Monday, January 30, 2006



“Excess on occasion is exhilarating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit.” Somerset Maugham.

Well I partied in excess in Atlanta! I missed the boring opening session of this continuing education conference I attended. Henson my boss was annoyed at my tardiness so I apologized for being late. I don’t apologize for the partying and I certainly made the right decision to sleep in. I ate and drank and engaged with work people. With the exception of my new friends from New Orleans who were grateful for our help, I feel bored.

Perhaps I need some rest from something? I hope this is short term but still, it’s having the same feeling of being deadened in my habits as Somerset has quoted. I don’t know what that has been about. A friend once told me that “boredom is really not talking about the things that need to be talked about.” I need to look at this. Perhaps too much work (job) and reflection (personal) has made me an uninteresting person in my day to day activities. It’s odd because it feels as if I’m isolating myself from human beings. Also, I’ve been craving the intimacy of touch and real conversation in the moment. At the same time, I am unwilling to “act out” and get involved with the crazies that I easily attract. It’s time to do something different that excites a passionate response. A good indicator will be my date with Regina. She is a connector and teaches communication and if this feeling persists it looks like it’s time to visit Garry my shrink. I’ve got to pay attention to this and hope that it doesn’t persist because I don’t want to live a deadened life.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


An Angle of Repose

I posted this on ETOR's Ambition and Love:

I can appreciate your honesty. As in the title of Wallace Stegner’s book, “Angle of Repose” our life is like detritus stumbling down a mountain until we reach our Angle of Repose. I have looked upon my choices too in marriage; job etc… where it would appear I compromised. But I would discover that in those situations- it was all I was capable of at the time as evident in your advisors advice to you. For me, I would tumble downward as detritus until I settled in once again until I got a new job or a child or wrangled with pathology that I thought was love and all of this providing me a new level of awareness. It has sent me again downward as detritus. Given that I’ve rolled downward without real direction, I am so glad events have occurred that have knocked me out of ruts.

This was my response to EOTR’s on her blog on Ambition and Love. Frankly regarding love, I didn’t know what I wanted or to expect in ambition and love. I have the drive for both but in the past I did not know the impetus! I did not know what turned the engine on for love and ambition. I did not have the knowledge of what influence them. In the early days, I believe so much of was rote behavior brought on by unconscious fear, desire, hunger and other biological reasons. While I search my memory banks for real analysis about being in love, it seems there has been very little thought about it. It’s not like a car where I am interested in compression ratios or where I inspected the rear end to see if it was a Ford or a stock Chevy or if the engine was blue printed. With relationships it was feeling and connection. in my case, I thought it was acceptable not to have deep feelings of connection and it conflicted with what I felt was a more important: to feel a deep sense of connection. I began to crave this even if it made no sense intellectually, emotionally and sexually. What was even more remarkable-this unconscious behavior going on within me and my belief that I was living in love with clarity and sensibility. particularly in my marriage.

Bring on career, children, death and tragedy and I stumbled losing my clarity and sense of direction. It appeared that I lost my ability to be honest and sensible. I made what I thought were compromises that caused regrets in my life. Staying in my marriage comes to mind. I regret the lost time in my struggle to stay with my ex-wife. At first it worked for two young kids together in surviving a new world. We built careers, got educated, acculturated and raised a child along with building a standing in community. But nothing prepared me for the disintegration of my marriage. As we delved into our primitive secrets, I came to an awareness of a 8 year old girl’s tragic death of her father which stiffened her emotional responses so she could survive without him. The shock was imprinted deep within her amygdale, so that her pain was held in check. Also, the vision of her father was that of a perfect human being that could do no wrong. No man could measure up because or our own infallibilities. And I, shaped from birth by a couple who lived in fear of being killed and tortured. They learned to hide and not live their lives because they could die. This is what was brought to the table when these young adults got married and raised their children. These adult children absorbed ancient fear and more that lurks out there and inside too. It’s now a part of how we deal with and live our lives. Neets wrote that “we are walking talking collages”. This collage came together: a girl incapable of deep feelings of connection and a man who experienced little the deep feelings of connection. It was a perfect match. From there we saw tremendous drives toward careers and ambition that was a surrogate for the love we were incapable or giving or receiving. For now I believe there is hope for me and sadly, none for her.

Still, it was hell being brutally kicked out of this rut! As I shared with ETOR about detritus; I had no idea why I tumbled downward until I had aquired some semblance of awareness and I acknowledged these influences. Influences that are and will be a part of of my life forever. They just don't have the power to affect the people I love. I am more vigilant and driven to arrest them so I could live free from these influences and more. From their comes the more difficult task of doing what I felt was right thing to do like getting a divorce because I didn’t want before me a loveless marriage. I didn't want to subject as model for my child: how two people lived as a couple like we did. I feel pain for my ex-wife’s tragedy but I made the right choice. In that choice, hard work and time has distanced the past and I see even a more present peace within me. Peace that has allowed me an “Angle of Repose” from the passage of my marriage.

Sunday, January 15, 2006


Feeling Good


Here is a journal entry dated January 9, 2006

When Quint was fourteen, he gave me a card on my birthday. It was Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers”. These are the same flowers in a picture frame I carried to the truck and handed to Truce on the Saturday we moved you. Mossy numbered the flowers 1 through 14 and what he’d written inside was: “Thank you for fourteen wonderful years”!

Earlier in the day, I caught Leigh my date looking at my shoes-construction shoes at a French Restaurant. I explained that I was moving a friend. Leaving was a little awkward because I left so abruptly. There was something wrong with her of course and helping you move made it a great excuse to leave! In any event I was long gone and off to help you move what Truce shared as “nick nacks”.

When I arrived, I saw the “Group Chairs” moving out of the Pennsylvania Office with precision. One man would carry a chair apiece. I took a chair and held it horizontally and walked toward the door. The high back of the chair went through the door first until the elbow supports cradled the door jamb and was eased through the door. I held it that way until I reached the hall where the stairs went downward. From there I turned it upright holding the chair just above the elbow rest before making my way down the stairs wary of the steps that fanned into a right turn. As I arrived at the first landing I took my bearings something I’ve never had to do those many years I’ve gone down these steps. I made two more precision moves straight through the door and another through the Iron Gate. We placed the chairs in parallel to Third Ave., where they were staged to be loaded onto the truck. Barry took a seat in the lead chair. This act affected me. The man who has been my surrogate father, mentor and friend was physically frail. He wrote “For the last 40 days or so, I have daily experienced lightheadedness and the memories and fears that go with recalling how it was early with this latest bout of atrial fibrillation. I have been admonished against doing any lifting because of the need for the puncture wound in the artery near the groin. I have a large hematoma around that wound that is truly scary looking but my doctor says not to worry; just take it easy. I know it is harder on Mara than me. That is how I felt when she has been ill.”

I wanted nothing more than to lend him my strength as he had done for me and others on those countless numbers of Thursdays when we sat in those same chairs and navigated through our passages of life. When I received Barry’s email thanking us for our help, I resonated again with the good feelings of that day. It was the same feelings I had received from Quint when he thanked me for those fourteen wonderful years!

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