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3 - Preparations

Journey 2

Flames? - oh, very yesterday,
Fire & brimstone? - so passé,
Old Nick has now a better way,
To torture souls (who go astray)
He sends them back to Terra Firma,
As far afield as France and Burma,
And once his players are on set,
He puts them on the internet.
"Sounds just fine" I hear you cry,
But wait - and here's the reason why,
Once they're sat there, up above,
He'll make damn sure they fall in love.

A definite landmark in this period came when she sent me her cellphone number, in an effort to quell my doubts and fears about who she really was - it is impossible across the internet to know for certain - and once faith and trust are put aside, even for a moment - it can all start to turn upside down.
I immediately phoned her up - I will never forget the sound of her golden voice - hearing it for the very first time - hearing the excitement that she was feeling - her wonderful bubbling laughter. The memory of that moment proved a positive lifeline as I started to become engulfed by an ocean of suspicion - unfortunately - the cost of phone calls and the often poor quality restricted, almost entirely, their use.

[Mayen sent me two new photographs of herself after I had pleaded with her to let me know more about her. She teased me on the phone, saying "What you want, sexy pictures?" The two pictures that did arrive were thankfully modest - but made me realise, with a shock, that I had been focussing my love around one solitary photograph - and that I did not really know Mayen at all.]

The intervening time was rather painful - on several fronts. I started to feel a dreadful ambiguity - on the one hand I really wanted this to be genuine, I prayed that it would turn out as it appeared to promise to my heart. But on the other hand, what if I arrived at Manila to find the whole thing a big scam - finding someone unrecognisable there meeting me? Compounding the horror of this dichotomy - no matter how much I tried, I could not communicate this fear any more strongly than the subtlest of hints - virtually undetectable hints - without it becoming very insulting. Trying to get to the truth across the internet is well nigh impossible - words are cheap and honesty is indistinguishable from deceit.

What brought this issue to a head was the fact that I was recommended a hotel that was newly built and had no internet presence. Best advice is always to leave word with a friend of where exactly one is staying when abroad, especially in circumstances like this - I could find no trace. I even went as far as contacting the British Embassy in Manila - they wrote back saying "We are unable to confirm the existence of this hotel."
"Great" I thought - "I'm walking right into a scam" - so I confronted the poor girl with my fears, spilling out all my doubts and suspicions - it was a great relief. After initially getting angry & upset at my wavering trust - she eventually saw the funny side - me fearing for my life - kidnapping - extortion - entrapment. Well it does happen you know.

[So it does exist after all - and very comfortable it was too. This was our home for the first week and our final night together.]
During a discussion about decorating the house - my wife discovers that I am planning on selling up - she immediately, intuitively jumps to the conclusion that I have met somebody else - wow! I cannot deny it, confess everything - except the proposed trip - shh! that's still a secret - well it was. Even that secret seems about to be exposed - due to a phone call that I received at Heathrow, the day I returned - waiting for my connecting flight back to Jersey.

I am so convinced that destiny is about to reveal someone very special - I float around for the remainder of the time before the trip.
I have managed some secret shopping on my previous visit to Jersey, so all that I'll need for the trip is over there - anti-malaria tablets, cool clothes, a new suitcase etc.
Hectic exchanges over the internet approaching d-day. My wife digs her claws in at my plans to sell the house - refuses to divorce, refuses to sell the house. All is doomed as far as I'm concerned - with no money to buy a property in the Philippines or start a business - both have been discussed - I might as well not bother going.

Things go dreadfully quiet and tension in me mounts for a couple of days - waiting to hear the verdict from afar and I am more than relieved to hear back that she is still interested in meeting me - despite my seeming poverty now.
The next day, things calm down a bit at home - we discuss the virtues of splitting up - and I think we both see the wisdom in doing so. But it is frightening to see how hope can paper over the cracks, cover up so many important, crucial details - or maybe it's a case of where there's a will, a way will come. The law of attraction at work.

Yes, I've been doing quite a bit of uplifting, inspirational reading recently - The Secret, Conversations With God, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari - all telling me the same thing, the same message. The world is abundant, have faith, create your own future by attracting it towards you - keep the thoughts clearly on target, be thankful - it so much makes sense - I am changing, day by day.

[My goodness - yes - some of my detractors are correct. Regarding my marriage, looking back, I can see now, I was being a selfish pig.
I am not going to attempt to excuse that behaviour.
I can only say I was certainly very unhappy & had been for a long time. I made a mistake with the marriage and considered further time spent in it, for either of us, was wasting the best we could bring to a relationship.
I am only now - over a year later - recovering from the effects of this adventure - reclaiming my life from being absorbed in the detail - and find myself right back where I was - with perhaps a little more insight - when it started.
I won't go into details here of why we are both unhappy - we have both been admitting it for years - here was perhaps the catalyst for change - that would set us both free again - allow us to both reset our lives. Divorce is not pleasant - and adultery as the grounds would not be on the cards (mutuality being a clue) - but separation - after 14 years - was not going to be without trauma - but there comes a time - such a time as this - when decisions have to be made.]

My heart has long since
Been restless,
Tethered and caged,
Enslaved in an artifice,
This human zoo.
Where concrete and glass
Confuse the sky,
And each day's passing
Sees my ancestors,
My roots,
My sense of belonging,
Become a distant memory,
Locked behind closed doors.
I want to tread, barefoot,
In my wilderness,
Cast off the grey shroud
Of a murky, out of focus world,
Step away from today,
Hang it up
Some place,
Like an old set of clothes.
I hear a voice calling me,
From my past, yet, within me still.
My inner nature, demands release,
To know that my heart shares
Its beating with the tide,
To know that my breath
Was born on the wind,
To know that within me,
There burns the sacred fire of life.
This dream arrives
From loving you.
You are my wilderness,
My proud, prowling lioness,
You, my inheritance,
My past, my blood,
My breath.
Let us bathe in each other's warm seas,
Let us roar to the same horizon,
Let us discover,
The wild,
The sun,
The moon,
This spinning orb,
The earth,
Our mother.
Our father
Of the spirit.
Becoming one
To create new life,
And let us not heed
The clamorous place,
Nor listen to the brazen voice
That lures us to its way.
I know a secret yesterday,
And want to live it once more,
With only you by my side.
My love,
This you bring to me.
Let our days spin,
Like the spokes of a wheel,
A perfect circle
Around its hub,
Two hearts,
Become one,
At our centre
United in spirit,
Welded together
In a deep,
But silent
An unspoken answer,
To a secret prayer.

So - the time arrives - first I have two days in Jersey, I fly back to Heathrow Sunday evening - I'm being hidden away at a friend's house while I wait for my flight late on Monday. Getting off the bus from the airport in my local town where my friend is to meet me - who should go sailing by in her car? Yes - my wife. Fortunately I had made myself invisible as I stepped off the bus.
Many messages to write before I go - last minute things. Flight day - final communication is via an internet terminal at Heathrow - then on to the plane, although I do manage a brief SMS message exchange with - I forgot, I haven't told you her name yet - Mayen - while waiting at Hong Kong.

Click the flags to read about all the alarm bells.

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Tim Cumperhttp://www.bebo.com/Ellumbra

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