Dear friends, your support over the weekend has been tremendous. Tom and I are both deeply moved by how everyone is responding to our plight. For the time being, this blog is likely to be more personal than philosophical, because I’m struggling to think about anything else much. Neil Gaiman says ‘We have a duty to tell each other stories.’ It is also a way of having some control, some ownership over experience. Sharing our stories is often the basis of relationship, it shapes community and collective identity, and in times of anguish, it’s about the only thing that reliably helps.
So I will tell you my stories. Tom and I have been involved for six years, ish, first as friends, and creative partners, and now as lovers. He’s my inspiration, and my soul mate. It took both of us a long time to realise how we felt might be requited. Somehow, online, we managed something akin to love at first sight (well, emails, technically). This last year, has been a journey, the unfolding of an epic romance, a more profound love affair than I could have imagined before. I did not know love could be like this, or that I could feel like this, or that anyone could value me so highly and adore me so completely.
I’m quite aware that one of the conventions of romance fiction is the torturing of the characters, such that even though everyone knows it’ll work out ok (that being the main rule of romance) you start to believe it won’t. But this is not a romance novel, and we have no certainty of a happy ending. There is an ocean between us, and all the rules and regulations of countries who don’t really like folk moving around. We are not rich enough to have an easy ride of it. Officialdom is much more sympathetic to wealthy folk who want to change country for love.
This morning I woke up, heart thundering, headfirst into full on panic. Yesterday was the same. I’ve got to try and get that under control, because my digestive system can’t take it, and it’s making me ill. Which is not going to help in the slightest. I sat with a lock of Tom’s hair in one hand, and my pentagram in the other – left to me by someone I think of as a craft parent, but that’s a long and complicated tale in its own right. Generally speaking, my druidry is more about communion, service and celebration than asking for help. I tend to assume I’m on my own for most things, I am not much of a god botherer. But right now, I need all the help I can get. I am praying for courage and strength. I am praying for a way through this, and not to be eaten by despair. Above all, I am praying for help. Never before have I felt so keenly that my life is in the hands of the Gods. I do not know what they want of me.
There are moments when I feel I am not alone, when there seems to be support and comfort from some external source. Moments I cannot explain. I’ve had them before in times of extremis. I survived those. But I want to do more than survive this, I want to win. I want to get my lover to the UK, marry him, live with him, have one life, one future, one story.
Today is my birthday. I am thirty three. I have never been more sure of what I want, and less sure of where on earth my life might be taking me, literally. So I dry my tears, and do the only thing I can do. I will tell stories.
Please, keep us in your prayers. I am thinking, when we get through this, there will be a handfasting. I’m considering Avebury, because it is huge, and I can invite everyone.