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I wrote this a few months ago.

It’s funny how emotions well and subside and circulate and whisper to you some days, shout at you on other days. But they’re always there, even when we try to ignore them.

Underneath it all is a sense of forgiveness. We don’t always get what we want, but we do get what we need (to paraphrase Mick Jagger). Some lessons are so hard (so hard), but they bring us closer to understanding ourselves, breaking ourselves free from deeply-seated beliefs about who we are. Humans are messy — we hurt each other, we struggle and stumble. We fall into silence when we desperately want to tell people what we really mean, what we really want, but our little bodies and egos fail to translate those huge emotions and experiences and doubts into words when it matters the most. But in that mess — that chaos of the heart, soul and mind — is meaning.

I’d rather have meaning than nothing at all.


To the woman who seduced my boyfriend on Thanksgiving.

Thank you.

I know this may sound strange, but your cruel seduction (let alone his sheepish selfishness) were the catalysts I needed.

While you were getting wasted at a shitty East Coast bar, I was sitting in a houseboat full of dreamers and thinkers, floating on the mighty Great Slave. Eating turkey and laughing. Laughing. Laughing a year’s worth of laughs.

I knew something was wrong when he didn’t answer my happy thanksgiving text. I tried not to let this infiltrate the warmth and joy of our parlour games and jokes. I was surrounded by pure happiness. By souls wrapped in hope and adventure.

It’s funny, because I met a person that night. A person who made me think: “if I didn’t have a boyfriend…”. But I just let the feeling of mutual recognition wash over me. I didn’t grab him by the balls. I didn’t walk him home. Invite him into my house. Try to coerce him into my bed.

My bed that night was a foamy in a storage closet, anyway. Hardly the lair of a Madam.

Instead, I climbed into a canoe, a bit tipsy from all the wine and whisky. Safe in my borrowed life jacket. Face shining and stomach hurting from all the laughter. We glided silently through Yellowknife Bay, staring up at the inky black sky and the aurora dancing across that heart-achingly beautiful canvas.

Everything was reflected and refracted back to us by the water and the sky and the feeling of calm whispering out into the night.

I was where I needed to be. Surrounded by the strength and wisdom of generations of people who lived here long long long before I set foot on this sacred soil. I was buoyed and lifted and loved by these strangers and friends who welcomed me into their arms.

I don’t know what motivated you. Loneliness? Sadness? Lust? All emotions I am intimately familiar with – the curve and bend and frayed threads of which have woven themselves into the very fabric of my soul. How many nights I stared out at arctic tundra and ocean. Thought helplessly about distance and loss and the open wound in my heart. Steeled myself against the inevitable. Tried to ignore the doubt gnawing at my collarbone.

You may feel guilt, though I’ll never know. He’s yours now, if you want him. I’ve found my nomadic heart, extracted it from that dirge. Am sailing off on distant shores, thankful for the release.

Hiy-hiy, as my great-grandmother would say.






  1. Pingback: loss and longing | Urbane Adventurer: Amiskwaciwâskahikan - March 25, 2014

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