To be honest, as I sit here tick tick ticking away on the keys my mind is flooded by the images of 2016, which ended but a few hours ago, and I am simply shaking my head in a bit of disbelief.
If I were to wander the world and listen to everyone talk about the year that was, I am fairly certain based on available internet “evidence”, that the majority of people would be quite ecstatic that 2016 is now safely behind them. It is a strange phenomenon however, that allows us to believe somehow that the turning of a calendar page actually means something vital and essential has changed. I fall in to this thinking as well mind you, wanting to believe that in fact, the turning of this page will bring new hope, faith, and love to us all.
It certainly can and if the placebo works, why cut it off at the ankles?
When I look back in this moment, I see as much darkness as maybe someone else might, but I can’t ignore the tapping at the back of my skull by a flood of images wanting to set balance to the very same spans of twelve months. There was such overwhelming beauty all around me, I simply cannot accept it as the worst year ever…
When the year started, I could see what appeared to be hope, maybe similar hope to what people have with 2017 today. Maybe something else entirely, as I do not recall so much anxiety and turmoil over 2015 that I sensed throughout 2016.
Understandably, as a cartoon character was not being inaugurated into one of the most powerful positions on the planet in a few short days after the year finally, seemingly begrudgingly turned. It was much easier to look back on 2015 with something far from angst and closer to apathy if not wonderment.
Despite 2016’s propensity to take talented artists, display mankind’s less than desirable traits, and make a mockery out of age old processes; I found all manner of beautiful things waiting roadside as the car seemed to veer headlong into one catastrophe after another. 2016 does seem like a horrible stretch of accidents along a deserted highway in the middle of a treacherous winter…or summer, if you happen to be in Death Valley or some such place.
For me, the end of 2015 was considerable and continued into 2016, unbeknownst to me of course was that such a thing could in fact continue without some kind of break in the action…
She invited me to a concert.
No big deal I thought, people go to concerts all the time, although I had not been to one since my teen-aged years, which were long, long ago in a galaxy far, far…wait, that sounds an awfully lot like plagiarism; I take it all back. Except that I had not been to a concert in very log time.
Anyway, in what was literally the best concert I have ever been to (there are like three to choose from now), I actually met her… I had known her for quite some time, but that night felt like I had never actually seen her. I studied her face while she danced in our aisle, the way she moved to the music was as hypnotic as the joy on her face and deeply set in her eyes. She had my attention, much like the universe did for bringing me to the show in the first place.
Like most people these days I keep myself generally busy and tied up so that if people ask me to do stuff, I have absolutely no time for such things as stuff which entails me leaving my apartment or going to places and doing all of the things.
The universe organised our date; there was no doubt and while this incredible show was unfolding before me of both music and movement, something happened to me. Now what happened was not nearly as sudden as it sounds, although everything has a starting point which can appear quite sudden in hindsight.
That night, as we walked to the train station, I began to understand why the universe might suggest we like or know each other. If the universe acted like patterns of the internet and social media, suggesting all of these potential likes and views, and whatever shit the internet does which I have no bloody conception of.
Despite all evidence procured prior to our concert date, we got to know each other quite intimately over the few short weeks of December in 2015. We turned that new year over together, quietly watching movies and exploring each other’s more personal spaces…
To me, 2016 looked like a bright spot on the horizon.
Although neither of us put any lofty expectations on each other, we were, and remain, quite content on taking everything one day at a time. The days were incredibly full as 2016 stretched in front and behind us.
She had decided that she was going to be a surrogate. She had dreamt of this process for long before I came along. I found and find it fascinating, incredibly brave and selfless. The process has taken us for over ten moths from hormonal alteration, insemination, and finally to cesarean birth.
Oddly enough, my fascination grew and intensified through the days, weeks and months. Most people, myself included, were quite surprised by the whole thing. I’ll be honest, in hindsight it does seem a bit unlikely that we would have made it this far.
She and I are both bisexual and it seemed quite reasonable how wonderfully we fit together, but unexpected that we would need nothing more than one another’s company. I am literally shaking my head as I type because it is that hard to believe…
As hard as it might be to comprehend for myself, there is such an unspoken understanding of where we are coming from, what we have been through, and what may be possible that it leads us into the most honest conversations I have ever had with a partner...
