The spring before my thirtieth birthday I was heart broken. I had a fairy tale romance with a man from England. We met in Australia, instantly fell in love, and spent the next five years adventuring until we settled in Canada – ready to build an assumingly fabulous long life side by side. The bubbly bright girl with some mighty opinions who could always find a reason to smile was in pain. Well that was a good story, for heartache of some form is part of every fairytale, isn’t it? Our love story was epic while it lasted and in the end – my heart was grieving. A naive girl from Northern Ontario who believed all people, in the end, would choose love as I would, crumbled when someone chose their fear instead. The man I trusted would never hurt me, abandoned me. Perhaps we didn’t quite know enough about love to make it. I wonder what the stats would say if we could measure how often someone chooses fear over love? How often hearts break that never really needed to. I wonder how quickly we could turn our world around if we simply turned the tables? When the opportunity presents, what do you choose?
Time, as it is, is inescapable you see, so eight moons after our separation I had the inkling that I was to start dating. WTF, dating, well I never, oh how terribly unsettling – me, dating?! I was almost thirty and I had never “dated” (of course that was before the internet and dating sites really woke shit up). Like a good girl though, I always listen to my intuition. Of course, I fight it at first, just for fun you know – but then I put my gloves away and move on with the “master plan”. This time the master plan seemed to be dating.
As “luck” would have it, men were everywhere. Any corner I turned I had men asking me out on dates. “All” in, I said to the universe …..with nerves that rattled like a newborn toy. I soon said yes to a coffee with a fine looking gentleman named …um, James. It. was. fun. I felt free to play and flirt and show off my confidence with peppy attitude and enjoyed every drop of teasing out each other’s inner animal. Dating was new to us both. He was recently divorced, me newly separated. We quickly discovered how fun it was to be grown adults in the dating world. Then I met Brady.
I was working with my mentor at the time, an intimidating woman with eyes of steel and words that hit her target (my gut) every time. I did discover a bunch of fun in the dating world, but alas I was still deeply mourning my best friend, my love, and my adventure mate. I was so shocked by our break-up that I shook in terror every night for months – frozen by the haunting revelation that darkness can win. My mentor advised me to go to this five-day event called an Enlightenment Intensive. “It will speed you through your catharsis faster that five years of therapy could”, she said. I went. PS, the “Enlightenment Intensive”, was intense. Fuck I’m glad I went.
On the last day of that event, a young assertive looking guy came up to me clearly confident in his purpose. I was kind but uninterested. I took his e-mail. I couldn’t shake this damn guy out of my mind, and eventually, I had to reach out. Immediately he did everything he could to secure a date. He was successful. Our first date was memorable. He challenged me right off the bat with his direct confidence in his manhood – “Wear a dress and bring a change of clothes to rough around in” he says. That made me mad. Real mad. The words “don’t tell me what to do, I’m not a barbie doll, screw you and your arrogance” repeated themselves in my mind …often. I went, and I followed his instructions. That boy did everything on that day right. Lunch at a charming place, indoor rock climbing (we had to play together), dinner at a fancy restaurant with a great vibe, and a romantic walk in the snowy moonlight. He opened doors, paid for bills, and joined in at the many moments I took to admire the beauty of well, everything. I even mentioned how I’d never been to a greasy spoon but one day dreamed I’d be that cool ….he picked me up first thing in the morning for my first greasy spoon – a little hole in the wall where the owner feeds the homeless every Wednesday. I didn’t want to like him – but I was impressed by his uniqueness. He was confident, bright, honest and upfront, and spoke of deep shit others mostly hide away from the world. I liked him.
Brady lived and worked out of town but had half of every month off. The day we enjoyed a greasy spoon breakfast, he was off to visit his grandmother (more points) and then away working for two weeks. It was Christmas so I wasn’t to see him again for a month – Christmas day. I was fine with that – for what he didn’t know was my ex and I were still conversing about what went wrong and how could we make it work. I saw him at Christmas (I saw them both at Christmas). After Christmas, I received an e-mail. “Are you kidding me, is this for real” – It was a poem, written for me by Brady. I share it with you with the trust that what is in our hearts, and yours is sacred.
“what is a sparrow with wings unbroken?
does it sing more, eat more, live more?
does the Devil cry at its lightness and innocence?
what of the broken, the shattered, the silent ones
which are we?
we cannot dream to say we are whole
how many masks do we wear?
how many lies burn inside?
we have our true self, the neglected one
the self we’ve forgotten whilst we create the self society sows
and yet another self to satisfy our lovers
so many projections
so many masks
so many delusional illusions piled waist deep like the victims of some holocaust
murder, mayhem and madness
suicide and savagery
corruption and conservation
all these the results of trying to be something other than truth
and what is that truth
do we swear by it?
tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help myself
or filter it
pollute, poison and pressurise it
bottle it like a message and toss it to the infinite sea of empty
discarded like old socks
time will tell its tale
all can share in this known datum
the truth is infinite!
chaotically enchanting and a filthy lie
all at once a conundrum of deception, depth and distortion
all at once an emptiness
a severance package of lies told honestly.
what of the sparrow?"
I love poetry. What only the universe knew was (because I was private about my love affair with words and spirit – until this moment at age 39 as my fingers type away on my keyboard) writing poetry is what had and has always gotten me through pivotal transitions in my life. Our entire digital speak for the next two months was via poetry. I was hooked. For the next 8 months, all of Brady’s time off was spent discovering love – with me. All at once I was given permission to be completely honest, completely me, via a poem, an invitation really. A brave young man, standing firm yet confident dancing with words in his darkness and his desire to know light, invited me in. With my brave and vulnerable reply, this poem, I said yes.
