Posts Tagged ‘sappy’

The Great Adventure

Posted: July 6, 2010 in Poetry
Tags: , ,

Yeah, so I stopped posting poems because I wanted to keep them in chronological order and I reached one that I couldn’t post yet. Back in April I looked at the Slam schedule and saw that the July Slam fell on Ruthanne and my wedding anniversary.

I decided to write her a poem. I preformed it on Saturday (at CapSlam ON our Anniversary) so now it is fair game. 🙂


You want context? I’ll give you context.

I first became aware of Ruthanne’s existence in the fall of 1983. Her brother and I were both members of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps Beacon Hill (yeah, yeah… shut up…), and during roll rather than just hearing the last name Edward called out, I heard Edward, J. and Edward, R. I ran into Jason after and asked him if he had a brother who had joined. He said it was a sister.

Not too long after that, someone named Kristen Weins hosted a party for all the members of the PACE (Program for Academic and Creative Enrichment – yeah, yeah… shut up) at our school. Because I had some awareness of Ruthanne from cadets, she and her friends in the incoming grade 8 class met me and my friends in the grade 10 class.

Her friends and my friends became friends for a while. Some of them dated each other etc. Ruthanne and I became friends.

We were in the same high school for three years. She dated a couple of my friends, but never me. 🙂 I was the guy who the girls’ mothers always wanted them to date (seriously… I can think of three different times where they were incredibly obvious about it).

Then I graduated and went to Camosun College for a year. My friend Shawn and I hung out with Ruthanne for most of the year.

Then I moved away (to Ottawa, initially).

I visited a couple of times… enough to realize that we were still friends. (It may seem odd to my younger readers, but back in the pre-internet days, staying in touch with people in different cities wasn’t so common.)

Life went on. She lived her life, going to England, coming home for University etc.
I lived my life, which involved living with a woman in a train wreck of a relationship for four years… and then a lot of wheel spinning.

Then I came back to Victoria (I was then living in Calgary), for a family gathering over Easter in 1993. I called Ruthanne and she came over to visit.

We sat in my parent’s living room talking for virtually the entire night. The next day I was going somewhere with my sister but all day I just thought about Ruthanne. When I came back, we talked and I discovered that my feelings were shared.

In a coincidental situation, I had grown dissatisfied with my work and had started putting out feelers for other opportunities. One of these was in Victoria. By the end of the week, I knew that was the one I was going to take.

When I left, Ruthanne was going to a party where her best friend, Avery, was going to be. I found out later that the first thing she said when she saw Avery was “I am in love.”

We stayed in touch while I made preparations to move back to Victoria. Everything went at full speed at that point… I moved to Victoria six weeks from when I went back to Calgary.

I had wanted to wait until I saw her in person…but I just couldn’t wait that long. On the phone one night, I told her that I loved her.

She came out and joined me for my trip west. I had a rented van with all my worldly goods in it. I also had the woman I loved sitting in the passenger seat. It was a good trip.

The day after we got back to Victoria, I asked her to marry me.

Ten weeks later (or thereabouts) on July 3rd, 1993 we were married on a jetty at the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary in front of 20 people. We went for a nice lunch at the Four-Mile House and then took off on our own to a cozy little hotel in James Bay. The next day we had a wedding reception in the backyard of Ruthanne’s great-aunt’s house. (That was Ruthanne’s idea. Her exact words were “I was getting married. The last thing I wanted to do right then was hang around with a bunch of other people.) 🙂

Aside: Here is an indicator of how our lives have changed. I sure couldn’t picture getting married in front of only 20 people now.

17 years.

Has it all been easy?
Of course not.
When Ruthanne got sick, it was really tough. When we realized that meant we weren’t going to have children, it was tough (though we had originally planned to not have children – things are a little different when it doesn’t feel like it is your choice.) The transition from living in Victoria to living in Ottawa was tough.
We have had arguments like anybody else, but our marriage remained and our love remained, no matter what.

I didn’t buy Ruthanne a ring until our 8th anniversary. We didn’t have much money when we got engaged and she didn’t want me to use what could have been furniture money on something so frivolous. 🙂

We had found each other, but in some ways we hadn’t really found ourselves yet. That came when we discovered our individual creative sides… and that combination is what I decided to write about. I called the poem The Great Adventure, because that is what it is. An adventure that has no end in sight.

This is for Ruthanne.

I love you, baby.

    The Great Adventure

I want you to tell me a story.
An epic tale of swashbuckling
Knights vanquishing terrible
Odds to rescue a fair maiden
Who probably didn’t need
Rescuing anyway
Because that maiden was a
Kick-ass, self-sufficient
Woman of wisdom beyond her years.
I want you to tell me a story
Of distant lands and exotic
Sounds and sights
Dancing through the brain
As you implant a mind-worm
Of beauty and bravery and
I want you to tell me a story
Of bravery right here in this
Tell me of a woman who considered
Dignity worth sitting down for
And when to fight
And when to light the way
When to remember what
Others would have us forget.
Tell me a story of
Pirates sailing the Atlantic
Seas or the Acadian settlers
Looking for a home.
Tell me a story of home,
With walls or shores or
Shared experience when two
People find a whole that
Builds on the parts that
Seek where part A joins part B
Like some cosmic
Do-it-yourself, self-help,
Self-directed project.

Tell me a story of love
And the love of a thousand words
And the love of none.

And let me write you a poem.
A poem that turns on the
Flashlight, or floodlight,
Or searchlight, even if all
It illuminates is me.
Hear me to see me because
In me see you
As there is no me without you.
Let me write you a poem
About books and music and
That open up a world of
Ideas and ideas and ideas
And not all of what is visible
To the naked eye.
Let me write you a poem
About art and life and art and life
And art and life
Until one is completely indistinguishable
From the other
Because that is art.
Because that is life.
Let me write you a poem that
Spins around found sounds
Until bound aground rocky
Shores of mind
To find I signed my name
Across my heart
To make sure you couldn’t miss it.
I want you to kiss it
And transform this tragic frog
Into a broken down prince
Who insists that all that
Glitters isn’t the blue eyes
Of someone who knows you
And is known by you.

And you will spin a story web
About a poet who found his muse
And I will write a poem about
A storyteller who found that
Fairy tales can come true.

And we can mix them
Into an EPIC that will be
Told down through the ages
If only to remind the world
That after all else
There is love
And with love
All things are possible.


Now that I am back posting poems, the next one is my reaction to the illegal anti-immigration laws in Arizona.