Monday, November 23, 2009

Turning Around

The false strikes…I was wondering what to post with this poem. Tonight, a man, recently separated from his wife, confessed a large fear today in front of a mixed crowd of people. He said his ex had a new boyfriend and he didn’t know who this man was. His daughter is living with his ex and now the boyfriend has moved in. This means inevitably the boyfriend will be alone at times with his daughter. The man said that he couldn’t sleep nights for fear of that.

First it told me that this man truly loves his daughter. When he told us he realized how powerless he was in this situation, that told me he was struggling to stay real. He even told us his ex was asking him to trust her judgment. This told me not necessarily that it was wise for the man to trust her judgment, but at least that he knew he had little choice.

You would have to have been there to catch how poignant this was, at least to some of us, and how unlikely too. This man is not known for good judgment. However, grasping hold of lifebelts as only the drowning can do, this devastated hurting man listened to others and to his heart and chose a course of action.

He called the man up and told him he was too frightened to leave it alone, that he needed to know who this man who was with his daughter was. With that honesty offered the other man responded and was willing to meet. They are going to meet tomorrow.

Can you see how many other ways this could have gone? All of them probable disasters? This man showed more courage than I might have at my command today, confessing his fear to a stranger. And it is an object lesson in how courage arises out of necessity.

A false strike averted broke my heart with gratitude today. I am grateful when I get the privilege of seeing the pain of the world eased. As one of my good friends said, these two men have the opportunity to become friends over the common bond of the one man’s daughter. She is six, I think.

Turning Around

Now that you have turned
this way, you can see the spring
coming as it comes.
Your eyes have opened
as I hoped so long ago.
It helps as you swing
the axe to cut wood
for the stove and avoid false
strikes, wounds to the world
and to those you love.

February 28, 2009 10:53 PM


  1. I think he chose wisely...honesty. It always seems to clear the way if you just come clean with feelings, fears, hopes, expectations. Thow a little humility in the mix and you're golden. I can certainly understand his fear and his powerlessness.

  2. Well, he's known for very different outcomes in situations this dicey. So not only did he end up in the best possible most realistic solution, but it marks a reamarkable change of behavior as well - kudos to AA. As he says, there is nothing else in his life that could have made this difference.

    Glad you have left a comment, my friend, though I would have removed the word always and replaced it with often - and then added, even if the honesty doesn't work out so well in the situation it often leads to better self regard so long as the outcome doesn't lead to utter disaster.

    I am thinking of the amends making process in AA where revealing hidden transgressions can devastate otherwise tolerable circumstances, and how these events show that some things really are better carried to the grave, even though they are terrible burdens on the soul.

    So my friend also demonstrated wisdom in that he ran this by trusted advisors who cosigned his intended behavior and as well shared it in public during the process so that he could benefit from the best possible feedback. This transparency with his process may as well help another in some future development in their lives too. It was just angelic all the way around, even though the situation is our usual human screwed up mess.

  3. Ah, looking for the honest man again, I see. I hope you find him. I already confessed I lack the courage for it. The man whose story I tell, gave us an unusual level of honesty in a desperate situation. I won't vouch for his normal behavior at all.


    Glad you are my friend, your ectoplasmic kind regard is valuable to me.

  4. Oh yes.

    Tonight I was at a meeting and was privileged to witness two people coming back from a bust. I say privileged because in all of my recent 'madness', I have not 'busted' and I have been asked for help.
    These people see me as wise?
    God help them, through me if bloody necessary :)
    Time up is not all it is cracked up to be and yet, oh yes it is so.....sigh

  5. Nothing's ever resolved for good, is it? This is one good step, seemingly the best one in the situation, but there will be many more to be taken, opportunities for good calls and causes for celebration but also for howling mistakes and spiralling deteriorations.

    But still it seems good; so often these things remain unspoken, at least where they should be, unacted on, and get twisted and destructive. Maybe the other man was worried himself at the prospect of becoming a step-parent, and at least willing contact between them will help to establish some boundaries and expectations, enable a clearer way forward.

    Such a little girl, I wish them all all the best.

  6. Michelle, when we say bust we mean the cops are involved, as in a drug bust. Often leads to court and jail and all that. Is that what you Aussies mean? I agree with you, wherever you go there you are and being in the advisory position for someone else often seems a joke even when it also seems your own responsibility to accept the position. Who ever said this was going to be easy?

    Lucy, yes indeed. I agree with all you say. You have such a gentle spirit, dear. I have always felt that in you.

  7. Bust here means relapse....drinks/uses....

  8. Huh. Michelle, we use that term too but in this other way, a drunken beer party is a beer bust. I have never heard it used to refer in American English as I know it to a relapse.

  9. the story gives me more hope than you can imagine... the children who have already and will have a chance of surviving abuse need more people like this. wow.

  10. I wonder about those who deliberately let the axe swing wild from time to time, perhaps to shake things up a bit. I've been hit by a few of those, lately.

  11. That sounds a little painful. I would give you big hugs if I was near, try not to swing wild myslef.


The chicken crossed the road. That's poultry in motion.

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