I was nearly in tears.

Last night, Dave O brought over his Madonna Confessions Tour DVD that he and I watched together. (Noel watched some of it. Jacqui and James, in their house across the road from us, cursed as their windows rattled).

Some of Madonna’s songs have special meanings to me. One of her songs on her latest album is called “Isaac”, which, every time I hear it, reminds me of one of our friends who is also named Izaac (with a zed).

We met Izaac through our friend Adam, and Noel, Izaac and I hit it off almost immediately. The first time Izaac came over to our house (with Adam and Adam’s flatmates) he was enjoying our conversation so much he asked if he could stay over, to which we said yes… and proceeded to talk until 5 AM! He is a very intelligent and creatively-talented young man.

So, when we heard he was moving to Perth in Australia to be with his father — his parents are divorced, so his father and sister live in Perth and he, his mother and his brother live in Christchurch, New Zealand — I was a tad bit saddened. (We later found out it was his mother who wanted a change of scene and Izaac was going along whether he liked it or not.)

Noel and I always felt this young man was looking for a father figure, something missing in his life. His mother (who, don’t get me wrong, I do like and have plenty of time for) seemed to drag him from one situation to another without fully taking into consideration his feelings (but to justify this, she did have her welfare as well to look after as well as his and his brother’s: a fine balance to try to achieve). So, somehow, I felt that Izaac was always displaced, a vagabond or gypsy of sorts.

Izaac and his mother left for Perth earlier this year. Noel graciously gave him an out; if he didn’t like Perth, he could always come back to Christchurch and live with us until he got back on his feet.

I did get an email from Izaac a week ago; he loves Perth. Having a great time. For some reason he felt he needed to justify to me (or maybe us) that, while he was grateful for our offer, he didn’t know where he was heading in life. Maybe he’d come back. Maybe not. But, he felt, there was so much of the world he’d never seen and needed to explore.

For an artist, I think exploring the world is important. Works become more real and identifiable when an artist is well-rounded. I think of it like a collage; he is now taking bits and pieces from different aspects and time frames in his life to create and inspire him and his works.

So I told him to spread his wings and fly. To tell him to come back to Christchurch because I or Noel or Adam or whoever wanted him back would be selfish. Because, surely, if you love someone — and I do love Izaac, in the same way I love Dave Owen or Jacqui and James or Adam — you can let them go to fly, and if they are doing what they love, isn’t that the best thing?

Last year, Izaac created a painting for us, in an art deco style, inspired from a china cat Noel’s sister gave him for his birthday. We have yet to hang the painting up, but I do often go into the library (where it is stored) and have a look, one last remnant of Izaac in my life here and now. On a pale white canvas, like the ghost of him, he painted circles and sweeping, steady lines and arcs, all merging, all red like blood, merging like blood in arteries and veins pumping through the very real and very alive me in my own here and now.

Madonna’s song Isaac, for those of you who don’t know, goes:

“Staring up into the heavens
In this hell that binds your hands
Will you sacrifice your comfort?
Make your way in a foreign land?

“Wrestle with your darkness
Angels call your name
Can you hear what they are saying?
Will you ever be the same?

“Remember, remember
Never forget
All of your life has all been a test
You will find the gate that’s open
Even though your spirit’s broken

“Open up my heart
Cause my lips to speak
Bring the heavens and the stars
Down to earth for me”

And so the song is very relevant to Izaac, I feel.

The last verse I have listed hits me hardest, as he did open my heart, rekindled a passion for art and writing again that I lost long ago (causing my lips to speak), bringing his inspiration and creative energies (the heavens and the stars) to me (down to earth).

If it wasn’t for him, my blogs (which seems to just flow most days) would not have happened. And for that inspiration, I am truly grateful.

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