Write it? Don't... say it? Don't. Right it? YES.

by Dale Dickins

Yes, it was a dream lifestyle to live in a cool renovated warehouse in North Fremantle - the hippest place in Perth. 5 minutes away from a stunning beach that went for miles, close to all the Freo coffee shops and I had a red convertible beetle to fit right in to the scene. A 'typical' day looked like this: Wake up at 7 am and go for a walk along the beach 'til 8... jump in the water for a short swim in Winter and a little longer in Summer. Go home, have some fresh fruit for breakfast then prepare for two hours of teaching Body Ethics, take photographs of bums, measure bodies, process payments and do all those businessy kind of things.

After work, go to a Pilates class to learn more about the body and steal some exercises, or have a massage, cranio sacral balancing, Feldenkrais, reflexology, numerology, iridology, Ayurvedic treatment, Homoeopathy, a flower essence reading, or catch up with friends before the next class at 5pm. I gave myself Wednesdays and Sundays off to really relax.

I walked a lot, learned Qigong from a Chinese master who couldn't speak English, his grandson translated the class, and one day sat next to Natasha on the Fremantle train.

She introduced me to the the meditations of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh also known as 'Osho'. Dynamic meditations started at 6am, and woke the day with this mishmash crazy shake up... 10 minutes breathing powerfully thru the nose 'til almost pass out, 10 minutes jumping up and down shouting 'hoo' thru the heels of my feet (don't ask), 10 minutes catharsis which could be screaming, crying, laughing, speaking gibberish (or whatever else needed to be expressed at that precise moment), 15 minutes of pure silence, then meditation finished with 15 minutes of self expressed dancing.

That's dynamics, and meeting Natasha was a dynamic beginning of an incredible learning for all things body, mind and spirit.. She introduced me to the Sanyassin community, had a profound outlook on life, made nonsensical statements that caused me to think and asked provoking questions waking me up to life from a completely different perspective, without copious amounts of alcohol. I visited a wide range of Sanyassin body workers with unpronounceable names, one who even touched the inside of my spine thru my belly after two hours of pummelling, screaming and crying. As a result my clients inherited some of the weird and wonderful techniques I was learning the techniques that I could explain anyway.

There were times I went too far and some people stopped coming to the classes, that made way that made way for a different clientele like Anupo, Asanga, Suchita and Yuthika, who were open to what I was teaching - there was nothing wrong, it was all part of the journey and life was beautiful.

It goes without saying that I attracted a new age guy into my new age space of new aged awareness. Enter Philip (with one L) Korn (with a K), a hair designer slash composer who worked four days a week in his Shenton Park salon. We connected via our mutual friends Susie and Omri, they held regular new moon gatherings and regularly spoke to Martians. Philip and I were probably the most normal at the gathering where we met. He wasn't really in to the whole hippyness of the circle, preferring the corporate style new aged technology of Landmark Education, had I heard of it?

In our first bonding conversation to share the fresh beginnings of a new relationship with Philip I cried as per usual over the status of my relationship with my family. All he said was "you should do the Forum". He told me how it had shifted his relationship with is mother, and mentioned the price for the 3 day and one evening course... I think I said it was too expensive and left it at that.

Over the next two weeks 'do it', 'do the Forum'... was subtly suggested a few more times, it seemed like it was a prerequisite if we were going to start a relationship, so I said OK. The moment I did he called the Landmark office to register me into the next available course which happened to be on the following weekend... I wanted to know how was I going to do that, I'd just advertised to rent one of the rooms in the studio and needed to be at home to meet with potential flatmates. He said he'd handle it, he'd do the interviews and the following week I could meet the people he thought were suitable after I'd done the Forum.

Ok, seemed like a plan. I did the Forum and felt like I was flying afterwards, I'd located and connected with my father who was completely over the moon, saw what a complete bitch I was being with my mother, was ready for a relationship with Philip, his panic attacks of anxiety wouldn't be a problem any more.... and what, the potential house mate was a French, Tunisian, homosexual Jew just separated from his wife and baby in Bridgetown because their relationship wasn't working out and he wanted to explore homosexuality in Perth? Hell yeah, bring it on, I was ready for anything! The Forum was the solution and everybody on the planet had to do it, simple.

