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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

day ??: where love is, where solace is, and where the wild things are

There's a tiny voice inside me that tries to curb excitement. It's the voice that has logged and catalogued every moment the rug was ever pulled out from under me. Every time my trust was betrayed by those I thought I could offer a piece of myself. Sometimes I worry the world was truly built without rules and without a ruler. That there is no law, no great protector and no opportunity to really rage outside the lines because no one has the ability to hold that. To hold everything you might contain. These needs are all basically one and the same. To be safe to be. Ironically, observing this need I think we all share for a guardian I've only grown further from the concept of a "father" in the sky. The likely-hood it was created out of need and loneliness is so evident in it's trappings, in it's wish fulfillment and it's need for unquestioning obeisance, I just can't see myself ever reattaching myself to it.

   I suppose I was reminded with clarity of this collective fear while watching "Where the Wild Things Are" a few days ago (interpreted by Spike Jonze). It was a beautifully built analogy wrapped in the familiar tone of a childhood favourite. It had all the melancholic detachment of the picture book but took the metaphor well beyond what could be done in 30 pages, staging each "wild thing" as an aspect of Max, the young protagonist's psyche. Each moment in the movie after he disembarks into his fairy tale shows Max confronting and coming to understand different aspects of himself that were setup during the beginning scenes with his sister and more importantly, his mother. Each scene a window into his own unrealized desires and fears, uncovering a lot of anger, both from a lack of control and a shattered faith in those in control. I could honestly go on about this movie for some time as so many of the scene's were so memorable. The point I'm trying to make is that this fear - that another person couldn't possibly contain and hold all of the things you are, that there is no authoritative figure in whom to place all your trust (or no "King" as they referred to it in the movie) - has had cause to rear it's head in the last few weeks. And by 'cause' I mean, it's had a chance to reinforce itself as a universal truth in the back of my mind. We are well and truly devoid of anyone or anything that has all the answers or whose responsibility it is to protect us. To make it safe to be. Yet I'm sitting here tonight with a grin on my face.

   I'm not entirely sure why I'm grinning. Maybe because today I spent time with some superbly wonderful friends. Maybe because today, someone said they understood. Not that they could change it, but that they understood. Maybe because today I sat down with a student of 6 and got excited about a song he was writing that was just him hitting the strings randomly and looking at me like he intended every note. And because I got to tell him, in all honesty, that it was the best song I had heard in quite some time.

   We're all children in the face of what life offers us. We all want to be told it will be okay and that someone has a plan. But that can't be our solace anymore. Our solace is our experiences and our relationships, our talent and our resourcefulness. Our courage. I've always loved the shows I've seen where the characters on stage are clearly off script. There's that brief moment of panic as they all wait for someone to fix it and when no one immediately steps forward you start to see what people are really made of. Everything is teetering and suddenly the audience feels completely connected to those people. In the right moment that energy can build and build into something completely amazing and unexpected that everyone gets to celebrate at the finish line. Life has been like that for me. I feel like someone burnt my script two months ago and since then I've just been pulling out every stop I have. Yet in a way the people who mean most to me have been next to me with every step, not waiting to see me fall but trying to ride the rails with me. So I'm fatherless in every sense of the word, nothing will change that. I'm still not alone. There are others here doing it with me and that's as it should be. If my next big investment of excitement fails there'll be someone there to say they understand, like I was there for them. It won't fix it, but it will keep me moving forward and that's enough. That and love. So much love. It doesn't work without that.

Day whatever, in the bag.

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