This is a story about love, friendship, hopes, dreams and a little help from God. Some years ago when we both in our 20's I became friends with a man named Daren Swanson. Daren and his wife used to hang out with myself and my husband at the time. We did everything together for quite a long time, especially go to watch Daren perform in the band he was in called "Flat Top Groove". Many a weekend was spent at local Mississauga and not so local Ontario pubs watching Daren sing and play guitar. I'll never forget him playing songs by Buddy Holly and the Oasis song "wonderwall", taking his picture at the park for his birthday and him playing guitar at my wedding. There were talks on the phone about life and how we were evolving as people in the new age we lived in, we were so *new-agy*. LOL. But life gave us some twists and turns and the 4 of us parted ways in 1997. I never ever forgot about Daren but I never ever thought I'd see him again. I did however think of him often.
There I was years later and life took some serious twists and turns again and I found myself a single mother with 2 children and living in a small apartment in Whitby, Ontario. I will never forget this story of what happened on Labour Day weekend of 2007.
I had been through some serious emotional blows and with yet another stressful school year just starting in a couple of days I was feeling lower than I had probably ever felt in my life up until then. I sat alone at my desk staring at a computer monitor and decided to google Daren Swanson. I came to a website called Alchemy Unplugged. Looking at his face and reading the pages I wondered what he'd been through in 10 years. He perhaps looked tired? Did he ever think of me? Did he ever miss me or wonder where I was? I saw a picture of the woman he was performing with and saw her name was Lisa Nicole and so many thoughts went through my mind. My biggest 3 thoughts about Daren were: I hope he's with her, I hope he's happy and I hope he's found God. Boy was I feeling sorry for myself that night. I remember feeling so low and empty and filled with anxiety. I cried and cried myself to sleep and when I did I found myself praying "Dear God, please fill this black pit in my chest." I do believe I pleaded in a way I had not before.
No word of a lie, the next morning I awoke to a message from one Lisa Nicole who said "Hi, my name is Lisa Nicole and I'm Daren Swanson's girlfriend and we've been looking for you." For the next 2 weeks we msn'd every single minute of the waking day filling each other in on who we were and what had happened to Daren and to me in a decades time. By the end of the 2 weeks came our first visit and what has followed has been one of the best things to have ever happened to me.
Lisa and I have worked together creatively as we began to become best friends. We provide each other artwork and inspiration. I provide the photography they use within their music and she provides the biggest shoulder for all my daily rants. Lisa has helped my heart aches heal every day and helped me to see myself in a far more positive light than I would have ever seen without her.
Daren sees the world through the eyes of someone with mysticism and hope and spiritual awareness combined with science and good old fashioned male perspective. He's a very deep and profound person. When you combine that with the wisdom and kindness and nurturing of a good woman who is equally profound you have this awesome couple who can change the world of everyone they touch and that is just what they do. Lisa Nicole has become the dearest of friends. I've nicknamed her several things one of which is "my other May 5ther" and "angelface". Daren who I've spent less time talking to than Lisa (now that we're fast friends) has been nicknamed my "sparkly heart guy" and I'd never have guessed the funny twist of irony that nickname would come to mean. But I should have guessed. My life is a series of funny twists of irony. It always has been. Probably always will be. Between the 3 of us we've spent hours and hours talking about the meaning of life and human behaviour and the magic that a days events can bring.</p>
On the outside looking at Daren you might think he's maybe a professor, a musician or just a hippy. With that long ponytail and black book in hand to scrawl his life's notes in he fits a perception. Lisa herself is someone special. Like the photos used for my friend Heather's book she's like a fairy or an angel on earth. That petite frame makes you think she's a model and she has mystery because her persona holds a strength and peacefulness.
I am not sure how I'm perceived sometimes but I know outwardly I can seem a bit in your face. With my signature bleach blond hair and colourful but hidden highlights I know people must at least be able to tell I'm at least not afraid of colour. Funny enough I have only just learned how to let myself be ok with shining and even now have times where I am leery, withdraw and can be self defeating but its been this friendship that has gotten me to take that one step out of my comfort zone so that I could take more and more steps as time goes on.
When I first saw Daren again in 2007 I was sad and lost. During that time the 3 of us have all learned to spread our wings so much more. Right now as we speak Daren is in China following a dream for the next 3 weeks! Daren created an idea and the Chinese have invested and its the chance of a lifetime. Daren (who is not just a musician but also a chemist) has developed an explosives formulation using CO2. While detonating, the oxygen molecules are pulled away leaving carbon behind in the wake of a high pressure shock wave, pressurizing the carbon into diamond dust. It's exciting! There is no telling where this idea will go but the fact is he's worked so hard if you could give someone something just for their efforts he's already won!
When you look back at all 3 of us and where we have come from I think you'd see how we're all a diamond in the rough. Unpolished but definitely sparkling. To cut us down or to cut us up is like kicking a kitten. We're somewhat naive, we're good, we're wise in or own ways and we believe. I believe. I believe God intervened the night I prayed and Lisa found me. The truth is she'd been looking for a while, even once going to my old apartment I'd had in Mississauga in 1995 just to try to find me. Twists, coincidences and God brought us all together and I'd like to think that its so we can shine brighter together.
To learn more about or to listen to their music please check out their website that I have a link for on the sidebar. Please also go to youtube to watch the videos. I can guarantee if you appreciate music you will enjoy what you hear. If you're one who prays say a prayer for good things to come to my best friends who work tirelessly to follow their dreams and be true to themselves. If you find yourself in their presence I know one thing is certain, you will walk away positively affected by their love for you and for life.