Saturday, October 14, 2006

My Own Fog

It was foggy today. It was a lingering, heavy fog. The forecast said it might blow off, it might not. It seems as though that same fog has infiltrated my heart of late. I don't know how to explain it really, but it's a heavy, lingering fog. It's a funny thing, fog. Each particle of mist, in and of itself is hardly discernible, but when they gang up and hold hands you can scarcely see your hand in front of your face.

Well, the particles have slowly been sneaking into my life, seemingly undetected, certainly not invited or properly addressed and they seem intent on making it hard to see anything clearly. And they're succeeding.

Not one day goes by where this sentence doesn't come into play at some point: "If I had loved well I wouldn't be here right now." Now, I realize that any good relationship is all about give and take...Simultaneously. So did I give too much? Did I take too little? Did I take too much? These questions haunt me. Will I ever get a definitive answer? No. But my empty house silently screams to me, "Why does it matter? The fact is, you failed." I have no answer. And a particle sneaks in.

I love my kids with all of my heart. If I had more heart I'd give them that too. My 15 year old son has a beautiful heart buried in confusion and anger. He has been the source of more frustration in my life than I thought was possible. We misunderstand each other gravely. Nothing hurts like being misunderstood by someone you love. My intentions for him are filled with a deep love reserved for my children, yet through his eyes I look like the devil's brother. Nothing I do or say seems to matter. The fog thickens.

I'm alone. Duh. That's why I'm spilling pathetic, forlorn words out into the internet. As pathetic as it sounds, I'm downright lonely sometimes. I walk around here singing schmaltzy songs that make me laugh. Songs about candy corn and Snickers and in the background a lonely candle flickers (see. I told you they were schmaltzy!) . You see, I realize that I'm nothin' extraordinary. If anything, I'm extraordinarily ordinary, but I have a heart to give away. I firmly believe that a heart can't be won...It must be given. I want to sing schmaltzy songs and laugh and dance and hold hands and enjoy being myself with someone while we give our hearts away to each other. But I'm still afraid of failing; of misunderstanding; of being misunderstood; of not getting through. I'm paralyzed in the fog.

The fog is thick. Tomorrow's forecast says it might blow off, it might not.


ThursdayNext said...

Do not lose hope in your relationship with your son. I work with teenagers every day, and part of their metamorphasis from childhood to adulthood is sometimes laden with friction between the parent and child. I think it is all part of the process. They separate themselves from the main adults in their lives in order to figure out what kind of adults they will be. Tough love is sometimes the best love for a teenager.

Anonymous said...

John, Failed? Maybe there is another option anbd conclusion like.... "life is real hard for everyone and we all deal with that differently...sometimes we love well, other times we can be self focused....most times its a mix...even our best efforts are not enough to be all of what another wants... some people settle for crappy treatment to avoid the fog...good women are with mean vendictive men sometimes and good men can be with manipulivie and scheming women...and stay....out of poor parenting comes brilliant kids could be Father/husband of the Year 10 yrs running and some would hate you for it...or one could rage for decades and show a rare moment of compassion and people fo nuts saying 'What a great guy in there' etc." sometimes my thoughts about 'if I could just be or have been' enough or more things would be different' are anchored in an arrogant idea that I could contol it all if I just did it differently. You know my story enough to know that I am not that powerful to contol how my kids or my wife respond to me. I can fool myself for a moment...but only me and only for a moment. As you know, the arrogance, whatever 'cool' it was covered in left me alone...I am not enough for anyone. Not even for myself. Big period.

Failed as a whole of the explaination for the way. You are where you are now that, in someways, has nothing to do with yesterday and only a little to do with tomorrow....please don't re-write reality by demanding a black or white: right or wrong for the sake of creating good guys and bad guys or having a simple answers for complex human heart stuff. We could be completly different next time around and still be hurt. Your aloneness hurts I know. Repeat...I know.

Your good kind heart that the pain has produced stands to give life to many. I have seen it and sometimes hear about it.

Too many words here Jon....I am sorry. I'll sit in the fog with you for a while. Then we'll get up and get on with it.

I am proud of you and what you have done, where you have been and who you have become. Keep writing.


