“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.

 

 

 

 

Rhino’s Hide; Dove’s Heart

This post is not about me.  But if it was, I wouldn’t tell you.  It’s about a man.  That’s all that matters.

An angry man.  Not something I say out loud to anyone.
People, both good people and the other kind, are able to translate, equate, restate, with differing degrees of inaccuracy.  Example: “anger” misunderstood with “danger”.  It is like that one exchange between folks that has been going on for centuries:

“This is what you said.”
“No, that is not what I said.”
“Well, that is what I heard you say.”
“Yes, I believe you.  But those were not my words, were they?”
“(Long pause) No, but that is what you meant.”
“No, that is not what I meant.  It is what you wanted to hear, maybe.  It is what you wanted to believe.”

You have the basic idea, yes?  Maybe you’ve had that dialog with different words.

Returning to the track, my thinking out loud about anger, I again acknowledge that I am angry.  Fortunately, the anger has not permanent residence, here.  It blows in, like a sneaky wind missing the normal comfort of a cool breeze on a hot day.  My anger is inward, and shows up on the outside with slight sarcasm, or less-than-kind comment, or an occasional scream of anguish … “AAAAUUUUUUGHHHHH!!”

“It’s not the big things that send a man to the mad house.  Not a death in the family (one example).  No, it’s the small things: the snap of the shoelace when there is no more time.”

Quote from Time Magazine I remember from about thirty years ago.

Anger rides my heart and soul about my depression that is always close by, but not always at sitting across from me.  This anger steals my joy for a while, until I rally up and fight it off.  This anger distorts my thinking / perception, long enough to take me off the path for a bit.  There has been a tragedy; and maybe I would say that is a small tragedy.  By the way: is that an oxymoron?  ‘Never liked that word: the word “ox” combined with the word “moron”.  Both have negative connotations, for me at least.

This tragedy … it happened a long time ago (thirty years or so?)  Like the depression, I fight this tragedy’s threat to derail my life.  It was the tragedy of minimizing hope; embracing more isolation than what was healthy; forsaking visions and dreams.  Fortunately, the older I become I experience the piercing awareness that I have to fight it, and that I don’t have to settle for it.  There is far more to this life than the psychological hoodlums lurking outside.  I am a fighter, just like you.  I have to tap that truth, and live with the hide of a Rhino, and the heart of a dove.

Hiding Writers, Reading

‘Revisiting some (old) lyrics, and a theme, previously posted, perused in one of the blogospheres (I don’t know how many there are) … A different direction emerged while the muse came by.  Two fellas, met up in 1953, the elementary school-scene in Queens (N.Y.) became famous in their school play, Alice in Wonderland.  One was the White Rabbit (Paul Simon) and the other was the Cheshire Cat (Art Garfunkel).  Actually, they did not get famous from their work in the theater, doing Alice in Wonderland.  They continued to be bro’s through junior high school and high school.  Simon and Garfunkel, their junior year, emerged as “Tom and Jerry” playing some good music.  Seriously?  Yes.  Someone in the recording studio brought up the “Tom and Jerry” thing … and it faded quickly.  “Simon and Garfunkle” was the balm, apparently.  Eventually, after “The Sound of Silence” which put them on the map, they put together this song, “I Am A Rock”, with the lyrics … here:

” … Gazing from my window to the streets below /
On a freshly fallen silent shroud of snow. / I am a rock, / I am an island.
I’ve built walls / A fortress deep and mighty … “

I really love these lyrics, for quite a few reasons.  One of my favorite writing quotes goes like this:  “My wife doesn’t understand that when I am staring out the window, I’m actually working.”  I agree.  Productive? Maybe not, but … still … working.  Because a writer is always watching, observing, taking it all in, appreciating (some) details, editing others.  A writer would take time to ” … gaze from (his / her) window to the streets below, taking notice of the freshly fallen silent shroud of snow …”  And a writer is also aware of how easy it would be to become “a rock … an island”, with “walls, a fortress …”  Such imagery.

