Wilder Men’s Plans, Sometime Change

Short entry here.

Here’s a quote I picked up from a man named Basil Ted Hawthorne (fictitious name to protect the (mostly) innocent):

“Life is what happens … when you are planning it.”

Subr Ditch 1

I had an appointment at 9am.  I was up at 6:30, to get coffee and do some reading.  I snowblowed for about 30 minutes and then I was ready to go down to town, with enough time to spare.  Visibility was poor, and I thought I was doing good … and then, WHAMMM ! ! !  My Subaru was in a deep ditch.

Subr Ditch 3

Well, bottom line: I was tremendously humbled, and very angry at myself.  I hate having to call a tow truck.  But, hey … plans change.  I thought I was going to meet a wise man for coffee.  Wrong.  I guess it’s the same question: what are you going to do, now?  Yeah, that’s it.  What are you going to do now?  Right Now?


Wilder Man on Rolling Creek


Forecast? Snow.

Sunday morning, I should not have been surprised by the deep snow.  The heads-up was given on the weather channels on Friday & Saturday.  By the end of Sunday, we had 20 inches of snow.

Winter birdhouse

I knew it was a snow blower morning, but slightly procrastinated.  I made coffee, toasted a bagel, built a fire in the woodstove, and finally got out there.   ‘Had to put in a couple of those shear pins.  Boy, those little suckers are expensive.  Somebody is getting rich.

Running the snow blower requires very little brainpower. Blowing straight, avoiding rocks, listening to the engine for any trouble … that is what is required.  Seeing the result of my work is what blesses me.  It looks quite nice, once you’re done.

With counseling, what I have done over the last 15 years, one doesn’t always see the result of the work.  But with snow blowing, you can see what your work looks like.

Well, it is good for a man to work.  It is good for a man to feel good about his work.  And in this case it is good for a man to wear gloves, boots, and a hat.

Tim w icicle

Stay warm in your wildness.





Tim And Snow

1/2 foot?  Resistance and man, meet again, in the middle.  This type of resistance is what I call “Snow Resistance”, somewhat common in higher elevations.

I am here in the thick of it.  God meets me here, in the thick of it.  God is, both, there and here.  However, I can only be here.  But tomorrow, I should be there; but not here.

This snow is not that bad. I am fortunate to have a snow blower; but the one in the picture was the one we had when we moved up here.  It is what I call a “Suburbia Snow Blower”, about an 18″ width, as I recall.  Horsepower?  I don’t think they were horses.  They were all ponies.  I was able to sell it to a guy in … Suburbia, of course … who had a 20′ by 10′ driveway.  He lived in a neighborhood with nice paved roads.  Even though this picture is outdated, I am pretty sure I’m a little better looking now than I was then.

Snw Blw ???

We replaced it with a larger snow blower.  This one has 6 big tires: 5′ across; dual exhaust, a 450 engine in it, which means it will go from 0 to 60 in about 12 seconds.   from the Home Depot.  It has a 60″ width.  Good horsepower, not ponies allowed.  It even has a light on it to show you where you are going, and heated handles.  Goes by the name of Mr. Rogers (the snowblower).

The snow makes things quiet out here, except when the county pickup truck with a plow comes out, later on after all the other, more important, roads get plowed.  But I’m not offended that we have to wait.  Seriously.

Some of you know that snowblowers have these things called “sheer pins”.  Misspelled?  Yes, probably.  But they still work whether you misspell them or not.  Mr. Rogers has a total of six sheer pins (3 on each side), and this morning I was down to two (both on the left side, with none on the right).  So I spent quite a bit of time finding things that would fit in thosee little holes to substitue for the sheer pins.  I even took a smaller piece of firewood stored by  the wood burning stove, and broke of a piece, and then whittled it down … It worked but the end broke off … So, today, going into town, I will stop by the depot and buy some sheer pins.  I hates spending the money.  Those little stinkers are expensive.  Anybody have an idea for something cheaper?
Okay.  Continuing to be wilder, just like you all.



Defiant, Compliant, and Redemptively Wild

Tuesday Morn / February 19, 2013

My son gets defiant, sometimes.  I love him.  He’s my son.

“My son gets defiant, sometimes.  I love him.  He’s my son.”

The first line is me, talking about my son.

The second line is God, talking about me.

In the movie “Cool Hand Luke” a southern warden at a prison farm makes a statement, directed toward the protagonist portrayed by Paul Newman: “Whah wee ha’-av he’ah … is a fay-urr … to kuh-muh’ni-kate.”

