Lost In Colour

It’s just over the edge of midnight on January 18th, which means it has been almost three days since I left Oklahoma. I would like to take this opportunity to announce that it was the greatest experience of my life.

I’ve never felt such a distinct connection to a place before. Of course, Scotland is my home and I’m forever in awe of its sprawling hills and history, but I can honestly say I’ve never really felt it. I’ve seen the quiet village of Elie and soaked in its ocean mist, and I’ve walked the Royal Mile and took a hundred photos – but I’ve never felt a real, throbbing connection. There’s so much appreciation and I love my country, don’t get me wrong – but I felt something different as I scoured the horizon in Edmond for some real hills.

For reference, this is my favourite place in Scotland - Stirling Bridge.

I felt a path open before my feet. I felt the future soar inside me, with all its possibilities and hopes and mystery. And I felt love like I’ve never felt it before, it expelled from the girl I’m in utter adoration of and radiated from the generosity and friendship of a wonderfully tight-knitted family of which I’m forever thankful for. This is the first time I have found meaning somewhere. Pathways have sprung ahead of me – call them cobbled streets to happiness if you will. Some may be difficult to traverse, others could be smooth waveless oceans of grass that feel simple and right – either way, they are roads I want to travel, directions I wish to follow – and a place has never incited such a passion within me before. I feel music and colour when I think of the future, but what shines through most is yearning. I have a plan that I want to carry out, and it’s hit me so hard than I’m almost submissive to its pull. Love is like gravity, after all.

There're honestly no hills.

I could attribute this outlook to many things on that trip, be it tasting peanut butter on a burger for the first time, or finding something of a calling card for my future career in the state newspaper – but most importantly, it bloomed and was helpfully pushed along by Cate Howell, the girl who I share a brilliantly unconventional relationship with. There’s a certain word for the kind of feelings that erupt when I think of her, and it’s somewhere ahead of utter adoration or pure respect – it’s some word that I can’t grasp at or form with my mouth, but it’s huge, it’s love, and above all – it is colour. I’m not one to make a relationship ‘my life’, or my only reason for living, but there’s such an intensity here that I can’t ignore, and it makes up such a huge part of my existence. Meeting her and feeling her hands and eyes solidified what was already solid. I have a sure path ahead of me, and I can’t wait for her to share it. Of course, I’m not entirely naive – long term relationships are difficult and require so many things from both parties. I have the maturity to say I’ve never fully recognised this until a while through last year – hell, I almost gave up on the idea of being with someone else completely. And I look forward to arguments, and blazing ardour and growth. Relationships are like  the old tree that has forever stood outside the first house I ever lived in. The branches can twist in surprising ways, they intertwine, they can be chopped and changed for ease and understanding – but above all they stand strong from a root that’s embedded in nature and constant nurture. And for the first time, I’ve realised I want to be the rain and the sun.

We're also very cute together, just fyi.

I don’t want to attribute an entire epiphany in my life to a relationship, just so you understand, but I want to scream out to the world that it is such a large part in it. It has changed my life and where it will lead, and I’ve never been so sure of something before. I’m flooded in colours and music, and although I’m not with her in person now, the utter bond between us hasn’t wavered across the Atlantic at all. I’m normally one for worrying hugely on what other people think, or indeed how they would view this. I can still take their criticisms and praise but now I realise that this relationship is about us. And what we both want is all that really counts. She’s helped to instil something of a regained confidence within me, something that had faded somewhat over the past few years. There’s a certain maturity that’s developed from this which allows me to view my own faults and want to grow from them, to become the man I want to be. It’s so exhilarating to have someone that accepts me for me, and wants to help me grow. And there’s such a connection that’s been forged from me wanting to do the same with Cate too. I’m so blissfully, cheesily and wonderfully happy it’s almost surreal. But it’s here, it surrounds me and I’ll hold onto it and help it evolve for as long as I possibly ever can.

We're cheesy and WE LOVE IT.

