September 11, 2009

Day 10 Walkabout- This Mess We're in

I couldn’t figure it out, the reason for this deep sadness, this feeling of being unloved and alone that I was wrestling with this morning. I know neither is even remotely true. My entry for today kept churning round my brain. I planned on writing something about not writing anything at all. That anything real would be depressing and infectious to my readers, anything happy or informative would be bullshit since I can barely stop myself from crying. Crying over what? I had ideas, but couldn’t settle on the why. It was when I opened my computer, clicked on today's date to start an entry, and burst into tears, that I knew. I saw the date and remembered what happened 3 years ago on this day, I finally knew why this deep well of sadness had opened and was attempting to lure me to the bottom.

I have a story I have never really told. I was asked not to share it by one of the people involved, I chose to comply. By not telling I lost friends, confidence, and self love. It has been three years now. It is time to tell my story.


Three years ago was the beginning of an end. What ended was a friendship that was dear to me, to say it was dear doesn’t even come close describing it. I don’t even know anymore if the depth of this friendship was reciprocal. I was told at the time that it was, by a beautiful man whose smile I still see when I close my eyes. I still carry a small inconsequential note that he wrote to me in my wallet, it is crumpled and stained and says

“I was here- will have replenished promise
<3 PA"

As can often happen with a deep friendship between a man and a womyn, the lines began to blur. We both got confused. I knew I wanted him to be a close friend for a very long time, I knew he was married and monogamous, I knew that keeping him as a friend meant keeping my distance. This is why I would only hug him off to one side when we said good-bye and hello, why I never kissed him during these off-side hugs despite the fact that it was common amongst our friends. I was afraid of becoming transparent, of him and the world seeing how much I cared for him, there was a DEEP knowing that this would not be understood, would be seen as dangerous. I loved him and though he is beautiful, sexy, spiritual and wonderful beyond words, I did not want to be romantically involved, because this would mean lying, being out of integrity and hurting people I loved. On September 11th 2006 events transpired that eventually led to the end of our friendship.

He called me late at night, he was distraught, said he needed someone to talk to. I could say I didn't think of the consequences of inviting him over, but this is not true, I knew, I invited him anyway. Chris was working nights, the kids were asleep. He arrived and shortly there after he was sitting on the floor, his head in my lap as I sat on the couch. He cried, told me the way I stroked his hair reminded him of his mother. He spoke of a deep sadness, a desire to run away from the world, I listened, offered encouragement to let it out. He spoke of the death of both of his parents and how he was struggling to communicate with those he loved. It was intimate, I felt honoured to be the friend he turned to, felt safe with. It also felt wonderful to hold him in my arms, I had been feeling very lonely, disconnected from my body as well as disconnected from Chris as he was spiralling into a deep depression.

We kissed that night and held each other in my living room. We soothed the deep sadness we had both been feeling that day, body to body, soul to soul, in a way that felt very natural and wholesome. It was one night, all our clothes stayed on. We never kissed or embraced ever again.

At the end of the night we made a pact to be transparent, share with our partners what had happened. I knew Chris would understand. We had been polyamorous for years by this point, so the kiss was immaterial. What was harder was explaining to him that I felt something in that embrace and kiss that I wasn't getting from our relationship. My friends partner, a close friend of mine, did not take it as well. At the time I imagined that time and an eventual understanding would heal the wound that was opened by our closeness, this never happened. Our families are now estranged.

I understand the feelings, reactions and responses of everyone involved. We were all hurting, it was messy, light was flooded into places kept dark by fear. I look back now and remember the deep feelings of abandonment, how misunderstood I felt, and know that it was my choices that created the most pain for me. Closing up, hiding myself away, walking into the grocery store, head hung, an imaginary Scarlet Letter upon my chest. THIS is what lost me friends, this hiding convinced the community that an "affair" had taken place, that we had done something very "wrong".

I am not hiding anymore.

What happened that day was not wrong. We were in pain, seeking connection and understanding. I think back to the feeling of holding him in my arms as he wept, listening to the uncensored flow that had been dammed for so long, and KNOW that my intentions were to love and support, to SEE one who needed to be seen. Yes the kiss and close embrace were something I knew, even as I was doing it, would feel like betrayal to his partner. I knew this, and still I wouldn't change it. This may seem unapologetic, maybe even crass, like a contradiction given how I feel about integrity, and it is. I still can not think of it as "wrong". If others want to see it as wrong, that is their prerogative, I accept it, respect it, understand it and yet can not choose it.

If you ever read this my love, know that I still love you. Am still grateful for our friendship. I expect nothing of you, and that as always, loving you is enough.

The piece that is missing from this story, one I am reluctant to add since this entry is already over 1000 words, is the question of why did it happen this day? My friend is, like me, a sensitive deeply connected soul, he is a spiritual man. THIS is the reason I fell in love with him, he loved God in a way that so closely resembled my own love, I felt closer to God and my own truth just by being with him. It took me a year to figure out that he arrived on my doorstep the night of September 11th 2006, the 5th anniversary of a tragedy that effected the world. All politics or ideas of responsibility aside, I believe that most could agree that this was a day of suffering. It is an aniversary that carries a shadow of fear, terror and sadness. The world changed on this day 8 years ago, a change that was surreal and jarring. I believe that this was the reason that we were both so upset, being carried on a wave of emotion that while we played a part did not belong to us. Being so tapped into the collective suffering and joys of the planet makes us susceptible to taking on emotional upheaval that isn't ours.

Seems silly doesn't it? To be all upset one day, not know where it is coming from, freak out, have an existential crisis, kiss a friend and end a friendship forever....sigh.

The last piece I will add is that my friend told me a few days later that the song This Mess We're In by PJ Harvey and Thom Yorke of Radiohead had become "our song". It took me a while to connect that this song is about a one time union which happens in the wake of September 11th...I often wonder if he ever made the connection.

“What does the day September 11th mean to you?” is the question in 12 days journal #151


  1. September 11th? I hesitate to say anything and prefer to think of it as two days before my sisers birthday. Maybe I should stop there, but I will mention the lies, the disegard for human life, the incomprehensible acceptance of a story that makes no sense, Hollywood taking over our reality. Even Neil Young buying into the big lie. It reminds me of Antonioni's "Blow Up" a wonderful movie, which was all about accepting the lie in order to live a comfortable agreeable life. How corrupt our leaders are. But so what. It's always been this way. Why should I worry? I'll just try to do the best for myself and my friends and the corrupt leaders will come and go like the weather. The Matrix is pretty real these days and I would be on the Nebuchanezzar with Neo and Trinity and Moebius.

  2. A piece of information which helped me to gain perspective on the happenings in my life right now was that Mercury is currently in retrograde. I'm not sure if you were aware or not. Mercury retrograde is a time for revisiting the past, and re-learning old lessons. Astrologers will often advise to wait until after Mercury retrograde to make any major decisions or changes. It gave me a lot of perspective. I hope it might help you as well. Love you always.

  3. I'll be brief for a change and just ditto what Anthony had to say. I commemorated 9/11 this year by re-watching Fahrenheit 911...that should tell you where my head is at about it, and I will leave it at that.