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