There is a quiet place, a secret place, that is yours for restoration. There is a realness in the stillness. Go there, when you can; when you need to. It's safe. For me, it is the Other Side of the Trees.
In a short interchange with a friend, many years ago, I spoke a sentence out of my spontaneity, which is not uncommon:
“Here we are, my friend, in the midst of reality.”
“(Pause) I was there, once, but I was just passing through.”
We do pass through the Land of Story and Journey. Both, story and journey, are to be respected … in the telling, and in the hearing. We do not stay, long, in the Land of Story and Journey. A paradox is found in that our stories are not finished, and always ongoing. Our journeys started long ago. Journey’s end is down the road; we definitely are not there, yet, though we may be close. There is a gift, when we hear about the journeys of others; when we hear the stories of others; depending on what the story is, depending on what the journey is about. Great things happen in the Land of Story and Journey. And tragedies happen there, as well. Courage comes with the telling of our stories; courage comes with us on our journeys. I am a thankful man, to be able to pass through the Land of Story and Journey with other story tellers and other sojourners.
is a good thing, eh? On this occasion, in the midst of this post, I am thankful for the blogger – adventurer – Parisian – writer and creator of the April4June6.Wordpress.com blog, for nominating me – – – to receive the One Lovely Blog Award. You really need to visit April’s wonderful blog if you have not yet done so. (https://april4june6.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/january-19-one-lovely-blog-award/)
Okay: about theOne Lovely Blog Awardnominations. I am borrowing April’s description / explanation. No plagiarism intended. Fellow bloggers choose some of the newer, up-and-coming bloggers, to nominate them for the One Lovely Blog Award. The goal is to help give recognition and also to help the new blogger to reach more viewers. It also recognizes blogs considered to be “lovely” by fellow bloggers who choose them. This award recognizes bloggers who share their story or thoughts in a beautiful way to connect with viewers and followers. In order to “accept” the award the nominated blogger must follow several guidelines:
– Thank the person who nominated you for the award. (Thanks again April)
– Add the One Lovely Blog logo to your post. (Ok)
– Share 7facts or things about yourself
Here are 7 facts. Whether or not these facts are interesting or not, that is debatable.
1. I am a huge fan of fresh-baked, homemade, pecan pie.
2. I am so jazzedto read good blogs, and to receive wisdom/ encouragement from other bloggers.
3. I lived in Antarctica, to be a breakfast cook at a field camp known as “Willy’s Field”.
4. I have an amazing wife, an amazing son (17), an amazing daughter (14), and two amazing dogs.
5. I love black, black, coffee … with a healthy dose of cinnamon sprinkled on top.
6. I do not have a secret identity, because I have not been approved, yet.
7. I play a mean harmonica, some days; other days, it’s pretty sad.
The more challenging aspect of all this excitement is to nominate 15 bloggers you admire. Then, let them know, the nominees, by commenting on their blog. April used specific criteria, but I am not able to pull that off. I just don’t have the brainpower. I confess that some of these blogs are not “new” blogs, and some of them have a reasonably high number of followers. However, these blogs have inspired me, immensely, to keep writing well, and to not give up. Bottom line: I like these blogs, and I think you will like them, too.
“This is where I am trying to get to … right here, on this map.”
“(Man studies the map) Hmmm … No. No, you can’t get there from here.”
“Why do you say I can’t get there, from here.”
“Why? Because you’re not moving. You have to move, to get there. Don’t just sit there, or stand there. You have to move.”
“Moving” is a big deal. There is a time to move, there is a time to wait. Impulsivity can drive movement; vision can drive movement; passion can drive movement; wisdom can drive movement; foolishness can drive movement; panic can drive movement; and confidence can drive movement. There may be a risk involved.
For some men, redemptive movement towards an authentic, honorable, intimacy is terrifying. Men desire to be known. Men fear being known. Isolation is appealing to some men. To move … might result in being known, being seen, being heard, being “found out”; thus, being rejected, being ridiculed, being betrayed, being misquoted. One word, or concept, that comes to mind is …
M O M E N T U M
Momentum is about movement; not only movement, but movement in a specific direction, usually with a specific purpose. And MOMENTUM connects with Newton’s Law of Inertia:
During my time of working in the field of addictions, I learned about good momentum, and not-so-good momentum. The heroin addict is never satisfied, unless he changes the momentum from using heroin to pursuing sobriety with passion, intentionality, with vision, for a reason. Same for the workaholic. Same for a man, or a woman, addicted to relationships / sex / codependent relationships / pornography. When I think of Newton’s Law of Inertia, I think of a downhill snow skier.
All it takes is a shift in body weight, at the top of the ski run, and off her or she goes. No motor, no sail. Just skier and mountain. Without an external force, the skier will continue, and it could get dangerous. But when the surface levels out, or when the skier shifts his or her weight, or when he or she falls, or runs into something or someone, momentum is interrupted.
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan
Lastly, I join with those sojourners, those bloggers, who have experienced pain and suffering and anguish and depression … to the point that choosing to move is more difficult (for them and for me) than it is for others. Let’s do courage. Let’s move, and let it be good movement, with vision, with passion, with hope.
“Healer”, not literally. In the realm of relationships, “healer” connects with change. “We are hurt in relationships, we find healing in relationships.” (Anonymous). This post is a metaphorical narrative.
The healer …
comes to the thick of the wilderness, starts her fire, stokes the fire, pulls a few sitting-stumps close, and sits by the fire. The healer’s eyes are kind, with a spark; seeing deeper into the wilderness of men and women. Seasoned, calm countenance, the healer brings to the wilderness hope … hope never given lightly, never received lightly. This healer is a redemptive disruptor.
Sojourners come to this place in the wilderness to see the healer, to sit by the fire; a fire that brings light in the night. Some sojourners want to be known, want to be seen; others cautious of being known, being seen. The fire is a healing process: at times unpleasant, illuminating incorrect thinking, problematic emotions. Sojourners face the healing of the flame, with different styles of avoidance. In the wilderness, some things need to change, some things need to go.
Sojourner sits across from the healer, the other side of the fire; cautiously and respectfully, for a short period. The healer listens, thinks about the spoken, thinks about the unsaid. The healer speaks, while listening, her words are healing words; questions intentional; silence accentuated. I am reminded of a dialog in C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia (my paraphrase):
Peter: “Is he (Aslan the lion) safe?”
Mr. Beaver: “Is he safe? No! He is not safe. But he is good.”
The healer’s eyes, not always safe. But they are good. Change agents are that way. The healer’s mind is good, but not readable. The healer’s work is important, but not predictable. The sojourner’s stay is for a short time, meeting with the healer; leaves with peace; a sacred, arcane, peace.
Dog, we get along fairly well. I feed her; I give her water; I rub behind her ears and her back. I allow her to come to town with us. She deeply appreciates getting away. Really, I don’t think I ask for too much. I’ve told her: “Stay off the couch.” Sometimes, she pretends to be asleep; pretends not to hear.
So, I remind her: “Stay off the couch.”
Again: STAY … OFF … THE … Couch. This time, she hears me.