Luke’s choice appears to be defiance … against a warden demanding compliance.  If you’ve seen the movie, which most of you probably have not, Paul Newman does a good job of being redemptively wild.  And yet, there is a paradox here; or as the warden would say “he’ah”.  Luke is a man in prison, and he is expected to be compliant.  But this system he is in the midst of is notably corrupt.  Thus, defiance; and / or redemptive wildness.

Today, men in America struggle with these three dynamics: defiance; compliance; and redemptive wildness.  Arguably, one cannot legitimately slam a “Yes Man”.  Maybe this is a case of semantics, a choice of words.  A “Company Man” has a positive connotation; a “Yes Man” has a negative connotation.  From my weathered, less than objective, perspective … I believe there is a difference, but that is not really the point here.

The “Yes Man” could be the wise one: a) he knows how to keep his job; b) he knows how to score points with upper management; c) he will get the promotions and the money; and d) he will avoid conflict.  Ahhh, compliance.

Meanwhile, another man struggles with: a) being talked down to; b) the feeling / perception that someone is trying to manipulate him; c) the expectation that he has to jump through hoops like a circus dog; and d) that he must always have the “right answer”, whether its true or false.

In my work with homeless addicts, I sat with men who carried a passionate defiance wherever they went.  Another paradox: in “the program”, a residential substance abuse rehab, some could “play” the compliance game.  There were two reasons for this.  One was that after 30-45 days they were sober from their substance; their mind had a rare clarity; and they saw some logic in compliance.  The second reason was that “the program” allowed them to take a vacation from their addiction, spending time getting three square meals daily, sleeping in a warm bed, and getting fresh clothes.

It should be noted that the characteristics above did not fit every man who came into the program.  Some men did not last one week of abstinence from drugs and/or alcohol.  Some men left the program before their thirty-days goal.  Some men chose to break their sobriety, because of cravings, boredom, anger, defiance, or … (check this out) their desire to leave but they wanted to be kicked out of the program so they wouldn’t have to make the decision themselves.

Many of us are fathers with at least one child in the home.  Many of us are husbands with wives.  Some of us have mortgage payments; bills to pay; the need for medical insurance.  Thus, there is a sizeable incentive for compliance; and very little incentive to choose defiance, in any shape or form.  This is obviously not a bad thing.

One question on the table: is there any redemptive wildness happening?  When I chose to get married, I made a commitment to never be a “Yes, Dear” husband.  Over the years, there are times when I drop the ball on that commitment.  Most of the time, however, the terror of becoming a “Yes, Dear” husband drives me to keep my eyes on that fine line.

One reason for my continued commitment is my belief that my wife needs a man who will not become a “Yes, Dear” husband.  More specifically, my wife needs a man with wildness.  That is who she married; not the “Yes Dear” husband.

Living with all of this can be a thick-like-molasses tension. There is no doubt that I have missed opportunities because of my difficulty finding a balance between the three.  As a result, I live with some degree of regret: less money in the bank; not much status in the realm of “So, what do you do?”; and the increasingly obvious stamp that other men can see when we meet.

Living without regret; guarding the wildness that I still have; living without self-condemnation; choosing wisdom along the way; and trusting God in this process: its not as easy I would have imagined thirty years ago.

Okay.  I’m out.  My hat is off to you who are redemptively wild.

Wilder Man On Rolling Creek

Fata Morgana, Men, And Elusive Strength

Strength can be elusive.  

“Things are not  always what  they seem;  the first  appearance  deceives  many; the intelligence of a few perceives what has been carefully hidden.”  Phaedrus


Unknowns can be intimidating; and, yet, not always as overwhelming, or as powerful, as they originally appeared.

Antarctica (1993-1994), I witnessed “Fata Morgana” (“a” is pronounced as “ah”) at McMurdo Sound.  I am thankful to Wikipedia for a more clear understanding of Fata Morgana:

  • an optical phenomenon, rays of light bent when they pass through air layers of different temperatures
  • and the layers of different temperatures are in a steep thermal inversion
  • where an “atmospheric duct” has formed.      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fata_Morgana_(mirage)

And so, Fata Morgana gives the impression of buildings, cliffs, and such … where no such  objects exist.  In the followinng picture, the Fata Morgana is the horizontal image in the middle, between the ground and the mountains. (Seeing a Fata Morgana, however, is still elusive, even if you have a good definition.)

3-Image Mirage, Antarctica http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/featured/a-world-of-mirages

I have encountered a different kind of Fata Morgana, when faced with resistence, or obstacles.  At times I  thought that I had no strength; or that whatever strength I did have … was not enough.  My energy, resources, strength, wisdom was insufficient, for the challenges that were ahead.  I’ve been there before, and I will probably be there again.  But sometimes your eyes can play tricks on you.  Sometimes, your mind can play tricks on  you: Fata Morgana.

