Before I met her I carried around my love in a different way than I
do now. I used to walk around with my love held out in front of me,
eager to show it off, singing about the details of every powerful
personal experience, blabbing about places and dates, naming names, all
in service to my high ideas about true authentic expression and powerful
After I met her I didn’t feel that way anymore. The love we shared felt
like a whole new category of human phenomenon, possibly never
experienced by anyone anywhere, ever. The idea of displaying it for
strangers felt obscene and perverse. It was too good for that, it felt
too important. Whatever priorities I’d previously placed on “authentic
art” were superseded by this way more powerful personal thing.
We gradually built a bubble around our real everyday selves and the
details of our life together. Being both semi-public semi-known artists
and musicians, we were participants in the constant self promotion and
personality-making that comes with those roles, and we knew that it was
time to think about where to draw the line, eventually settling into a
comfortable ambiguity, not touring together anymore, not putting our
names on each others’ things so much, not denying anything either, just
not being all loud about our love. I mean, just on a basic local level,
we didn’t exactly walk down the street kissing. Just as people we are
not the p.d.a. types and our affection took place in private. Seeing us
hug was rare. On the outside perhaps we resembled platonic housemates,
but we were passionate and deeply in love, quiet and powerful.
Now things are happening within our bubble that compel us to adjust
these boundaries, to let whoever in, and ask for help. The cocoon phase
is over. Here are the specifics:
I met Geneviève in 2003 at a time when I wasn’t particularly aiming
to fall in love. I was happy to just be a solo wandering dude doing my
thing. We met and it was instant. Each of us felt like we’d found our
person. No question. After some international border confusion and
many trips back and forth to Vancouver Island, she moved to Anacortes
and we got married. Some of our friends were freaked out by the speed
of all this, while those who’d met us both understood. The connection
was clear. Two people found each other from across a universe.
So it’s been 12 years of all kinds of projects and adventures and love.
We collaborated a lot, but mostly we existed as 2 sovereign creative
maniacs, not butting in too much to each others’ projects, and mostly
keeping quiet about who we were married to.
We wanted a baby the whole time, pretty much from day one, but it just
didn’t happen. There were some years of frustration and sadness but
probably not to the huge existential degree that some people have it.
We always both had so much going on that it didn’t seem like the end of
the world to continue devoting so much time to these art and music
projects. In early 2014 we’d both found some kind of peace and
acceptance of the idea of a childless future, and maybe even positivity
about the possibilities that would bring, but then she was pregnant all
of a sudden.
Our daughter was born in January of 2015. The secrecy around all this
was extra intense. No pictures on the internet, don’t tell anyone, it’s
private and too special, maintain the boundaries. Even now I don’t
want to say her name. She is the physical embodiment of our special
private love for each other so of course we’d be protective of the
Then 4 months after having a baby Geneviève went to the doctor for a
regular check up, mentioning some abdominal pain, no biggie. There were
some extra questions and an ultrasound and a CT scan, triggering some
googling and some worrying at home, but she was 34 years old with a
ridiculously healthy lifestyle, so the worries were minor. Then the
Advanced pancreatic cancer, stage 4, inoperable, chemotherapy ASAP, “do you want to talk to the chaplain?”, get the wills in order, etc.
What the fuck? No family history of cancer, never smoked or drank,
mostly vegetarian, so much organic food, big water drinker, young, a
profoundly good person. It felt like conclusive proof of the absence of
god. We agonized over the logic. How could this be true? It is
preposterous. It’s so stupidly illogical and wrong. How could it
actually be happening, but then each morning we awoke to the same world
where it was indeed happening.
(To get perspective on the intensity of this particular cancer, it might
be worth looking it up for a minute. It has a vicious reputation and
pretty brutal statistics.)
Gradually the existential questioning faded into the grinding logistics
of appointments, insurance, bottle feeding, diet questions, acupuncture,
therapy, baby care, laundry, money worries, trying to keep the floor
clean, trying to keep the house warm, maintaining the basics. There is
simply no time to ponder the big questions right now. There are diapers
to deal with.
We’ve already long since adjusted our bubble boundaries locally and
have received so much crucial help from friends and family, as well as
remote support from distant friends. So much love has been beamed our
way in the form of meditations and thoughts and prayers and mail and
things and money. All of this is so necessary and huge. It’s strange
to remember our earlier attitudes about preserving the boundaries at all
costs. Even though we are essentially the same hermit weirdos, we need
the support and the priorities have massively shifted.
Now we make the broad public announcement and plea for money because
we can’t take it anymore. The savings have been depleted and financial
worry creeps in as the inability to do anything resembling “work”
Existence is officially confirmed to be surreal and totally absurd.
Thank you for loving and supporting us and each other in this
ridiculous whirlwind, sloppily surfing on messed up waves, all of us.