“If we’re going to talk, then let’s talk. Forget about what is polite or proper and delve right into what is sincere and honest. Lead me down through the labyrinth of your true, spectacular self. I am not interested in pleasantries. If you want a conversation, then let’s get lost” – Beau Taplin
Let’s be real and honest here. I’ve not had a great week. In fact no one I know has had a particularly good week, this week. It seems everyone is busy and everything is going wrong. Cars have been vandalized, work places have been difficult, toes have been broken and people have been rushed off their feet. My bad news came in the form of an email.
Matt and I had known for some time now, that the company we’d be sourcing our wedding marquee from had lost a lot their equipment in a yard fire. But we’d also been reassured by them that by the time our wedding rolled around in September they would have replaced said equipment. But one lunchtime this week – less than 4 months to go until the big day – I got an email to say that actually it wouldn’t be manufactured in time and whilst they could return our deposit we’d need to source our marquee from someplace else.
As this information settled on the surface I remained the same but my mind whirled; dizzy and dazed and deducing worst-case-scenarios. I imagined us unable to find available marquees, or unable to find ones we could afford. I imagined everything being called off; of deposits being lost and all having to be rescheduled until we’d saved up again. I imagined the phone calls we’d have to make; the apologies and excuses. I imagined us trying to set another date; doing these past 9 months wedding planning all over again at some point in the future.
That afternoon I brushed tears from my eyes on my way home. I knew in my heart of hearts, a lot of my fears were improbable and unreasonable and unfounded. But I needed to let them out all the same. I needed a quick frustrated cry about the unfairness of it all. And I wanted to do that alone. I wanted to be able to face others prepared; to deliver the news, voice unwavering and shrug off their shocked expressions with a half-smile of “well what can ya do?”.
So I drove home, made myself dinner and then proceeded to email (what I would guess was) 80% of the marquee companies in Cornwall. I went into calm, cool-headed mode. I made lists; of contacts, of requirements, of details and dates. And before the end of the night, I’d had two companies contact me with available marquees. I awoke to find another 5 replies in my inbox. People assumed I wouldn’t sleep that night. But I did. I was exhausted.
The day that dreaded email arrived was a Thursday. Thursday is normally our date night. And whilst we did snuggle on the sofa, and whilst Matt was extra nice – fueling my email extravaganza with ice-cream – it just wasn’t quite the same. So the following evening we went down to Kennack, a long sandy beach with a holiday park and surf school attached to it. Which for that exact reason, we tend to leave alone after Easter. However in the short time after meeting (for the second time) and before I went home for Christmas, Matt and I had a series of dates that hold a special place in our hearts. A beach soiree, a night walk, a kid’s movie and picnic at Kennack. We sat on the crumbling concrete wall that circles the back of the beach; wrapped up in woolly layers, eating sandwiches wrapped up in foil. This Thursday we sat again on that wall. Watching wooden boats and fishermen; inhaling the strong smell of beach barbecue.
In the world I can’t help but think there are places of perspective. Where your timeline and the world’s timeline collide. In that space you’re lifted from your own life and allowed to glimpse something more; plucked from the pages of your own story to see the library beyond. And in that place, with that new perspective, it doesn’t necessarily make more sense, but sometimes it adds a new level of understanding. Sometimes these spaces help you survive. Sometimes you realise this was really about that. Sometimes everything just seems insignificant when sat in front of the sea.
It’s now Sunday and I’m sat in bed, talking with Sarah on Facebook – as so often has become the custom. My folks are down for the week; meeting Matt’s folks before the wedding and helping sort out marquee plans. Today we spied badgers down in the woods, walking in a line as quietly as we could. We drank coffee out in the garden; a National Trust tea towel wrapped around the cafetiere and nothing but birdsong in the sky. My cheeks are still glowy and a little warm from the sun; my belly still full of cream tea and pasta and red wine. It’s been a good day and once again I think I’ll hit my pillow exhausted. But right now this story doesn’t feel like it’s got its happy ending.
But maybe that’s okay? Sometimes life is good on a deep-soul-nourishing level and simultaneously perplexing and troubling and unresolved. Some days aren’t either glorious or terrible. Sometimes days are littered with both beauty and heartache and wonder and worry. Sometimes these notions aren’t exclusive and sometimes life is a richer, more nuanced and exquisite ride because of it.