Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Unexpectations

When I was very young, I wanted something to fight for, a cause. Growing up in a basically single parent household, I saw the jerk my father was and how oppressive our culture has been to women. Growing up in the South in the midst of the Civil Rights movement, I came to see the unbelievable injustices to African Americans. Schools were integrating in the small city where I lived, and this caused new tensions. There was much I did not understand, but at least I knew there was much I did not understand.

Growing up, I wanted to be a hero, have a cause to fight for, be the underdog who fought the good fight, always on the side of truth and justice. I just wanted to be the good guy. It looked easy in the movies, in books, even scripture. Inspiring, uplifting, etc. And, it looked easy enough on TV – everything got settled within an hour, and there were commercial breaks to go pee.

Hokey, eh? But that was me. Always the pleaser and the caretaker, I wanted to do the “right thing.” Look, I’m no hero, no good guy, no crusader for truth and justice.

So, my “cause celebre” is a fight for my life. Not some one else’s cause I can join in on as I feel like it. Not some distant goal to help others along, but me. And yet I am stuck in a closet that does not let out the sound of screaming. The frustration is draining and killing. But that’s what holding out and holding on are about, aren’t they?
One should be quite careful what one prays for, eh? I think I got what I wanted, just not what I expected. Posted by Picasa

11 comments:

Drey said...

When I think of praying for things in my youth-- the grant-me-wish kind of praying-- I got what I wanted in two out of three. The first was, of all things, the end of pain from an ingrown toenail (I was really embarrassed about this for some reason-- I really should have asked for something better if this was one of my wishes-granted prayers). The second was to have no arousals in the shower after gym class. Apparently, that was no problem for the Almighty. The third was that I would be sexually interested in women. That one was not granted. I can't help think of that when I hear Paul the Apostle writing about a "thorn in the flesh" which he asked to be taken away. I imagine this was a sexual thing-- whether for men or women who can know-- but even if not, it is comforting to know that even for Paul, this was for some greater purpose.

I'm not much of a believer in greater purpose anymore, at least not the divine kind, but my loving of men does belong to a much larger pattern in nature. I am not ashamed of it, but I am afraid of the effect this secret knowledge will have on loved ones around me. They will be torn between knowledge of human psychology and the proscriptions of Leviticus.

freethnkr said...

"Be the change you want to see in the world." - some guy in a towel who incidentally changed the world.

Whether you believe it or not - you are a good guy, a hero, everytime you touch someone else. Everytime you love someone else. The world is different just because you're in it and I for one think it's better.

So there.

:)

Ur-spo said...

Persevere!
We may not be heros in a major way, but every day we can make a difference by being good men, standing up for others, and doing what we can.

bear said...

I used to think the same way about hero's and myself. Now I realize that the only hero's I see are coming home in coffins...
You ARE fighting in "battles" actually. Battles within yourself for which you never had to volunteer...you were drafted!
Hokey? No. This is your life, no one else is going to fight it for you better than yourself. It is not an easy battle, although, some battles were won by "holding out and holding on" too.

A Troll At Sea said...

BearMind:

Who is careful what they pray for? If we are in extremis, where prayer becomes real because it becomes vital and simple, we are asking for orientation, to know who we are and what we have to do.

The ones that rebound are wishes, and every folk tale in the world that features a wish or, God forbid, three wishes, granted, ends badly for the wisher. There must just be something about the limit of our horizon.

Hang in there. And fight the good fight. Wherever it ends.

yr
Troll

john said...

There is nothing more powerful than prayer, if there is faith involved.

Billy said...

Your post made me think of a passage from a book that I recently quoted on my blog:

". . . Usually, all we get is a glimmer. A story we read or someone we briefly met. A curiosity. A meek voice inside, whispering. It's up to us to hammer out the rest. The rewards of pursuing it are only for those who are willing to listen attentively, only for those people who really care. It's not for everyone. If we are the victim of an injustice, it is up to us to find a meaningful way to channel our anger. If we suffer a terrible crisis, only we can transform this suffering into a launching pad for a new life. These are the turning points from which we get to construct our own story, if we choose to do so. It won't be easy, and it won't be quick. Finding what we believe in and what we can do about it is one of life's great dramas. It can be an endless process of discovery, one to be appreciated and respected for its difficulty. Don't cheat. Treat this as the one true life you get."

-- from What Should I Do With My Life?: The True Story of People Who Answered the Ultimate Question by Po Bronson

Gel said...

That's always been one of my 'favourite' quotes: 'beware what you wish for, you may get it'. Perhaps though, you are enough of a person to do the best thing with your answered prayers. Not all of us can do that. Good luck and my prayers to you.

MEK the Bear said...

Your wrong about being a hero and not having anything to fight for. What you may not realize is that not only are you fighting your fight, but that sharing it in this very blog may give others the courage to take that step out of the closet to their own personal freedom.

Here's to you, a hero of our people!

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