Monthly Archives: November 2013
When I did an introduction for an earlier version of this blog I carefully articulated where I stood on religion and politics. I find as I get older that it is more difficult for me to do so not because I am afraid to voice my beliefs but my beliefs are never black and white but myriad versions of gray that change constantly and importance depending on what is happening in my life. One thing I beleve is that nothing is in a static mode. Everything changes all the time including me. If you are afraid to change than you have stifled your growth. As I have gotten older I, forexample learned that there are things I cannot control and change. I have coined a new phrase for what happens to me when I face and accept this truth. It is serenity in inevitibility. It is the state of mind that I achieve when I cease my struggles to change something and the calmness and serenity that follows this release. It really follows many religion’s thoughts. In Christianity I have heard it described as Let go and let God, in the Tao philosophy it is one of the main foundations of letting things run their course. The same with Buddhism. It follows the philosophy that happpines is a state of mind not so contingent on what is happening around you but what is happening within you. Real change comes about in the world only when we change our thinking, not our surrounding conditions.
For example, it does no good to change one despot leader for another. It does no good to try to unite a country of religious sects when they are prejudiced against each other aand consider the other of less value. Until a change in thought can be made where each is respected as an equal it is an exercise in futility.
I have learned, out of necessity, the true value of friendships. I went through a debilitating foot condition folllowed by surgery and the leaving of my wife of 34 years back to back. I honestly don’t think I could have survived all this without the support of friends. For one thing, I learned to ask for what I needed. No one knows youre need like you do. The night my wife informed me she was leaving I called a friend and told him what had happened. I asked for his company and he shuffled kids soccer responsibilities around withhout question and made it happen. I knew he was a good friend but did not recognize how good until that night. I developed a fast friendship with an 85 year old man who was an acquaintenance yesterday.I gave him a book as a gift, went home and later that day he called me.” I need to meet with you about your book”. I asked when and he said now but I was trying to nap. We agreed on 4. We went to my house to see the Japanese garden I was having to leave and he actually wanted us to formulat a plan where he could help me buy it and keep it. When I got out of his car he said, “Now, Carl, I just want you to know I’ve got your back. You are very important for my future.” What beautiful things can happen in the face of adversity.
So, my life has been changed forever by the happenings above. I will always take the time for friends. I will nourish the friendships. I have one right now who I believe needs my help. I’ve just got to find a way to encourage him to open up.
Two days ago I appealed to my wife for the last time to help me save our marriage by going to counseling in lieu of getting a divorce. She informed me that too many hurtful things had been said to ever go back from our path now.
For me the hurt has been contained in not what was said but what was left unsaid. It lay in the breaking of our vows which she reiterated again and again that we were committed to taking care of each other as we grew old. It lay in the deceit and the concealment of her emotions to the point that I was totally surprised and devastated by her desire to leave, but most of all it lay in the fact that our 35 years together was not worth an expenditure of time and effort to save.
I still don’t understand for sure why this is happening to me and our marriage but I do now know the inevitability of it. Since knowing that I entered a state of sereneness for we can release what we truly cannot control.
I ask myself what have I learned from this experience? Perhaps that everything is in a state of change. I ask myself how long will the pain and sorrow last and have no answer. I am in uncharted territory. I ask myself how long does it take for the mind to release the automatic centering of her face in my mind everyday. I know that I have a lot of healing to do. But also know that, for me the healing lies in each letter I put on this page. It also lies in the searching for new meaning in my life. It also lies in the nurturing of the new, old and renewed friendships that without I really don’t think I could have survived. So, this experience is already showing me new growth in my soul by teaching me the value of friends. I have always been a searcher for my internal truth.
Since I will be alone at least for a while, I will dedicate a part of my life to travel. When I travel I love to experience new people. It is always so rewarding to befriend those that have a need I can help fulfill. Perhaps I can leave a part of myself here and there in beneficial ways by helping someone. Perhaps the stage has been set for me and it is a matter of surrendering to a commitment to take my soul to new heights in the un-numbered years of my life remaining to me. As always I will be thinking and writing.
I feel very lucky to have the friends that I have, both relatively new, renewed and old that have been there for me in both my foot surgery and recovery and the ending of my 35 year relationship with my wife. You have been there when I have felt so low that I might as well have been crawling. You have sat with me while I sobbed, issued explitives in anger, and while I paced the floors full of anxiety and tension. It’s not so important you touched me reassuringly if at all, but it is the fact that you were and are there either in body or voice. It’s not important thatt you agreed with me for often I requested your objectivity and boy, did I get it. It’s that you took the time with me. You sat with me, and still do, in complete silence when that was needed and you encouraged me to look at my future potential and the light that still shines there. Icould writee another poem but I would rather use one from my favorite author, James Kavanaugh
A friendship like ours
A friendship like ours is without pretense or barriers,
Where no word is without consequence, no pain without compassion,
When time means nothing and distance is as insignificant as astral travel,
Where a single word can sometimes say all there is to say,
And love grows organically each passing day,
Where misunderstandings are impossible and words have no currency,
Where a chance meeting is enough to last a lifetime,
And heart speaks to heart in a single contact.
I have known good and gentle men and women for a lifetime,
Have been bound to them by blood and debt and every circumstance,
Even lashed together by work and space and passionate concern,
Yet few of these could invade the privacy of my inner being
No matter their power or brilliance, beauty or wealth.
But you were destined to reside there, my friend, by an eternal edict,
Because even before we met, you were already there!
The Silent Treatment
One of the things that has risen out of electronic voiceless communication is the rampant rise of The Silent Treatment. That’s when I ask you out by e-mail, texting, twitter, etc. and get the dead stoney silent treatment. You should be required to at the least give one of the old lame excuses like “I have to wash my hair. ” But when you think about it, it requires a lot less committment emotionally to do anything like asking a girl out. Getting on the phone with shaking hands to ask a girl out who you like so much she intimidates you takes a lot of emotional investment. I hate to think what it took when you had to stand toe to toe. But e-mailing or texting takes little because you can’t be seen or heard. I can really chew some ass by e-mail. I wonder how much I would be willing to chew face to face? I sent a friend an e-mail many months explaining why I couldn’t be his friend anymore. He brought it to my attention saying if I was going to do this it should be done face to face because I could have at least seen the hurt in his eyes. He was probably right. I wonder if what I said would have changedd, or maybe we would have worked it out. And don’t you think if the U. S. is going to bomb Syria, for example, that Obama ought to tell them personally. Maybe we need more gloves slapped acrosss the face and duels with honor. personally feel, for example Congress is going to cut your benefits they should have to face at least ten blind, paraphlegic, or legless veterans in person that were getting the ax. The problem is we live in an impersonal electronic age where we are losing the art of face to face communication. I can’t believe that it doesn’t make a difference in our personal mental health