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”

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Robin Williams, and I Hanging Out / Re-write

Robin Williams:

A good man, gifted,

gifting us through prolific imagination,

unleashed humor, amazing spontaneity …

Robin Williams / abc7news.com

 

So much written about R.W.  Thus, Solomon’s piece, at the core of my writing: “It’s all been said before.”

Robin Williams / http://www.calebwilde.com

Here some thoughts of a disc-jockey in “Good Morning, Vietnam”, a professor in “Dead Poets Society”, Mrs.Doubtfire, Teddy Roosevelt in “Night at the Museum”, Ramon the penguin in “Happy Feet”, Maxwell “Wizard” Wallace in “August Rush” … Those are a few parts of Robin Williams.

Robin Williams / http://www.aintitcool.com
Robin Williams / http://www.westlord.com

And here are a few parts of who I was, and how I was blessed, and impacted, by Robin Williams, and his art.   I was the class comedian, high school; a joke for anyone and everyone.  The rush of making people laugh was amazing.  I studied the great comedians: Robin Williams, Bill Cosby, George Carlin, Jerry Seinfield, Steve Martin.   Out of these mentioned, and those I have not mentioned, Robin Williams was … at times … present: where I was, what I was doing.  I read a magazine interview with Robin Williams, and among the many things I read I remember something that wasn’t so cool.  I paraphrase: Williams said that at times, when he was not doing well, he had to go somewhere by himself.

I was blown away by his prolific spontaneity linked up with priceless humor.  I also couldn’t shake the idea that there was a dichotomy happening: humor / laughter with melancholy / depression.  The mixture of these two forces haunted me a bit … and it was because I wanted my depression that I had struggled with since I was a child to be separate from everyone.    I wanted to go to Robin Williams for robust laughter, and I did not want to know that the man who made me laugh struggled with depression like I did.  Incidentally, I didn’t know, when I was a child, that it was depression.  I didn’t learn that it was depression until I was in graduate school (my late thirties) … Sounds crazy.  Robin Williams, to a large degree helped me to release some of my “crazy”, and to be able to sit with all of this, and to laugh through this.

If I could have a discussion with R.W., it might include some of these comments  …

“Bro, just to make this clear, suicide, yes, I agree, is wrong.
Just as important, please know that there is no is condemnation coming from me, nor from my God.  And, I’ve got no judgment for you.
My heart goes out to your family. I can only imagine that their pain is immeasurable.  And its been said that there is no pain up in Heaven.  But, I know your heart is good, Bro; and surely you feel some of their pain … But, I don’t know, because I don’t know much about Heaven.  And by the way, I hope there are people making you laugh … I’m sure there was pressure, through most of your days, to make people laugh.  I know that there are no excuses for ending your life; but there are definitely factors that contributed to your decisions.  Our pain, our struggles, our failures, our shame, we are driven passionately away from all of that … toward something that relieves our suffering.  And the relief is always temporary.  When the performance is over, the Black Dog, depression, remains.”

Robin Williams messed up when he took his own life.  I should have permission to tell my close friends  when / if they messed up.  And my closest friends have permission to tell me when / if I messed up.  We can do that without condemnation.  Do I condemn Robin Williams for taking his life? NO.  Am I angry with Williams?  NO, not so much angry, but sad.  So, maybe the takeaway is this.  We all need to “do” self-care.  We need to take care of ourselves; and in turn, we can bless our families.  If we are wounded, and we are not doing our own work, then how can we be our best with those we love?

Winter Happening, Just Outside

This was meant to go out a couple of days ago, but a case of “brain-freeze” got the best of me.  I recently emerged from the hellish cerebral blizzard.

Ice
Ice hanging out

4.6 (degrees) … farenheit … below the ZERO mark.  I’m low on mercury.  Snow blower earlier in the day, to get out.  With 4.6 degrees riding below the big zero, my thoughts froze up; for a moment I had no idea where I was.  Then, from somewhere toward the back wall of my brain, I heard a distant motor of the snow blower.  The sound became louder, gradually, and louder, and louder.  Then the heat from the handles mixed with the rude awakening of my rotors hitting a rock brought me back to some level of winterized coherency. 

Tree Green

I love Winter, and I hate Winter; and I love Winter.  I like Winter, at times.  At other times I don’t like it.  Outside with audacious, sharp, wind, there is some measure of invigoration: AWAKEN O SLEEPER !  Tree green, accentuated with snow; long, long icycles hanging on for dear life from the edges of the roof.  Ambivalence is strong when mercury is low, snow is deep.  Maybe it is more about this season in particular.

T Standing
T Standing

Tree green and snow

There has been loss, and everyone experiences loss at one time or another.  In some cases  loss is more of a bite.  This compilation, psychologically vicious.  I am moving, constantly moving, into the next step, into the next bend.  But I don’t think I am moving fast enough.  Healing is happening, some days.  Other days, its all frozen up, as if I had stopped moving in sub-zero temperature, and I stand in the cold, for what seems like years but may be only ten to fifteen minutes, and just listen.  I don’t know what I am listening for: maybe an answer; maybe a question that will get me closer to an answer; maybe for an idea that will bring some thaw, that will get me moving again, past the cold, the isolation, the pain of knowing that things didn’t turn out the way I had hoped.

The good news, for ALL of us, is that we still hope, even if some things don’t turn out the way we wanted.  Why wouldn’t we?