Fate is, after all, and extremely funny thing, isn’t it? Not funny ha hah ay, but funny like quirky, weirdness in your life. We can each map out our futures and stride towards them, but fate will always manoeuvre us towards something it wants us to experience. Not that I’m a fatalist mind you. We all have choices and those choices are effected by us. But if that fate has put you in a situation where you’re looking into the eyes of a terrified kid then… you’re probably not making the right choices in the first place. Right?

But hell… I was seven years old for christssakes.

Because like I say, you can be the responsible one, and be making good decisions (relative to your age), and still be screwed by the things happening around you.

Fate puts a drunk in your kitchen, and fate puts a knife in your hand. But the choice to use that knife is what separates us from fate. No where is it written that you have to plunge the blade. No where is it written that you have to stand back and let bad things happen.

What is written is what you bring to that decision. Each of us are a story in the telling, a bunch of words jumbled together in a great big ball, just waiting to be unravelled by the kitten of fate, swatted, tangled again, and left behind to work it out for ourselves. Those words are written into our bodies themselves, spoken by long-dead voices and sung by long-dead parties. We’re each just a song-sheet issued to two dead people in an aeon past, one passed down between successive canoodling couples. Our bodies are their bodies, their waters spilling into our meagre lives and flowing onwards in an inexorable stream of humanity, forever.

So, and I say without any meaning to arrogance or hubris, I am New Zealand.

That seven year-old boy in a paddock is this nation, because the entire history of this place from woe to go is written into his skin, his bones, his feeble muscles, his clenched fists and bulging eyes. Every event ever seen in this place is his story.

My body has walked this land since the day mankind first set foot here. I’ve seen every sunrise, felt every cold night, survived every winter. I’m made of all it’s foods, I’ve drank most all of it’s rivers, swam in its waters since day one. I’ve killed and died in its wars, and bought and sold its commerce. And I say again. I am New Zealand.

And every second of that history was pushed into a moment.

A choice.

A fate.

Another river held briefly at bay by the single slither of a knife’s edge.