IN HOMAGE TO
REBEKAH | ALICIA | & YANA
I met Rebekah at the University's Harry Potter Society. After seven months in Europe, I had only twice met another New Zealander, and it was refreshing to be able to chat with a person who understood my cultural mores. I remember laughing with her about our shared experiences, things so commonplace as mince pies and the Goodnight Kiwi.
It was Rebekah who introduced me to Alicia and Yana, thus inducting me into a powerful circle of feminine friendship.
One hardly ever reads of strong female friendships, and women are often depicted as a self-hating bunch, always bickering, always finding the friendships of men easier to bear, using the word 'dramatic' to describe other women. When women are depicted in close friendships, they often talk of men, as if they have nothing better to do. Think Carrie Bradshaw and her bunch. But, here in my life was an example of close female friendship that defied all preset boundaries.
I would take the bus out to Leith some nights, to hang out at the apartment where they all seemed to live (Alicia being an honorary flatmate of sorts), and we would stay up long into the night talking, watching old musicals on a crappy laptop and pausing it every ten minutes to check on the muffins or cookies that were baking. I loved these times! The other girls were inspirational to me, as we conversed about social issues, and they introduced me to such wonderful movies as Rent, The Phantom of the Opera, and Elle Woods, the Musical. I was also introduced to the Murder Mystery Society, and a plethora of other awesome people.
My strongest memory, though, is of the week leading up to Yana's birthday. We schemed in secret, meeting at Alicia's small flat to make a glorious cake creation - a musically themed tower, filled with tonnes of buttercream. We watched Doctor Who, as I formed icing sheets into folds and swirls, to create the dress of Glinda the Good Witch. One particular episode we watched scared the bejesus out of me: involving angelic statues that would move when one blinked or turned away. When I said goodbye that night, I did not walk, but ran all through the dark streets of Edinburgh, whilst constantly checking over my shoulder for angels.
The party itself was amazing, an accumulation of all those things that made these three women awesome! Yana had shown incredible amounts of imagination, in asking us to create ourselves into a super-hero character for the occasion, and Rebekah and Alicia showed their expert finesse and loyalty in their costumes and party decorations. I think I hadn't laughed that much in months.
Before I left Edinburgh, Rebekah gave me a Christmas present of a book: The Little Prince. I read that book in the airport, in one sitting, and I cried a shit load. It was so poignant at that moment of my life.
The word homage has been used in two ways. One: to define the making of an oath of respect and honour between a ruler and his subject, during feudal times. Two: to describe an artwork or idea that has some other origin; whether intentional or not, the creator often pays homage to their inspirations.
I wish to pay homage to these three ladies: Rebekah, Alicia and Yana, as I greatly respect and admire them for their qualities, and I have also been inspired by them in my life and in my works.