It's been quite a while... hi, everyone! I do apologize for being gone for SO long. I still read my messages here on dA, I just haven't been active because I haven't had the time to do really *any* art since I got my job- which, in itself, is going very well. And a LOT has happened since my last journal entry. The biggest and most important being I finally got to see the Zelda Symphony, in London, as I should have been able to a couple years back for the 25th anniversary. What an amazing and healing experience that was...
My husband had surprised me with tickets for the symphony for my birthday (which was also good, and thank you to those of you who wished me well! I read and cherished each one of your comments!). He bought them back when they first went on sale in January. It didn't sink in that I was going until literally the day before. I wasn't having the normal excited reaction you would expect. Instead, I was suffering from intense and crippling flashbacks and blinding fear, to the point I was physically ill with stress. I didn't sleep the night before. The morning of, while we were on the train to the airport (I decided to fly straight to London instead of taking the train via Belgium- the thought was too much for me), I kept having flashbacks and just cried a lot of the way. I really can't describe that kind of pain, other than it's overwhelmingly intense. The train toward the airport was the closest thing to the train to Belgium, where things happened, that I had experience since, and the anxiety was severe. On the way, though, near a small station we passed, was a simple and artistic graffiti on a brick wall that, when translated, said "It'll all be ok <3". I took solace in that.
When we got to the airport, it felt like do-or-die. I knew my papers were in order. We double-checked and knew they were fine. But it didn't change the fear of the passport control and the horrible things that happened. I've been through passport controls since Belgium, but this was the one that stood between me and London. Just like another passport control years ago. It was misery. I couldn't take it, and asked that we just go through early to have it over with. Staring it down was worse than anything. When I got there, in reality it all went very quickly, but it seemed like hours. The agent looked at my Permit of Stay and handed it back to me, then looked over my passport. He didn't look at it for any longer than 10 seconds, but it felt like an eternity. Finally, I saw him reach for the stamp, and my breathe caught in my throat, before he stamped my passport-- BAM! In that moment, all the fear, all the pain, all the suffering, all the wrongful things I had endured seemed so small, so insignificant as they were firmly and permanently crushed beneath that stamp, as if the hand of God himself came down in a balled fist and destroyed it. He gave my passport back. I made it 5 steps past control before I broke down crying. It was done.
It slowly began to sink in-- I'm going to London, I'm actually going to see the symphony! I got to take a plane flight for the first time ever with my husband. Imagine that- we've known each other for almost 10 years now, and have travelled all over the world, but never together. It was a dismal day on the ground, but up above the clouds, a beautiful day is always waiting. We landed in London without any hiccups. Suddenly we were just there! After a short adventure in attempting to find a footpath from the airport to the hotel (we ended up just hiking along the highway like true adventurers), we took a transport bus to London. Once there, we met up with *Luifex, which was SO much fun! We clicked immediately. We went to a fantastic manga and game store, went to an epic arcade, M&Ms World, Forbidden Planet, Snogs... all the really cool not-too-touristy spots. It was an absolute treat and we had a blast. Of course, being in London, we had to get a souvenir, and a proper nerdy couple buys a Tardis. So that's exactly what we did. I also got a blind Portal Turret box, hoping for a cool one (maybe even my favorite! But dismissing this thought...). As I was opening it outside, Lu said "Wouldn't it be cool if it was the Animal King?" I opened it up-- it's the freaking animal king. I was ecstatic.
Eventually we had to part ways, which was terribly difficult. That longing "No, I don't want to say good-bye!" was only comforted by the fact it was finally time to go to the symphony. We made our way via the tram, and when I finally caught sight of the symphony hall, I choked up-- all that pain and suffering had finally led to this. We went inside, got excellent seats, bought a shirt for me so we could get a program for sentiment's sake, and waited. When it started, the tears came with it. I felt like I wasn't even physically there, because the music spoke so much to my heart. Not too long into the symphony, they played a compilation, including Rutela's Song. That's when I lost it. That's one of my favorites, it's so powerful and tragic, and when sung by a full choir and symphony, you can't help but cry. Boy did I cry. That was immediately followed up by the Song of Healing. My husband squeezed my hand. I'd like to think they played it just for me.
We were also treated to Ballad of the Windfish, one of my personal favorites and a very dear song for personal reasons. I was moved and cried a little again. By the time it was over, there was no doubt it was one of the most beautiful, moving, healing nights of my life. We picked up a poster on the way out just so I could hang it in our room when we got home, as a reminder to myself what a beautiful and amazing night it was.
That was, by far, the highlight of the past few months during which I've been absent. I'm glad I can finally share this happy chapter, and such closure, with all of you, who have supported me physically, emotionally, spiritually, financially-- all of the above, when I felt I had nothing and the world had fallen out from under me. I will be forever grateful. To have this tragic story come full circle, and finally come to an end even greater than what could have been a flawless beginning-- that is healing for the spirit, for the soul.