The blessings, the beatitudes of Jesus. God bless those who become blessings. You await our blessings.
Blessings to you for earth, sky and sea. Blessings for those who have saved rather than squandered. Blessings for those In need. Blessings for those who loved. Blessings for those who Have turned from judging, who chose not to hate.
Love, with all its blessings, let that be us. Let that be here. Amen
Reading Pedersen, Dark Hearts, notes from the chapter on the Oedipal Wound
Referencing Freud’s view that incest is a child’s “wish to possess sexually one parent or the other,” Pedersen states that this view of possession is too narrow. When applied to men and their mothers, it delayed understanding of their possessive urge. Pedersen believes that incest should be thought of as a “symbolic regressive longing for what the mother represents.”
My mother did so many thing right. I mourn for the relationship that I perceive us once having. Not one of my peers was treated as well when sick. Whether it was a common cold or a pernicious flue, she waited upon me while I stayed in bed.
Lying there, I could set my life around the lower bookshelf adjacent to my pillow. My radio, my books, and my writings were at the ready. When they were not enough, I could recall the toy soldiers under my bed.
Having the soldiers so close to my border was one more privilege of illness. Normally, by her command they bunked in the closet across the room. Sick days were an exception. A boy not feeling well could never be expected to walk across the room.
A man that I visited in a nursing home had incurred two broken hips since I had last seen him. He is in his late eighties and apparently facing his remaining life in a room.
There is little about him that is downbeat. He is engaged. Not showing any sign of depression. His demeanor provoked me to look for weakness. Is he crazy, narcissistic, or just a good guy?
I find it easier to find fault than I do in praising him. He has undergone a rite of passage that I don’t think I ever will. I have come and gone into puberty, adulthood, middle age and now early old without any signs of evidence that I ever experience a passage of any sorts. Other than time passing. I feel the same as yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
What I see in him as some kind of psychotic disturbance might be me looking dimly in a mirror. How have I jumped from sixteen to sixty-six without recognition? This man has been in the military and worn several other uniforms, many with badges. Occupations I would have spurned in my younger hours. I wanted recognition but never thought of it doing it the way he did.
Life for me has been more a passing than an entry. Until New Hampshire, moving from one town to another. It is what I see as intriguing about Lee Child’s fictional character Reacher.
Rather than hold to his military exploits, Reacher seems to wander into new realms. Where others might be insecure, he lives one day at a time and becomes prominent as a go to guy, a guy we might ask about life’s meaning. He is a wandering monk. A monastery is his likely next stop, not a nursing home.
One man real, and the other imagination, which one would I rather be?
Spiritual joys come only from solitude / So the wise choose the bottom of the well / For the darkness down there beats / The darkness up here. / He who follows at the heels of the world / Never saves his head.
Do you want to be at the bottom or the top of the well? I must not be wise because I would have chosen the top for reasons of sanity. I know it up here, I am trapped down there.
But the point is well taken, up here I am either tempted or coerced to follow the world. So I choose to be in the well of my head and never leave home without it. This way I can be me, but not too much.
James Hillman writes, “The place that analysis and theology have in common is the soul. But the soul is a ‘non-place’ for neither theology or dynamic psychotherapy regards it as its main concern. The one studies God and God’s intentions, the other studies men and women’s motivations, while the place in-between is too often left unoccupied.”
From Hillman’s book Insearch:psychology and religion.
In the Monadnock area of New Hampshire, we have group called Monadnock Area Psychotherapist Services (MAPS). They are a group of psychotherapists whose aim is to include in their therapy practice the place in-between.
How appealing is that to you? Do you feel an in-between place?
James Hillman writes in Insearch: psychology and religion, “The ego, with its light attempts to ferret out causes in hidden recesses of the personality, searches for detailed childhood memories, promotes sweet sessions of silent introspection.
In Owning Your Own Shadow, author Robert Johnson writes, “Narrow creativity always brings a narrow shadow, while broader talents call up a greater portion of the dark.”
Most of my life I thought that avoiding my shadow meant success. Now I am distressed to learn how totally untrue this is. It is incredible to me that I have found in my writing a willingness to do just the opposite. More than a willingness, I have an almost panicky desire to dance in the shadows. I can’t get there fast enough.
I hope you learned to dance before I did.