Sunday, April 01, 2007


Fences in the Fog

Last night was late. I recorded my friend Rich's concert. He's in a community choir and this was their big spring concert. They did a lovely program of French music which culminated with Gabriel Faure's "Requiem" with a chamber ensemble. Beautiful.

Music dislodges thought, kicking me off into some strange place. Or perhaps it's more of an invitation to go in an unusual direction, a way unfamiliar to the land of concrete and square edges. After I got home I started thinking about relationships.

I've had more failures than successes in relationships and those failures have come to define me. So, why failure? In that late night unhinged state God could make some suggestions, in a kind of guided words-and-images process.

I tend to get angry. Why? I had an image of a lid over my life, getting closer as I approach people. Freedom. I want freedom and can't have it when I'm around others.

A new relationship is full of promise. Anything could happen. But then the training takes over and I become very alert for hints of what the other person expects. You could liken it to walking in a foggy field. Anything could be out there, pots of gold, deep holes, land mines, elephants, pussycats or pissed-off jaguars. You don't know until you run into one. Until you discover what's going on in that other person it's all a mystery. Land mines are unpleasant so I've tended to draw a universal map that avoids the site of anything that even hinted at blowing up. Naturally this doesn't leave much room for living, nor self-expression, and I become just a reflection of I think the other person expects.

This isn't the way to build a relationship but it is safe. Can I learn another way? Can I walk beyond the fences and trust that if something blows up God will keep it from destroying me? Why would he care? I have no idea. All I know is that he has demonstrated his care in the most direct ways. I'm still here.

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