Regular readers will have noted my absence on occasion for the last few days and suspected the reason for it. It’s very hard for me to know what to write at this time which will keep the spirit and character of Madang – Ples Bilong Mi alive and providing the same kind of distraction from the vagaries of life which it has provided for me and many readers. However, I can’t stray far from what it has grown to be. The tag line probably says it best. A Daily Journal of a Permanent Resident of Paradise. If I abandon the true concept of a journal and simply keep it light and full of lots of pretty pictures, the occasional minor complaint about life in general, a healthy dose of outrageous opinion and some hopefully funny stories, I could probably enjoy a continuation of the growing readership and nothing much would change.
There are a couple of problems with that. First, it would be a sham. Second, I couldn’t pull it off.
Unfortunately, there is no real paradise here on earth, no matter how much we may wish it. Life can transport us along the sweet path for decades and then take a sudden turn. Only fools believe otherwise. I chose my title and images carefully today, though the reason may not be obvious until you’ve read the rest of this.
Less than two weeks ago, I was out taking shots in a Heli Niugini helicopter, enjoying the scenery and the free ride. I knew that Eunie was sick and we would likely have to go to Cairns to have her checked out, but our hopes were high that it would involve some minor surgery of some sort, probably removal of the gall bladder, at most, and that would be that:
Now, as I sit in front of the hospital alone, gathering my thoughts and watching a medevac helicopter spooling up for a run for someone probably far less fortunate than us, the irony does not excape me. Life can change in the blink of an eye. The situation today is very much different and the hopes have changed radically. There is a high likelihood that there is something very wrong inside my beloved woman. We have no biopsy reports yet, so there is no certainty either way. However, we’ve been told to plan for chemotherapy, probably combined with radiotherapy:
Until we know, there is always hope that what seems very nasty may not be as bad as it looks. Even so, because of the nature of the “mass” it is going to change life for us.
So, what of Madang – Ples Bilong Mi? Well, I am hoping that I can find the strength and wisdom to let it continue to be what is has been for nearly three years now. For me it has been a creative outlet which has given me a new kind of discipline and provided me with a sort of confessional booth in which I can let my thoughts, opinions and feelings drift through the curtain and come back to me filtered through the minds and hearts of others through comments, Facebook and emails. For my readers, most of whom I have never met, but have nevertheless come to cherish as friends – even confidants of a sort – it has provided amusements and distractions which come from off the beaten path. I want to continue that relationship with my readers and enjoy the pleasure that it has given me. I have no intention of leaving those treasures behind as we follow this new path which is being laid out, brick by brick, before us.
I have no idea what the future will be. All I know is that it is going to be very much different from that which I envisioned a month ago. However, our situation – that of life-changing swirls in the current which carrys us along – is not different from that potentially facing anyone reading my words at this moment nor, in fact, anyone on the planet.
Eunie and I have been friends, partners, lovers and soul mates for nearly half a century. This gives us the strength of lions.
This is the hand which we have been dealt. We will play it together.