Sunday, January 22, 2012

Taylor Made

I haven't been writing lately.
It's tough.
It's a bit of an identity crisis, actually.
Who is a writer who isn't writing?

But at the same time, my need to be creative is finding new and interesting outlets.
I've made my way into the wedding industry.
Yes, you heard that right.
I'm designing and creating wedding invitations through my new business venture, Taylor Made.
Plus all the extra goodies that a beautiful wedding will have.

The artist in me really enjoys it.
I love contributing to someone's special day, and making a small piece of art that represents someone's feelings. It's a tangible reflection of one of life's great intangibles.
And what a lovely thing to be so surrounded by love.
To be approached by brides bubbling over with excitement, to be so full of happiness in the pursuit of the first perfect day in their long, loving marriages.

I am fortunate.

I run my studio out of Ottawa, Ontario but that doesn't stop me from meeting with brides from all over the world over email. The creative process knows no boundaries.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I was sitting at the bar in a club in Montreal. My friends danced around me, pulling on my arm, trying to get me off the stool. I faked a cheery smile and shooed them away with a gesture of my drink. I swallowed tears.

Four surgeries and nearly a year of convalescence had gone by, and I was changed. Bed rest had left me fat, scalpels had left me scarred, medication had left me swollen and despondent. It was my first night out in 14 months and I would have given anything to be back in my bed, safely under sheets where my self-consciousness wouldn't have mattered. I didn't recognize myself - not in the mirror, and not my heart. I couldn't dance, not like this. For the first time in my life, I sat through an amazing set, and I barely even jiggled my foot.

And then, for a split second, the music stopped, and I looked toward the dj booth. He smiled at me, and he announced the next song: "For the pretty girl who just won't dance, maybe this one will get her up."

He winked.
I danced.

Robbie had a way of knowing what we needed before we knew it ourselves.

He was always there for me, with a hand on my back and a whisper in my ear. His amazing heart was generous to a fault. He gave and he gave, and he made you feel like you were the gift.

It was impossible for me not to fall in love with Robbie. That such a talented man could in turn be so passionate about supporting my humble pursuits always left me feeling breathless. He never asked for much. He was surprisingly quiet, and thoughtful. He made me feel safe.

We aren't really here today to say goodbye to him, we're here to love each other through our shared sadness. We are lucky to have known him, because it's brought us into this circle of friends and family who all really care for one another. Robbie was a handsome flirt, covered in tattoos, who loved fast cars and thick steaks and expensive shoes. But he knew that life was good because of the people in it, and he loved us all, every day, sometimes more than I, at least, deserved.

I've struggled this week knowing that I couldn't at the time give him what he wanted, and I've regretted some of the things gone unsaid. It was his mother, Cecilia, who gave me some comfort. "He died happy," she said "because he died with you in his heart."

I hope that is true. I hope he knew he always had my heart, as much as I could give.
Today I give a little more.
And so do we all.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.

I remember the beginning of the end, back before I knew that it would end, back when I still thought that he and I were inevitable, inseparable, back when I still believed in happy endings and that tough times would only make us stronger, back when I believed that it all meant something, back when I still believed.

I wish I had the grace, the easy nobility that allows people to want happiness for others, even at their own expense.

I wish I could say my own happiness wasn't still occasionally tainted with thoughts of what should have been.

I wish I was as unruffled as I pretend to be.

I wish I could go back six months and curl up beside my fetal-positioned self, the one so badly in need of a confidante, stroke the hair of a girl I would barely recognize as myself as she cried herself to sleep in unfamiliar surroundings.

I wish I could skip ahead six months and whisper in my own ear as I dance in someone else's arms that it's not so scary, that the past doesn't necessarily repeat itself, that this guy shouldn't pay for someone else's mistakes, that forever is still possible.

I wish I could convince myself right this very moment that everything is going to turn out okay, that I haven't missed my only chance, that good gets better, that I do deserve the things I once imagined for myself, that I shouldn't disbelieve.

I wish that I didn't wish, in a tiny corner of my heart, that he has regrets.

I wish I wasn't so disappointed in him. I wish the good times weren't obscured by the bad, and that he had been more worthy, and that I didn't have to think of him as a mistake.

I wish that I wasn't so overwhelmed by my own striking ability to move on. I wish I wasn't so surprised at how quickly I forgot his voice, how easily I went to bed with someone else, how much I've grown and changed and laughed and lived.

