This little bit of here and this present moment called now.
I found myself in a place and time I was not wanting. This place called “change”. Thrust upon me in a fashion undesired, in a manner unexpected. A force that was unrelenting and I was incapable to withstand. To pretend was not an option. To wish it was not so… futile. Seminal. As in the place that on this day things turned. This force of nature that was above and beyond the reach of my arm and the grasp of my fingers. The feeble and impotent attempts to alter, had their result. Nothing but failure, and exhaustion. Change was here. Not soon to come. Now.
Like a small boat on a turbulent sea. Tossed about and at the same time, beneath the peak of waves looking to the sky and then up again, into the blasting winds. The churning violence and the impending doom. The noise and the spray and the rawness, all with the power to overwhelm… The news was upon me. Brought by a friend and then a stranger, and then the noise, seeing the lips moving and words being broken by the waves of emotion and blown back into my now unseeing eyes. My ability to take it all in and to make the adjustments and corrections, and the lurking danger which reminded me with every wisp of spray, was being degraded and drained with the awareness of it. Overwhelmed and then consumed. Silence comes, but only by the not hearing the words. Internal silence. Numb.
News this large is not mine alone. There are other little boats, and other tellers of tales. Of friends that come. Of strangers with noisy news unexpected. Unwanted. Transformative. This place of the recipient is as common as mankind. Only the nature of the tale, and the magnitude, is different. The expectation or surprise of it, will alter the ferocity of the storm. The number of friends that arrive and the silence of the knowing ones. This tumult is called change, and now you will be different. It is a time called molting. Helpless, exhausted, not safe, unproductive. Vulnerable. Shedding that which is familiar and protective. Transitioning to something new. But not yet complete. Turning, not turned. Starting the process, not done. Raw and incomplete.
This is a place many come to. This place of the news that transforms. The rawness of it is bounded by the degree of unexpectedness mixed with the completeness. To be a teenager and the parent passes, or the house burns. The stories of the trauma and the unresolved hopes. The expected help from the friends that abandoned you. The anger that drove others away. News. Delivered and received. Like a “registered letter” at the post office, you know it is there, just un-read, for now at least. Piercing, when it comes. The son that took the dog with him, in the garage with the car, for one last run into the dwelling of permanent sleep. The hinge that is the place on which all things turned. The cardinal hinge, that holds up and turns as well.
Each respond in their own manner, but it is always about the bad news. Life altering and ever pervasive, this type of tale is told. In firm and solid ways, as tenderly as can be mustered, and the molting begins. Demanded upon for answers unprepared for. Soon to be exhausted by the enormity and inescapable power of the tsunami of them. Subsumed by the relentless number, and each of a magnitude that effects not simply you but others as well. Until you find the refuge. The place of rest, after the storm has passed. And you are alone. With your thoughts, and perhaps a single friend. But that is a time not yet, and a place not here. This is the now and the time of distress. It is not done.
We all have had the tale told of that aunt or that moment in the past that the family changed. The quiet story of a passing relative, but you were young, and they didn’t mention the manner of the passing. The uncle and the embezzlement, or the reason for the sudden change of cities of your cousins… Unprepared you didn’t know it could be your fate as well. All the more the power of the surprise. All the more the deepness of the trough of the sea’s waves. And now it is real.
That the fire was set on purpose is new news. That the intentionality of the thing is also a surprise. It causes more but different pain, this bit of knowledge. A sudden death in a wreck, a loss in a war over seas, an “accident” that took a life are all of a single type of pain. That you left on your own accord, that is a different type of loss… rejection is its companion. Undeserved, and undesired, but still it is real. Did you really not see the foreshadows in the horizon? Were you simply not aware of the clouds forming?
In a sailing context the term for having a tail wind is called “running with the seas”. It simply means a strong wind blowing you in the direction of its path and your actions simply let it run. You make great speed and time, but it may not be in the direction you need to be going. To change that you need to do what is called “coming about”. What that entails is to turn into the wind, change the sails, have the waves smash onto your decks and the wind blow into your face. If you are ready and have enough help you can keep all of your stuff and move the sails without tearing them. If you are shorthanded and or not prepared, then things get washed overboard and sails are ripped, and ropes are pulled till they break. Waves and wind come aboard unrequested and smash and soak and spray. You are tempted to return to your former path that was easy, just not correct. You are wishing for the pain to stop. This is where you are. Now. Here. Wishing you could return to the easy path and the pleasant winds at your back. You know that you cannot, but it is what you would wish, if you only had time.
