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days when i was immortal

I'm not going to put this behind a cut because since there may well be triggers for you, you should---

STOP READING NOW

--and I won't be able to control that anyway, beyond that warning.

This is the first in what will probably be multiple posts about Ki, now that she has been away for most of one year: I know I'm two weekends early, but so.

This week last year I was visiting my theatre in Texas, THE VORTEX, discussing preliminary plans for a photo exhibit of her work, and a presentation about child abuse, after she came back from Cambodia in July; a prep for the project activities she would be doing at Evergreen, for credit, in Fall Quarter 2008. Our theatre space is tiny but very popular and I would be making arrangements far ahead of time, to find an evening or two.

That next week I was on campus with her.

I related to her light and her dreams, then. And I do, now, fifty weeks later. To a much greater extent.

And I'm the first to admit to you that I can only understand her life of suffering and pain with my head and with my compassion, not with my body. That's unlike almost all of the rest of you, because you have lived --- and are living --- through similiar things, and I never have had to...

And of course I relate to her words. Some of them lived outside of her darkness. All of them now do.

So most of the rest of these words are her own, to share:

::: ::: ::: ::: ::: :::

... those days
of dancing barefoot in the rain
of thinking i loved, thinking i
was loved. of laughing
just because i felt like laughing.
those days when
i was immortal just because
i wanted to live so bad. ...

:::

... Crazy Is
always following the next horizon in the hope of someday catching it
just for the sake of reaching the point between earth and heaven
And beginning and end ...

:::

... I'm going to college in September -- I'm going to be living on my own, and I know I can. I'm going to study to be a social worker... help kids who're like I was, kids living on the streets, whoring, trying to leave it all behind, thinking there's no way anyone in the world truly loves them.
...I did survive. And it was worth it. There is good in the world, and there is beauty in the world. I once thought there was no chance in hell I'd ever want to live. To live not because I felt obligated to live, not because I was scared to die... but because I actually WANT to live. And yet I do.
So. Hang on. It IS worth it in the end.

:::

Today I "adopted" a 17-year-old girl. I've been lecturing her on how she should be living her life-- doing what she's passionate about! Going to college so the can draw comics for a living and do what she loves, moving out of her fairly abusive house, etc... and I'm planning on having her visit after she turns eighteen, around May, and will be loaning her $100 so she can afford to fly over here. It's so fun. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy and stuff. XD

I'm actually planning on either volunteering at a crisis center or with street outreach next quarter :D

::: ::: ::: ::: ::: :::

That "seventeen-year-old girl" was living in the middle of the USA and was carrying on an intense counseling relationship with Ki; at one point she just wanted to fly the girl out to campus and hide her from her parents. So she asked my advice, and she did not like the answer I gave her one bit. But at least she took it {for awhile} :P

She was working on her pro gallery at Deviant Art, posting into it right into the last week of her life. Her subjects were her homeless friends downtown in Olympia. The portfolio was being reviewed by Aperture, and it was also part of her credentials to become accepted by United Planet for a short-term Quest in Cambodia, volunteering at an orphanage and sharing her photo work with other volunteers who were also required to be active photographers. Her acceptance had been very quick.

But she did not even wait until Spring Quarter; when I gave her a surplus SONY videocam, she was right down there doing interviews --- the same night the package got out there to her in March. One, which she did with a girl singer, she felt was "especially strong".

The last thing she said to me in real life as we hugged goodbye on that last Friday was--

"Next time I will come to you."

But she was wrong. There was no next time.

Because she has never left.

::: ::: ::: ::: ::: :::

so, for me anyway, "those days when / i was immortal..." have never ended at all.

Blessings Be.

=== === === === ===

Excerpt from "Poem of a Broken Girl", (c) 2004 by Kiota Bandal
Excerpt from "Crazy Is", (c) 2003 by Kiota Bandal
Excerpt from LJ entry on 31 July 2007
Excerpt from Email to me on 14 February 2008
[All works of Kiota Bandal / Anna Rosenfeld are (c) 2008 by the Estate of Anna Rosenfeld, All Rights Reserved.]

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
shatterlife
Mar. 30th, 2009 03:09 pm (UTC)
Whenever Ki wrote her last LJ entry and we all started finding out one-by-one that it was her last, I set a "google alert" in my google email address to track the internet for the use of the words "Kiota" and "Anna Rosenfeld". Google will email you a link to the place where the keyword is used if their ever-searching bots come across it. It was my desperate attempt to hold onto Ki fueled by the hope that this was all somehow a mistake or fake. Being the victim (along with so many others) of so many "fake" suicides online these days, this time I would've been happier if it had really been "fake". I just wanted Ki back.

Well, as you mentioned, it's been almost a year, now. I have usually gotten at least one email a day finding the word "Kiota". From these emails I have found out that there are a few towns in other countries with the name Kiota, an organization called Kiota, a person on entertainmentbug.wordpress.com using Kiota as their pseudonym, and also, the Roguski family have been celebrating the birth of their daughter Kiota Louise on their blog since October 3, 2008.

Whenever I first saw the alert about Kiota Louise, I felt a shift in the ache in my heart. As I read their blog, I celebrated with the Roguski family, and their creation of a new life. When Ki left this part of the world, I felt like my part of the world stop turning. Being able to quietly witness baby Kiota's birth and growth opened my eyes back up to the flow of the universe so to speak.

I'd never known anyone like Ki when I first met her and I've never known anyone like her since. But I see her everywhere I look. I see the same world that she captured in her pictures and she still fills me with the motivation to press on in my life and help other people like she wanted to.

Ki, you are still most loved and always in my thoughts.
silverplate88
Mar. 31st, 2009 10:23 am (UTC)
That's wonderful about Kiota Louise, Shatter. Wonder how the Roguskis chose her first name... as far as I know, she created it as a contraction of the Korean verb "kiotara", which means "to turn around." This correlated with her interest in things of anime' and Japan and the Far East.

I'm happy that you had the chance to meet her. We are both blessed.

One of the greatest gifts I ever have been given in my entire life was the chance to restore the money I had donated for her trip back to the charity, and we worked together to use it to help build an addition to the orphanage building she was scheduled to volunteer in. That directly affected the lives of four little abandoned girls immediately, putting a roof over their heads and some food and clothing in their lives too. I was able to post photos of them, too.

Like you, I see her everywhere I look too. To state the obvious :P
stac46days
Mar. 30th, 2009 08:54 pm (UTC)
Knowing her birthday was in April and seeing it on LJ she has crossed my mind many times this month. I wish like most of us that someone would have ended her pain the way she tried to do for so many others.
It still hurts.
Kiota and I share a future as far as our degrees are concerned, and for the same reason.
silverplate88
Mar. 31st, 2009 10:24 am (UTC)
I know you do, Stace, and I'm happy each time you come to post and share... for the whole year, now!
silverplate88
Apr. 3rd, 2009 01:41 pm (UTC)
I also want to remember that she just didn't only "try" to end the pain of so many others, she was successful enough that Emails came in from many places across the world to her parents, in that first week of grieving, telling them how much of a difference in their lives she had made. They were overwhelmed. Because they had had no idea of the scope of that...

Her cousin Elizabeth posted about it.
cruciatus_x
Mar. 31st, 2009 01:38 am (UTC)
Could you send me her poems in an email, please?
kteays@gmail.com
silverplate88
Mar. 31st, 2009 10:25 am (UTC)
You bet, cru. Probably it will be more than one email :O
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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