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A Spiritually Enlightening Online Magazine. Sept. Theme: "Sexuality" Volume 1 Issue 6 ISSN# 1708-3265

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Love IS:
Ordinary as Rain

by Jennifer Monaghan

You bring me comfort; you are my home. You inspire my poetry; you are my muse. You put stars in my eyes; you are my beauty. You burn my body and soul, you are my passion; you melt my heart, you are my everlasting love…

I've always wanted to be able to say such things to someone; I've always wanted such a person in my life. As a child I spent countless hours staring into the clouds and stars dreaming up my own personal Prince Charming. I'd imagine being swept off my feet and transported to worlds unknown. I'd imagine that kiss, the kind of kiss that weakens the whole body and makes it tremble.

I dreamt of a kind of love that inspires poets and playwrights, churns the insides and melts the soul into a puddle at one's feet, a love so bright as to outshine all other loves.

As I grew up and became first an adolescent and then a young adult my dream did not fade; rather it festered and flourished in both mind and heart, the mere idea inspired the poet in me. I spent years, indeed the whole of my young life, searching for such a love. It wasn't until I'd given up that I finally found it.

It seems sometimes in my memory I went through hell to get to this place where true love resides. From some perspectives my life seems to be a pink cushion upon which I comfortably sat for 27 years; and yet when I look at it from just the right angle I see all of the twisted shadowy monsters, which scraped and grasped at my heels like rabid and hungry dogs every step of the way.

From the very beginning things were rough. I was unwanted and downright loathed by my mother while in the womb. She believes her will forced me out of the womb early, nearly killing both of us. My parents were poor and my mother young and inexperienced and high-tempered. Life was far from easy for them and although babes are in certain ways protected from the harsh realities their parents face, as I grew older the protective shield stretched too thin, weakening and giving way to the pressures of life.

During times when reality seeped through most strongly, I turned to the sky, to the imagination, to the land of dreams. Unicorns and rainbows, ruby slippers and fairytale kisses, and, of course, that ever-present tall and handsome blue-eyed Prince Charming.

That was my life as a child, always escaping into fantasy, always avoiding reality. When I grew older and learned to comprehend words on a page and move a pencil in the way which reflected my imagination, my fantasies became stories. Later they became poems.

Childhood faded into adolescence and any happiness I might have experienced during my first thirteen or fourteen years of life vanished into thin air.

It was at this juncture my mother claims I first came to her with concerns that I might be gay. My memory fails me in this regard; whatever it was I said and whatever response she bestowed upon me has been lost in the tangled cobwebs of my mind. Regardless, I apparently jumped right back into the dark closet we gays reside in so effectively.

The issue wouldn't arise in my mind or life again for several years and when it did, I suppressed and ignored it. I discovered boys, first kisses, first loves, and even thought for a while I had found my Prince. Of course, I was wrong. A long string of heterosexual liaisons and relationships, not all of them pleasant; blanket my adolescent years, my early twenties. In a vain attempt to live a life of normalcy I got married, convincing myself I was in love despite the emotional, verbal and eventually physical abuse I endured.

Those years were not pretty ones… years wrought with depression, self-hate, self-abuse, eating disorder, suicidal thoughts and near-attempts. By the time I left my marriage I was so twisted inside myself I had forgotten who I was. I gave up on love, on my dream.

When I finally came out of that dreaded closet, it was without the expectation that I would find true and lasting love with a woman. I knew it was my nature to be with a woman, but to find love? As far as I was concerned, love was a farce. And yet, in a small compartment in my heart, that little girl still gazed at the stars, dreaming of poetry and princes and glass slippers.

She might have completely disappeared had it not been for the special one who came along and bestowed upon her the kiss she'd always wished for, the kiss that awakened her spirit and her heart; much like the kiss which brought Sleeping Beauty out of her slumber. Finally, I had found my Prince Charming.

Unlike the Prince Charming of my dreams, this one is not tall and handsome with blue eyes. This one is of average height with hazel-green eyes that sparkle when she smiles. Indeed, she isn't even a prince, she is a woman; the woman who found me broken and alone, gathered me into her arms and waited patiently for me to be ready to love.

When it happened, when my heart finally broke free from the chains of my past and my closeted existence, my whole body sighed in relief. I can almost remember the exact moment. With a smile upon my face and tears in my eyes I felt my heart fill to the brim and overflow with happiness and love.

Since that moment a steady river has flowed between Lisa's heart and mine. Occasionally a branch falls into the waters or a boulder interrupts the path; the road is never perfectly smooth, not in any relationship. But with compromise, honesty and communication the sharp points can be smoothed, arguments can be quelled and agreements can be reached.

I have finally learned what it is like to be in a normal adult relationship, to allow reality to mix ever so pleasantly with fantasy and dream. For once in my life, perhaps for the very first time in all these 27 years, I am truly happy. Even when things get rough, the blows are softened by the knowledge that I have found love and happiness, both within myself and in my relationship with Lisa.

She is indeed my comfort and my home, my muse, my beauty, my passion and my everlasting love.

In regards to being "out and proud", the road hasn't been an entirely smooth one, there are bumps and potholes here and there, but I know that it could have been worse. My family has not rejected me, I am still loved as daughter, as sister, as grandchild and cousin and niece.

In addition, Lisa has been accepted graciously into my family, as I have been accepted into hers. We have not only become part of each other's families, we have created our own loving family at home (stock full of cats and rats, two turtles, a hamster and a dog, and hopefully someday to be expanded with the addition of a baby).

We are registered as domestic partners with the city and recently participated in the Mass Commitment Ceremony at Pride and plan to have a private ceremony next June. Someday we hope to legalize our marriage, but for now we are happy and content. After all, marriage begins in the heart.

I know certain people do not understand how we can call each other wife and sleep in the same bed and claim that we love in the same way heterosexual couples love; but loving Lisa, for me, is as natural as having blue eyes, is as ordinary as rain and yet as extraordinary as Creation itself. Is that really so different?

Love is love; it knows no boundaries.
Love sees not gender, nor gender identity.
Love sees not sexual orientation.
Love sees not colour nor ethnicity nor culture.
Love sees not weight nor height nor appearance.

Love sees the heart; love sees the soul.
Love is not prejudiced; love is not discriminatory.

Love simply IS…

Jennifer is a writer and poet who has had a passion for the written word since childhood. Jennifer's poetry has been featured in The Prologue, an annual publication of the University of WI, River Falls, Body Mind Spirit Magazine and here at TSM. In addition to writing, Jennifer is currently pursuing pre-veterinary studies.

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