Of course this relationship and meeting Cate for the first time isn’t all that made this trip so fantastic. The sheer hospitality and friendship I was offered throughout my stay was utterly wonderful, and I’m so happy to have made all the new friends and meet the family that I truly felt a part of over the course of the fortnight. I found myself somewhat lost at times with them all sharing such an intense connection with each other, but it was a pleasure to sift happily through screeds of family history and scream Rock the Casbah in a drunken frenzy. I loved being a part of it for that fortnight, and that welcoming closeness with people who had never met me before is something I’ll cherish and remember for the rest of my life. There is such gratitude within me towards Cate’s mother and grandmother who accepted me into their homes, and it is truly warming for me to feel so comfortable with not just them, but effectively everyone else I met.

This man in particular already feels like one of my best friends.

In short, my trip to Oklahoma made me realise that everything I know I want in my life is within my grasp. It’s a truly bold thing for me to say that, but I know it’s true and I want to work for it. And there will be hardships along the way, I can’t naively dive into a new direction in life and expect eternal and flawless happiness – but I can vow now to overcome them, no matter how difficult things could ever get. 2012 marks a significant change in my life, and whether it flourished from a random message on Tumblr, tasting ‘real American’ beer for the first time, staying in a hotel and playing Bioshock with my girlfriend on the first night we’ve ever had together, impressing a truly excellent writer, discussing the relationship between love and gravity, hearing a girl scream at her mum in a way I never thought possible, developing an addiction for sunflower seeds and Reese’s Cups – and of course, finally being with Cate and sharing her life as we watched the movie that brought us together and sat beneath stacks of glowing lights – I can honestly say that the direction that I’m going is the right one, and I’ll be surprised if I ever stray from the wonderfully promising path that lies before me.


About Mark

I'm 20, I like RPG making, writing, Final Fantasy, and music. And Oscar Wilde.
This entry was posted in Blogging and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Lost In Colour

  1. Cate says:


  2. Patty says:

    Well, Mark, dear Mark, I don’t quite know how to begin. I am utterly speechless. Cate just sent me the link to your blog, and I teared up almost at the beginning. It was just wonderful and I am very moved.

    First, I am not fond of this format of correspondence since what I want to say is, being from the depths of my heart, so personal. However, I know of no other way of expressing my feelings to you. If you haven’t guessed, this is Grandma Patty….soon to be your grandmother-in-law….if there IS such a thing. I will be proud to bear that title.

    From the beginning, when Cate first told me about you, I had a good feeling about you and the relationship. Call it “women’s intuition”. I watched with interest as Cate’s smile broadened through the months and her eyes gained more sparkle.. It confirmed my speculation. Then when I learned of your desire to come here to Oklahoma, I didn’t need to be convinced that it was a good thing. And, sir, you did not disappoint. You came and you conquered. You absolutely won our hearts.

    You can imagine the love I have for my granddaughter and how her happiness and bright future
    are of such great importance to me. But that is only part of the reason I am so thrilled about your engagement. I am also glad for the maturity demonstrated by each of you as you make this most important decision of your lives. True, in some ways it is so quick. Some would say even premature. But having gone through a storybook romance myself, I believe in “knowing when it is right” You just feel it. You can’t imagine anyone else ever measuring up or for that matter, spending your life with another person. It is an indescribable feeling of confidence and satisfaction coupled with that certain euphoria. At my advanced age, I remember it still, as though it were yesterday and I was 17. And do you know what? To the end, when I would see my beloved across a roomful of people or see him walk into a room, I still got that quivery feeling. ‘Sort of a tingle in my lower arms. My God, I loved that man! And I believe he loved me as he was so good to me and never strayed.

    I didn’t mean to write the story of my life, but wished to tell you that my wish for you and Cate is such a lifelong love. And I truly see and feel such is now and will be forever the case.

    I could not be happier with her choice and we welcome you with open, loving arms into our family.
    I admire your fine qualities and am impressed with your talents. Most of all, I love your gentleness and know you will always be good to our Cate.

