“Prodito” In The House, Hope Rolls On

Prodito in the house !

Prodito (Latin):

The breaking or violation of a presumptive social contract, trust, or confidence that produces moral and psychological conflict within a relationship among individuals, between organizations or between individuals and organizations.
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Standing up on a rock cropping in the mountains … 9 to 10 thousand feet elevation … watching a mass of evergreens  when the wind comes toward you is a beautiful image.  You can see the wind move in the distance, the trees nodding their crowns toward you, closer, closer, closer, and the force glides past you, over you, through your hair.  And then, it is gone.  Some friends are like that.  A “friend” is not always a friend.  It is one thing, someone speaks  something difficult to hear, with some measure of truth.  It is another thing to, as in “prodito” … break / violate a social contract / trust / confidence … that brings about moral / psychological conflict within a relationship.

Image result for images of friends betrayal
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My family and I went out on a limb to help someone … a friend … a few months ago.  Over a period of about ninety days, we bought them meals, provided transportation with the bigger goal in mind of helping them get on their feet.  We helped them with expenses.  We were like family.  Then, things started to “go south”, gaining momentum.  I talked to the man, drew a clear boundary, with a calm voice, tactful words, and clarity.  Result?  He went berserk.  I read a number of pieces about betrayal; spent a few hours pondering the reality and concept of betrayal; processed the impact this had on me, along with my family.  I am actually curious if any of my fellow bloggers have identified some of these “categories”, themes, thoughts and emotions.

  • I wrestle with anger and sorrow.  Sorrow, redemptive, healing; anger, unreliable, reckless, selfish, leaves me in a bad place.
  • The quotes I have perused, self-pity emerges as a common theme.  Self-pity showed itself, a distraction from the better path to healing.
  • Betrayal is experienced by everyone, on some level; some experience betrayal on a far more intense, traumatic, level (than others).
  • Am surprised that this could happen to me?  Yes.  No.  Betrayal happens, coexisting with formidable pain
  • Lastly (for this post), I see a profound opportunity in compassion and forgiveness, for this man.  Could it be that a great deal of pain drives this man to “choose” this destructive style of relating?

I know there is more to all of this.  I am interested to know how others have handled betrayal, and what their experience is.  I know that I can learn from this, regardless of my own pain.  I also know that prodito was in the house for a short while.  But no more.  And in the same house, which is our home, hope rolls on.

 

 

 

 

Little Snow, Little Rest, Little Coffee

People talk, you know.  We learn over time that you cannot believe everything you hear. “The moon, part of it, is made of green cheese.”  “Elvis Presley is a hermit living in Utopia.”  “Humpty Dumpty was pushed” (actually, this might be legitimate!).

So, when they said that we had a total of (about) 16 inches of snow, here … yesterday / through the evening … I just didn’t see it.  But, it’s close to being accurate.  The snow, usually, jolts me out of any fog that I’m in the midst of.  The radiant sun shining through the windows, always finding my eyes, lights up the snow, presenting the white precipitation in a glorious way.  While I grabbed some rest last night, the snow was happening, and then it stopped …  My body, and more importantly the two dogs, made it clear that the rest was over.  My mind wanted more, but my body said, basically, “that’s enough, time to get up … and make some coffee.”   For years, my coffee was with cream, and two sugars.   About 2015, I decided that because I was so tired when I surrendered my sleep, I would start drinking my Joe black, but still with two sugars.  Things have been better, since that difficult decision.  So, that is a little of what is happening.  A little snow, a little rest, a little coffee.  Black coffee.

 

Now? Or Before?

I stumbled out of slumber; resistance, prolific (an exaggeration).  No turning back.  Onward.  Life moves toward the finish line, while some still live in the past, keeping a strong focus on memories, life in the rear-view mirror.  I struggle at times, embracing  present and future, vigilantly keeping the past at bay.  I grieve for the loss of my dad, who honorably crossed that profound finish line in June of 2016; ten months have passed.  I remember so much about my dad, the adventures; the pain of what I missed out on, important words unsaid.  I shake my head with frustration: the grieving has gone on for just shy of a year.  I want to wrap this up, move onward from my dad, let him enjoy the great festival of freedom and joy, released from this jaded world.