Survival. What a word. It carries so much power in its short three syllables. A cry against injustice. A cry for relief, A yearning for the mere moments of only mere moments before… all while knowing that it cannot be. A time not now and a place not here. Death comes. The death of dreams or the death of a friend or worse, a mentor. A person revered, gone. Not simply the loss of a companion but of hope bestowed on you. Now you are to be the giver of hope and the truth is that you have none. That is what has been swept from the decks of your ship that has come about, that you were not as ready as you had believed. Only this has been revealed by the act of the turning. Things lost and not to be recovered. Youth, innocence, irresponsibility and freedom. Gone. Today you graduate into adulthood. Regardless of age, it is now. It is here.
What then is next? Who am I to become? Am I capable? We will see, for there is no other option but to do. A new day. Not the doldrums of an absence of wind, but an unsure place of things to do, with a wind of uncertain power. Wings, not yet dry, but called upon to carry me aloft. I will do the work of the day before me. I will move with the limp produced by burden of the knowledge I carry. I may tell of this burden, or not, as the companion is capable of knowing. Enough knowledge, but not debilitating amounts. Knowing I can be a flawed judge, but with a wisdom of experience and not age. I will know by the look in your eyes, and the call on your heart.
This is the task of one that has recovered. I may not be there yet, but I will be one day. The giver of the wisdom I have gained. The one that has recovered from the test of the wind and the wave. The one that has chosen to sail on into the mighty seas with the remaining cargo that was not lost, my identity. I am that which I have not lost. I am that which is of value to the one that I speak, as a warning of things yet to befall you. Storms not known and tempests which toss you as if you are nothing. The magnitude that is more than you can know if you have not encountered it. Smile as only the uninitiated can. It will come to you as well. Then we can tell of the days that men go silent. Then we can tell of the tears that do not come. Then… a time not now and a place not here. The place of which only the ones that survived can speak of. The coming about in a sea that cannot be named. The place and the time that men’s lives were changed. A place not here, a time not now.
You will know the look in the eye of the one that is of such as this. They have weathered the storms of life. The squall that came in the dark at a time they were not prepared. You will know, for it is that which you have known. Do not withhold the story of these days. The story needs spoken into existence. The tale needs told. Do it justice, do it with grace. Yield to the fears and the power of death faced bravely, with the knowledge of your fears. Do not pretend bravery that was not there. Tell of the power of that fear that was present, but not yielded to. Tell of the friend that came to mind that compelled you to be more and do better. In this you can become that of which you speak, to one that will need it later on. A companion of merit, in a time of turmoil. A friend that is here, in a time that is now.
This is who you are. That which is transcendent of time and place. A beacon of hope to the tempest tossed. To the weary and the hungry and the lost. That which you were only some moments before. In a time not now and a place not here.
