Old memories

I found my diary a couple of days ago.  My actual physical diary.  I’d been talking to my son about writing down some of the things he’d been struggling with, his feelings of betrayal, loss of trust, and abandonment.  We’d talked about ways we coped with what has happened and I’d been sharing about my diary and about this blog and he had stated that he didn’t know what to write about in his, if he started one.  So I shared with him the very first entry of my diary, from March 29th, 1991:

Dear Diary,

today was a bummer of a day.  we just left Bizmart and a totally awsome turbo graphic 16 for $125.00!!  & my dad wouldn’t buy it.

p.s. the day wasn’t a total bummer because I hit the jackpot, found money, and get to go to C.P. [Children’s Palace – btw] if dad doesn’t stay too long (he he ha he won’t!!)

p.p.s. He did!!

total bummer

After sharing this with him he had less trepidation about writing something down.  If I can just get him started writing something, to get in the habit of putting his emotions down on paper…it may not be a perfect solution but it would be a start to perhaps allow him some healing as well.  So since I hadn’t read my diary since I last put an entry in it I’ve been reading it off and on, skipping parts and going back to others.  The last entry in the thing however still strikes me.  Not the whole thing, but here is the last part of the last entry in my first diary, dated Jan. 6th, 1999:

Have you ever seen a man so consumed w/appearances that he even orders his own thoughts as to make them more poetic?  The thoughts that one utters when one is alone…?  I have, I see him every day in the bathroom mirror and we cross paths as we get ready for bed.  But I don’t really know him.  Or understand him.  His loss, his hurt, his anger.  Maybe one day I will.  Either that or maybe I’ll become the man on the other side of the mirror.  Never can say…

It’s interesting how things come full circle.  I may have come back to a similar place, a single father,nervous and unsure of what the future holds, but I have gotten to know the man in the mirror.  I have become the man in the mirror, and the man looking in.  It has not been easy blending the two, but I am who I am.  I am loved for who I am, I am forgiven, and I know my boundaries.  My need to be needed and to control others has made my life unmanageable.  I can let go, usually.  I am at peace with being alone – most of the time.  I am not perfect.  And those in my life don’t have to be.  There is a new day dawning and God walks with my son and I.  We don’t always realize it.  We don’t always want it.  But God is there.  And God will not leave us.

It has been hammered home how much my life means to the people involved in it.  People I am ashamed to say I have not taken the time to get to know as well as I should have, have reached out to me, via emails, Facebook, in person, to share their love and support with me.  And I am so grateful and so thankful.  I love you all.  And for those who have ridden this journey with me from the beginning… well, there really isn’t anything else that needs to be said is there?

And with that, I wanted to share the first poem I ever copied down in my journal.  It was from a book of Favorite American Poetry, a book my mother owned and for all I know, still does.  And a friend recently sent me a power point with the first verse of it, something else that was a blast from my past, but I think is very appropriate here:

Love

I love you, Not only for what you are, But for what I am, When I am with you

I love you, Not only for what you have made of yourself, But for what, You are making of me

I love you, For the part of me that you bring out

I love you, For putting your hand, Into my heaped-up heart, And passing over all the foolish, weak things, That you can’t help dimly seeing there

And for drawing out, Into the light, All the beautiful belongings That no one else had looked Quite hard enough to find.

I love you, because you Are helping me to make Of the lumber of my life, Not a tavern, But a temple, Out of the works of my every day, Not a reproach, But a song

I love you, because you have done, More than any creed could have done, To make me good, And more than any fate could have done, To make me happy

You have done it Without a touch, Without a word, Without a sign You have done it by being yourself Perhaps that is what Being a friend means after all.

