Monday, September 9, 2019

Crepe Hanger - Before the body's even cold

It seems that sadness is a powerful muse for me...

Much of what I've committed to these pages has come from places of sadness.     Anger, injustice and disgust are in there too.

It's not easy to push away the insecurity, fear and doubt.  My past is littered with them as no doubt is yours.

Someone suggested things long gone that can no longer hurt me hold sway because of some degree of neurosis.

I've often said that we are prisoners of our experience.  To give it power is to fulfill its prophecies.

What does that mean?

I often make the mistake of assuming that others think as I do, I place weight in things that others don't.

Perhaps an analogy would serve to explain it better.  You know me, the king of analogies... :-)

Imagine a waiter in a busy restaurant as he tends to his patrons.  It's important that the patrons are served what they want, the way they want it, in a timely manner.

But something is strange about this waiter.

  • First, when taking the order he repeats it back to the customer 4 times to ensure he got it right.
  • Second, when he takes the order to the kitchen he hands a copy of the recipe to the cook to ensure the meal is prepared properly.
  • Third when it's time to deliver the order he takes with him extra plates, silverware and glasses just in case.
  • Fourth, when he finally delivers the meal he hangs around the table watching the diner eat the meal looking for any sign of displeasure.  If such an event were to occur he would instantly spring into action in an attempt to save himself from the barbs of an angry customer.

Thing is...

With all this attention the very thing he hoped to avoid has come about.

Let's go through the list again.

  • First, nobody likes to talk to waiters that long,  The first thing that comes to most people's minds in such a scenario is that the waiter either thinks they're stupid or he's just a pretentious jerk.   Not winning friends and influencing people there.
  • Second, A waiter telling a cook how to prepare a meal isn't going to go well...nuff said.
  • Third, Worrying about every possible horrible thing that can go wrong between the kitchen and the table only makes more unnecessary work   You've accomplished nothing and probably won't make it through a full shift because you're so tired of carrying half the kitchen cabinet with you all night.
  • Fourth, This waiter is preparing for a disaster that hasn't even shown up on the radar yet.  This is probably the worst of the four because the waiter is giving power to a negative expectation.

Worst, if something bad does happen it only proves to validate his fears.

The Self-Fulfilling prophecy is complete.

What was a normal day waiting tables has turned into every horrible thing that can be imagined exactly because of the power we gave to fear.

So why would someone act this way?

Some would call it neurotic and the scenario above is a pretty good representation of it.

But where does the behavior come from?

Again, we look to our past, to our experiences.

What we find there may be trauma, tragedy and pain that's burrowed deep into our souls.

It's easy to say, "just let it go" but a lifetime of experiences like this can form behaviors.

In my own experience I've had times where I was what my grandmother would call a "crepe hanger"

Crepe hangers were folks back in the old days that would decorate funeral parlors.  The body would literally still be warm when they would spring into action with their less than festive decor.

It means, looking for catastrophe where none exists.

I know that at least in some part I've done this and created self-fulfilling prophecies that only reinforce a neurotic tendency.

I, like most people, seek calm and a sense of security leading me to defend against anything that appears to threaten the bliss.

The issue is that all that defense can end up much like our waiter up there.  Good intentions, bad outcomes that only reinforce the crepe-hanging tendency.

Worry is something I learned early on.  Perhaps it comes from being raised by a depression-era grandmother who always operated from a place of lack.

Perhaps it was an early childhood that made me all too aware of how scary and cold the world could be.

Now in my later years I do struggle to give at least as much power to the light as is so easily given to the dark.

Sometimes I'm fine and sometimes fear and insecurity grip me.

I often say, "I hate always being right"  In those times I know I've probably just completed another self-fulfilling prophecy.

Yes, things have gone  down the wrong path more than I'd like them to and I'm aware I have a part to play in it.

Nothing happens without our participation.

Nothing happens in a vacuum either.

We all affect each other and respond to each other' s energy.

I just happen to be more sensitive than most and it causes me problems.

Problems that feed a monster that delights in manifesting dark prophecies.  Keeping the monster at bay requires sorting reality from prophecy and that requires a change of perspective.

After all, if you start something looking for an ending then that's all you will achieve.

I'm tired of endings...

Sunday, September 8, 2019

We Just Disagree

"There ain't no good guys, there ain't no bad guys.  There's only you and me and we just disagree.."

The crossroads come before me again.
Ribbons of consequence intersecting our lives.

Why does inspiration only come at the point of departure?

Each path we cross brings a lesson.  Each life we touch a catalyst.

What was good was beautiful, what brought us to this metaphysical off-ramp, tragic.

But see the lesson for what it was and embrace the joy we found while we were together.

Our journey short but the distance traveled, far.

Let that which was good guide and nourish you as it has me.

Find your own peace and take what you've learned to build the world you desire.

That our path is no longer shared only means that the universe wanted us to share just a small part of our journey.

Now it is behind us and with both joy and sorrow I can watch you go.

Know that I did love you and that was enough.