Too Old to Die Young

“If life is like a candle bright, death must be the wind”

Today, just like yesterday, life has me puzzled.  More specifically, death has me puzzled.  I received a phone call yesterday morning that my cousin Henry had lost his wife the night before due to an apparent blood clot.  Suddenly.  In an instant.  Gone.  Henry went from a happily married father to a widower- father of five motherless children, the youngest of whom is just one month old.  Wow.

Don’t get me wrong, we weren’t close- the loss didn’t strike close to home that way.  In a family of over a hundred cousins, I know very few of them well.  In fact I don’t know if I’d ever even met Evaline.  But the news rocked me from the perspective of the potentially sudden nature of the end of life.

So as I’m sitting here this evening with my girls in their beds, I’m reminded of one of my all time favourite songs.  This song was recorded my Moe Bandy (possibly by other artists through the years, but Moe Bandy’s is the version I have rolling through my head tonight).

Too Old To Die Young

If life is like a candle bright, death must be the wind
You can close your window tight, but it still comes rolling in
So I will climb the highest hill and watch the rising sun
And I pray that I don’t feel the chill till I’m too old to die young

Let me watch my children grow to see what they become
Oh Lord don’t let that cold wind blow till I’m too old to die young

Now I have had some dear sweet friends I thought would never die
Now the only thing that’s left of them is the teardrops in my eyes
If I could have one wish today and know it would be done
Well I would stay everyone could stay till they’re too old to die young

Let me watch my children grow to see what they become
Oh Lord don’t let that cold wind blow till I’m too old to die young

Songwriters- Welch/Dooley/Hadley

Look this song up on youtube or ITunes or whatever your favourite service is, and as you listen to it, just try not to feel it, I dare you! Though probably not recorded as such, today this song is my prayer for me and you, whoever you might be reading these words.

God bless you!
Duey

 

Are You F’ing Kidding Me?

Some things boggle my mind.  I’m listening to sports talk radio this week- the Jim Rome show- when he reads throught the Penn State Nittany Lions’ list of promotions that are happening this season.  And there, on September 17, it reads “commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of coach Joe Paterno”.  SERIOUSLY????  Where do they have their heads stuck?  Do they read the news?  Do they pay any attention at all to what society thinks of Joe’s reputation?

If you don’t know what I’m writing about, google “Paterno” or “Sandusky”.  In a nutshell, Joe’s employee, Sandusky, abused children in his role with the program for many years.  There are allegations in court documents that suggest Joe Paterno knew of, and HID, these crimes starting way back in 1976.  Ten years after he started at Penn State.  So maybe there celebrating the Fortieth anniversary of him starting his cover up for a pedophile?

What does this tell the victims?  Or other victime of similar crimes who haven’t dared to speak of their horrors yet?  A couple years ago, they took down Paterno’s statue from in front of their stadium, now they’re going to commemorate him.  What they should be doing is building a monument to all the victims of the crimes he covered up, or having a moment of silence before the game for victims of sexual crimes everywhere.  But don’t expect that to happen.  Paterno is their hero, and they will ignore his crimes and those who were hurt by his crimes.

“His crimes?” you ask?  Yes, his crimes.  If anyone knows about crimes against innocent children, and doesn’t stop those crimes, then covering up and allowing the abuse to continue is just as evil as actually doing the abuse.

I don’t seriously expect this little post to make any difference in the grand scheme of things, but I needed to vent, so thanks for the space to do that.

Just my opinion.

Duane

To Love Again

Learning to Love (and Live) Again

We met cautiously, online
Then for a glass or two of wine
There was an unspoken, mutual hope
That we could more than cope

There’s been, for both, heartbreak and pain
Perhaps we can break that miserable chain
Maybe together we’ll learn
And find that for which all yearn

Two souls with mutual trust
Past loves have all gone bust
But all beings crave to be
One of two, loving tenderly

Oh, so slowly, softly, day by day
Learning, trusting, till some day
We may, side by side, partners be
One flesh, one mind, loving tenderly

Wishing love for you all,
Duane

 

via Daily Prompt: Learning

Sitting in S#!t

OK, so this title is not very original- it’s based on a chapter in the book I’m reading (Conversations with a Rattlesnake by Fleury and Barthel). Chapter 9 in that book is titled “Learning to sit with Your Shit”. It’s a fascinating read about a part of emotional healing that I have to really work on.

The idea is to let oneself sit and feel the emotion of what is going on, no matter how shitty (Okay, I’ll try stop using the “s” word now) it is. The concept behind this, and I know it works for me, is that by allowing the emotions to flow, and trying to interact with my own emotions, I can actually deal with and understand what I’m feeling. This tends to- when I remember to use this technique- really help me get all the way through what I’m feeling and why, instead of just quelling it and running from my emotions.

It’s a real STRUGGLE most of the time though. Really, who wants to sit in THAT???
And to be fair, there are many emotions that I am grateful to have had the opportunity to have had professionals force me to “sit in it”. There are some things that I definitely shouldn’t process on my own, although that is a smaller and smaller part of my emotional reportoire these days, as I get more and more comfortable with myself.