” … friendship causes pain. / It’s laughter and it’s loving I disdain …”

I believe that some writers struggle with friendship more than others.  I actually acknowledge my envy of individuals who don’t seem to struggle at all, ever, with friendships.  They seem to be sufficiently charismatic, cool, and people love to be around these individuals.  Friendships are sometimes hard, and I do think that such struggles contribute to a writer’s persistence in writing, and reading.   And that is why these lyrics, here, resonate for me.  And … a question emerges that I pass your way: would you say, on some level, that you “hide” with books? With poetry? And do you have your armor that you protect  yourself with?  

“I have my books
And my poetry to protect me;
I am shielded in my armor,
Hiding in my room, safe within my womb.
I touch no one and no one touches me.
I am a rock,
I am an island.
And a rock feels no pain;
And an island never cries.”

What is a bit weird is that I really find … asylum … with the spy novels (Thor, Ludlum, etc.) sometimes the Western novels (Johnstone, Lamour), and sometimes the good old mystery-“Who Dunnit”s (Charles Todd, Castle, Craig Johnson).  And there is that great line from Shadowlands (movie): “We read to know … we are not alone.”

So, yeah … I was just curious if you guys “hide” … from time to time … in your books, your poetry, your armor.

 

Relationships, Reality & Redemption

What do I know to be true?  Know yourself, and I will know myself, and if I come up short in that area, then … then … What?  Then what?  Oh, my!  Maybe the earth will rip off its axis and hurl into the sun!!!!

No, I doubt that will happen.  Here’s one truth about me: I am able.  I am able to do both good, and not-so-good.  I am able to empower (good).  I am able to enable (bummer, not-so-good).  I’ve walked with many folks over the last 20 years in the counseling context.  And in the realm of addictions, I have encountered the “enabling” dynamic a great deal.  And, if an individual is an “enabler”, that does not mean … that their heart is not good.  In fact, with every enabler I have sat with, there has always been a good heart.  We, with our good hearts, are able to miss the bigger picture, to mess up the smaller picture.  And we, with our good hearts, are able to walk with a soul and inspire, without many words.  We, with our good hearts, are able to run races with specific individuals who have come into our world who want to run well, with love in their hearts … a healthy love, an empowering love, a fragrant love, a tough love, a tough love not without honor, a tough love not without integrity, a tough love not without gentleness.

I am able.  I am able to go after myself with rocks and razored insults; rage and disgust.  There is a fancy word for it, I think: “self-contempt”.  Truly, I am not exempt from self-contempt.  And, truly, there is no exemption from redemption.

And, to use the title of one of my favorite films, “When a Man Loves a Woman”, there is an indescribably intense piece of fighting with honor and love and fairness and staying in the place of a safe place.  Not fighting with physical warfare.  Not fighting with psychological abuse; or verbal abuse; or emotional abuse.  No … this is a fighting where, at the core, is a deep authentic love for the other; caring for the other; and choosing to not let the other “off the hook” … because that is the last thing we need, to escape the responsibility of loving well and “doing relationship” well.

And that is all I’m going to say about that, for now.

Philomena! Philomena!

Movie poster, Philomena
Movie poster, Philomena

Judi Tench: amazing.  Judi Tench plays the role of Philomena.  It is one thing to read a book, or watch a movie, and walk away with “Yeah, I liked it.”  It is another thing entirely when you watch an excellent movie, and find out at the very end that … this is a true story.  It makes to you, I hope, that as I am writing this, I will avoid giving any information away that could possibly spoil this movie, for those of you who have not yet seen the movie.  As for Steve Coogan, I really cannot imagine a better actor for that part.

So, here are some themes, words, that may encourage you to see this move:

  • Injustice, exposed;
  • Portrait of a courageous woman with priceless inner strength and profound resilience;
  • Redemptive change;
  • Disruption that will bring out the bewilderment in you … the bewilderment about how this injustice could happen;
  • Beauty in a great woman’s character;
  • Hope.

