Sunday, June 19, 2011

A New Beginning

Once, I embarked on a fantastic project. First, I'd meet my true soulmate, fall in love, and get married. Then, we'd have lots of children and create a heaven on earth by designing a life which had just the right balance of challenge and risk and fun and adventure. We would continuously grow in unity and love as husband and wife and children (and eventually, with their spouses), and their children, until, in the end, my beloved and I would pass away, leaving an inspiring legacy for our descendants. The end.

The truth is that no words can describe, three years on from the violent rupture of my marriage, the combination of shellshock and nausea-inducing horror I continue to feel over the fact that this project has been destroyed, and that my efforts to save it have failed. Worst of all is knowing that my children will pay the heaviest price.

After all the conventional sloganeering about "two sides to every story" and "people just growing apart" and "you need to do what's best for you" stops, a brute fact remains: there is no way to justify the destruction of this beautiful family. A million dippy friends and "finding yourself"/"self-realization" articles and cliches could be trotted out; they don't change anything. There is no way to justify the destruction of this family, and the heartache it has caused to the children, and the heartache and trouble it will cause for many years to come.

Certainly, innumerable excuses have been imaginatively created and announced, each one seemingly more detached from the actual events of the past than the one before, and thus, more obviously ridiculous than the one before; but there's no point in pretending anymore that they are anything besides attempts at guilt-reduction and defending the indefensible. We had created a heaven on earth; we had countless adventures and laughs, done a hundred little projects, road trips to California and camping and dinosaur fossil-digging and barbecues and building bird cages and visiting hot springs and making beach bonfires; we had welcomed each new child with greatest gratitude; each day, each moment, as a bound family unit, was a miracle. All that is gone now, replaced by nothing but two souls, still completely bound at the cellular soulmate level regardless of the past and regardless of what either person tells anyone else, just living in different houses now, taking turns visiting the children we ought to be raising together, one of us in the throes of a kind of insane, stubborn hubris which impels her to keep on trying to accomplish what deep down she must know she shouldn't, and the other, a man still unable to conceive of himself with any other woman than the one he still feels cosmically bound to, despite all that has occurred, and who is therefore completely uninterested in any kind of intimate relationship with any other woman - and who is therefore, stuck. The children, I can't go into detail about, of course...but I will say they deserved a lot better than this. And they once had it, which I think makes this all the worse for them.

In a way, I want God in on this. I want a final reckoning. Of course I submit myself to such judgment; after all, this destruction is so rotten, that whatever I've inadvertently done to contribute to it or misguidedly enable it, I ought to pay for, as much as the force which actually lusted for, and caused, the destruction. I am so frazzled, so heartsick, so totally dumbstruck by the violence and insanity of it all, that I want some eventual clarity to replace the confusion, some final, righteous judgment to replace all the misjudgments, some final investigation, with appropriately excruciating punishments meted out. I want some divine order after all the hellish disorder. And I want to know how a parent could look into the young, innocent, trusting eyes of their own flesh and blood, and then walk out the door and destroy everything those children cherish most in life, which they are trusting that parent to protect.

I'm sure I sound bitter. It's more complicated than that, and far more overwhelming. Mixed up with the shell-shock and horror are all sorts of other feelings that never go away, and I don't know if they will ever go away. The incredulity, the outrage, the regret, the sense of loss and failure, the deep conviction of the wrongness of it all, the total frustration and pining for her and powerlessness and sorrow...when does it all go away? My whole adult life I thought of myself as the protector of my family. When it came down to it, it was destroyed from within, and - that I could find anyway - I had no power to stop it. And that - - really - - sucks. I have this terrible feeling I will never, ever get over it.

Resurrecting this seems impossible. But as another old saying goes, "you can't begin again; but you can make a new beginning". Maybe, one day, I will find someone I can make a new beginning with. Maybe I'll be like one of my musician buddies - a devoted father and husband by day, a famous rock star by night - who told me once that dealing with his first wife, and the ensuing divorce, was the worst thing he'd ever been through, but that it was all worth it just to meet his new wife, who was the most incredible woman he'd ever met: willing to accept love and appreciate the gifts he can give her, and who was attentive, supportive, loyal, etc.

Maybe the woman I meet one day will be moved by a love song I write, or excited by an adventure I plan for us. Maybe she will come up with her own ways of infusing our lives with peace and respect and love. Maybe she and I will really complement each other. Maybe she will love my children as her own. I can't say there is anyone like that on the horizon, but maybe that will happen one day. I don't know.

What I do know is that right now....I....ummm....well...I need to buy some horses, and start riding with my kids, as many of them as will come...and we need to ride up to Michell's farm, and ride over to the beach and have a picnic, and ride round Elk Lake, and Thetis Lake, and maybe even ride out through the wilds, near Goldstream, and camp out overnight, and maybe even try to make it all the way up to the Cowichan Valley, and try to keep as much of the magic we once had all together going, for as long as I can...and maybe, one day, a beautiful girl will join me; and the kids will love her, and she will love me, and I'll love her back, and we'll all build a beautiful heaven on earth together. And maybe that heaven is one which will last forever.