By Hans Ebert
Trina, the girl I married, called this morning to express her displeasure at being mentioned in the autobiography being written and published as a blog on social media. But, why, I asked? I had only written about her with the utmost respect. About being the wonderful human being I was fortunate enough to have met, the girl with whom I fell in love for all the right reasons, married for richer or poorer and with whom we had a beautiful daughter. But, she didn’t want her nor her daughter mentioned on “the Internet”.
Her reaction was disappointing. Extremely disappointing. And once people disappoint me, there’s no point in keeping up false pretences and holding hopes for any kind of reconciliation.
This is my story and I know how and where the threads are sewn, the ties that bind and how this particular chapter ends. One door closes and another opens. Many have opened over the years, but I refused to enter these sliding doors as I remain a U2 song: I still haven’t found who and what I am looking for. But like British Rail, I am getting there. I think. No one compared to Trina. No one else mattered. Past tense.
Writing is therapeutic. It’s helping me find the way. The journey to Rama, especially- revisiting my childhood in Ceylon- has been scary, sad, happy, illuminating, enlightening. It’s helped me explain much about myself, something discussed at length recently with my ex wife. Wife. It’s a peculiar word. Marriage is a strange concept. Life is what you make of it. Only you and not extraneous forces. The truth is out there, Scully. It’s a liberating life lesson when one finally finds it and can let go of traditional and shackled thinking.
How I have arrived to where I am right here and right now by fighting the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune and racism in Hong Kong by being the first “darkie” in an international junior school has also been a fascinating journey. Trudging up those three hundredsomething steps to Quarry Bay Junior School to be chased around the playground every lunchtime by a bigger kid and being called the ‘n’ word wasn’t easy. Having to constantly prove yourself because the cards were stacked against you was competition I welcomed. The rebel had a cause. Cain wasn’t Abel.
Passengers- gypsies, tramps and thieves- have jumped on and off on what’s often been a runaway train to somewhere without any stops. I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s made me stronger. It’s given me that Third Eye. It’s made me the person I am, for better or worse. It’s stopped the journey from ever being predictable. And the journey continues with new players in that chess game of life.
I shall always be grateful for everything and more Trina did for my parents, especially when my mother was degenerating in Melbourne before my eyes as Alzheimer’s took over mind, body and finally her soul. And she did all this after our divorce and asking for nothing in return.
Trina was there when I didn’t have the strength to deal with them and was looking at distractions to get me through whatever hounds of hell I was trying to outrun and find a sense of safety and security no matter how shallow these proved to be.
I shall always remember Trina as a wonderful wife and mother- a woman with great qualities. But no one’s perfect. Not even Jesus. There are days when I think we’re constantly suffering for his sins.
Our marriage collapsed for a number of reasons. If some think it was all my fault, so be it. But a coin has two sides.
If our daughter whom I named Taryn refuses to see me, she has her reasons. I respect that.
If I haven’t been allowed to see my Grand daughter in almost five years for reasons that remain baffling, why confuse the young girl now by entering her life? Let it be. We both know it’s way too late to make amends. Everybody hurts. The “Give her time” mantra ran out of all karmic qualities some years ago. So give it a rest.
The past belongs in the past with no role for it in the future. My future. Which is not to say it didn’t have its time and place. But that time has come and gone though it won’t go away. It will live on in my writing.
#Ceylon #QuarryBayJuniorSchool #HansEbert #HongKong