I wish I didn't at moments feel guilty for having abandoned vows that I truly meant with all my heart, for giving up on dreams we shared, for turning my back on a future so lovingly mapped-out, for waking up this morning with a smile on my lips and a heart unshadowed by sadness.

I wish I could forget, at least a little.

I hope I can forgive, at least with time.

I believe that life is different, but good;
that I bent but didn't break;
that he was my first love, but not my only;
that he was good but not good enough;
that I am strong and getting stronger;
that there are always better days ahead;
that dancing cures a lot of ills;
that good friends are indispensable;
that bruised hearts will heal;
that tears dry up;
that life is beautiful, and so am I.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Long Road To Ruin

Because he hit me, or because I stuck around for him to do it again?

Because he fucked me, or because I liked it?

Because I let things go too far, or because I didn't even regret it?

Because he wasn't the first, or the last?

When does it become official? When am I damaged goods?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Dear Ex-Lover:

I still remember some things. I remember the golden hair on your arms, the way you held a fork, your ineptitude with hair product, your crappy taste in music, your cocky driving, your favourite spot at the zoo, the hoodie I bought for you but always stole for myself.

I remember some things very well, but it's the things that I don't remember that matter the most.

I forget what it was like to kiss you, really kiss you.

I forget what you sound like. I can't remember your voice.

I forget how listening to our song used to make me feel, how it was to dance in your arms.

I forget why I thought you were the one;

why we'd always be together;

why I loved




I'd meant to stay in love with you, together or apart. I had such good intentions. But life gets in the way. I've lived. I've lived so much without you that it takes my breath away. I kept going; life kept going. It swept me away. I've been swept away, and not by you. Not this time. Not anymore.

I'm forgetting you little by little.

It's sad in a way. Terrifying. Healing. Soothing. Empowering.

I'm saying goodbye.

I'm gone.


I guess you don't get to break my heart after all.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

4am Love Song

I will never say these words to your face:

I felt something.
I felt something beyond your tongue on my throat, your hands on my hips, your hardness pushing up inside me.
I felt something else.
I felt like maybe I knew you.
Like maybe the first time didn't necessarily have to be the last.

I stood outside on the concrete step, wrapped in only a sheet, watching you drive away. I didn't wave, I didn't want to. I just leaned my naked shoulder against the post and watched the stars instead of your brake lights. Unseasonably cold for April, I saw my breath in the air and felt the chill of a gentle wind prickle my skin where not long before it held the heat of your stroke.

I could have asked you to stay. You would have stayed, I think, if I'd asked.

I didn't.

I don't do that. Not in a long time. But tonight my bed feels empty. I can still smell your aftershave on the pillow, lingering like our goodnight kiss.

Goodnight or goodbye? I said neither. I merely licked your bottom lip, kissed the corner of your mouth, squeezed your hand and moaned when you brushed my breast with your fingertips.

That said enough.

It said:

come back
be in my life
do that again
don't let go...

don't let go.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Dear Bella

You were so beautiful.

I was drunk, of course, but not just on the rum. I was intoxicated with the freedom of an international vacation, with the thrill at having travelled independently for the first time in my life, with the luxury of my foreign surroundings. And from the moment we locked eyes, I was heady with your vision, and then your scent, and eventually, your taste.

You were beautiful, as I said. You smelled like coconut. You tasted of pineapple, and later, of me.

We danced without talking, without even exchanging names.
We attracted quite a lot of attention, your black hair floating around you, my blonde locks twisting around your fingers. You were tall and graceful and your dark brown skin was smooth like rich chocolate while I was pale, just barely pinked by my two or three days in the Mexican sun.

Our lips were either the first thing to touch, or the last thing to touch. I can never remember. Either way, it was a kiss that left every man in the bar aching to go home with either you, or I, or both, and it was that kiss that inspired us to leave only with each other.

I remember snatches of that night: the roundness of your belly; my legs spread like the wings of a butterfly; the smell of the crisp hotel sheets; the sound of the waves gently lapping at the beach just outside; the way the shadows kissed your curves; the salinity of your skin; the way your name felt in the back of my throat.

You left on a plane home the next morning.
I'd never been with a woman before, nor have I since, nor am I likely to again.
You were enough.
I loved you briefly, but hard.

And sometimes I love you still, but only in dreams.