Beauty in the Breakdown, Part I
So much has happened since I last wrote here. I've wanted to sit and write several times, but I just didn't know where to begin. Now with a hot coffee in my paw, and a soft pillow behind my back, an unencumbered day stretching out before me I feel up for the task.
I have never loved another human being in the same way as I have Elemental. I opened my whole heart to him, and built a life that cocooned both of us in the true manifestations of our dreams. We had serious joys, and serious struggles. Over the years, as I got to know him better and saw all of him, my love only grew. We were both flawed from years of baggage, forays into darker parts of the human experience, and love lost; I accepted those flaws, and challenged him to be a better man when he faltered with me.
Our love story spanned six and a half years until I made the call to step back. There had been so much deceit, and so much dysfunction growing between us, and I needed space from it all. I seriously questioned Elemental's true commitment to me, and when push came to shove, that commitment showed its frailty and brittleness almost immediately.
Last I left off, Elemental and I had decided to make space for our relationship and spend some time together. We did, and I wondered if he and I would find a way back to each other; the right elements were there, and of course, the whole life that we had built together hung in the balance as well.
It didn't work. We went on some dates; I cooked him some meals, gave him some massage, we went to a show together, watched a movie…. But I could feel that his heart was with Copper and not with me; his pattern. Elemental said that he had been out of love with me for years and that he had never even really wanted to marry me. He told me that my emotional intensity and the way that I love crush his soul, and that emphatically and irrevocably, he did not want to work on our relationship. He tore my heart apart into a bloody mess with his callous irreverence. I felt quite the fool for reopening myself to him, and for carrying a hope that we would mend fences and move forward in a new way. He told me that he no longer felt that soul connection with me. He told me he no longer had desire for me.
I see Elemental in his full self. See how in the past he has struggled with honesty and fidelity. I gave him the opportunity to live his heart out loud in poly; to have lovers, to have sexual and emotional experiences out in the light instead of cloistering it away in the shadows. Instead he took that possibility and made it ugly and selfish, hurt me with it, betrayed me in the very fields of trust and honesty that I thought we were standing together in. The landscapes of our communication and respect withered under his dishonesty and disrespect, and soon our love was laid bare. I wanted to rescue it, tried to protect and revive it, but without him by my side, it sung soft songs of sadness as it eroded within my heart. In my softest of times when I was wide open in grief and sadness he would shame me for my vulnerability; call me hysterical and crazy, and despite me asking him, telling him and pleading with him for what I needed to still my heart, he would rail against me and abandon me.
To this day, there is a part of me that still waits. Out in my gardens I was harvesting a massive haul of basil to make pesto, listening to music on my headphones, the sun kissing my skin in the gentle chill of the first whispers of fall. The garden is always somewhere that reminds me so much of Elemental, and as my fingers busily plucked leaves from stalks, my heart clenched. My idealism still waits for him to pull his truck up the side driveway. To hear the crunch of his boots on the gravel, and feel the strength of his arms wrap around me. My heart can play out the scene in which he expresses his horror at his selfishness, and the hurt that he brought to us; to see true humility in his eyes, and a deep desire to make things right. Tears on my cheeks; half the time I don't even make noise when I cry anymore. The feelings come in a swell and I just let them manifest as they will. If I need to cry for ten minutes and I fight it, I will just cry five times for two minutes.... so now I just let the tears come for ten and feel the beauty and ache of pure sorrow. The swell of the music in my ears, the pungent fragrance of basil overwhelming me, the brightness in the air, the sorrow in my chest; even in those sad, sad times I still feel the immense beauty of being alive, and experiencing the depth of feelings that I do.
He does not come. He does not walk up the driveway. He does nothing to make it right. He marks his body with tattoo after tattoo, one designed to negate our relationship permanently on his skin; a place and a phrase that he had long talked about honouring our love on is now an indelible mark of pride and short sightedness.
Elemental did not honour our love. He did not honour me. The choices that he has made do all that he can to ensure that he and I can never be together again. The days turn into weeks, and the weeks into months, and the weather of my emotion pass through like seasons in my body.
I run. My body is lithe and strong, and I favour the forest now. I have taken to running at night on windy trails, the rush that comes from unwavering focus - keeping my feet in the right spot, a headlamp attracting moths, which often attracts hauntingly beautiful owls as well. I run in the rain, in the sun, in the darkness and the light. I do squats and push ups, and my muscles strain against my skin now. I competed in a muddy, extreme obstacle competition last weekend, and had a blast beyond anything I could have imagined. I hiked a mountain that has watched over me since I was born with friends dear to my heart, and looked out upon ranges that seemed to stretch into infinity. I have a new relationship with my body, and with the world. I root myself into my flesh and my athleticism grows by the week; I used to be a serious long distance runner in my youth, competing and winning district wide heats. I feel that growing inside of me again. I drive out to the city and run up the sides of mountains, and I feel laughter bubble up inside of me as I bound along well worn trails, pews of trees in the church of the forest, “god” living light and full in my heart. It is so beautiful, and it fills me with bliss.
I eat food that makes me strong and bright, that nourishes and protects me from the stress that rears up in my life. I spend more time with my family and friends in the kitchen and at the table, and we eat together; my parents taught me how to nourish myself all through my childhood, and I have been busy preserving food from my garden and preparing for winter. Canning workshops and pickle making, pesto and tomato sauce, frozen beans and hot sauces, the domestic diva in me is roaring fierce and loud these days and I find myself smiling for no reason a lot of the time. Fingers in the earth quiets the soul; we are built to grow and preserve our food. It is in our DNA as human beings to hunt, to gather, to grow and sing amongst that which will enter our lips and nourish our body. Friends laugh in the garden with me, I share that which I cannot use, and the hugs that you get in exchange for a cucumber are surprisingly passionate and grateful.
Elemental was a dark cloud in my life in many ways, and his lack of enthusiasm for life used to pull me into a coma of television watching and wine drinking. I haven't watched a movie in weeks, and try as I might, I haven't been able to even finish an episode of a show I have been wanting to watch let alone a whole season. It is kind of hilarious. I put my garden to sleep, cleaning out beds and covering them with weed cloth and bricks, everything pruned back and ready for the slumber of winter. My wood is chopped and stacked and I am ready to light fires and warm myself and friends in front of their crackling glow. I rarely drink, and my brief love affair with pot has tapered off; it was fun, but I prefer life lived on its own terms, rather than mine.
I have a new handyman at my business and he is quickly ticking off jobs that have languished for years under Elemental’s sullen avoidance. Little jobs that have plagued us for years get ticked off the list like melting butter, and he works for less money than Elemental did to boot. Renovations on the public washroom happened in a few short days and came in way under budget. He makes us all laugh and fits into the culture and family like he has been there forever. I have wanted a new front counter for years, and it looks like it may happen in November, new carpet in the entranceway - I have been cautiously saving for these things for years in a dicey economy, and it makes my heart swell with happiness and excitement to finally be utilizing those funds and giving our shop the little boost of atmosphere that it needs to keep it from becoming neglected and tired looking.
Where you go... there you are.
Me: 35. TD, 43, my monogamous beau. Lily: 31, my lady/lover, in two other relationships. Mahogany: 38, my girlfriend, in one other relationship. Elemental: 44, my ex husband.