I questioned the reality of what I had just seen, like the witness to a crime (or a miracle) who doubts the evidence of his eyes. It was not only the bird’s unlikely beauty that made its abrupt appearance feel unreal, but its sense of prepared unexpectedness. I wasn’t looking for it but it arrived and I felt ready to see it. I felt like a theatergoer who discovers the play he expected has been scrapped for another, and is pleased.

i think i first heard Morgana’s voice the day after my 34th birthday, when she called me for a job interview and we talked for 3 hours about literature, philosophy, sex, and death. i never expected to get past 33 – partly for hubristic pseudo-Messianic reasons, partly because the Valknut (knot of death) is three triangles, so 3 threes; and partly because i couldn’t see any way of surviving without taking a step back, returning to Blighty to sleep on friends’ sofas and return to data entry – and i had decided to hold my ground or die. i’m aware this seems lunatic and/or suicidal, but on the other hand i guess David wouldn’t have suggested i apply to his school had i not been so evidently desperate, in my calm way.

So instead of now living on a friend’s sofa in Blighty, suffering another miserable minimum wage job, and probably wishing i’d hanged myself in Kiel, i am in my pleasing Philosophenweg flat, working alongside cool TEFL daddios like David, under the thumb of a sociopathic snow elf, that is, Morgana.

i don’t feel i’ve known either before, though that doesn’t mean much – however, Morgana is in some ways so similar to someone i knew in my last life, and another person i knew in my first life, that i guess i attract (and am attracted) to that type – that we tend to be drawn into each other’s orbits – charismatic, angry, homicidal types, often with what i would call “magical” ability.

When i began temping in 2004 i entered a kind of death, and for several years i felt i had outlived myself. That was also when my asthma worsened, so i was hospitalized once a year between 2004 and 2009; although i lacked the cojones to kill myself i nonetheless felt i had no purpose, no right to exist, and would have been glad of a sudden death, a violent death.

i am unsurprised that my 33rd year was so hellish – this year covered the time from when i left office work and my homeland, to my first contact with Morgana – one rarely escapes a prison without sacrifice and pain. But i think now i have really broken out of the dead zone, and entered a new life – i am not foolish enough to think i will be spared suffering; but i feel greater energy, a purpose, i feel that once again i am within a narrative, strange as it is.

The “prepared unexpectedness” is crucial to this, to feeling alive and aware. i know almost nothing of my future – only, very strongly, that someone i knew from my last life is alive now, young, and we are on a collision course as before; but this time i feel we will be friends, and his life will take a better course. Because he seems European, and because he was a Bosche then, i felt he would be in Germany or Austria now – somewhere small, i think, not a big city.

This person was so strongly at the forefront of my mind that i assumed he was the main reason for my coming here – then, a few months ago, i met someone, a boy, of comparable imaginative force; about 900 years ago he had a life that in many ways mirrored my last incarnation. As with Kurp’s indigo bunting, i was struck by the sheer improbability of the encounter – mesmerised, curious, intrigued, by the living boy and who he had been – and i felt it was right, that naturally he and i would meet, and share a pie and talk about music, as we did.

Likewise with Morgana – i never would have imagined someone like her could even exist, let alone that i would meet her – and yet it feels prepared, it feels right, an indigo bunting.