand later in September 1995, and returned early in November to stay, and I’ve livered here ever since. Something I wrote (twice) in last year’s post has proven to be prophetic. I wrote: “I’m still here, and that’s what matters.”

Last year, I simply meant that I was still in New Zealand, that my story was continuing, because when I said that in the post I had no idea that the particular story that began on September 12, 1995 would end a week later. After that, it really was about me and the fact that I was still here—both in New Zealand, and also alive.

September 12, 1995 was what I’ve often called a “foundation date”, because that’s what it was: It began of the story arc I lived for the following 24 years. On that day Nigel and I met in person for the first time after, following months of online chats, emails, and phone calls. Clearly things worked out alright despite what was, at the time, an extremely unusual start. I suppose that, in a sense, the story’s end—with the fast death of Nigel—was also extremely unusual. Maybe I should’ve expected an unusual end to a story that began unusually, too.

I came to New Zealand to be with Nigel, first as a tourist in September 1995, then to stay the following November. This country became my home, because of my life with Nigel, something I realised was happening even before I began this blog. And because this was the first significant date in our story’s timeline, it’s always been special to me.

Today is also the final anniversary I shared with Nigel. Last year, as with every other, we just said “happy anniversary” to each other, and nothing more. Our “real” anniversary was some seven weeks later, but Nigel didn’t live to see our “real” 24th anniversary, which ended up making that particular September anniversary last year very poignant for me, because there were no more after that. That sort of thing is common enough for people who’ve experienced profound loss, I suppose.

In any case, I’m still here. Is that what matters? I don’t know. I don’t think so, but it’s now what my story is about, and today is still that story’s foundation date.

Previous posts about this anniversary (the first three only mention it):

Anniversay Time (2007)
Blogoversary 2 (2008)
Anniversaries Three and Fourteen (2009)
Where it began (2010)
Anniversary of the beginning (2011)
Another anniversary (2012)
18 years ago today (2013)
19 years ago today (2014)
Twenty years ago today (2015)
21 years ago today (2016)
22 years ago today (2017)
23 years ago today (2018)
24 years ago today (2019)

This image up top is the "Memory" I shared on my personal Facebook this morning.


Roger Owen Green said...

My first day of college at New Paltz was 12 Sept 1971. And coincidentally, I just spent an hour on the phone with my friend Mark, who I met on that very day.

Arthur Schenck said...

Coincidences can be good things—I love it when they are! Mind you, that good ol’ human talent for pattern recognition is probably the reason we notice coincidences at all, but still!