March 22, 2017
This day last year I stood on your doorstep, and told you that Miller had died. Four days ago we stood with so many others and celebrated Matty’s life. They were both your age. Kids you knew, kids we both had significant connections to. And they both died the tragedy which your very existence provided me a most narrow escape from, so many years ago. I owe you Thomas. It has been a bizarre little year, and hard to believe how much changed, in only 365 days. How much you have changed, in only 365 days. How much ‘we’ have changed.
We shared a roof again for the first time since you flew the mama-coop almost 7 years ago, and you got to experience my home world in a much different capacity, as an adult. During that precious, though most difficult cohabitation (we know why, but this isn’t about my ill-fated romantic escapades), I was gifted with many insights into who you have become, a view that I could not have glimpsed in the course of a less closely-quartered relationship, consisting only of weekly drive-by-huggings. I treasure that unexpected and challenging time we shared.
The kind, sweet, compassionate parts I have always known were readily visible, as always, to my ever-biased eye, and came as no surprise. They have been an integral part of you since the moment you took your first breath, and broke my heart so beautifully, on this day 26 years ago. At 1:29 p.m., Central European Time, to be precise.
Sharing space again was not the challenge, rather the battle we each waged with our respective demons-of-the-moment, which then manifested in our adult-child/childish(?)parent duo. A most welcome revelation during that brief roomie-relationship last spring and summer, was witnessing you put into practice, under highly inauspicious circumstances, some of my oft repeated, and most relentless teachings:
That last one was/is hard for you, and I am tempted to apologize but I won’t. You did, you do good with it! I don’t make it easy. I know.
To my utter chagrin, I also watched you demonstrate some of my ‘best parenting,’ in a number of your habits, confounding, even provocative and head-strong ways of being! I can but express my remorse and regret for those bits, and forge ahead to lead by a different example than the one I obviously provided you at some point in time. Neither mama-flagellation nor Sunny-bashing is the purpose of including this piece, it is important though, to me, that I live with a more balanced view of my heroes. For not even you, my most beloved, all-time favourite human on this planet, in the galaxy, the universe, are perfect. And for me to live with that skewed perspective is a set-up for you, and for me. Because it damn well hurts when our heroes fall off the lofty pedestals, upon which we situate them. That in mind, I will only raise you to an altitude we can both withstand a fall from. Because we will, fall. Splat.
Watching you this last year, the softness you had for your babi during her painful struggle, and for me, having you close, through some of the hardest times you/we have experienced to date, and holy moly Bat-boy that says something (because have you met our life?), has yet again, been my ultimate saving grace. Once more, I owe you Thomas.
Twenty-six will be fabulous BabyCakes, and I look forward to more! More surprises, more challenges, more of everything we have always known together, more crazy, and more learning, about ourselves, each other, and how to evolve and function even better, individually and as ‘the set,’ we have always been. I can only beseech my atheist Ungods that we will always be, that set. ‘Always’ being so fully and inadequately impermanent and all, but you get my point!?
No words, no language (not even profanity), suffice to describe the gift of your presence in my world, for 26 years and counting. Who says I can’t do long-term relationships?! Our relationship has evolved, and not without serious growing pains, to something it has never been before, something I am loathe to label in any way, other than to say it is more grown up. On both ends. Which means you’re right on schedule, and me, well, sorry, bit of a late bloomer in some areas of life…
High five SunnyBoyManChildBabyCakesSnookemBooBabyCzechThommyCzechBatBoy (did I get them all?), we did well! No, we did fucking awesome! Yeah, that’s better, we did Fucking Awesome!
Happiest of happy birthdays to you child!
