Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Dangerous Act of Introspection

It's funny. I was thinking I've looked at my face in the mirror most every day for most of my life but I can't remember what I looked like. When I try I only see the pictures of me from when I was little. I remember the cute little boy I was. A picture of me looking up while hiding under a tree. A picture of me in my favorite black hoody or sweatshirt with soccer cleats on it. A time with it's own trials, troubles, and struggles, but still I look back with a romantic eye as if seeing an idyllic time.

And it was.

Sure Dave and I would have our arguments. Yeah I'd sulk and storm off and they'd call me Grumpy Bear or Mr.Grumpy or whatever that was. But I remember as well the tree fort; the many fun things Dave (my brother) and I'd play. The old Commodore 64, our first computer, and the games. Like Pooyan. With a pig in a lift that shot arrows at wolves floating up on balloons.

I remember walking in the forest as a family; Mom, Dad, Dave, and I. I remember Whit The Twit, who was Uncle Dave and Mel's dog. It was black. We were in an alder forest in the winter. The leaves were off the trees. I think we had hiked up Knobb Hill, aka Soames Hill.

I remember happy times. My brother. My Mom. My Dad. Raman. My best friend from down the street. She'd been born the day before me, in Vancouver. I remember her house. It smelled different, I know now it smelt like curry, and it was always fun there, especially when it was filled with her smiling, happy relatives. She had a swing set. This was when we lived in Langdale. This was a good time. This was a happy me.

I remember going on a camping trips with Grandma and Grandpa, Mom and Dad, Dave and first Pudgie (our first dog, I barely remember. Black and white) and then Griffin Manderville Bloodletter the III, or Griffin for short. I remember canoeing with Dad. Fishing with Grandpa. Chipmunks, squirrels, muskrats, whiskey jacks. This was before I disliked myself, thought myself worthless. Before my descent into pain and wounding beyond what I was prepared for, beyond what I could handle. Oh growing up. It comes to us all.

Divorce. Such a simple word. Such a tidy concept. Such a horrible reality for an unsuspecting 8 year old child. I still can't really see what all happened there. It blurs together in a melange of chaos and motion. Difficult times. And the beginning of a self imposed exile, a withdrawl. To blame oneself, to revile oneself, to surrender. To give up excellence or success and instead seek to hide and survive. Do the minimum. Learn to please people. Be kind. Be nice. Be funny. No ones enemy. I knew myself to be ugly and fat and non-sporty so my energy went to personality, humour, diplomacy. Hide. Stay low. Survive.

Of course there were good things here as well. The ocean. Reading. Video games. Playing with gasoline. Eden and Julien. Beach forts. Rock wars. As long as I could be away from systems and judgements of an external sort. I knew based on those I didn't rate well.

The false view from our personal perspective. If we could go back now. Though I know I wouldn't have been able to hear it anyways. And the jerkstore things I did and said. The times I lashed out in pain at those that got close and remained closed off to all. Sorry Mom. I've been a jerk. I know I still can be at times. I'm sorry. I do love you. And Dad. And Dave. And everybody. Except for a long time myself. Even still I blame myself. I wonder if I always will? Was there parental anger? Yes. I've forgiven what I've seen. No doubt there is more still unseen. But it always comes back to me.

How can we really be more then self-centered?

To forgive myself is very hard. I feel a responsibility for my actions, circumstances, and choices. I feel I am to blame. I am deserving of the pain, hurt, shit, that has come my way...

But then I see that little boy hiding under the tree looking up at me. And it isn't his fault. And I don't blame him.
And he is me.

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