I’d love to hear anybody else’s experiences with “sitting in it”

Lotsa luv,
Duane

Written in response to today’s daily prompt:Struggle

Brain drugs

Drugs???

No, not the kind I could put into my body. I’m talking about the kind of natural chemicals that my body produces to help me deal with stress, reward me when I’m satisfied, and keep me balanced. GABA, Dopamine, Cortisol, Oxytocin, etc. I’m in the middle of a book “Converstions with a Rattlesnake” about healing from trauma and addictions, and the last chapter I read was a rather overwhelming exploration of how these different chemicals, produced by the human body, interact with each other to affect my mental health and emotional well being.

It fascinates me to see some of the science behind the awesome high that can be had from human interaction. Simply gazing into the eyes of someone who cares about me can flood me with oxytocin. How much more, then, the rush from an embrace, or my favorite- “heart-to-heart” as taught in the Hoffman process.

I wonder, though, how much of what I need could be fullfilled by self love? As a single, divorced dad who doesn’t get to see his kids enough, can I love myself enough to fill the void of human interaction?

I know that there is a relatively intense satisfaction in writing in my gratitude journal. I also know that getting into meaningful, caring conversation online, like here on WordPress can do something for my well being. There’s so much to learn, I’d love to hear about others’ perspectives on this.

Love you all,

Duane

Random Musings on Commitment

Random musings? how does that even fit into the same sentence as commitment?  I mean there’s nothing random about commitment is there?  Probably not, but musing on a lot of different aspects of commitment today.

First, there’s the frustration that my Clematis can’t seem to commit to climbing the trellis it’s supposed to climb.  I mean that’s what a Clematis is supposed to do isn’t it?  Just climb already!  why do I have to keep tying you up to the trellis?  But maybe it’s about me not being committed enough to have cut away last year’s growth so that the new growth this year would have easy access to the trellis.  But hey, I’m new at this cultivation of Clematis thing.  How was I supposed to know that it wouldn’t climb last year’s growth?  I guess I just have to commit to tying it up!

And then there’s the weather.  I wish the forecasters and the weather could just commit to being on the same page.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that this past weekend we finally got the rain that was in the forecast.  maybe not quite as much as they were suggesting we might get, but still, a nice shot.  Not sure if that makes up for the last three weeks of frustration about getting told to expect rain and getting tiny showers instead.  That’s OK, we love what we got!  Very thankfull!

And then there’s the commitment to pessimism.  I work with farmers, and they have a bad rap for being pessimistic, but does the weather network really have to fuel that pessimism by telling us that we are in for a doozy of a drought this summer?  Ironically, this beef goes along with the last one.  The weather network says we will have a record drought, while their forecast for the next 10 days calls for showers nearly every other day- really?

On a more serious note, I’m beefing about myself.  How come, when I’m lonely, aching for a hug, do I get afraid of potential relationships?  I know I’ve been burned before, but really, freezing up at the concept of a date?  That’s taking it a little far.  Time to open up my toolbox and work on some fears and coping skills, I suppose.

And then there’s commitment to self improvement.  I know I need to work on forgiveness of myself and others.  I know I need to stop a bad habit or two.  I know I need to start a good habit or two- working out wouldn’t be that bad, would it?  Ah, motivation and commitment, I’d love to get to know the two of you a little better!

Truly trying to see commitment as not necesarily a bad word, I remain the man that I am,

Duey 🙂

No Pain, No Gain!

Great words from Auguste Rodin-

“Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely”

Which is, by the way, very good advice for me personally today.  “Why?” you might ask, well I’ll tell you why.  I must throw a word of caution out there first, though.  The first part of this post is much lighter than the second half- that might be a little raw.

So, I met a girl.  Ok, lots of people meet new people on a regular basis.  But this was different, very different, I’m sure.  I mean, who falls in love at first sight anymore these days?  Especially at the relatively mature age of 40?  (I’m still trying to convince myself that it’s OK to not be grown up yet at 40- It is possible to grow physically, get gray hair, but still be a kid, right?)  Well, maybe I didn’t all the way fall in love, but pretty darn close.  And then reality set in.  She said after a weekend’s reflection that she wasn’t ready for me.  Or something to that effect.

So, what do I gain from that experience?  Well, I just so happened to have a call scheduled with my awesome coach (you know who you are, Barbara) for this very morning, and she helped me see that I need to learn to just go with the flow, and not set my expectations on trying to see if every new girl I meet might be the right one.  Great advice- Thanks a lot!  So I try to learn and move on from that.

See?  I told you the first part would be boring!

But then, the harder learning came tonight, as I worked deeper into some of the topics that were discussed this morning, and read part of a book about trauma recovery.  (For those reading this who don’t know, I was molested as a child for a long time by a man who was not family.  Now, I’m trying to use my experiences for the greater good.  My crap was not all bad or wasted if I can help somebody heal from their own garbage or prevent even one other child from being abused.)  I read some very thought provoking stuff tonight.