With the Maddest of Madd Love,
As is… And as the mist obscures the scars of clear cuts on the hillside so the steam from my tea obscures the ache in my bleeding heart It bleeds not because it is over between you and I it bleeds because against my best intuition, I allowed you and I And as the sound of the rain drowns the drone of regret so the heat of simple soup soothes my temporarily ravaged spirit It is ravaged not because you found it Too Much it is ravaged because I knew your opinion should not matter And as dusk falls on the tiny Bay I call my (44th?) home so solitude brightens the darkness in my psyche It is dark not because you dulled the diamond I am it is dull because you painted it with brushes of critique and counsel And as I will always remember our time with bewilderment at self, so introspection brings me here: In this one thing you are correct: I am too much. For you. Never, for those who love me. And self. ~Marcela, as is, not as you need(ed) me to be. September 7, 2016
Like so many of the warrior women I know and love, my life has been rich with experience. Seemingly unattainable goals accomplished, despite (or because of) immense barriers and roadblocks. And it has been fraught with battles of my own and others’ making, many from which I did not emerge victorious, was deeply wounded, and left for dead. There have been times during which I was so broken that I was dispossessed of the capacity to enjoy anything or anyone I love. There have been times during which my pain coloured everything muddy, dark, like when all the water colours on a painting run together. The past was a dirty brush which tainted my present and future. To love someone to the core, and be loved by them, to the core, knowing that the only decision remaining is for us to travel alone, for a while, or for longer, is the epitome of bittersweet. This pain is like no other pain I have ever felt. To feel it at this stage of my human evolution is like no other experience I have ever had. I have no guide, I have no barometer, I have nothing but self, as it should be. This pain is clear, its edges are sharp, and it is single-minded in purpose, in that it is bereft of all that does not belong to it. And it is ever-present. The difference between those muddy, dark times and now, is that while this pain is unrelenting, and at times the wave is fierce, so am I, and I know I will not drown, that the tears will subside again, and until the next wave, I will glide on smoother waters, enjoying the view, in all its clarity and sharpness, from the life raft I am.
June 28, 2016
I recently signed on as a blogger for a fundraising effort for the YWCA, The Rose Project. The myriad issues facing women young and old, are addressed here, and very near and dear to my heart, in more ways than I can articulate. This is the first post of many I have in the works in support of this effort. Please check out the site, contribute with your hard-earned cash as you can, and enjoy some really good reading, written by some really smart folks.
In the course of my informal social research on Ashley Madison (AM), I formulated the following thoughts: Monogamy is a personal choice, morality is pliable at best, and utterly subjective at worst, so these two concepts in and of themselves offer little in the way of answers to the question at hand. I have turned this question over in my mind to the point of distraction, and put it forward to my various networks. There is little consensus and so many opinions that I could have written a book, but I was able to pick up on several themes.
It seems to me, and apparently to others, that when we choose to be in a committed, monogamous, relationship, whether dating, common-law, or religiously and legally sanctioned by marriage, we have entered an agreement with our partner, to be, duh, monogamous.
The folks I communicated with agreed that the trademarked AM tagline is very telling and I keep coming back to it, and its underlying messages: “Life is short. Have an affair.” I believe that at least part of what is so attractive to people about AM and similar sites, is that at the core, we have become a culture of entitlement. One in which everything has become a matter of fun, adventure, personal rights and deservingness, and the pervasive attitude that everything, including humans, is replaceable. If we’re not getting what we want from what and whom we have in our lives, we can get a new one, a better one, a different one, and it’s OK, AM says so! Life is short after all; we should have our cake and eat it too! Our wants have become perceived as needs, and perhaps, a growing laziness to do any real personal work, driven by unrealistic expectations of love and good relationships, are also at play. In Why Women Cheat: A Married Man goes Undercover on Ashley Madison, Charles J. Orlando discovers that many of the women want more (attention) than they have in their committed relationships, but are unwilling to leave their partner for any number of seemingly valid reasons; including standards of living provided by a spouse, staying for the kids, staying for social standing, and the like. It feels like a copout to me. My professional life informs me that well-adjusted, separated/divorced adults can provide great co-parenting, and come to good decisions about money, without living, and modeling, a lie.
The other question I keep coming back to? Why would I commit, lead my partner to believe that I want a monogamous relationship, when I don’t? What happened to just being straight up? Even if I have simply changed my mind about what kind of relationship I want? What has happened to personal integrity? I am reminded of the simple, but oh-so-difficult-to-live-by Four Agreements by Miguel Ruiz, specifically, Agreement One: Be Impeccable With Your Word. Translation: be honest; don’t lie, don’t deceive, if you have agreed to be in a monogamous relationship, don’t cheat; you have given your word.
When I polled my friends and colleagues about their experiences with cheating, most admitted to having done it, and for the record, I have too. We all had various reasons and justifications, but the common threads in this piece of my social research are that we subscribe to monogamy, none of us felt/feel good about having done it, and all of us had intense guilt shame about it. Many of these folks also thought that any culturally accurate answer to the question of why it has become so popular to cheat, needed to examine how our core values in relation to throw-away mentality, has changed over time and in the age of consumerism, (perceived but unattainable) perfection, better, bigger, more.
