Wilder Man Dad: Thankfulness?

RECENTLY …

I listened to Harry Chapin’s song, “Cat’s In The Cradle”.  Man-O-Man!  What a song!  I remember my dad and I in the car; me – – – just out of high school, and “Cat’s In The Cradle” came on the radio.  Dad’s face pensive as we listened to the words.  After the song, his eyes straight ahead, peering through the windshield as if it was a dark fog, he commented about the father not making time for his son while time passed by, opportunities lost.  My guess is that my dad was thinking about his father: the small amount of time he had with his father.

“My child arrived just the other day
He came to the world in the usual way
But there were planes to catch and bills to pay
He learned to walk while I was away
And he was talkin’ ‘fore I knew it, and as he grew
He’d say ‘I’m gonna be like you, Dad
You know I’m gonna be like you’ …”

I wanted to throw out this “thing” to my fellow wilder men, and the women curious about wilder men, who love wilder men … this “thing” about being a dad, having a son, living with the tension – – –  spending time with and giving our hearts to our sons, our daughters, in a robust way, knowing that this is the time where we pour into the lives of those wonderful kiddos who we are parenting, thanks to the gifting from the God who provides, the God who loves, the God who leads.  And courage calls.  I am a wilder man who  n e e d s   courage to be a good dad, who cannot afford to flounder, and say some nonsense like “Woe is me!  I need courage to be a good dad!  How can I get courage?”

“Well, he came from college just the other day
So much like a man I just had to say
‘Son, I’m proud of you, can you sit for a while?’
He shook his head and said with a smile
‘What I’d really like, Dad, is to borrow the car keys
See you later, can I have them please?’ ….”

If I whine about ‘needing courage’, I am missing the boat, I am missing my son, I am missing my daughter.  It is not about “needing courage”.  It is about taking courage, embracing courage, using courage not unlike one handles a sword.  I know we can learn from others; we can learn from what others have to say.

“And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me / He’d grown up just like me / My boy was just like me

And the cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon      Little boy blue and the man in the moon

‘When you comin’ home son?’ / ‘I don’t know when, but we’ll get together then, Dad / 
We’re gonna have a good time then’ … ” 

And we can make a promise that we are not going to blow it … knowing that there is a possibility we can miss our children, knowing that we can sacrifice the fatherhood love for things that are not worth the sacrifice

Instead, we can know that we made a good, noble, courageous, other-centered choice, to love our sons and our daughters.  And we can know that we were intentional about spending priceless time with them, during their journey.

 

 

 

Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, Again … 3:30

I stumbled on to this little clip from the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, and I almost like this one better than the first clip I brought on the Wilder Man On Rolling Creek blog … but, you really cannot compare the two pieces.  If you check this one out, try to catch the eyes and the facial expression of Jonny, the banjo player.  The boy is full of joy and mischief, eyes shining like a bright light in a dark night.  It makes me smile.  The enthusiasm of a young person … let us not dampen such a powerful, redemptive spirit.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFbWkL818XQ

Jonny Mizzone: smiling with a banjo / video.news.com.au

Let The Boys Play …

A little fire in the belly … Some sparks in the eyes … Vision tapped … all along with some toe-tappin’ finger snappin’ hand clappin.  What we have here, is three brothers who put together a band known as the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys:

Tommy is fifteen years old (15) playing the guitar;

Jonny is ten years old (10), a banjo pickin’ young buck;

Robby is fourteen years old (14), is the fiddler.

sleepy man banjoy boys site
http://redefineschool.com/jonny-robbie-and-tommy-mizzone/

 The fact that these guys are in a bluegrass jam session and their point of origin is New Jersey seems somewhat ironic.  I’ve never thought of much bluegrass coming out of New Jersey.  If you go to this link, to hear a quick tune by the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys, I think you’ll be fine if you just play the first 2:47 … I am not an advocate of long Youtube clips.  I do think you will find that first 2:47 enjoyable, and somewhat motivating … to see what three young fellows can do …

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fB8UTheTR7s

Wilderman Dogs

The dogs know more about what’s going

… than I originally thought.

 

There are two of them, up here.  Sometimes I can see them huddling up, and I know … Oh, yes, I know … that they are up to something.  But most of the time they split up.  Sure, they do a good job of barking when some squirrel gets too close to the house.  But sometimes they just bark, to pretend that they are on top of things. At night, it is not uncommon for me to be sitting at my desk, or in one of the big chairs, reading, writing … and at some point I feel like there is someone staring at me.  Yes.  You must have dogs that do that too.  I look up to see one of the dogs staring at me.  And, in a split second, the dog looks away, and stares in a different direction.  Sneaky.  That’s  what they are.  Sneaky.  This is the older dog, a mix between a German Shepherd and a Gold Retriever.  She will sometimes wear my daughter’s lime green ski helmet, trying to disguise herself.  Again: sneaky.