“Darling sparrow, you forever search as you fly through the sky, hungry and yearning, do you not know – your perfection flies with you.
Beloved Devil, the lightness and innocence of your truth streams throughout me like the ecstasy of an orgasm received from a lover
Broken, shattered, and silent ones – do not fool yourselves, I still hear the echoes of your glorious song, I feel the vibrations of your celebration dance
Listen with me – use your courage to celebrate
Admit that accountability belongs to the self… no one else matters
we are all but a reflection of the same existence – madness, and beauty.
Stop raping your own truth – forcing lies and forming tragedy
This quest is cyclical, a lifetime of searching for a fortunate few to be gifted the wisdom that we were already whole
…and what of the sparrow…it Is!”
Funny thing about relationships, every human comes with a momentous amount of story – events and emotions that craft who and how we are. Bringing two people together means a whole new story has to be written – but, what to do when no one is willing to abandon their past? Forgiveness is essential I suppose and most of us don’t even realize what we’re holding onto with our behaviors and priorities, are traumas of injustice, destruction, and confusion. We are lovers, us humans. We’re just not very good at it is all. What to do then when two powerfully impassioned, scarred up alpha’s come together for love?
Brady was born in the dry airy mountains of British Columbia, Canada. His father was out of the picture when he was two aside from the occasional summer month. He then moved around from here to there until his mother settled down with Brady’s soon to be step-father. He had one full blood sister, a half sister from his father, and another half brother from his mother. A few step-siblings came into the mix along with Brady’s new step-dad, and even a few more kiddos Brady’s father adopted along the way. Imagine my face when he was telling me his family history. My mom and dad are still married, and I have an older sister that my mother had when she was young (my father is the only dad she knows), and a younger brother. I lived in the same house until I was 19. More or less, we’re an “ordinary” family.
Let’s just say Brady’s father was too cool for parenting but just cool enough for parties and alcohol. His step-father was a short, psychologically stunted man who successfully destroyed any sense of worth and hope in Brady’s young mind. Brady grew up on various farms and an occasional town where he learned to hide in books till he grew old enough to compete with his step-dad in the Calgary Stampede. He learned to prove himself to his step-father with his good looks by racking up the only kind of trophy his step-dad seemed to appreciate – women. As a young man, Brady grew tired of his masks and transitioned from books and girls to drugs of all kinds – attempting to find love by escaping with others like him who hadn’t had a very warm welcome to humanity. At 17 he was kicked out. Important to note – Brady’s stepfather – the man who tore down Brady’s spirit and confidence, accidentally helped Brady grow incredibly strong in his spirit. At 20 he discovered personal development. He took control of his pain and immersed himself into the healing world. He loved knowledge and any craft that took care, anything that helped build others up. He wanted to thrive. He met me at the tender age of 26.
I grew up on the edge of a smallish town across from the woods in Northern Ontario. My parents both deeply valued kindness and generosity and as such worked to instil the same values into their children. My father, the son of a selfish mean man and a proud nurturing woman, used to think money was evil. My mother, daughter of a tortured, chaotic man and a proud jokester of a woman, had a deep fear of life. From my eyes, they were highly motivated to protect us from suffering and pain. My siblings and I all had a surprising amount of freedom and trust from our dear parents. I grew up with tonnes of kids and played outside as much as the school would allow. No school, we were outside. I enjoyed climbing as high as physics would let me on tree tops, attempting to outrun the boys and replenished my young soul by playing mommy with my dolls. I loved making people happy and began making my own income as soon as I could to help out.
My cup was always half full – thank you, Mr. Antonio (7th grad teacher), for sharing that metaphor with a bunch or 11 yr olds. I guess I lived in a cocoon. Or, um, well, not really. Both my mom and dad grew up with alcoholic and abusive fathers. They both knew neglect and abuse. My father grew to hate power, my mother compensated by overmanaging everything. Like all normal families, we had problems that we didn’t know we could fix. Important to note – my grandfather, a tortured sensitive soul who let his pain destroy my grandmother’s spirit with his toxic, chaotic temper – taught me how to love and embrace the darkness. Regardless of how sick he was in his spirit, he always had the door to love propped open. I left home and College at 19 to find answers to questions I didn’t yet know I had. Armed with love, and a certainty that magic must be out there – I left my cosy, safe nest. Like Brady, I had a fiercely strong spirit. I met Brady just shorty after my thirtieth birthday.
For both Brady and I, our twenties were full of awesome adventure, discovering new territories, love, risks, missed opportunities, and the unwavering belief that magic is out there.
We met and I swear the world went, “it begins”. Three months after we began dating Brady told me he wanted to marry me and have kids. I said “we’ll see”. 8 months after our first date we moved in together. Shit got real. Brady was incredibly direct, unemotional, impatient and judgmental. I was intolerant, aggressive, heart-broken and judgemental. If my ex and I had brought out the best in each other, Brady and I brought out the worst. Good thing we’re spirited. If it wasn’t for our fire, we would not have been able to listen to the countless mentors we had setting us straight, giving us advice, feedback, and essential reflections. It took three solid years for Brady & I to learn how to love each other. Why did we stay together??? We were committed to love. Because of love we have faced our ghosts and demons. Instead of being my motivation for force, he is now my biggest reason for surrender. Instead of trying to protect and direct me, he trusts my feminine intuition. The woman with the steel eyes said this once: “love is a verb”. And it is. Actions change everything. Emotions add colour.
After our three years long “holy shit that was crazy but so “fricken good” hump, the momentum of all the work we did to experience joy, peace and rockin’ intimacy in our relationship took off. What was to come after that neither of us could have prepared for.
When Heaven & Earth Collide