Stuart D., the one public responder on my personal Facebook page, to a request for perspectives on why AM has become so popular, resonated strongly with my own thoughts about consumerism and the commodification and quantification of everything in our culture. He offered what is for me, a stunning insight into how sites like AM are contributing to the consume/commodify everything mindset, and how that is related to our ability to perpetrate violence: “Once we accept that people can be used and tossed aside violence is a very short step away if we are unhappy or unfulfilled in any way.”
I would add to that the scintillation of an adventure in a life fraught with responsibilities and meaninglessness, the (false) promise of complete anonymity (read: secrecy) because it’s the Internet, the pretense of no harm no foul, and the road to all willing infidels is paved in gleaming gold. In some ways, it is the Eldorado to feed the core of human greed; it offers the appearance of something (extra), and risking nothing. It has been my experience in life and love, that the greatest risk (and reward) of all is the vulnerability created with complete honesty and transparency in relationships. And maybe, just maybe, that is another of the possible answers to the question; Why it has it become so popular… to cheat? Perhaps it is because sites like AM provide the seeming opportunity of getting something, without risking anything, but most especially, not our oh-so-vulnerable hearts, and the potential of someone seeing our truest self.
And then there is the entire issue of AM and similar sites being an ‘online’ thing, and the disturbing trend of psychological disconnect that happens for folks in online interactions, and falsely feed ideas that these interactions are not as bad as engaging in person, even when ultimately, the encounters often become real time and real life, real cheating.
I invite you to consider the quote about Love in the image attached to these thoughts and share your perspectives on it, as well as the following questions:
Do you think that cheating is so popular through an online venue because folks feel as though because it was instigated online, it isn’t as bad?
Do you know anyone who has used sites like AM and what was their experience?
What are your thoughts on making an informed and thought out decision to use a site like AM, after having committed to a monogamous relationship?
What do you think about current cultural norms of replacing what is, or feels broken, as opposed to working on or fixing it?
Love is something Different – Melanie J. Williams
I implore thee;
with Disdainfully Derisive missiles
to Dispute and Discount,
that which Displeases Your sensibilities.
For you will;
Disturb and Decrease,
and in the end;
D e a d.
On the floor.
~Marcela: deflatedly in love, and fully Unfiltered.
Image; with thanks: https://www.angelinawrona.ca
Be still my heart
drilled by the dart
of the man called Dieter
than this curt curmudgeon
with truth he doth bludgeon
the remnants of trolls
stealers of souls,
nurses the valve
no conditions as salve
for a heart left bleeding
leaves me conceding
I am but a babe
in the woods,
Of Nibelungen fame
he sports a grand middle name
Siegfried at center
this soul he did enter
pierced the protection
raised by the rejection
of mangy mongrels
his nerve endings of steel
(re)awaken the fury
leaves this child in a hurry
message often a gaffe
comes from far-a-field
a shining sword he does wield
rips a wound in my oh-so-sensitive-spirit
his points ever-and-always laden with merit
their intent is assistant
for this girl’s e’er and persistent
fear of succeed/fear of fail
constant-companions (mis)read threats to bail
his words the tick tock
an alarm on the clock
of my life and our time
rise’n shine cutie-pie, this love is:
Cleverest one of them all
walks all handsome’n tall
a bowl of bodacious banter
he’s a righteous ranter
full of hysterical hijinks
in an Absinthe-esque labyrinth
caused a cacophonous conniption
tends to and mends with the roar of a lion
safeguards (t)his damsel with fists and love made of iron
reminds that I’m Xena
or just me…
his sweet and sca(r)red, warrior;
Yours always and with all the love I have;
~ The Yve to your Aff; and also fully Marcela; unfiltered, and duly undone by this thing called love.
here we are again, March 22nd; the 24th March 22nd that I have the privilege of sharing with you; it is the absolute honour of all honours to be your parent. My Sunny-Boy-ManChild-BabyCakes, and all the other crazy names I have attached to your beautiful spirit over the years, you know, the ones you initially balk at, but always throw the good-son towel in on, because you know, mama gonna be mama and call you things other than the names so carefully and lovingly chosen for you before we ever met face to face.
I will spare us the regurgitation of all the reasons I love you so fiercely, we can revisit them here in our old(er) age, in the event that we forget, but they are indelibly etched into the very core of my being either way, so when the world blows up (ala Alex Jones ;) ) and we have lost all e-records and interwebs postings proclaiming my mama love for you, we will know anyway.
