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.
Don’t worry. You are tougher than hell. There is a substance within you that makes the demons tremble. True, they mess with you. They mess with me, too. That is one reason conflict happens. If the battle gets bloody, that’s okay. You will listen to your heart, and the wisdom that belongs to you. You may find yourself in a battlefield, no one in sight. The ground’s ripped up, ugliness in the trenches. You will wonder, “Where are the other guys?” You may not see them.
(Image below: ecogentleman.com)
They are out there, somewhere. Regardless of where they are, you know where YOU are. And you are a warrior. What else are you going to do? You press on! You own up to your pain, you’re wounds, your fatigue. You consider that you are afraid. You feel it in your stomach, and your mind is racing. And you consider your courage. Its there, in your heart and soul. If you come across some enemies, you might be out-numbered. But, you are still you: a force to be reckoned with. Better men than you and I have died in battle. It is not a dishonorable thing to die with courage and nobility and honor, knowing that you went down fighting. A smaller warrior said to his larger adversary, “You very well may get the best of me. But by the time it is over, you will know that you have been hit.” Beware of the wrath of a patient man, when his anger manifests in an honorable way. You will see strength, then. And you might want to stand back.
Zebulon. Zebulon Pike, that is. Also known as “Zeb” by his colleagues, his fellow officers. What a name. Zebulon Pike.
Zeb Pike. Pike was born in 1779, January 5th. The American Revolutionary War had been going on for about four years; and there were four more years to go. So there he was, right in the middle of the madness. Maybe all that war made an impression on Zeb: the passion and courage of men and women fighting as patriots, the underdogs, wielding sharpened swords and armed with vision.
Fifteen years later, Zeb-Man joined the Army. Fifteen years old! The boy didn’t even have his driver’s license yet. And five years after that, Zeb (20) was ordered to get a group of guys together, and head out west for an exploration expedition. Somehow he knew that there was a mountain out here (the West) that he was supposed to go to, and explore. Zeb and his guys found the mountain, known as “Pike’s Peak”. I suppose that you could say … if you wanted to say it … that Pike had a peak to seek. Zeb’s next adventure was the War of 1812. Unfortunately, this was his last adventure. All of the information available states that Zeb Pike died in battle.
Fortunately, we have the lore of storytelling in our midst. Some folks want to do what they can to keep legends alive. I cannot really blame them, for their longings are honorable. There motives are noble. With Zeb, for example, there is a rumor … only a rumor … that Zeb did not die in the War of 1812. Wounded? Yes. But, according to the rumor, Zeb did not die in the War of 1812. In fact, the story goes that this was where Zeb Pike was last seen, and he would not surface until about 2009. Zeb Pike is living … based on the rumor … somewhere in the Pike National Forest (also named for Pike). He lives in a cabin at about 10,500 feet somewhere between Bailey, CO. and Shawnee, CO. And, Zeb is still a wildman. Zeb, according to the rumor, likes to chase mountain lions and wrestle with the black bears. I am not suggesting that there is anything reliable to this … rumor. But, it is something to think about, isn’t it? Zebulon Pike? Still living? WOW.
Man, do you feel weak? Speak. You won’t be redirected, no solutions expected.
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.”
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:
- Desire to empower;
- A murky mix of wanting to help, and unhealthy guilt for this person’s pain / obligation to “rescue”;
- 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
(sixteenth century) entitled “Dark Night of the Soul“. A great writer (passed away in 1997) named Dr. Gerald May
wrote a book based on the work by St. John of the Cross, Dark Night of the Soul. Terrence 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).