Nights are the longest time…

So the big day is comin’ up.  Just two more days.  On Thursday at approximately 9:00am the relationship that has more or less helped to define me for almost the last decade of my life will be over and done with.  Space and relationally it ended almost two years ago, shortly before I started this blog.  Legally and emotionally…well, that’s been a different facet altogether.  I knew this was week was gonna be rough, for a couple of reasons.  First of all it’s the 2nd busiest day of the year for work.  Second, the weather and my son make life interesting and a little stir crazy.  And then thirdly, there’s the divorce.  I just have so much goin’ on in my head, even I can’t sort it all out.  Today a dear friend sent me a list of 45 lessons for life in a power point presentation.  I actually had gotten the exact same thing earlier that day from my boss at work, but I hadn’t really wanted to read it then.  The few I looked at in the morning one hit a little close and the last thing I felt I needed was to get all worked up before one of the craziest days of the year for us at work.  And then I got it again tonight when I got home from work after a very, very long day.  And I looked, and tried to listen…  and struggled…

I’m scared.

I’m scared I’m gonna fail.

I’m scared I’ll succeed.

I want to keep on this path, and I have been shown and given such love and support, more than I could have ever imagined.  And part of it scares me.  I’m not used to it.  Even writing this blog, I managed to keep things and people at arms length.  I don’t like to open up.  I know dear readers, it may be a little hard to believe but if you were here in front of me, I assure you the odds of us ever talking about most of what’s on here are about as likely as the KC Chiefs winning the Super Bowl in my lifetime.  I struggle with words, especially when they matter.  There’s a line in a great song I love  – “The more I think, the less I see” – and that is so me.  For a long time I have fought the idea that I could ever forgive myself.  I think too much.  One of my best friends and I, that’s sort of our code for all the things we consider and talk about.  No one else spends as much time on minute stuff as he and I.  There’s a quote from one of my favorite book series by C. S. Friedman, the book is called When True Night Falls.  The two main characters are a warrior priest named Damien Vyrce and a human/demon-prince, Gerald Tarrant, who was once the founding father of the priest’s church, before selling his soul to Fear.  And I think the interplay captures things very well, Tarrant starts off –

“Do you know what repentence means, for me?  Do you really understand it?”  There was anger in his voice now, but it had a desperate edge, “Repentence means standing before God and saying, I’m sorry.  For everything.  All the sins I ever committed, I wish they could be undone.  I wish that I could go back to that time and do it all over again. […]  I wish I could have died before my dream took hold […]  I wish I could have died in ignorance of what this world would become, severed from the world of the living before I could begin to untangle the mysteries that surround me.  I can’t do it Vyrce.  Not honestly.  I could say the words, but I could never mean them.  And my last dying thought would be of all that I had yet to see, which God’s forgiveness had cost me.”  He laughed shortly, bitterly.  “Do you really think that would work?  Do you really think such an attitude would save me?”

Now it was [Damien] who shut his eyes.  He could hear the pain in his own voice as he spoke.  “You’re trapped by your own intelligence you know.  A simpler man would have found his way back to God long ago.”

“Don’t you think I know that?” he whispered.  “Don’t you think that knowledge is part and parcel of my damnation?”

[…]  “No one is ever prepared to meet God,” Damien said queietly.  “We may think we are, but’s only because we don’t understand Him.”

There were many times in days past I felt much more like Tarrant.  The older I get, on the good days, the more I feel like the priest.  Struggling with the good and evil inside each of us, trying to hold onto Hope.  But I’m still scared to go to sleep some nights.  The fear of dying at age 3o is now two years past the date, but it’s still hard to shake the feeling of living on borrowed time.  I try to thank Him every morning for the day I’ve been given.  I know each day is a gift, a present.  I’m just leery of accepting it.  Too many old hurts.  Too many old fears.  They weigh me down and push me around.  And then there’s number 38 on the list… “Yield.”

Every time today I’ve read that one I’ve cried.  Because it’s the one thing on that list I truly want to do, and struggle the most with.  Let go?  Lay back?  Trust?  I don’t want to, but I don’t want to carry it anymore.  Who will I be when it’s gone?  What will be left when everything that has crushed me all these years is lifted?  Will there be anything left?  I’ve been writing in this thing for almost two years and I still don’t feel much closer to figuring out who I am.  Should I yield it all at once?  Can I even do so?  Should I do it a little at a time?  Would I ever get done?