But when I go for a quick hike, or a walk through the woods, oh … one of the dogs jumps in.  The enthusiasm that flows through her eyes, tail wagging, and she even has a prance as she is trotting along with me.  She loves the wilderness.  She loves me.  She is a Wilderman Dog.  Officially she is a Bernese Mountain Dog.  But she is, unmistakably, a Wilderman Dog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wilderman, Bob Marshall … Tribute

Guys have gone before us, have been in the wilderness due to their calling, mountain creeks running through their veins mixed with their blood that drove them into the unknown.  I want to learn about them, learn from them, with hopes I will be able to teach others along my way, along my “wilderman’s journey”.

Alaska Wilderness: Exploring the Central Brooks Range

Mr. Marshall came around in 1901.  WOW!  ‘Turn of the century.  Not the one we are in now; but the century before this one.  A redemptive haunting came to Bob Marshall from Alaska.  File:Bob Marshall camping.jpg  It would make sense that his book came about from his years of immersion there, an unprecedented wild place.  As you can see, he kept everything he needed  in a small backpack.  I hope that you know I am kidding.  And here is a FYI: I have a volume entitled  Points Unknown: A Century of Great Exploration , a collection of stories published by OUTSIDE BOOKS,  includes  some of Marshall’s book, Alaska Wilderness: Exploring the Central Brooks Range.

Bob Marshall was a forester, a writer.  He climbed.  Mr. Marshall had a robust appreciation for the Brooks Range, Alaska … and a similar appetite for the Adirondacks.  There are 46 peaks in the Adirondacks realm, and Marshall climbed all of them.  Actually, he was one of the first to accomplish that feat, with his feet (I thought that might be a decent joke, but I now have my doubts).  Another book he wrote was Arctic  Village, a 1933 bestseller, which was before my time.  Two years later, Marshall became one of the principal founders of The Wilderness Society.  And that is about all I have to say now, in my effort to practice some brevity.

Here a  small excerpt from his book, found in the collection of stories I referred to above:

 

“At three in the morning I awoke from the noise of rushing water.  It was raining hard when I looked outside and, much to my surprise, I discovered that the water in the quiet slough next to camp had risen almost to the fire, and had become a strong churning current.  I moved the cooking pots back to what I though was a safe place, commented casually to Al on the phenomenal rise of the water, and hurried back to bed.  Moved by my report, Al took one sleepy look out of the tent and immediately was all consternation.  ‘Hurry up!’ he shouted, ‘we’ve got to get out of here quick.  The main river’s cutting back of our island and if we’re not damn fast we’ll be cut off from everything.”

And that is more than I meant to bring to this blog-table.  Hope you enjoyed this encounter with Mr. Robert (Bob) Marshall, an individual I would respectfully consider a wilderman.

Kiddo: Tilt Cove, Newfoundland Population?

Sitting in the Jeep with one of my kiddos, waiting on the Mrs. and our other kiddo to finish up in the Dr.’s office (for some non-crisis stuff) … I did not know I was on the verge of getting a dose of “Fun Facts” to know & learn from my daughter.  She had one of these kids’ magazines, and started reading out loud one joke after another.  Then she gets to the “Fun Facts”.

“Hey, Dad, do you want to hear some fun facts?”
“Sure.”
“What color is the house of the President in Argentina?
“Don’t know, Babe.”
“Its pink.”
“Really?”
“Yeah! … Here is another one.  Do you know what the population is for Tilt Cove, in Newfoundland, Canada?”
“No, I do not.  What is the population for Tilt Cove, in Newfoundland, Canada?”
“Its five.”
“Are you serious?”
“Yeah, I’m serious.”
“No, you’re not.  You’re just pulling my leg.”
“No, Dad, I’m serious.  The population for Tilt Cove in Newfoundland, Canada is five.  No joke.”

Tilt Cove, Newfoundland caught my attention.  Here are some pictures of Tilt Cove, Newfoundland, Canada.

The Williams House in Tilt Cove, ca. 1910

The Home of Francis Williams, Tilt Cove / 1910.   http://www.heritage.nf.ca/environment/williams_before.html 

This next picture of the Williams House is different, due to an avalanche that hit the house in 1912, March 11th (photo credit: The Rooms Provincial Archives: Smith Family Collection: A 24-98 … http://archivalmoments.ca/2012/03/killer-avalanche-hits-tilt-cove/).

 

http://www.members.tripod.com/codkisser/tiltcovepage1.html

Tilt Cove is a town located southeast of Baie Verte on Notre Dame Bay. The post or Way office was established in 1869. The population was 1,370 in 1901 and 57 by 1956. It has a population of 5 as of 2011 according to Statistics Canada, but another source gives the population as 7.”  (I always find good information on Wikipedia:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tilt_Cove).  I hope you enjoy a little reminder, from time to time, of places beyond our little world.  It is good to get a different perspective.  Maybe I can get to Tilt Cove one day.  Maybe not: there are some other places that would come first.

 

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: ...