Popular posts from this blog
In Times Like These “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” or so the poet says. Part of the problem that we confront is that we are new to this part of history, so it feels unknown and scary. When you are confronted with the “unknown” it is called chaos, and out of that comes truth and awareness that is new to you. It is found when a child is taken to meet a new friend and they are wary of all that is new. It isn’t new, really, though it may be to the child or to us. This may be the year of the internet millionaire or the Covid small business death, but it is your year. Alone in the way that it is yours, and yet collective in that many can tell the same story. It is the time of our lives. Your story is simply that, your own. From the beginning of your life through the teaching and experiences that brought you too today, it is specific. Good or bad, long or short. Well-seasoned, with history as perspective or simply the musings of the narcissist absorbed with you
Crucible Why is it always a surprise how hot things get and so quickly? Crisis builds slowly and then all of a sudden it is intense and endless. The story is always the same. Things are simply going the way things go, and then three separate decisions combine and all hell is raging and your hair is on fire. It comes as a surprise, or I would have been prepared. Why am I surprised, again? Friends suck, that is why it hurts. That is why you are not prepared. That is why you were guarded. How then did it happen again? What did you miss, that let them get past the barriers? The heat will not let up, this I know from the last time. Ok, the last several times… Here I am, in the vessel filled with the debris of many bad decisions. Good parts and bad. Broken and whole. The heat will melt it all into a soup that will easily pour into a new mold. First will come the flux that grabs what I thought was important and take it away. It has happened time and again and it is the same eve
On Divorce This is not a complete work, but a few observations. It is not all personal, but it is all true. It is about the parts that move, and the ones that don’t. The issue, at its core, is that of failure. Failure to listen, failure to tell. Failure to hear what is not said, and to do things that drive you to the edge of hope or fear. The church doesn’t know what to do with it. Society doesn’t know what to do with it. Those that are adamant about how correct they are, are the most afraid of it happening to them. Our friends are unclear about what to do with it when it happens. Most of the time it is only a trail of loss and the crumbs of our past strewn along as we go. The rending of the fabric of our relationships and lives is a sound you cannot not remember. You can imagine the lamb that has it's tail docked and has to re-orient its life and adapt to the new reality. No one wins, but some have hope of the pain stopping, and the possibility of
The music It sat there, in the corner. Hasn’t been moved in years. The man that used it is gone, but the memories are still resonating, vivid and clear. I watched him play the accordion and was in awe of the music that he made. The polkas, of course, and the many happy dance tunes. But at times, in the most incredible ways, the tune would become something that would penetrate deeply and with great soul and the curious mix of disconnection. You would wonder “how can that tune come from that machine?” The accordion is not generally a mournful and melancholic machine, and yet there it was. The sound that pulled you in rather than pushed you around the dance floor. The box is curious, and how it came to be is a quirk of history and need and serendipity. It was used on the ships in the days of sail, and languid winds, to pass the time. That version was small and quite limited, but the function was the same. A few buttons on one end, to change the pitch
Personal Pain The transformation of the pain in our life into something that can be processed is quite a challenge. The notion that it can be converted into a power source is not even a thought to most people and if mentioned is a laughable one at best. Pain is to be endured at the least and avoided if possible. Inoculation and hedging against future blows is the road most traveled… Personal pain is a reality of ownership. Not for everyone to know, these are items taken out of their own private box for a very select group. Sometimes it is a group of only one. This is the pain that is scary, sticky, and sometimes not yet congealed into a shape that can be corralled with adjectives. Real and very powerful, this is pain that is a “slow to heal wound”. Like a broken rib or shin splints, the pain is inside and in certain activities debilitating. But the knowledge that it cannot be shared is a wound just as real. This is the boomerang pain. Residual
The purpose of this blog is to send out a piece of writing from time to time, mostly each week. It is a path of randomness (the rabbit trail) and yet is connected to many other parts (the spiderweb). In this case the web is three dimensional (more random connections) and has at times been a place some people have gotten lost trying to follow the trail... I hope you will be fine with having to start over and see if you get the point. Most of these writings are personal, I have never published any, and are simply a framework for you to put your own story into. If you were to print them most are 2 pages or so, so they are a reasonable quick read. That doesn't mean they are simple, just short. While personal, they are not a diary, polemic, or a screed about some political high-horse issue, but then too, neither should the comments be that either. The best part of these is that if any particular one is of little value to you, I am fine with it. Simply come back and see if ther
In the Dark I wrote this as a description of people going through the process of recovery and starting again. We all move through that at our own pace, and can't know the cadence of another. Enjoy. There is a place underwater that the light stops penetrating. It is different depending on the part of the ocean that you go to, but the point of no light is still there. To go to this part of the dark water with a sub and turn on the lights you will find some creatures that thrive in these waters. The individual adaptations will be just that, individual. The types of actions are also very specific. The pictures of these creatures are amazing. To get to a place that is so deep that light is gone is quite of journey. The path to this level requires more than a casual step into a part of life that is not generally frequented. Mostly it is avoided. The parts of this depth that are different is that the pressures are truly phenomenal. The lack of plants and the nee