Image result for Images map of Noatak, AlaskaEven with my intent to be present, in the “here-and-now”, images, people, memories, drift in from the past.  Intrigue.  Curiosity.  Recently, I stumbled across a picture of an Inupiat family in  Noatak, Alaska.  A good-looking family, from 1929. The Inupiat are in northern / northwestern Alaska, and  part of the Northwest Territories.  Inupiat traditional territory spanned Norton Sound on the Bering Sea to the Canada-United States border.  

Inupiat_Family_from_Noatak,_Alaska,_1929,_Edward_S._Curtis_(restored).jpg (3751×2872)
1929,_Edward_S._Curtis_(restored).jpg (3751×2872) …  

Noatak sits on the west bank of the Noatak River, 55 miles north of Kotzebue, 70 miles north of the Arctic Circle. This is the only settlement on the 396 mile-long Noatak River, just west of the 66-million acre Noatak National Preserve.  Noatak was a fishing and hunting camp in the 19th century, evolving into a permanent settlement.  In 1880, the census listed the site as Noatagamut: “inland river people.”  A post office was established in 1940.  So, you could probably send a letter there if you felt so inclined.

A beautiful woman, a radiant mother, exuding a quiet, authentic, joy.  The man, with an enigmatic mix of confidence, strength, and peace.  The little one, surrounded by fur and love.  Below, a photograph, an Inupiat group heading out to fish in their kayaks, the same year, 1929, by the same photographer, also in Noatak.  I wonder if the Inupiat man (above), is one of the Noatak kayak-fishermen ( below)?  

Eskimos in kayaks, Noatak, Alaska. Photograph by Edward S. Curtis, ca. 1929. Edward S. Curtis Collection at the Library of Congress

 I revisit stories and individuals in the past.  I draw strength from them.  Going back “there” empowers me to move forward, onward.  C.S. Lewis’s words resonate:  Image result for Quotes Onward

Some parts of the stories, I do not know.  I visit the lives of  sojourners who have gone before us, highlighting mystery.  Mystery is very much alive, all over: the mystery of how love works, how love looks; how to find meaning and joy in our circumstances and our stories; gazing into a ravishing sunset; seeing a harvest moon arise, especially when one is not expecting it; and the Northern Lights.   Within this tension between reflections on the past and returning to the present and the future, I am there.  The grieving process … mysteriously … continues, longer than what I would like.  The grieving process continues beyond my timetable; I want to know more about the mystery of the man, my father; and the memories.  My cell phone still shows me the current time.  My heart continues to beat.  My breathing continues.  The future is around the bend, and I cannot hold it back.  I live in the present, and I ride it like a wild bull.  I hold on for the ride of my life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s the Light, This Morning

 

There is light, just over the horizon.  Just on the other side of that mass of fog.  Other side of the mountain.  It’s not piercing, or blazing, but it’s there.  Sometimes the fog, up there, accentuates the mystery in our lives, in nature.  

The huge mountains, their peaks taking center stage … are sometimes shrouded by the fog that hints of light.  The peaks, no longer at center stage.  It’s not the peak, that’s the focus. It’s the light, in different forms.

Someone said, long ago:

“Weeping my endure for the evening.  Buy Joy returns in the morning.”
http://psychologyofcolor.com
The Grove Park Inn, Ashville, NC / http://psychologyofcolor.com

We need light, we want light.  At night, the sun sinks downward, eastward, and temps drop: we are helped by the light that keeps us warm.  Someone said that there is a fire that refines us like a furnace.  “A fire gives light, which draws us in; and a fire also burns.”

 

A great quote, from Shadowlands, goes like this: “We read to know, that we are not alone.”  I think sunsets, sunrises, light hiding behind the fog, behind the peaks do that for us as well.  They all let us know … we are not alone.

 

Dispatch To The Guys From The Past …

Dispatch to the guys from the past …

Just yesterday morning, before 6, I watched the colors of the pre-sunset coming together.  Good colors, penetrating my busied soul.  At the present hour, we have snow flying in.  Maybe three, four, inches.  fireplace  There is a fire in the fireplace; I guess that is why they call it a fireplace; I hope the chill in my body will fade.  One of the dogs is out like a light, on the couch.  
dog-sleeping  
We recently moved.  When I consider this dispatch to the  past, I know that most of us have moved, several times.  Some of us more than others.  I always was a runner, then.  There is less running now, in my present.  The paradox is
obvious.  In this dispatch, I consider the past: memories, friends, challenges, disappointments, great blessings.  Yet none of you are there, in the past.  We’ve all moved on.  And, for the most part, we are all thankful for that.  I miss you all. One day, we will all catch up.