Steph said...

"...please don't re-write reality by demanding a black or white: right or wrong for the sake of creating good guys and bad guys or having a simple answers for complex human heart stuff..."

I think Mark just pulled this blog over. And thank God he did.

I can't speak for your son, just me (although you know me well enough to know I have an opinion on that, too ;).
Not to get deeply personal on such a public site, but remember this...
I know you love me. I know you respect me. I know that you hold me in higher esteem than probably anyone I know. I say that with no arrogance at all, just gratitude.
So how do you explain the fact that this person you adore has come to depend on the very love you think you're failing at? A love that 99% of the time I think I don't deserve because it's so pure. And always there. I don't know why it's always there because God knows I don't deserve those million chances, but it is and I know it always will be. How could you possibly call that a failure?

Pete said...

Fog makes the whole landscape look the same. No depth perception; little ability to charge ahead; stress from trying to see what isn't there only to trip over what's right in front of you. Fog seeps but carries quiet sounds great distances. It is heavy but refreshing if one breathes it in deeply. Stopping to wait for it to clear can create illusions but can also give us the chance to see things in the distance because we look harder.

It's not the mist but the missed that seeps in to steal your peace.

Loneliness is not pathetic.
It's one expression of an understanding heart that reminds your mind that routines find their meaning in interacting with others. It reminds us of the value of others.

Failure is almost never total. A lack of success is not failure unless you judge everything as a sports event. A lack of failure is not a success either. You are right that failure is a fact...for everyone of us. So? Losing due to failure, that's disheartening. But just failing? Ain't no thing, little brother.

Mr. 15 is not someone who misunderstands you. He knows you and respects what you stand for, he is looking for his own way and just doesn't want your light to be his path. He needs to find his own light first.

Keep singing shmaltz; laugh at new things; learn to dance now; that way when Cinderella comes to the ball you'll already know how to sweep her around the room. (and if you step on the toes of the other maidens, they won't mind: you've danced!) How you gonna lead the two-step if you don't take the first one?

Enjoy being your Self by yourself. Fulfillment and replenishment come as much from solitude as from companionship.

Go ahead and try it differently: win a heart! You know from your own heart that even if you'll give it to someone, that someone needs to want it, to see it as a prize, to hold it as something of high won't just "give it away." Then why hope that Cinderella will just "give hers away"? Find the prize, see the prize, honor the prize, win the prize. You have no need to prove that you know how to love, how to love well. Yours is the challenge of living well so that someone will be brave enough to share their fog with you, knowing that standing there with you is enough sometimes. Not that you know how to get through it; only that you know how to live in it.

Anonymous said...

John, Thanks for the chat today. Your involvement in my life makes me better. I need you and where your life is going instucts me. Weaker folks chat rhetoric....honest, healthy and strong folk, do what you did. Feel it, reflect on it, name it, wirte it, talk about it, refocus it and own it. You help me do that. Mark

Anonymous said...

That's chant not chat. Write not wirte. Dohhh. Mark

freeman said...

I was thinking about you this morning. About the heaviness. Picture your drive west past the LaConner cut-off, looking toward the fields. Picture your drive past Boon Rd. across from the drive in. I wrote these words:

Fog hangs in the air. Most of the time.
Fog covers morning’s glory. Many a day.

Not this one. Not while the rooster crowed.
about the time the sun dances with the evening sky,
A whisper slowly escapes as Mother earth exhales the day.

Thin threads reach across the weathered fields of Fall
suddenly full when they minutes ago seemed spent.
Fog cloaks dusk as if a bridal veil, moving elegantly
Across the sacred threshold of the rolling valley.
Silk strands silently stride surreal
Toward sunset, begging as only royalty can, with
Grace, exuberance and confident gait.

No heaviness shows as the wisps embrace the Breeze.
Together they tangle thoughtlessly toward their tomorrows
Unaware and uncaring.
This fog enlightens. This fog encircles. This fog embraces
The truth that point of view creates beauty, perspective
Defines value and morning’s tears often simply wait till evening to
Express their joy.
Dance with them.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Pe-taire! Today, I dance.