Abuse, Agape, Alienation, Alienation From Self, Alison, Attachment, Authenticity, Being True To Yourself, Christianity, Evil, Happiness, Hope, Human Nature, Jana, Knowledge, Learning, Life, Living, Love, Lovers, Oppression, People, Poetry, Quality of Life, Relationships, Spiritual Alienation, Spirituality, Unconditional Love

A Flock of Sparrows for Majel: The Tragedy of Fool’s Gold

A Flock of Sparrows for Majel

(About an 8 minute read)

Jana was nearby,
For a decade, always nearby.
But I was not close to her.

She became my wife
And we shared a house.
We shared a bed.
We shared our bodies,
And we told each other
We shared our hearts and minds.

In truth, she was that spot on my back
That I never could see,
And that I never could reach
No matter how often,
And no matter how hard
I stared into the mirror,
And turning this way or that,
Tried to spot her.

Continue reading “A Flock of Sparrows for Majel: The Tragedy of Fool’s Gold”

Abuse, Alienation, Alienation From Self, Art, Life, Marysa, Outstanding Bloggers, People, Poetry, Writing

To a Young Artist — Take Care of Yourself

(About a 3 minute read)

The snow came today and the cold,
The cold came with it so hard
It cut through the walls of my cottage.

But nothing today came colder
Than the news someone once
Had laid you on a white table
And under harsh and glaring lights
Stole your insides with a scalpel
To leave you only with your skin.

I am not a stranger to such things.

I have seen in my life how a man,
A man who can walk into a fire
And live to walk out again,
Can someday be taken up by a tornado
And without reason spun so hard his very self —
Everything that he is — is flung from him,
Cast by the winds so far away
That the man must travel decades
To find a few pieces of who he is again.

And I have seen how a woman
Whose spirit is light and tender,
Whose smile is a warm sun,
And whose laughter is a light breeze across flowers,
Can without warning or reason or mercy
Have molten lead poured into her,
Poured down into her to settle and freeze in her heart
By the man who professes to love her.

By the man
Who professes
To love her.

I am not a stranger to such things.
I am not shocked by the news today.
I did not cry for you when I heard
Of the table or the lights or the scalpel.

I did not cry for you
When I heard once again of the monsters among us —
Of what they had worked upon someone —
And I do not yet know you well enough
To mourn true and honest
Your pain, and your suffering, and your alienation:
I’d be BSing you if I said I could.

But you told your story
With such power and grace,
You told it with such insight
And with such understanding,

That you grabbed my guts
You chilled my blood,
You made the thought of you being abused
Rush through my mind like the broken ice
That crashes down a mountain stream
In the winter.

You can turn words on a lathe, my friend,
Turn them with precision and grace.
You can craft them
Into real and solid things
That punch with images,
Meanings, truths, and insights —
That punch.

There’s something great in you,
A seed at least.
I see it.
Do you?

If not for yourself,
Then for the sake of others,
Take care of yourself:
The world is better
That you’re in it.
Take care of yourself.

Abuse, Bad Ideas, Cultural Traits, Culture, Human Nature, Life, Living, Oppression, Parental Love, Religion, Religious Ideologies

Rising Above Human Nature

“Nature, Mr. Allnut, is what we were put in this world to rise above.” — Katherine Hepburn, African Queen.

SUMMARY:  Our cultures need to be doing more to ameliorate the effects of our negative human instincts.

(About a 4 minute read)

It’s my impression that most of us these days are at least dimly aware that human nature can be out of joint with human happiness.  That is, we can have a disposition or inclination to certain feelings and behaviors that more or less inevitably lead us into unhappy situations, and even misery.

Warfare is an example of that.  While humans apparently do not have an actual instinct to war upon each other, we do indeed have a full set of instincts that mean war is all but directly hardwired into our DNA.

Continue reading “Rising Above Human Nature”

Abuse, Adolescent Sexuality, Advice, Courtship, Erotic Love, Ethics, Human Nature, Life, Living, Love, Lovers, Mature Love, Morals, New Love, Relationships, Romantic Love, Sex, Sexuality

How Young is Too Young to Love?

SUMMARY:  I discuss two separate questions.  First, how old must someone be to feel love? Second, how mature should someone be to handle love?  I address the first question — which is a factual question — through science.  I address the second question — which is a matter of opinion or judgement — through five measures or standards for maturity.

(About a 12 minute read)

After I had reached puberty, a number of adults — including my mother and some of my teachers — cautioned me and others my age that we were “too young to love”.  No explanation was ever given for why we were too young for romantic love.  It was just so.  Lucky for me, I bought into the idea.

I say I was lucky because during high school I became deeply infatuated with a girl in my class.  Had I not bought into the notion I was too young to love, I might have fancied myself in love with her — which would not only have been factually untrue, but I can only image the trouble it would have caused me at the time to think I was in love with her.

Yet, the question of whether I was too young to love is ambiguous.  It can be interpreted in at least two ways.  First, was I too young to feel love (had I actually felt it)?  Second, was I too young to cope with love?

Continue reading “How Young is Too Young to Love?”

Abuse, Human Nature, Ideas, Learning, Life, Living, New Idea, Self-determination, Self-Knowledge

Familiar Suffering

SUMMARY:  Why does it seem so many of us prefer to suffer, rather than do what seems obvious to others will bring about an end to our particular suffering?  Perhaps one reason is that we fear the unknown.  Perhaps another reason is that it is generally difficult to understand what would be better than our current circumstances if we are unfamiliar with what would be better.

(About a 3 minute read)

“People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”  ~Thich Nhat Hanh

I think many of us — especially when we’re young — now and then come across someone we believe we can save.  That is, someone who is recognizably messed up, but not so messed up that we deem them beyond “straightening out”.

Sadly, you cannot save, you cannot straighten out, someone.  They have to do it themselves. The most you yourself can provide is encouragement and — if you’re lucky — wise guidance.  But how many of us understand that about people before we ourselves have tried — often more than once or twice — to save someone?

I know that was a hard lesson for me to learn.  One of the hardest parts of it was to grasp that so many of us prefer the misery we know to the happiness we don’t know.

Continue reading “Familiar Suffering”

Abuse, Infatuation, Poetry

Why, I Wonder, Do You Think You Love Me?

I have wondered whether I could win
A contest with asphalt for your love.

If I told you I was allergic to your cats,
You’d take sides with your cats,
And not ask if I was at all discomforted.

You profess to love me with the abandon
Of a wild rose in the rain
But I have observed your love now
And found it yields quicker than a reed
In a hurricane to your self-image.

Whenever my life with you has forced you to choose
Between me and who you think you are,
You have chosen who you think you are.

I wonder now if you have ever loved anyone
And why you think you love me?

Abuse, Bad Ideas, Community, Cultural Change, Cultural Traits, Culture, Ethics, Family, Life, Living, Marriage, Memes, Morality, Morals, News and Current Events, Physical Abuse, Political Issues, Quality of Life, Relationships, Society, Thinking, Values, Verbal Abuse

Divorce

(About a 4 minute read)

A few days ago, I was reading about a pastor from one of the Southern states who is of the angry opinion (why does everyone think they need to be angry to open their mouths on nearly any subject these days?) that divorce was far too easy in America.

He blamed no-fault divorce for breaking up the American family, and warned that it would soon lead to the collapse of the nation. Consequently he was calling for laws that would make it much harder to get divorced.

Continue reading “Divorce”