This movie will be worth your while, unless you only watch the “action / adventure” movies (Bruce Willis / Die Hard … Do you know what I mean?)

My Side of the Trees, Your Side of the Trees

The trees below are from someone’s  “Other Side of the Trees”, not mine.

wallpaperscraft.com
wallpaperscraft.comA road, or a path, or both, heading outward or inward; or both.  It is good to be out, accompanied by trees.  It was my path.  Yesterday, I knew I was to be … there.  I was concerned about more firewood.

A road, or a path, or both, heading outward or inward; or both.  It is good to be out, accompanied by trees.  It was my path.  Yesterday, I knew I was to be … there.  I was concerned about more firewood.

We had snow … two nights ago, and a lighter sprinkling last night.  Our wood, close to the house, is almost out.  That makes sense, as we are on the final snows, I think.  My backup firewood is down on the other edge of the property.  There is a place where one can pull in, or back in, there.  I have used the space to pile up downed trees.  After I chainsaw, I haul up the logs to our house, right after I chop.  But this past summer, I kept chopping and never got around to hauling.  I made my way through the thick two feet of snow, pulling a long sled behind me.  A strange sight: shoveling snow off logs.  I loaded the logs on the sled, and used bungee chords (which are like gold) to keep the logs from falling out of the sled.  Once back at the house, out of breath, I unloaded the firewood.   I was looking forward to calling it a day, when I couldn’t ignore the dog, Stash (short “o”), her .deep resonating barks … just loud enough to be a nuisance.  Stash is our Bernese Mountain Dog.

My Bernese Mountain Dog. Refusing to be herded.
My Bernese Mountain Dog. Refusing to be herded.

To get Stash into the house requires a patient “herding” strategy.   How do you herd a dog that has come from many generations of seasoned Swiss “herders”?  I walk through the deep snow one way, then walk back the other way, depending on where Stash is going.

Once inside, my daughter gave me a great hug … and she said “Dad, you smell good!”  I didn’t know if she was being serious.  I thought she was talking about my perspiration.  She said “You smell fresh, like you have been out with the evergreens.”

Sunset Other Side of the Trees
Sunset Other Side of the Trees

   Now, all of this was happening on my “Other Side of the Trees”.  But the picture at the top is of trees from someone else’s “Other Side of the Trees”.  My hope is that you are able to find your own quiet place: your “Other Side of the Trees”, or some other beautiful, healing, place.

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

We Remember, Eh? What Valentines is Made Up Of …

That woman,  there … with the long white dress, the cross sewn into the train … she has my heart, and it will always be that way.  Those on both sides of the aisle show a glow, reflecting the beauty of  this bride, an elegant one.  Her countenance has a fragrance that reminds me of the Don Juan Rose.

She and I both remember, and reflect on from time to time, the trip to the airport, a few days before Christmas of 1994.  I had met her in October.  We went out a few times in November.  And in December, we both needed to fly out of Denver … and somehow our flights went out on the same day (different planes, different destinations).  So I had a good friend drive us both to DIA.  We followed the creed of Christmas travelers: arrive early; thus, the pre-flight java before one of us flew south, and the other flew north.  Less than six months later, we had a wedding.

A safe place.  A commitment to live well with each other, and to love well with each other, and to look ahead, for the big things, with each other.  Life is  harsh, and we fight for each other.  And we when we don’t see eye to eye, we fight with honor, with respect.  We parent together.  We rest from the storms, and we heal from the wounds, our stories have redemption.  For my amazing wife, Happy Valentines Day, my love.  I have had a place in my heart for folks who are in marriages that aren’t working.  So difficult, as they don’t always know whether to stay or to go.  A million dollar question for some is “Can this marriage be healed?”  And in some cases, the only right answer is get out of the marriage.  All of this is so difficult.  I hope the best for all.  We all need peace; we all need hope; we all need to be safe; and we all need to be loved well.

T