I was going through old pictures today… always rough when you are already emotionally touchy.  Particularly if you are like me and have a tendency to hold on to things that should probably let go.  I have pictures from all sorts of things I probably shouldn’t anymore.  Pictures of ex’s, places and things that are mixed at best in my history.  But they help to tell my story.  But they aren’t always the best parts.  Like the rest of it, should I get rid of them or put them back in storage?  I tell my son over and over again he shouldn’t hang on to the negative memories and emotions, that the only way to move forward is to let go… sounds like good advice doesn’t it?  Now if only I could follow it.

I’m tired.  I’m nervous.  I’m upset.  But in the end, no one has the power to make me feel anything I don’t let them.  And I don’t have to carry the world on my shoulders.  I am NOT responsible for the whole world.  Even for all of MY world.  I just wish I was a simpler man.  It’s not the answer… at least, not the one I’m looking for.  I sympathize a lot with both of those characters though in the quote above.  Where do I find myself these days in that journey?  I like Augustine, a man who would have undoubtedly gotten along with both of them.  Valleys and peaks, pain, loss and shame.  Elation, joy and peace.  I’ve gone through both lately, but this… this is definitely a valley.  I knew this week would be bad.  But I’m trying to remember that God’s most powerful when we are at our most vulnerable.  And as pkkid said on her blog, “Courage being only ‘nothing else left to try’.”  Well…

I’ve tried things my way.  I ran for so long and wasted so many year.  I have nowhere else to turn God, but You.  I have spent myself and throw myself on Thy mercy and at Thy feet.  I did not come to dance.  I did not come to sing.  I did not come to laugh. .. I come to cry.  I come in pain.  I bring my fear to lay before you.  I bring my hate and my anger.  I’m too tired to carry them anymore, but don’t have the strength to let go.  Help me I pray to let go.  Help me please to just let go, and trust in You.  You who are and have been worthy of my trust and my love.  Rock my soul God.  We aren’t done breaking me yet, but the refiner’s fire is hot and the journey is not easy for the metal.  Pain and shaping, cold and beatings… but in the end, if we can hold to it, there’s the promise of something different, something better, something stronger, someone closer to You.

God grant us all peace this day.  I still can’t sleep, but I’m workin’ my way there.  And I defintely am never ready to meet God.  But God is reaching out to me and is surprising me everyday with another thing on the list… Number 30 – God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do — and number 34 – Get outside every day, miracles are waiting everywhere.

May you find your miracle.

hard to believe we were ever that young
hope comes in many sizes



Timely Thoughts…

When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person..

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.

They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support,

To aid  you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend and they are..

They are there for the reason you need them to be.

Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,

This person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.

Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.

Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.

What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done.

The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to  share, grow or learn.

They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.

They may teach you something you have never done.

They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.

Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons,

Things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.

Your job is to accept the lesson,

Love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life

It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant


Sick days and other thoughts…

So I’m home sick today…gughha…although I have to admit, the idea of being able to take a day off due to illness and get paid for it has got to be one of modern civilizations best inventions, right up there with vacation days and the internet.  And since I’m not feeling very hoppity I got to going through some of the piles on my desk here at home and came across an old poem kindly printed below…

A Discourse

I am darker than ever they knew,

The human shadow

Awaiting,

While lying awake

Behind dreamless clouds of star studded hosts.

I can do naught but pray,

Seeking augeries,

Forshadowing ruiniation,

And rebellion

Ramblings wherein reside great pearls.

It

Grows in the Darkness

Bled dry by the pitiless light

While bursts of lucidity dares to imagine

Peace.

I honor life’s limitless natural

Prodigies

Demented devisings

Sent to intrude

Creating chaos out of power.

This obfuscating prescence,

Tall and darkly humbling

Provides no respite

But perhaps it is more learned than I hope they become.

Where do we go from here?

Once upon a time...
Once upon a time...

Time has run away

No more pauses

No more plays

Hard to find my way without you by our side

Looking, questing, grasping

How do I know where to go from here

Devastated he looks to me

No more questions

No more tears

Answers beyond my ken

Buffeted by storms of emotion

Tossed through summer rain and fall chill

Winter waits, time to sleep

Time of rebirth

No more sorrow

No more pain

Grace will fall like rain…

Everything looks perfect from far away