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Jan 21 14

writing is hard

by + Alan

…for me right now. Every time I think of something to say, the flood comes – a flash flood of understanding about how what I will say, will affect others, and possibly myself. That may only be longhand for, “I’m pretty afraid to say what I really think for fear of the results.” It may be partly that.

Part of that is “what people think of me,” but only part. I care about that. Don’t you? I wonder about you if you truly don’t.

Fear – fear is part of it. I fear reprisal. I fear negative words thrown at me. I fear interpersonal conflict. I fear ecclesiastical consequences. As much as I’d like to say I’m past that last one, I know that I’m really not. Unfortunate. Fear is a very familiar companion of mine.

I don’t want to hurt others. I don’t want to say something that will act (and sometimes inevitably our words do) as a weapon toward someone, or any group of people. I can be vague and clever, yes, but I’m also smart enough to realize that as vague and clever as you may be, people still get it when it’s about them.

I want, sometimes still, to say large things, to a large audience. Well, to a small, large audience, if that makes any sense at all. Some idea about myself, though, says that I am no longer qualified to do that – that I have somehow given up my voice. I hope that’s not true.

So, hopefully, I can learn how to be slowly more courageous. Little by little, perhaps I can begin to speak again, to say what is being spoken inside me, to forgo the companionship with fear… slowly… hopefully.

Jan 8 14

a new, old ritual

by + Alan

2014 – craziness. It seems like years have just swept by me. I would like to start blogging again. I will make no promises, either to you or myself. My thinking tool is working a little better than it has in the last couple of years, so maybe I’ll be able to drag some of those thoughts out into the open air. Until then, Peace to you – whoever is still reading this thing.

Sep 8 13

does it ever end?

by + Alan

Parenting – that’s what I’m talking about. I know there’s this common American mindset about raising children. You hear it in movies, on TV, from people here and there. “Get ‘em to 18 and then get ‘em ‘outa the house.” Is that really how it is? Is that your idea of parenting, if you’re a parent? They click over to 18 years old and you just turn the parent button off? Is that how it works?

My guess is that you don’t believe that, and neither do I. There is no switch, at least I haven’t found one. And if I have one, I don’t know how to turn it off. Haven’t figured that one out yet. It’s a problem – it can be – it is for me.

Parenting isn’t really appreciated by the 18+ year old American person (God forbid I say “child.”) Did you need parenting when you were 18? I certainly didn’t… think I needed it. It’s a very difficult transition – childhood to adulthood – Oh, not for the “child,” you thought I meant for them, ha! No, no – not easy for US! It’s torturous for parents to go through raising/watching/seeing their children transition from being children, to being adolescents, and on to adulthood. Torturous.

Of course, as with everything, I speak from my own experience. What else can I do? This has been a very difficult transition for me – one which I am still moving through. My oldest “child” is now 24 – then there’s 22, 19, and finally 17 (soon to be, gulp, 18). What do I do with them? (that was mostly rhetorical) And that’s a complicated question. They all still live at home, by the way, which adds a level of difficulty to the question in my mind. And for the record, I like having them still living here – not trying to kick them out. It’s just hard, I’m saying, to transition from interacting with your children as children, to interacting with them as, well, something akin to adults. I can’t see how anyone who is a parent wouldn’t get how that’s just hard.

What’s more:  I am the protective one (some might say “overly” – whatever), the worrier, the one who has a nearly impossible time going to sleep unless I know they’re all home safely – that’s me. Don’t preach at me about this – seriously. This all makes me “job” of figuring out how to deal with, talk to, not talk to, etc., my, my whatever they are, very difficult. I think I’ve said that already.

Best I can guess, at this point, is that it sort of doesn’t really ever end – the parenting thing. There’s always a sense in which you’re still their parents. I’m still going to be their Father, their Dad, even when they’re 57. Something about the nature of that can never change. There are obviously changes in the way in which that role plays out. At some point, you have to find a way to parent, not necessarily less, but differently as time goes along, as your children grow up.

I, for one, have not figured that out. I’m also this one:  the one who has a very, very had time “letting go.” I’m not even sure what “letting go” is supposed to mean. “If you love someone, set them free” – OOOK Sting, whatever that’s all about. So, before this turns into a chapter in the book I’m not writing, I’ll sort of wrap it up by saying, it’s hard, OK – just hard.