Excuse me everyone but as much as she is the flowergirl, today of all days, she deserves to be the bride. I don’t qualify as a best man, nor by far, the best woman, but I am a witness to the story that brought this book and this woman together.
It is often said that it takes one to know one, I suppose for the logical reason that unless you actually personally experience the situation, or emotional story, that you are trying to identify with, you cannot truly know how it feels. You can have empathy but not full understanding. But I think its safe to say that I at least partly qualify.
So, I wanted to stand here as a witness to the birth of this book, but more so to the life/journey that inspired it, or brought it to life, and I would like to point out that standing here celebrating this colorful ‘baby’, it is easy to start romantisising now the labour pains are somewhat in the past, and even talk about when there is to be another. But homage needs to be paid for the journey you have endured, solo surfing tidal waves of well…utter crap and not meandering down the quiet, scenic streams. A life that overnight turned into a D movie, no one wanted to see, or a life, that if it was a dog, would be the ugly, 3-legged rescue, that most people would probably have put to sleep, but yes, one you Kat would undoubtedly have adopted in a heartbeat!
The fact is, we need witnesses to our lives, people who know ALL of what is us, and who know the truth in the story behind the person that stands in front of them. Forgiving witnesses who know that the large glass containing what looks like water, probably isn’t that day, but also the reason why. Witnesses who don’t resort to instant character assassination when the plot is lost for the 100th time that week, and you’re found crying over the frozen food section, and yet, laughing hysterically over one silly joke on the way home. Someone that knows that this ‘you’ is just life clawing away at you with gusto, not a sign of mental illness and that you are probably still safe to be around. As sound needs a medium to bounce off to travel, so do our stories.
Dearest Kat, my fellow Lurpak Danish butter queen, woman of Viking, Lego blood and irresponsible parental upbringing, with your street smart and knife sharp, disarmouring Copenhagen wit, it is your courage of which I really want to speak.
Someone once cackled to me that ‘anyone can write a book’, but the truth is, very few of us do, and more precisely, very few of us have the courage to. Especially one based on own experiences, flaws, intimate, and at times exceedingly embarrassing details and personal chaos, served up with brutal honesty and no places to hide. This amazing achievement is to me not so much about literary ability, we have good editors for that, or even numbers of books sold, but about fearlessness and loyalty to the non negotiable truth that this story carries at any given time. I for one, stand a loyal witness to the skin tearing fear I know you had to face, the total destruction of every safety you knew, and being left with a life held together with one rusty safety pin, and the shere willingness to survive. A blind faith in something inside yourself that from a safe distance whispers of hope, whilst showing you a scrambled picture of a better future to come, but with no arrival schedule or zero guarantees.
You see, we as a society prefer normality, people and lives that fit in, not the inconvenient and unraveling kind that forces us to take too much of a stand in terms of who we are and how much we really care about others. FIFO – fit in or fuck off, well at least don’t remind us of how wrong life can go or put a crack in the well guarded illusion that is our safe everyday life. Kat, how does one describe the bone marrow filling panic, the heart breaking loneliness and the fight to keep that last strand of dignity left intact to fool the outside world that everything is A OK? Are there enough pages, and are the really words that can truly convey emotions of such depth and intensity? How do you make others understand the ecstasy felt when the little things pretend to be normal, just for a day? You try. That is all you can do – try. And to me this is what this book is, the willingness to try, to always try, to laugh at the chaos that for a time is your life, to NOT give up and to always fight for the person you want yourself to know, as you. To dare the truth.
You once said to me, that the real challenge in this entire shit storm, was for it all not to change who you truly are, or wanted to be. To leave something intact inside the emotional rubble, the part that would save you in the end. That was the most profound insight and life changing truth. The rest is a simple reflection of this fact.
Kat, I could not be prouder of you, for what you achieved, and for the fact that you stand here with the guts to show the world who you are, warts and all, fearlessly naked but with a loving heart and humor not only intact, but so much deeper and wicked than before. The one it couldn’t tame. This book to me is a victory in so many ways I cannot describe, but one that you truly and deeply, deeply deserve. One that we all deserve as an inspiration to those of us who might be in need of such. That it is the heart break that turns life into gold, if we are willing to risk it all and to see the immense opportunity for learning and wisdom it also offers. Life is not the keyhole but the entire horizon, and one that needs to be dared and loved despite it all. In this age of political correctness and superficiality, you to me are the real deal, the in your face can you handle my inconvenient truth deal, one I know is to become an inspiration and one I’m lucky enough to call my friend.
You had the courage to invest in you when life seemed to do otherwise.
Congratulations Kat, welcome to the light at the end of the tunnel!