Five days on and my soul is still restless.
Talk has been plentiful; I know I am merely adding to it, but I just need to have my say, as most people do. I know he is gone. My mind tells me so. But the heart and soul proclaims that this is a man who cannot - will not die. It is inconceivable. A man with "that much zest for life" (everyone's said it; unfortunately I cannot think of another way of phrasing it, and I think they got it right) cannot be removed from the hearts and minds of all he touched; even if you did not know him, or never met him. This is the kind of man people look up to; the happy-go-lucky hero, giving his all for everyone - and everything - else.
The first time Steve "touched" me was when I was watching a special documentary he did on whales. Not the one in Arctic regions that landed him in hot water - I am talking about a show he did years' before that. I had been watching his series for a while and admiring him, but I never felt heart-wrenchingly moved (if that's not a word, it is now) until I saw that documentary. The whales were beached; dozens and dozens of them lined the shore, black tablets on the grain, utterly helpless. Steve and his crew did what he could to try and save a few; if they did I cannot remember (forgive me, I have a poor memory for ... everything), but for the rest they had to sit back and watch them die. The pain and turmoil in his eyes as he spoke was enough to set me off. Even now, if you could see me write this, the tears have welled up in my eyes, and I find myself scrambling for the tissue box again. That passion, that raw emotion, surged through him and went airborne, and despite the fact that I have seen many a tragic tale of beached creatures of Oceania, it was his story that helped me to let go and give in to the woe.
Speaking of which, Germaine Greer comes to mind. I had not even heard of this woman until Wednesday night, when my parents were arguing (well ... they were in agreement but angered agreement over the topic) about her comments on his passing; apparently she was an advocate for women's rights, and the English language changed because of her (no longer could one say "tradesman"; it had to be "tradesperson" [apparently "tradeswoman" wouldn't be acceptable either; rather contradictory, isn't it?]). Last night Channel 9 posted a 'phone poll on whether she should apologise for her "attack on Steve Irwin" (their quote, hence the quote marks). The poll closed at noon today. As I was unable to watch the show to see the results, I can only assume the rest of the nation is as outraged as I am at her blatant lack of morals and disregard of family tragedy, and that the majority of the vote would have fallen on YES.
I am curious to know how little Bindi will handle this situation. Poor Bob barely gets a mention, and he will grow up not knowing a father save from distant memories and what information he can gather via friends, family and technology (Internet, T.V., et cetera). And I am sorry to have to leave him out, but Bindi will really have a load on her. I am not talking about "the pressure of running the zoo" or anything like that. I am curious about how this has affected her psychologically. What if, at some point in her life - whether it be now or in the future - she entertains the idea that maybe she had partial blame to her father's death? I am not saying she has! Do not jump to conclusions before I have finished. I am just wondering whether or not she will ever think something like: "If it wasn't for my show, he might still be alive." Pray she does not; it is not her fault. The whole thing was a horrid accident. But if she does, imagine the trauma that will befall her? How will she cope with the notion? Will the mere thought become her inner Hyde, eventually consuming her? Or will she take satisfaction in the fact that he died doing what he loved, and that he would - perhaps - rather have died on the job than, for example, in a hospital bed as a cripple, or in a run-down flat (for, say, had he been denied doing what he loved)?
There is nothing more I can add to the conversation; I do not know the Irwin family (my sympathy and love to Terry, Bindi, Bob, and everyone else), or their friends, and I certainly cannot say that I got the chance to meet him and have my life changed moreso than others. But I do know that he did change me, as most people of idolisation change people without ever meeting them, and that the comment about him not being invincible is incorrect. Steve Irwin will always be invincible, because he will always be wrestling crocodiles in our hearts.
The Ink Thief.