She was courageous all year while she gave her body to the process and sacred beauty of surrogacy. I was able to be a witness from outside of the situation and within. There were times I was left watching, hoping and praying. Then there were times when I felt from within how deep her love was for people. The depths of which I am not sure I have known before.
I have watched many people give their lives to the service of others and have known that so many of them sacrifice all manner of things in order to be of use to mankind as a whole. Matter of fact, anyone who tries to contribute to mankind sacrifices much of their own desires in order to fulfill those of people who would not otherwise be able.
I have to say however, with soldiers and first responders being the great exception, I had known but a few who gave so much for others and received so little in return.
I am left in awe of her.
I feel it every time I see her, kiss her or am blessed enough to hold her.
She not only has my attention, but so much more. I cannot explain exactly what happens when you finally meet that seemingly perfect person for you… for me. I had thought this at times which came before, but previously it felt like I had to crush or deny some very true truths about me in order to make those situations work.
At no time, do I blame the women or men who have spent time with me through the years. They were like me, trying to make it work because of whatever desires motivated them.
For me, I realise that even in my late thirties and early forties, I was hoping to disappear from the world taking my irregularities and abnormalities with me. My grand deficiencies if you will.
I had kept, secretly mind you, desiring and working towards being rid of what I perceived as a serious and debilitating character defect. Not until I really met her could I have known how wrong I had been to put such a darkness over that truth.
I had come to a point of acceptance and openness, but still a small part of me wanted out. Wanted a much simpler truth to be mine. It seemed that until she stared into my eyes on that train platform and we finally, really hugged. This is when I knew that something sacred in me had shifted.
She came, swooping and swaying like a gentle, summer’s breeze with the force of a mid February Chinook. It was beautiful. Life altering. Belief defying.
When we sat on that chilly, wooden bench watching the people cross the river, talking at length about who we actually were! Everything I had been scared of in myself found no reason to keep me silent. Instead, at her gentle and deliberate reassurance, she became witness to the whole of me and snuggled closer than anyone before.
I felt the shore after wandering at sea for so long.
It became impossible to deny the whole truth. She lifted whatever shame and guilt I had been carrying; that which had become a dark mirror to my soul. It lay deep, beneath my consciousness; to the point that I could not feel it or see it any longer.
It had been mine since before my birth.
Once she lifted it, she dusted me off and we became and then we simply were. Extraordinary. Life and love finding its way, as it always does.
It is an amazing thing; living without shackles that you never knew you had. They tied you down like a prisoner for the coming torture. That is what relationships had been like for me from the beginning of time.
Not at the hands of my partners, but at the hands of the executioner.
My greatest enemy.
The ego-centered self which was forged through abuse, loathing, neglect, and self destruction. Forged by the simple and constant denial of my true self.
I did not ask her to lift it of course. To me, it was immovable, fixed, and stagnant. I do not believe she tried to lift anything in fact. I believe instead, that her very existence and presence in my life is what lifted pieces of the broken identity I had created.
It was as though my soul had perhaps recognised its counterpart in that other...
She simply was herself; she meant what she said and what she said was profound and compassionate like I had never known. Not because I did not know compassionate people, I have known many - but because I had never known someone, who so easily and honestly accepted me as I was and am and potentially will be.
It is quite interesting that our time has stretched across four seasons and then some. What is even more interesting to me, is that I have not had any moments where I sat down and said, “What the actual fuck am I doing here…”
We not only decided to take everything one day at a time, but also that no matter what we needed to do, think or say, we would approach that honestly to the best of our ability. These two, simple yet seemingly impossible things have thus far served us very well.
It has allowed us to face each other honestly, compassionately, and with our vulnerabilities touching one other through a universe of cryptic and often painful history.
Parts of 2016 were incredibly beautiful and like those sometimes ugly and darkness enshrouded realities, it is all human somehow. A part of our evolution regardless of those who believe that we are out right doomed.
Regardless of any future anythings, I am so eternally grateful for being a part of her story and having her grace my own…and having both of us touch the world around us as best we can, each and every day.
There is no doubt that 2016 had some shit. But it really difficult to imagine my life without that horrible, horrible year gone by.