Brothers, Sisters, Mothers, Fathers

On the other side of the trees, it gets quiet after the kids have turned in for the night.  I’ve had time to think about family; my immediate family and my family of origin.

“I don’t believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers. It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage. Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at.

Maya Angelou

“There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” 

"Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice.  It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved."- William Jennings Bryan   Click here for resources to improve your Intentionality…
“Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a choice.  It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be acieved.”   William Jennings Bryan

In our going, from here to there, we come out on the other side of difficult (putting it mildly?) relationships, and step into healthy relationships.  Seasons of relational isolation may still come, that wrap around us like a heavy blanket; causing me to remember.  Overshadowed by two older brothers, tolerated and managed by my parents, I was (am?) the “Black Sheep”.  Over the years, there have been attempts to recapture those elusive years.  We cannot always go back to repair the gaps that leave us with longings for significance and community.

Finding Our Fathers: How a Man's Life Is Shaped by His Relationship with His FatherSamuel Osherson’s book, “Finding Our Fathers”, provided some healing in the midst of grieving the loss of my father.  Osherson  wrote (paraphrased): “Some sons go through their lives searching for love and acceptance from their fathers … perpetually elusive.  Men hope to find it in their work, relationships, or other areas … unable to find what they are looking for.”  We must get past the losses; we must move on; embrace our significance that is within us. 

Healing happens because of safe, powerful, beautiful, relationships: new brothers, new sisters, older individuals who, for a season, pour into my weathered soul.  There is pain and betrayal; there are unsafe people.  Thus, the risks we take.  We are seasoned by both the good and the bad.  Foggy mornings and moonless, starless, nights still happen, where relational isolation howls.  We endure, with strength and faith; the fog will lift; the nights will not always be so dark.  Authentic brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, play a profound role in our voyage.  


Image result for master and commander the far side of the world 2003
From the movie, “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World”





A Ship


Related image
USS PGM 22, PC 461 Class Gun Boat Minesweeper

A previous post about my father, “Dad Man”, surfaced recently, in my mind.  The nickname came about from me and my brothers.  More commonly known as Bill Davis, he was referred to by his close friends as “Billy”, or “Wild Bill”.  My Dad finished his race well that morning, June 24th of last year (2016),  transitioning into eternity.  The U.S. Navy provided a flag ceremony at his  funeral.  Dad served as the XO (executive officer), reporting to the commander.  Dad  cruised the South Pacific in WW2 on the 

Bill Davis, XO, PGM 22, WW2

 USS PGM 22, a PC 461 Class Gun Boat, sweeping and detonating mines.  My search for a picture of my Dad’s ship came up empty.  I did find a picture of a PC 461 Class Gun Boat, of the same class as Dad’s USS PGM 22.     The SC-497 was an off-shore patrol and anti-submarine warfare vessel. 

Related image

During WW2, most minesweepers were mechanical.  “Sweeps”, or “sweep wires”, were submerged into the water, down to where the cable held the mine in place.  The sweep wires of the minesweeper then cut the cable, sending the mine up to the surface.  A sharpshooter then detonated the mine.  The first drawing is of a mechanical minesweeper.

The second drawing is of a more advanced minesweeper, which uses a “pavane”, similar in shape to a small plane.   My imagination places me on Dad’s ship, the  USS PGM 22, Dad in his U.S. Navy khakis.  I would have sat in the briefings, in the back, with others, while he issued the ship’s orders, and talking to the guys.  Now Dad Man is up in the heavens, cruising on a most excellent patrol boat minesweeper, where there are no mines, hanging out with all of his shipmates, and other Navy guys he never met in the war.  This post is about the grieving and loss we experience; and the joy of knowing others we love and care deeply about.  We explore the lives of those who have gone before us, who have finished their race.  We are on our own ships … maneuvering through the mines, using our sonar, thankful for a new day.










Apathy: No Man’s Land


Image result for Images film “Fugitive”

Harrison Ford is Dr. Richard Kimble, a fugitive from the law, an innocent man falsely indicted for murdering his wife.  In the movie, “Fugitive”, Chief Deputy Marshall Samuel Gerard (Tommy Lee Jones) relentlessly hunts Kimble.  Dr. Kimble slips down a storm drain, into the tunnels.  Gerard follows Kimble, slips in rushing water, drops his gun.  Dr. Kimble grabs the gun, points the pistol at Gerard: “I did not kill my wife!”.  Chief Deputy Marshall Gerard’s responds “I don’t Care!”  

The words “I don’t care” scream apathy, the opposite of love, a “no-man’s land”.  We have no business in the realm of apathy.  Adolescents I worked with years ago, removed from parents’ custody, often expressed: “I DON’T CARE!”, words that reflect apathy.  For kids living in a group home, the words are, in reality, a cry from within, a challenge: “Care for me!  I dare you.”  These kids had very few people to stick with them.  Case managers come and go; counselors come and go; group homes come and go.   Some of these kids would never be reunited with their parents.  When we hear apathy, something else might be happening.  An alternative to vulnerability is to raise a shield of apathy, for protection.  Apathy blocks an unwanted emotional reaction.  Like the angry adolescent living in a group home, longing to be loved, apathy can be a challenge:  “Do you really care?  Are you authentic, or a poser?  Or are you going to fade away?” Continue reading “Apathy: No Man’s Land”

Push, Pull

Push.  Pull.  The seen.  The unseen.   Choices come, choices made, choices fade; sometimes we don’t get it right.  

Image result for picture man pushing rock uphill

“We are all spinning plates. One is going to drop, eventually.” 

Malcolm Gladwell, Blink 

Related image The Far Side

Some calls, better than others; tension, inherent to life.  We must experience times and places of rest.  To rest in the thick of the push-pull is a worthy endeavor; a restorative adventure.  

“She stared at the stars like they were pillow for her mind and in their light she could rest her heavy head.”  Christopher Poindexter 

“Rest and be thankful.” Image result for quotes rest William Wordsworth  / 

“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.”  Alan Cohen / “Women show men beauty in things beyond their ambitions. Women tell men to stop and smell the roses.” Related image Chriss Jami, (from Diotma, Battery, Electric Personality)


“Don’t you simply love going to bed? To curl up warmly in a nice warm bed, in the lovely darkness. That is so restful and then gradually drift away into sleep…” C.S. Lewis / “The best of all medicines are resting and fasting.” Benjamin Franklin       

Image result for images Rest is a disciplineIn some of my posts, I have referred to “the larger story”.  We have our own unique stories: they are our own, no one else’s.  It takes courage to walk out our story.  Our stories are not finished.  Our stories are still being written.  When we get caught up in doing, doing, doing … going, going, going … We might be avoiding what it is we are … really … supposed to be doing.  That is when we are in the “push-pull”, Image result for images push pull  fast decisions, extra work projects, giving up some sleep, allowing our emotions to be messed with.  One description of rest that I came upon years ago  has stuck with me: “Rest is a discipline.”  Wow, a discipline is something that one takes time to practicem because it is a priority.  Just a thought.