Friday, December 7, 2012


Fall Out
I never followed leaders
I got no machine
An' I paid my dues all along
Always says your freakin' 
When I mess with other people 
'Cause I knew that I was really alone

Fall out, fall out with all the leaders and guys

I saw my education
It was my indoctrination
Just to be another parking machine
Always says your freakin' 
When I mess with other people 
'Cause I knew that I was not very clean

Fall out, fall out with all the leaders and guys
-Stewart Copeland, 1977

Gun shy is no way to live one’s life if one is to report on one’s observations in an OpEd format.  And that is what happened to me over the past 48 hours.  A person of interest that I had made some observations of in a previous posting demanded a meeting to discuss what I had written. They did not grasp that what had been written was a tool of my observations not an accusation of their actions, omissions or personal failings.  While my opinions will be filled with critical elements, this writing is a tool of emotional expression, a methodology and process of healing.  To believe that this page will change the world or is a call for change in anyone but me is folly and hubris worthy of Icarus. 

If you as the reader gain some insight into your condition as a human being through my eyes, then I have written well.  If the writing hits close to home, it is not a demand for your change or a condemnation of your failings as a human being. Nor is it a call for you to demand a personal meeting with me.  I am not God, nor can I claim to be a called and ordained member of the Pastorate.  Granting absolution of others is above my pay grade.  The best I can do is to forgive someone else especially when I have a hard enough time forgiving myself when I screw up.  So what I do is recount the observation and in that manner relieve myself of the burden of carrying around the anger, bitterness and extreme dislike of certain people and events.

It is neither my calling nor duty, nor am I qualified for judging anyone else given awareness of my own shortcomings.  But for my own health and welfare I must put pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, or mind to work so that the troubles I see and feel do not get bottled inside my head.  That happened over the past 48 hours as I waited for and lived through the demand of another human to meet with me; and during that time I have performed as a less than stellar human being.  Only the oasis of the training pitch, the hijinks of teenagers and the momentary satisfaction in the feeling of a well struck soccer ball gave me the break from the self-destructive cycle brought about by feeling obliged to control my thoughts because another person didn’t like them.

Like a spoiled three year old, I hold onto my thoughts, ideas, emotions and opinions like the well-worn and loved Pooh Bear of my daughter’s childhood.  This stuffed creature of love, originally yellow but now more the color of new born baby poo from all the love/dirt it has been carried or dragged through, is the truest companion of her childhood.  Pooh only has one ear as the other was bitten off in a fit of love by the family dog of her childhood.  Like the song, he is stuffed with fluff, his seams are splitting, and he will never be allowed to leave given his loyalty through thick and thin.  This is how sensitive I am as a person.

I cannot tell anyone why I have been as successful as a soccer coach as I have been. I no more know the answer to that than I can tell you why my wife continues to love me even though she knows all my flaws, failings and dirt in the cracks of my very soul.  And yet the essence of that part of who I am is the most prevalent face I chose to show the world.  As Evan struggled through his battle I became more available to share the inner workings of a man and a father dealing with the unimaginable.  And the world saw inside my soul and my heart.  Like the naked world, the inner workings of the human heart have places of beauty and love, but just as there are many places filled with darkness and shadows of fear, anger, doubt and sadness. 

So I met with the disgruntled/confused reader, and listened to their demand for an explanation of why I had written what I had written.  I explained that their perception was their reality that the purpose of my writing was to share the inner workings of the heart of a less than perfect person.  I heard demands for clarification and felt defensiveness.  I heard justifications, explanations and rationalizations that did not jibe with the information garnered from my own inquiries that led to my original observations.  And I left a 2 hour meeting exhausted and overcome with self-doubt, angst and increasing distrust of those seeking to operate using the bible not as a tool for self-reflection but as a weapon wielded like a claymore in the hands of a hobbit.

For the record, if I have a problem with you, please be forewarned that I will be direct, blunt and will wield a battle axe of righteousness with such swift and strength as to behead your soul where it stands before you have a chance to raise a hand in defense.  Your body will have to reassemble the pieces of your inmost being to continue forward.  For confirmation of the vitriol of my verbal attacks, please feel free to consult with former sparring partners (brothers and parents) or victims (wife, daughter, father-in-law, players, league commissioners, and former employers among others)  If I need to return to the fight, I will ascribe to Matthew 18, but do not fool yourself into believing that I will lead with that thrust as a feint to the inevitable blows I will rain down on you.

Please also recognize that any personal allusions to deceit or lying by implications that these writings are in violation or perceived violation of the 8th commandment (Thou shalt not lie) is a failure of your perception and a blame shifting tactic of avoidance for the conclusions of your own self conviction.  There is a wonderful song by a Harvard satirist named Tom Lehrer entitled “The Irish Ballad” on the album “You can’t be satirical without being offensive to someone”. In this ditty he details the murderous rampage of a young Irish maid who upon getting caught she confesses all to the police because she lying she knew was a sin.

Suffice it to say that I have a new found appreciation of JD Salinger, the recluse writer of “Catcher in the Rye” who upon completion of his novel went into a life of a recluse refusing interactions with anyone seeking an understanding of him or background information on his writing.  He instead limited himself to those he deemed worthy of respecting him for who he presented himself, not as a façade that needed further discovery behind the curtain.

My mind mirrors my world.  It is a minefield, and those who think they are worthy of stumbling around in either are likely to end up hurting themselves and me, because I am left to pick up the pieces and fill out the paperwork.  The sides of my personality and person I wish to share with the world can be found in these writings, in my home & Evan’s garden and on the soccer pitches where I coach.  If you wish to interact at some level with my thoughts, opinions or observations please do so in the arena in which you find them.  Don’t ask for meetings to discuss what I have read, have the courage to share your concerns in the open.  I find that the daylight is a refreshing place to air ideas, receive feedback and seek correction of my slanted perspective.  If you take offense to those positions or the venue, then voice them in the same place.

Take courage, have heart, you will not be abandoned but you might find release and revelation in a similar manner.  But if you have a problem with me and seek to change the venue, I am no longer willing to accede.  In the tumult and angst that the foreboding of face to face confrontation I chose public places so that I will be forced to maintain control, the seething in my heart and brain at this time threaten to boil over into a verbal conflagration of biblical proportions that will embarrass both of us, the gathering crowd of onlookers and likely involve the police.

The buildup to yesterday’s meeting had the following impacts on my life and the lives of those I need most desperately, my family:  I could not sleep, I woke up late causing my daughter to get to school late, I could not write coherently, and I was less than available to my wife.  All of this trouble caused because a person demanded a meeting to confirm that I wasn’t lying or being deceptive to the world about them because their perspective is screwed to a different compass than mine.

After two hours it was determined that perceptions and the accompanying problems and circumstances are individually oriented and that we must each take ownership of our own issues before we assume ill of others.  And matters of Truth/Fact will be seen differently by different people, not unlike eyewitness accounts the little truths of personal perspective if held firmly are not points of contention or conflict but should be items that we will agree to disagree upon.

Now that hunk of bovine scatology has been lifted from my heart and head, perhaps I can get back to making observations about the world rather than my own life  Evan’s lesson for the day: share the truth at all times but do so in a manner and circumstance causing the least casualties and the maximum effect. Or share the truth in love.  Corollary: Sometimes the truth hurts.  Evan’s advice for the day: Lick your wounds and get on with life, because it’s getting on fine whether you participate or not. 

Next up a little bit of a snoozer the good and the bad of generic medicines by/and through a simple look at how medicines are created and interact in the body.  

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