Erick moved in and did eventually do the Forum 9 months later... he had 9 months of nagging until then... "do the forum" style nagging whenever an issue cropped up in his already complicated life - like OMG, getting himself into a relationship with a guy already in a committed relationship, and the ex-wife, who was a constant drama. She stopped him from seeing his daughter when he stood his ground with his sexual preference. He was finally coming out... ready to let the world know he was gay, nothing was going to stop him. She was not happy that the counselling to set him straight wasn't working.
Now, remember, I'm saying this from his perspective only, I'm just letting you know the way he presented his story to me, it's a one sided point of view which is sure to be a bit out of balance. In my world she definitely needed the forum, she pressed my buttons too... never mind...... once he did the forum.... then she could... oh, and they do a forum for young people as well, so his daughter could do it and they'd all live happily ever after.

Philip and I were 'dealing' with stuff constantly. He didn't know if he wanted to be in a relationship with me, which meant we were living one of those "should we or should we not" situations for EIGHTEEN months. When we let go of the crap and relaxed we had such a powerful connection, but when the connection dropped out, it was fucking horrible. My new skills had unleashed a screaming maniac one who let loose rather than keeping emotions all bottled up, and poor Philip bore the brunt of my new found new anger.

The more he couldn't be with anger, the angrier I got, the more he couldn't make up his mind, the more he wanted out... but he didn't, yes he did, no he didn't, the crazier I became. I had the tools, I had the answer to everything but I couldn't fix us. So I'd just do another course to see if I could find the solution.

That was the space we were in when we went to Wittenoom for the second time. The first time was just brilliant, we got to see how great our relationship could be. so going back to the Australian outback for another holiday was the logical solution. It wasn't.

We were on the other end of the Richter scale the second time and when we returned to Perth on 18th October 1997, we were at 90% break-up point. It looked like he was plucking up the courage to end the saga as he rode Ericks' bicycle around the lounge room I walked up the stairs listening for those magic words.

Then I stopped listening, the sun had almost gone down and there was a silhouetted shadow of something really, really tall in the studio. I remember thinking, "wow, Erick must have created a statue while we were away..... I didn't know he was in to sculpture... blah blah blah my mind rattled on as I looked again to adjust my eyes and make sense of that shape. I looked up the length of the sculpture and saw a rope connected to the mezzanine Then it hit me... it wasn't a sculpture, It was Erick.

The air left my body and I felt as though something picked me up to push me back against the wall. I screamed and ran down the stairs, Philip was still talking, he'd probably finished the relationship and I hadn't heard a word. I struggled to speak, Erick. Hanging. Suicide. Dead.

He asked me if I was sure, I ran out of the apartment screaming, crying and sat on the curb. He called the police.

I found out later that Erick was chronically depressed, had been taking anti depressants for years, and had tried to commit suicide a few times before... I was so shocked that I didn't know all of that. Here I was fixing up people's problems and I had no idea of what was happening with a guy I'd been living with for nine months.

It just didn't make sense, two weeks prior he had finally been given access to see his daughter, he received a big box of UNICEF cards printed with his Jerusalem painting and it finally looked like his life was turning around. He was part of a group for gay men with children that he'd connected with at the Forum which he'd 'done' four weeks earlier. Although he didn't rave about it like me, he said it had resolved some issues and given him some clarity for what he was really committed to.

I lived with Philip for two weeks and he finally resolved his dilemma, NO he didn't want to be in a relationship with me, especially now. I reminded him of the whole 'situation' and I'd have to move out.

It was all gone, the apartment, the lifestyle, the business, relationship, friendship... my home, all gone. In an instant.

What I did from there will probably not make any sense to you at all, and I'll explain it next week. I accepted a position with Landmark Education as a full time employee and got on the biggest roller coaster I have ever experienced this lifetime. Thank you.

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