Community reminds me of what is true.  Isolation, often leaves me to my own devices.  Men need men to watch each other’s back.

When strength shows up, opposition shows up.  Obstacles show up.  Criticism shows up.  Doubt shows up.

When we show up, in our glory, in our fullness, in our readiness to meet the next challenge, we can expect opposition.  Circumstances, obstacles, individuals emerge to hinder our progress, to prevent us from our purpose, our callings.  We can also expect God to show up with us, and experience victory.

What are you going to do, when resistence comes?  Opposition comes as a lie: “You don’t have what it takes …”  Opposition rises out of chaos when your child gets defiant, attempting to convince themselves and you that they have more power .  Opposition attacks with the accusation that you are not good enough; that your wife does not love you anymore; that you are a poser; that you are a crappy provider.

Lies, more lies, even more lies, inaccurate information, opposition, obstacles.  You are stronger than all of that.

If you REALLY believe …  that you don’t have what it takes, then you need to get that straightened out.  The lies could destroy you, if you let them.

Sharpen your sword, clear out your mind, get rid of the garbage.  Victory is sweet.

It may not be easy, but we are wildermen.  There are good men who will stand with you.  So find them, and ask them to stand with you.


Wilderman on Rolling Creek

By the way: in this picture, the mirage is not only in the middle (horizontal imagery) but also the icebergs / glaciers in the distance.


Men and Storms, Arrows, Confusion

“When the storms come, flaming arrows fly, confusion brews, wildermen will lean into it all, pressing into God, and buck up.”   That’s from a previous post, about men and their wildness; redemptive wildness, a wildness we cannot, should not, forfeit.

Good words, priceless stories, from men who have gone before us are legacy words, words of strength. One sage in particular spoke about shields that fighters carried into battle, back in the transition from B.C. to  A.D.  These warriors had cloths, saturated in water, on the outside of their shields.  When the flaming arrows came, they were extinguished.  Wild, eh?

Yes.  Those guys were wild.  And we are wild, even when  storms blow in, flaming arrows fly, confusion brews.  Kipling pointed out such confusion, in his poem “If”.

” … keep your head when all about you are losing theirs… blaming it on you … you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too … ”                                                                                         

We can do this: keep our heads, when others around us are losing it.  When others feel the need to blame us, or doubt us, we can trust ourselves and our God, to keep on pressing on, fighting on, praying on, rallying each other on … We can do this.  

Isolation comes with lies; we need community.    /    Compulsivity comes with pain, perceived need for relief, choices to go to the wrong place; we need people with hutspah to speak into our hearts, and our minds.     /  Anger comes from sorrow, from fear; we need a safe place and safe people to sort things out.   /   Financial stress  & instability comes because of mistakes in our planning and choices, and we also forget that God is our provider; we need reminders from reliable people.   /   Fear of  insignificance comes if we forget where our significance is, or what our high callings are, to be the best we can be, with what we have, right where we are at; we need seasoned people of humility and strength to walk with us, at different places in our journey.


Okay, wildermen.  Stay wild, and wise, and don’t act stupid.

Wilderman on Rolling Creek

Some lost guy

1st Entry: Men Who Are Men

Kr w Shield      Man had the place to himself.  Then, something good happened: Woman. True, things went south.  But don’t blame Woman.  Man became wild, and wilder, since the Garden Fiasco.  There is redemption in our wildness.

Elijah, David, Andy in Shawshank Redemption, were all wildmen. William Wallace, Indiana Jones, the Smothers Brothers: they were all wild.  Our wildness is redemptive.

We need to be wild, or wilder.  We are wild, or wilder, and honorable, wise, dependable.   We are warrior poets.  We bring order out of chaos.  We fight when we need to fight.  We fight fair with our wives and our children so that they know that we will fight for them, because we love them.  Wildermen have stories to tell.  We make it safe for our wives to tell us their story; we make it safe for our childen to live out their stories.

Wildness flows with wisdom, pain, joy,  longings … through guys who get up in the morning and go to work, and work what needs to be worked; and pay bills.  Wildermen are called out to be good men . . . who come home at night after work, and hug their wives, and bring some love and smiles to the kiddos.

A number of years ago, I was up on Rolling Creek Trail with some wildermen.  There really is a Rolling Creek Trail, and we really were there … sitting atop gigantic boulders with  mountains surrounding us.  One of the wildermen brought a can of pears.  They tasted great, up there on those boulders, under the sun.

True wildermen are not tame, and are not sissies. And we do our best to not get stupid.

When the storms come, and the flaming arrows fly, the confusion brews, wildermen will lean into it all, pressing into God, and buck up.  But that discussion … storms flaming arrows, confusion … will happen next time.  See you then.


Wilder Man On Rolling Creek