  1. I learned that while I was being molested, while I knew that I survived by freezing and tuning out what was happening, while my brain left my body temporarily so that I could survive, that survival instinct allowed the abuse to last longer, and the abuser to keep me under his manipulative power long after the abuse stopped.  How?  Well, because my brain “left” while I was being abused, it took a lot of time and effort to peel away the layers and fully understand all that had happened when I started to work on healing.  A survival strategy “split personality”.  What do I gain from knowing that?  As parents, I think if our children suddenly start acting differently, or having memory lapses, that might be a sign that we need to ask some hard questions.
  2. I learned a bit about my personality and how it was formed in early childhood.  My parents loved me, but their lives were very hectic- trying to get a farm and a family started from nothing- way too much to do, way too little time.  I seem to have learned how to get way too attached to any connection I could get, but tune out then already if I wasn’t getting any.  I would alternate back then already between a chatterbox, trying to stay the center of attention, and a recluse, holed up with my toys or a book.  That same silly clash between my type “A” and type “C” personality sides has affected me all the way through life, and it really enabled my abuser.  Still has an impact today on relationships, I know.  So what good does it do me to see this?  Awareness of the clash within is key to being able to moderate my actions.  I won’t pretend to be a psychologist and apply that to child rearing- attachment science is not my field.

There’s so much more I have to learn, but that’s today’s education.  If it meant anything to you, please let me know.  Feel free to share this post if you’d like.

Cheers, Duane

And Life Goes On…

This week, right here in my home town, somebody died.  And somebody was born.  Someone else fell in love.  And somebody had their heart broken.  Probably quite a few people in each of those categories, and you might even know some of them.

And life goes on…

This week, all around the world, the media found one thing after another to try to terrify us with.  There’s always another tragedy that could potentially happen right here at home.  There’s always the potential that the candidate that the media is freaking out about might win the election.

And life goes on…

This week, somebody lied.  (And the audience gasps).  Yes, I know… I did too, maybe you did as well.  What is this lie I speak of?  Somebody asked me how I was doing, and I said “Okay”.  And usually, it’s kind of a little white lie.  But sometimes we are really hiding something that we’d actually, deep down inside, desperately like to talk to somebody about.  There were times this week that I had to lie to say so, but if I’d have told the truth, what would they have done with the reality?  If you asked someone how they were doing and they said that life had them overwhelmed and they just didn’t know what to do, what would you do?  So we lie.

And life goes on…

This week, my mindset was starting to turn around after a couple weeks off kilter.  After a insignificant encounter on a sidewalk caused my PTSD to re-surface, it took a couple weeks, and a few caring friends to get everything nearly back in it’s place.  And yet, there was that lump in my throat, reminding me that I had been rather stressed out.  But nobody really wants to hear about that.  So I lied.

And life goes on…

I pray that as I climb this hill back on to level ground, the lessons I learn might make me a better friend.  I hope I’m a good enough friend, that all who know me might know that I will listen to their truth.  I hope I can learn to see when I ought to ask another question to get through the lie, if that’s what whomever I’m speaking with might need at that moment.  And for all those who lied along with me because you just couldn’t talk about the trouble that’s just below the surface- I wish I could reach through these words, and hug you so tight that all the broken pieces would meld back where they belong.  I pray someone does love you that much.  My wish for each of you is that you might be able to say with me-

“And life goes on…Isn’t it grand to have so much to be grateful for?”

on (over) Reaction

A couple weeks ago, coming out of a downtown office building, I turned to walk down the sidewalk, looked up, and BOOM!  There he was!  The Asshole that messed up my life through ten years of sexual abuse.  In an instant, one beat of my heart, I virtually froze.  No, I didn’t stop moving, but it was like time stood still.  So much flashed through my mind inthe next few minutes as I made my way, numbly, to my truck, that I don’t really know what the sequence of my thoughts was.  I hadn’t seen him in so long, and last time I had seen him, I was expecting to see him- it was in court at his sentencing.

I got to my truck, took a deep breath, and put it all behind me.  Yeah Right!  I guess I thought I did, though.

I made my way home- it was the last stop of my day, and did whatever it was that I did that evening.  The rest of the week was busy- on the road for work, not much time to think.  On Friday, I tripped and fell off the deck of a truck, and hurt my knee.  Greeat way to end a work week!  That weekend I was a mess- my knee hurt like blazes, but most of all, I didn’t know whether to cry or lose my cool on Saturday.  Sunday I got sick, and that seemed to clear it all up.

On Tuesday evening, with a busy trade show coming up, I went for a massage to tune my body up.  Ironically, It was my mind that gained the most.  I have a really awesome therapist who tends to do as much for my mind as she does for my body.  She just knows what to say, and somehow, her touch soothes my energies, and puts everything in balance.  Most importantly, she helped me see that I still have a lot of letting go and forgiving to do.  She suggested to me, that even as I had virtually frozen in that instant- that frozen-ness likely contributed to my fall, and most certainly to my messed up weekend.

I never would have guessed.

So the lesson for me is- “Forgiveness isn’t about setting the forgiven free- It’s about setting myself free from the prison of anger.”

I thought I had done that a long time ago, but I guess it’s an ongoing process.

If you have forgiving to do, may you find the strength to find that freedom, even as I pray I do too.  And if you know how, please share your wisdom!

Lotsa Love to you all,

Duey