Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Dawn Tomorrow

I'm not sure what it was, but something made me look at Riin's "100 things" list last night. I'm not sure why. I hardly ever look at it. I already know her so well that, when I do look at it, I just keep thinking, "I knew that... yeah, I knew that, too..." Since I had no reason to think she had changed anything in it, I'm not sure what made me go to it now. But I did.

As I skimmed to the bottom, I spotted these:

96 For years it has seemed to me that the US government has been trying to turn the US into a third world country. When the events of Abu Ghraib were made public, I felt I could no longer live in the US and started looking into how I could move to Canada.
97 After I finally saved almost enough money to apply for permanent residence, I realized I really didn’t want to leave Ann Arbor. After living here for 19 years, it’s home.

The latter one made me profoundly sad, but not because I was sorry Riin wasn't moving to Canada. It makes me sad because only now am I realizing she said that to me, almost word for word, that awful night she broke up with me... and I didn't hear her. Not at all. I was too consumed with my own pain to hear what she was trying so hard to tell me. :(

The thing was, for three years I'd been looking forward to the day she moved here to be with Lisa and I. It was just too much for me to take in all at once. I got overwhelmed and panicked. To make matters worse, Riin tried to tell me she was sorry, because she knew how much what she was saying was hurting me. Instead of accepting her apology, I lashed out at her. I accused her of throwing away our love.

But it wasn't about our love at all. It was about the prospect of having to abandon everything she knows.

I wish there was some way to tell her how sorry I really am for hurting her like I did... :(

While I was thinking about this at work today, I couldn't help feeling like I'd somehow spent all this time trying to stuff Riin into a jar or a cage...

The moment that thought occurred to me, an image of a beautiful elfin woman imprisoned in a cage suddenly came to me. As I mentioned in my previous post, Rage Against the Chains, a vivid image like that generally heralds a poem to come pouring out of me. Still sitting at my station on the dialing floor, I grabbed a pen and paper and started scribbling furiously. This is what ultimately came out:

Dawn Tomorrow

A Poem by John A. Ardelli

A piece of my heart is lost in her world,
And it brings me joy, not sorrow,
For the door to the world where my wood nymph lives
Opens at dawn tomorrow.

The beautiful nymph came to my world
And wanted to stay with me.
She wanted to be at one with my world
So our beautiful love could be.

But as she toiled to cast the spell to leave
Forever her beautiful land,
A pain in her heart began to grow.
A pain I could not understand.

Afraid that her love for me was dying,
I built a cage to keep her with me.
I kept her there, trapped behind bars,
Where her spirit could not roam free.

The longer I kept her away from her world,
The weaker her body became
Until the day I began to see that my nymph
Was simply no longer the same.

Her spirit had withered without the warmth
Of the golden sun of her home.
Weaker and weaker she soon became
As I denied nymph her right to roam.

In time, she became so weak and so frail
She no longer had strength to stand.
I reached into the cage to offer her love,
But she would no longer take my hand.

Finally, I knew what I should have known.
I should have seen it before.
She needs the golden sun of her home,
Or her heart will cease to beat more.

But before I could open the door
To her cage and set the nymph free,
She slipped through the bars, opened the gate to her world,
And ran away from me.

I looked at the cage where I had kept my nymph,
And I felt so profoundly sad.
My love, for her, was not enough.
I did not understand what I had.

The cage for my nymph is there no more.
I had it taken away.
A beautiful home now stands in its place
Where she is welcome to stay.

The door of the home has no lock.
When she wishes, she can always roam free.
Will she consider it a second home?
I can only wait and see.

If she does not come back, when the door to her world
Next opens, I'm packed to go there.
If she does not come, I need to know
If her heart has died of despair.

I cannot let my sweet wood nymph die.
Was it too late to set her free?
I must know if she is safe in her world.
She means everything to me.

I know we can't be together forever,
Our worlds forever apart,
But I'm willing to wait by the gate to her world
For the strength of love in my heart.

A piece of my heart is lost in her world,
And it brings me joy, not sorrow,
For the door to the world where my wood nymph lives
Opens at dawn tomorrow.

For Riin Gill
March 13, 2007

When I read it all the way through the first time, I burst into tears. It felt so right. Whether I meant to or not, that's what I've been doing to Riin all along: keeping her in a cage.

It was originally Riin's idea to move to Canada. When we first fell in love, I expected our relationship would always be long distance. The problem was, I was so delighted when Riin said she wanted to move to Canada that I ignored the warning bells that went off in the back of my mind. I think, even in those early days, I knew it wouldn't ultimately happen, but I wanted it to happen so much that I ignored the warnings and encouraged her to do it...

The problem is, after three years of planning for this to happen, I began to think of Riin's coming to Canada as a reflection of how much she loves me. So, when I began to see her resolve to move here start to dissolve, I thought it was her love for me that was dissolving. But it wasn't. Like the wood nymph in the poem, she loved me but she couldn't live a happy life if she left everything she knew behind...

I wrote her an E-mail about this last night. The problem is, I'm not even sure if she's even reading my E-mails right now. I've sent her two since the night she broke up with me, and she has yet to respond to either. For all I know, she may have deleted them without reading them at all. That's why I've been talking about us on the blog so often lately. At least this way, I can put messages out there where she can always come and look at them when she's ready.

Besides. When I state something here, I'm not just stating it to her. I'm stating it, in effect, to the whole world. When I was a child, I'd sometimes try to cover up my mistakes. I never wanted to admit I was wrong. When I make a mistake as an adult, however, I aspire to have enough maturity to be able to stand up and say to the whole world: "Hey. I screwed up. I admit it." That's probably the best reason of all to state my case here in my blog.
I made no mistake falling in love with Riin Gill. She's one of the most beautiful, wonderful people I've ever had the honor to know in my life. My mistake came when I lost sight of the fact that it was Riin Gill's love, not her physical presence, that was the most precious thing about her.

I fell in love with her when she was 2500 km away with no prospects of ever coming here for a visit, never mind move here... and I can still love her, even if she has to stay 2500 km away... because, as beautiful a woman as Riin is, it is her heart in which my love lies, not her body.

Ann Arbor is Riin's home. I accept that. All I really want is her love.

Now, if I ever do find it getting too hard to be so far away from her, I could always move to Windsor. It's right on the Michigan border. I wouldn't even have to deal with immigrating. So long as I had a passport, I could go over and visit her whenever I wanted. Lisa's always wanted to live in a bigger city, anyway. :)

I just want Riin's love back. I miss her. If I have to reconcile myself to the fact that she will always be far away, I'd rather that... than live life without her at all.

Riin, if you're reading this... I'm here whenever you're ready to talk.

I love you.


  1. Monica, dankenein@yahoo.com9:53 AM

    Breakups suck. They hurt. They're tough. I understand one focuses on one's loss at a time like this, but it's also a good time to reassess and value what one still HAS. Why not cherish and focus on that?

    You know, your other life partner? Why no entries about her, how wonderful she is, or how she's changed your life? Surely she must bring joy to your life, not to mention support during this whole time. Why not write a poem for her?

  2. Because poems, for me, are only a method of expression when I can't figure out how to tell someone something. Poems just come to me. I don't usually seek to write them.

    For the record, I did write three poems for Lisa. Two were specifically for her. One was for her and Riin. Maybe I should publish them here...

    I'll have to think about that... right now, I really need time to think... check out my latest posting above and you'll see what I mean... :(


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