Very interesting day.
It’s raining here in Philly and when I first left to pick up my son, it wasn’t just raining, but it was frozen rain which was falling all around me.
As I’ve written before, I spend my life in the darkness and live in an apparently unsolvable maze. But don’t forget. In the myth, Ariadne, princess and daughter of the king, gave Theseus a ball of string when he entered that maze so he could find his way back out and the two of them could sail away together (my wife and I). The Greek word for this “string” seems to be the word “clue.”
My family has left “clue’s” all over and I seek and follow them fervently.
I picked up my son after a senior project he was doing at his school. He came bouncing out the doors and practically bounced into the car. Prior to his coming out, all the other parents in their cars seemed to be driving all over the pick up zone. “Wrong way” and “do not enter” don’t seem to have been relevant to them. In the rain and the darkness of the pick up zone, my snarky condescension was very riled up. As my parents family would do, I just gazed around and thought…”look at ‘um.”
…But then my son came bounding out the door. He “bouncy, touncy, flouncy pouncied” all the way to the car and hopped in with a huge grin on his face. For the next few minutes, he excitedly told me how well things had gone and how much he was enjoying his project. I joined his tone of enthusiasm and asked him questions about what had happened and which parts seemed to be the most fun. He was absolutely glowing in the back seat…
I have challenges. I have things within myself which I do all I can to hide from others. Yet, the fact that he had so much fun and was so excited about it was something I passionately wanted to cultivate and nurture. Fortunately, I was able to do this for him. This is something I’ve always been able to do for others. If I’ve not been able to accomplish anything else, I’ve always been able to be a loving, encouraging, supportive father. I don’t need to state a case, you can see it in my child’s eyes.
What type of father have I striven to be? These video’s show the spirit of that:
Amazon Nursery Advert
Pixar “Piper” Short
(There’s a time to help and support…and a time to let go)
I want to give to others what no one gave to me. It’s just that simple. I understand the value of it.
Within the past few days, I’ve been able to do this for a number of people. I may live within the darkness myself, but I can see the peaks and I know what that light within in all folks is. Such a light is blinding in brilliance, color and light. In this time, I offered love, support and validation for my son, my wife and one of my son’s teachers.
I don’t understand the assumed call to violence and confrontation. I don’t understand the apparent need to tear everyone else down in order to be the only one left standing. I don’t understand the need to destroy for the sake of self aggrandizement. I can’t fathom the logic behind “if you ain’t cheatin’ you ain’t tryin’.” Who lives like that? I grew up with all that and the only result I saw was desolation, despair, rage, violence, vindictiveness and nihilism…
…Guess what? There was no victory. No nobody “won.”
I like to see people succeed. I like to see individuals achieve the only thing I expect and demand from my child: Personal excellence. It’s irrelevant what others can do or how you compare. The only thing of relevance in life is “personal excellence” – the summit of what each is capable of. When all achieve such a thing, all rise up and the heavens come within reach.
I’ve seen the effect this sort of thing has had on my own child. When he was ill, many years ago, it didn’t seem possible that he would ever be able to function. With love…and time…and effort…and dedication, he’s gotten so much further than I ever dreamed was possible. In a way, we are fortunate as his illness and wounds were able to be healed by many available therapies and methods. But had my wife and I not pursued the possibilities and sacrificed all that we have, he would have remained broken and challenged (see Lorenzo’s Oil). I’ve heard and seen examples of “foolish hope”…but that doesn’t mean you blindly accept what your told about your child…or yourself.
Yes I struggle within myself. Yes I’m surrounded and plunged into a deep darkness. But I do not believe that this is all there is and I offer what I can to those whose lives I can touch in a positive way. Despite my darkness, I’ve been able to help my son. I’ve also been able to help my wife find a path in which she freely showers herself within he own light. I’ve been able to help others find comfort, support and validation in just being with them and…simply listening.
I’m reaching a bit here, but this song came to mind just now. I certainly do wish peace for you all:
Lee Ann Womak, “I Hope You Dance”
(…take a moment and dance with me. After I wrote this, I went outside and danced under the cloudy raining sky’s of Philly. My wife came outside and asked me – reasonably – “what the hell I was doing.” So the only thing I could do is grab her waist and bring her out to dance with me. She knows I’m nuts, but that’s part of my charm. I’m her poet, her Whitman, her Thoreau, her Shelly. Take a moment and dance. If you can’t, try and sway a bit!)
I condemn and refute pain and violence. I rebuke hatred. I refute the supposed value of self-absorption, the lie of the Ubermensch and the shadowy caverns of the sanctimonious. I have seen the results of the power and beauty of love and compassion given freely and passionately to my son. Things which were never offered to me. I choose all I’ve offered to my wife and child over the lie of the life which was feed to me.
I’ve gone way over my writing limit. However, here are a few extra “thoughts.”
While my son was sick and my wife and I struggled with many other issues, one of the songs we would listen to together was “The Climb.” This was a theme for our son, but I’ve also taken it on for myself.
When I saw my son come out to the car and was listening to him talk about his day, this song popped into my head (Foo Fighters, “Hero”). My son, after all, is my Buddha.
As I was thinking this, I remembered one of my son’s favorite songs (Family Of The Year, “Hero”). My son doesn’t want any special treatment or to be a “hero,” he just wants to live his life…and I do all I can to help him achieve that.
Sorry for the long entry,