Runners

I worked with high-risk adolescent males in a residential treatment facility (RTF), years ago, up in the foothills of Colorado, 45 minutes west of Denver.  It was an older house, well-built, fairly large … originally a bootlegger’s house during the Prohibition.  A (hidden) trapdoor from the main floor provided an escape route down to the garage: the gangsters’ getaway car parked and ready to go at a moment’s notice.

Fast forward to the (RTF) in the late nineties: we had a cross-section of kiddos, a variety of criminal offenses.  One young fellow showed up, transported to our facility by county sheriff officers, handcuffed in an orange AWOL jumpsuit (not uncommon). “AWOL” (Absent WithOut Leave) referred to an individual who was a “runner”.  “Without Leave” simply meant leaving without permission.  This boy frequently tried to escape the supervision of police and treatment staff.  Some AWOL’s were fast; others,  not so fast. This particular kiddo (I learned the hard way) was one of the fast ones.  I stood at the counter processing the paperwork, saw that the boy had slid over from a bench on one side of the room to a bench closer to the door.  I told him to get back to the other side of the room.  He stood up, started back, but like a flash turned around, rocketed himself out the door.  The chase was on, around the corner of the building.  We sprinted through the trees.  Uphill, downhill.  I was keeping up with him, calling out to other staff on the property “RUNNER!”  He raced downhill, dropped to the ground, and I flew over him.  I came crashing down, close to a fence.  I saw the boy breathing hard, trying to get air into his lungs.  He jumped up, made for the fence. I grabbed him by his AWOL jumpsuit, and brought him down to the ground.  The next two times the boy ran, I never caught him.  The last time I saw him, he was walking all so carefully across a frozen pond; amazed that he was so brazen to walk barefooted across the ice surface of the pond … ice that could break open at any moment and swallow up the kid.  What a runner.

Runners.  I will never forget that kiddo.  I wonder where he is now. I think about myself, post-highschool and college years.  I had my own style of running.  I ran from my story, my family, my southern town, my calling, my fears.  Image result for Images Quote Not the fear of dying, not the fear of living Now, I run toward coffee and food.  I run toward humor.  I had a season where I ran toward the mountains, the trails, the thick, far removed backcountry with deafening silence.  With the demands of life, my mountain-escape route is no longer available.  Fortunately, I always come back to face the giants.  I’ve learned a little about men: what we run from, what our fears are about; and why we run.  Some men are afraid of intimacy.  Some men are afraid of failure.   Some men are afraid of success.  One of my favorite quotes:

“It’s not the fear of dying.  It’s the fear of living.”

In those realms of isolation, emotional instability, passionless living, our callings are distant; and the fear of living grows. And when fear grows, we run.

Image result for Images Quote Not the fear of dying, not the fear of living

The Branch

I remember the branch. It looked like a creek, a skinny creek with steep banks, or sides.  Maybe it was a creek.  But is wasn’t as a creek.  It was a branch.

“First recorded in 1835, ‘the branch’ (at that time and in that context) is a word for a creek, brook, stream of clean drinkable water.”
(From Wikipedia)

The branch possessed a fair share of curves, maneuvering through a forest of tall pine trees faithfully guarding the branch on both sides.   Massive quantities of pine straw lay at the base of the banks, next to the cool water. Jeff and I were committed  to the adventures of the branch.  This included running starts, catapulting our immortal pre-adolescence over the branch… landing on the deep, spongy, masses of pine straw, perilously close to the water.  There was extraordinary power flying through the atmosphere, upwards of 100 mph.  Jeff’s dog went by the name of “Smoky”, who appeared to be a Labrador mix; a charcoal-gray scoundrel, a real scrapper.  My dog went by the name of “Spotty”: a collie, much more of a refined dog.   Jeff and I would follow a trail that led through the woods, alongside the branch.  When we reached the turn-around point, the dogs were behind us at first, but quickly faded into the forest.  When we reached the place where the trail started, both dogs were there, waiting on us.  We never understood how that worked.  Since the euphoric days of the branch, I am still committed to adventure, amidst those pieces of life I fail to understand.  That is part of the adventure.  There are days when we do what Indiana Jones would do,  “… I’m planning this as I go along.”

Image result for Images Indiana Jones planning this as I go along