This March 22nd begs a different message from me to you. It begs a message of thanks and deeply profound gratitude, and with any luck, some-mama wisdom that one day, you will see fit to use, the way that I was able to use the uncondionality you once again showed me, through some of the toughest shit in a while, over this past year.
Thank you for standing your ground with mama in what in the grand scheme of things was a relatively benign little online exchange, around some political ideas on anti v. pro-activism. The discussion we had off-line about the process of it, for both of us, is what real love, trust, and this thing called relationship, are made of.
Thank you for standing your ground and letting me know in no uncertain terms that you wanted the Europe trip to happen no matter what, but that you would not be happy doing it without the mama. It was our trip for as long as we can both remember, for so many more reasons than I can articulate here, and it matters not, for we both know.
Thank you for forcing mama’s hand, in the kindest, gentlest, but completely Thomas-honest way, and helping me remember what is actually important in the world, reminding me what the last five years of struggle and re-building of Marcela, and by natural extension, how I do ‘parent of Thomas,’ has been all about.
Thank you for seeing beyond the surface of everything that had to do with everything about our going home(s), re-meeting your dad, your brothers, your nieces, your nephew, your cousins, your aunts and uncles, all of them, it.
Thank you for understanding my pain through it, thank you for not trying to fix what was never yours, thank you for holding my hand through all of it, in the midst of your own process through it. Thank you for having your mama’s back, unflinchingly as ever, no matter what.
Thank you for making it one of the most singularly spectacular events in my well-used life, other than the day of your actual birth, 24 years ago today.
Thank you for last summer after we got back. For the ear through the phone line during so many tearful drives to and from Nanaimo, up and down that LaMaHat, for the drive-by huggings at PV and the softness in your voice when you could read my broken heart all over me; the one threatening to obliterate everything I knew to be true about me, again.
Thank you for holding my well-lit heart together with the unconditional glue of who you are, and for seeing it, me, as the fallible human-parent I am, and your loyalty to our relationship not despite that, but because of it.
Thank you for expressing your disdain for men(?) behaving badly in both my personal and professional worlds, and thank you for behaving well despite your disdain and anger toward those less chivalrous, less kind.
Thank you for your response to that most unexpected of phone calls this afternoon from your dad, only one of us responded with the grace and wisdom of the Universe itself; clearly, age is no guarantee of these things, and thank you for understanding, once again, my misguided irritation by parts of said phone call. It was a beautiful thing, and that, is all you saw. I take another page from your book.
Thank you for all of the trust you continue to place in me with the really great, and really tough life shit, and thank you for showing me, over and over again, the many variations on any given theme. For an open-minded mama, my ever well-heeled feet can dig in, hard, at times.
Thank you for simple happiness at the recent changes in my life, completely and utterly bereft of chagrin at the speed in which things are changing. Thank you for understanding that risk is necessary.
Thank you for starting to put into action your next great adventure, and thank you, more than you will ever know, for saying you would come back for next April 25th. Thank you for allowing me to mama-guide you, ok, I ordered you, not to.
Thank you for using the lessons of my and your own well-used life, to propel you forward, ever forward, and for teaching me back, my own preach about teaching children How to think, not what to think.
The beautifully important and life(choice)-scarred words that mean so much to you they are permanently etched onto your forearm often bear true Sunny, ‘Storm is prerequisite for mental gain,’ but just as we are the creators of our own happiness, the same is true for the storms, if only by virtue of the reactions, responses, associations, patterns, meanings, we Choose to attach to any of it; the good, the bad, the ugly, the indifferent, the sublime, and the ridiculous.
That there; be mama’s current learning curve BabyCakes, BabyCzech, and Number One Marsupial-Child! It is my most fervent desire for you, that you don’t require almost 54 years of life to get there, and if you do, I have all the faith in the world, that you will traverse the trails, highways, byways and ditches with the same wild abandon and spirit of risk, that you have watched your mama grow into, and continue to understand, that the Only failure, Ever, is not trying at all.
Our Dorothy used to say, ‘pain and suffering are inevitable in this world, continuing misery, is purely optional.’ Curmudgeonly beauty that she often was, she was right.
I love you with the same ferocity and wild that I often go at anything with, only infinitely deeper.
Tattoo on Sunny’s Arm by Sam, Killer Bees Tattoos – Melbourne, Australia
‘Storm is prerequisite to mental gain’ from ‘Liquid Sovereignty’ by Eydea & Abilities