This is a page for rants and thoughts outside the blog
29 June 2010
I've been thinking about what it is that makes us who we are. How it is that some influences sink in, and others don't. How children raised by the same parents turn out so differently. There have been a number of things that have brought these thoughts to mind, My siblings, Emma's siblings, my children, and the pattern is that there is no pattern. How, for instance, can Nolan be so much like me when I've had so little time around him? How can Emma's brothers be so radically different than she is?
I am very thankful for my parents. To me they are the almost perfect blend of opposites. How they stayed married as long as they did sometimes amazes me. Complementary in so many ways, yet the similarities are there as well, the glue that held them together. Some time ago I recognized the benefit of this blessing, It was the day that Lynn moved out. I was devastated, the words "sucker punch to the heart" come to mind. I needed to cry, so I called my mom, and she was sympathetic. I also needed to pull myself together, so for that I called my dad, who was emotionless, businesslike, pointing out a path for survival. I knew I needed to draw on both of them for the different things that I needed. I do that often, drawing upon experiences or others to prepare myself for a situation. It's been a useful skill, but I wonder sometimes who I really am.
I've been told that it's annoying when I pick up other peoples' accents, which I do without thinking in a matter of minutes. When we were in Antigua, my girlfriend and I were having drinks with a couple from Canada, I didn't notice, and I don't think they noticed, but my girlfriend accused me of making fun of their accents by copying them (she was also upset that I didn't show enough panic when the hurricane hit, so maybe it was just her). There's an Irish nurse in the hospital, and I think he likes hearing a familiar voice. Back when I lived with Brigitte and Stephanie I had a German accent when I was at home. When I visit Texas it takes a couple of weeks for the accent to wear off.
The other day a friend told me that I was strong. I sure don't feel strong. I've created a strong persona to deal with everything that's going on, but is that really me? Where does multi faceted end and split personality begin?
I'm not sure how to wrap this up neatly. It's just stray thoughts that have been rolling around in my head, and then I looked at the Home Page and I did say that this might turn into a stream of consciousness page, which with this it has. One thing which gave me one interpretation of an answer came as an email from my father, a power point presentation that you can view or download here, "Seasons". One annoying thing is that I already knew this, and in fact had spent several years working on a novel with the theme of perspectives changing over time.
6 June 2010
My second wife had a younger sister. The two couldn't be much more different. Paula was raised to be self sufficient, she had a job at sixteen and helped with family expenses, bought her own (new) car, hunted down scholarships and grants to supplement her student loans in college. In fact, when she changed majors, her parents sold HER French Horn and bought new furniture. Her sister had everything handed to her. They weren't new cars, and instead of college she went to beauty school, but she never paid for anything. They were both married about a month apart. We paid for almost everything in our wedding, her parents paid for the sister's wedding. Our reception was at a hotel, her sister's was at the country club.
At the sister's reception I learned some interesting things from the maid of honor. As much as Paula had always thought that her parents loved her sister more, the sister had always thought that the parents had loved Paula more.
You never know how people interpret your actions.
My youngest son and I haven't spoken in over a decade. I was under the distinct impression that he didn't want to have anything to do with me. He was under the impression that I didn't want anything to do with him. We were both wrong.
I took a chance the other day and contacted him through FaceBook on his birthday. I was fully expecting to recieve a hate filled response telling me to leave him alone and die an ugly death. Instead I heard from a man who couldn't understand why his father had abandoned him.
Even if I wasn't already emotionally drained from Emma's cancer, I think I would have still have been moved to tears.
I've spent the last two days learning about this man, seeing the depth and talent of his artwork, reading (trying to, his grammar is self admittedly atrocious) his thoughts and opinions, wondering how I could have misjudged his intentions. Grieving the lost years.
Today on FaceBook my "Daily message from God", kind of a Christian horoscope, was "No matter how good you try to be to others, you occaisionally hurt them. Forgive yourself for it. The same thing will happen with them. Forgive them for it." I am trying to forgive myself, I am praying that Nolan will forgive me. I am also praying that we might rebuild our relationship.
12 September 2009
A theme has been recurring. It started a few weeks ago when, during a conversation, someone made a disparaging remark about waitresses.
Going back farther, my goals in life have been simple. Although I enjoy the finer things in life, I can live without them. In High School when asked my goal in life, it was "to be happy". Some people told me that happiness was not a goal, but a result of attaining goals. I disagree to this day, knowing that some people may not understand happiness outside of their own competitive, (material) goal oriented viewpoint.
So back to the waitress comment. Emma was a waitress, or server, most of her career. She was always excellent at her job, whether serving locals at a neighborhood resturant, or celebrities at a Philadelphia landmark. I found the comment insulting and said so. That ended the conversation, and maybe the relationship.
A week later I got an email from my Father, with a beautiful power point presentation attached, "Ten things God won't ask on that day". It reflects my views precisely, and seemed to speak directly to the difference between the goals of people like Emma and I, and this other person's goals. To download the presentation from this site click here.
Then I was watching a show on the SyFy channel, "Warehouse 13" and was treated to this piece of dialog:
"This waitress is a regent?"
"John Adams was a farmer, Abraham Lincoln was a small town lawyer. Plato, Socrates, were teachers. Jesus was a carpenter. To equate judgment and wisdom with occupation is, at best, insulting."
I hadn't been sure if I was right in feeling insulted up until then.
I do believe that when God wants you to get a message, he sends it on several channels.