    I’m so glad you like Edmond and Oklahoma and look forward to your living here. In the meantime, I am so happy for Cate to have the chance to spend time in Scotland. It will be a wonderful experience for her….and a great time for us to visit! We are eager to meet your family and am grateful to them for sharing their wonderful son. ‘Can’t wait until the big day!

    Patty Mercer

    • Mark says:

      Thank you very much.

      I’m very happy that you’re so supportive and happy with this decision in our lives. It means, honestly, so much to me to have the backing of Cate’s family, especially someone such as yourself and her mother considering the closeness of you three. Not only that, but I’m eternally thankful for the hospitality and warm welcome not just you, but your entire family have given me. That really has meant a great deal to me and I can’t wait to immerse myself further in your wonderfully detailed family history, as much as it may bamboozle me.

      To be honest Patty, I want to make your granddaughter happy for a very long time, and I’m obviously glad I’ve made a showing impact already. I know I’m not exactly rolling in money and I fully appreciate all the financial support and that you’re still more than happy to take me in as a ‘grandson-in-law’ (feels so odd to say that, aha). Making Cate, and this growing relationship happy and fruitful is really my top concern, beside obviously my goals and aspirations, which I’m hugely excited to share with Cate & her family.

      I understand the feeling you’re speaking of, and if you’ll pardon me for being forward, I get the same thing every time I see Cate. There’s just such a happiness that erupts within me that I can’t quantify or put into words, and it’s one of the reasons I think this is such an excellent choice in both our lives. I’m seriously just SO IN LOVE with her it’s unreal, and your support and kindness is fully appreciated. Again, if I’m being too forward here forgive me, but I really wish I could’ve met your husband. He sounds like such an excellent person, and although I didn’t know him personally or really as much as I’d like to at this moment (looking forward to knowing a lot more), from what I’ve heard it looks as if he’s the kind of man I’d strive to be, both for Cate and for my/her family. The fact that your relationship was so solid for so long with him really fills me with more promise than I already have for my own. Again, I apologise if that’s too forward or whatnot, I just thought it appropriate to voice my feelings on the matter.

      In short then really, I’m happy you’re happy, and you should know really all I’ll strive to be is an excellent husband for Cate and a member of your family. I can’t thank you (or Melissa, for that matter) enough, and I can’t wait to see you all again.

      Much love,

  3. Patty says:

    Thank you for responding, Mark. Your reply is as beautiful as the blog that first captured my attention. Please don’t ever worry about being too forward or rude. First, I don’t believe you have it in your bones to do so. Second, I have thick skin and am not easily ruffled. To the contrary, I appreciated the kind words about my late husband. He was indeed the most wonderful man.

    Cate and I had a nice day today, working out the plan with the jeweler for her mother’s ring and viewing a possible site for the wedding. After perusing that idea, she felt that it would be best to have the ceremony in our back yard, then move the party to the reception which will be at a club near our home and the motels. I agreed with her decision,, so here it will be. This is so exciting!

    But then, you already know all this. She was talking with you as we ordered lunch. We then parked in the shade of a giant sign in the parking lot of the shopping center and munched on our sandwiches and yakked away, as only girls can, over wedding plans.

    Cate tells me you are a blues fan. So am I. Today one of the greats passed away. Google Etta James – “At Last” for her signature song. I also love Diane Krall singing anything.. Her version of “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Your Face” is one i really like There are so many great blues singers (and players).and I’m looking forward to your being here when we can turn up the volume and relish in our special favorites.

    Get your rest, now, and take care of yourself. You have so much on your plate between school, carrying on a long distance love affair and being a part of the wedding plans. I can’t help playing the role of a dictating mom: “Go to bed now” , “Get your rest” , “Comb your hair”, “Clean your plate” “Stand up straight”. I need a dose of my own medicine, so I am going to bed and get my rest like a good girl.

    Much love,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s