Non-Pirate Wilderman On The Move!

I am on the move …  True,  countless times I have sat in me ship on a calm sea,  no wind to push the sails.  But, I am still, indeed, on the move.  Mornings have emerged from merciless and endless, nights; I have had no desire to step out of my night, into my light.  Such a struggle, a mistresses of depression?  

(Bombardment of Algiers by Lord Exmouth in August 1816, Thomas Luny /http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piracy)

An intimate preoccupation with sleep? It is a false intimacy.    On such mornings I am reluctant to look up, fearful that I may see the Jolly Roger flying from the topmast.  As of yet, no such flag has flown.  Which leads me to a decent question: what kind of a flag am I flying, up above the ship?

(Capture of the Pirate Blackbeard, 1718 depicting the battle between Blackbeard and Lt. Maynard in Ocracoke Bay.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Capture-of-Blackbeard.jpg)

When I am sailing across the Seven Seas (which I’ve never done before, but is sounds good), seafaring men and women always take note of what flag I am flying.  

And I hope that they see that I am a good man, not afraid to fight for what is good, what is noble, what is honorable.  I hope they see that I am not a pirate; for I am a non-pirate.  If you were to hang out with pirates like Blackbeard, Thomas Tew, Henry Every, William Kidd …   you might hear such perspectives as:

  • I’m a pirate. I’m my own captain.
  • A friend can betray you, but an enemy will always stay the same.
  • Land was created to provide a place for boats to visit.
  • If ye can’t trust a pirate, ye damn well can’t trust a merchant either.
  • A pirate is for life, not just for Christmas.
  • Take what you can, give nothing back.

I am like a pirate in that I am a swashbuckling soul.  Adventure, which is at the core of “swashbuckling”, is profound: because adventure depends on what the adventure is about, and how the adventure is carried out.   Here are some contrasts, for me, when it comes to what a pirate is about, and what I am about:

  • A pirate, his own captain? That doesn’t work in a healthy marriage;
  • A “friend can betray you … an enemy will always stay the same”? I want to be a man who changes for the better … not stays the same; and friends? Yes, they will let you down; but you will let them down, as well;
  • “If ye can’t trust a pirate, ye damn well can’t trust a merchant either”?  Ahhh, the power of rationalization;
  • “A pirate is for life, not just for Christmas”?  It would get old living a life of violence, selfishness, greed, lying, thievery, doing the same thing over and over and over … always wondering who is going to betray you;
  • “Take what you can, give nothing back”? Bummer.  I guess that rules out being a good husband, a good father, and a good friend.

Yep.  Non-pirate.  That is the life for me!

Snow is On the Go; So Are You

She is waiting, faithfully.A few bloggers have posted about snow happening, in their neck of the woods.  This morning, our’s came: the snow is definitely on the go.  I’m waiting until either the snow stops or until it is deep enough before I get my snowblower out: not something on my “favorite things to do” list.     “To Do” … what a provocative pair of words; profound, in fact, for writers.

I don't snow blow the trees.
I don’t snow blow the trees.

At times, our writing connects with what we “do”.  At other times, our writing comes from our stillness, being quiet, and listening.  I remember seeing a writer’s quote, many years ago.  150, maybe?  Exaggeration, maybe?  Unfortunately I cannot remember the name that corresponds with the quote.  Here’s the quote: “My wife asked me what I was doing while staring out the window.  I told her.  ‘I’m working’ …”  And, one of my most favorite quotes of all time:

www.quotehd.com

What Thoreau’s quote means to me is that our experiences, our stories, out journeys, and in some cases just “doing something”, fuels and shapes our writing.  Okay, now I’ll throw out on the blog-table the last piece of this post: writers, depression, anxiety.  Winter, snow, cold, connects the season with the mood.  Here are some excerpts from an article entitled: “Let’s talk about writing and the creative process”

 
(http://writerunboxed.com/2013/04/26/lets-talk-about-anxiety-the-creative-process/

“I work with writers, and find that anxiety is a very real and very constant part of their lives. Why? Just a few reasons:

  • … creating and publishing invites judgement, especially self-judgement.
  • Being a writer is often a new identity that one carves out for themselves … everyone else around them clings to other ways of labeling them: mother, spouse, colleague, sister. (Writers) don’t easily accept defining the writer as such.
  • … ‘return on investment’ of writing breaks traditional models. We do it for so many reasons, but the common reward of money is rarely the primary driver.
  • … so many decisions involved in being a writer. First, with the process of writing and editing, then the process of choosing how to publish, and then the process of finding and connecting with readers. Each is not one step, but 1,000 decisions. None of which are clear from the start. “

Yes, we stumble into the midst of any of these experiences: “Seasonal Affect Disorder (S.A.D.)” (you already know about), writer’s block (I flinch when Lucy calls Charlie Brown a “blockhead” … I’m a blockhead since I get writer’s block), boredom, anxiety / depression (beyond S.A.D.), situational stressors, family pressures … and SNOW.  But trust me, pending on the temperature / windchill / visibility, you can get out there in the snow with your winter gear or snowshoes.  And chances are it will be good for you.  And keep writing.  Because YOU … are on the go!

Man Feels Weak: Let Him Speak …

Man, do you feel weak?  Speak.  You won’t be redirected, no solutions expected.
Wisdom released,
Men seeking peace,
“Find your voice!”
Yet, be cautious with your choice.”
‘Makes sense, “Negativity … nonsense.”
Positive: the way to go,  let your success show …
Show the world, show your friends … you are the one that shines and wins.
“So, please dear brother, keep your melancholy;
We are the winners, the strong and the jolly.”

Davis, T

FYI:  Usually I don’t mind poems that rhyme, as long as it’s not my poem.  But some things happen, beyond my control.

One definition of ambivalence, because it makes the word logical and digestible:

“Ambivalence . . . the existence of two mutually exclusive (any combination of) ideas, emotions, thoughts, realities.”

STEELY DAN lyrics, from the piece entitled “Deacon Blues”, come to mind:

“They got a name for the winners in the world
I want a name when I lose
They call Alabama the Crimson Tide
Call me Deacon Blues”

I am a firm believer in adages like:

  • “Don’t let people pull you down …”;
  • “Think negative things?  You will experience negative things …”
  • “You are responsible for your thoughts, your emotions, your actions …”

‘Got the picture?

Someone comes into your space, with heaviness, pain, anger, sadness.  It is your responsibility to set up and maintain your boundaries.  Reality: you may experience some tension:

  1. Compassion;
  2. Desire to empower;
  3. A murky mix of wanting to help, and unhealthy guilt for this person’s pain / obligation to “rescue”;
  4. Someone once said (I don’t know who) “It is what it is.”  It is of profound importance to find the “what” that “it” … “is”.

More about the tension that you may, or may not, feel.  St. John of the Cross wrote a piece

St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church.

(sixteenth century) entitled “Dark Night of the Soul“.  A great writer (passed away in 1997) named Dr. Gerald May

The Dark Night of the Soul

wrote a book based on the work by St. John of the Cross, Dark Night of the SoulTerrence Real wrote a book entitled I Don’t Want to Talk About It (one of the best books on male depression I have ever read).

Cover of "I Don't Want to Talk About It: ...