Untitled 14

Untitled 14

When I was a boy I often had a dream that there were two rows of giants standing along a path that I had to walk.  All they did was scream at me.  Fear, waking up with continuous waves of chills, unmoving in my bed.  I quit dreaming this when I was a teenager, but I have not stopped remembering it.  I bravely walked that path, never considering just saying no.

I think I couldn’t say no.   No defines boundaries and I put boundaries around things I value.  I now understand something about my worth, at least in this moment if not in the cosmic sense.  Who knows about that.  Somehow I bought the belief I had no worth and so no was a useless tool in my kit. Maybe it was original sin.  I learned about that a very young age and got stuck on my intrinsic badness.  Once I got saved I didn’t really buy my new found goodness–which descends all of a sudden on the five year  old boy at First Assembly of God on a Sunday night baptism service.  Somehow the badness just hung around, a miasma, a cloak.  The trade was lost on my young psyche.

I have gone back, retraced the steps along that path.  I have claimed my ”Is-ness”.  I is. ( I certainly would not claim I am, which takes a lot of pressure off.)  I am here and I have the space I take up on the planet and that seems to buy me the right to say yes and no.  I don’t have to dig claw marks into a ridiculous pathway without a choice.

I believe the process of claiming/discovering self worth is one of the necessary human journeys.  Maybe it comes naturally for some, but I think very few.  We can try to convince each other of it, but in the end, I either decide I have earned my spot of clay here on the planet  or I don’t.  I is.

Bend, OR 2010, Nikon D700, natural light

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4 Responses to Untitled 14

  1. Where do I start? This is good. First let me say, I copied and pasted this article into Word, but not with the photograph…It’s like a song without the music. The way you’ve crafted the two together create the picture. Also, I read every article and see every photograph you post in your blog, but because of time constraints or loss of words… I’m not always able to comment.
    All that being said, this one hits me at multiple levels. The yes or no; the boy, the teen and the man; the dream and the memories; the fear and the choices; the “is” and the “I am”; the sin and the saved; the path and the process, the planet, my space..where do I fit in? How do I fit in? Do I?
    Discovering one’s self worth is very hard to do, especially when we let others define it for us. I’m reminded of Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People…”begin with the end in mind” and growing from dependent to independent to interdependent. It seems life should take us through this path naturally…I guess, in a way, it does.
    But growing from “the boy” into “the man” is a difficult process which I had fought for years. Even today I struggle with it. I learned something valuable from “The Woman on the Canvas” and the approach you share regarding intimacy, about “making space”. In fact, I’m always thinking about it and, though not always successful, I practice it too.
    I’ll summarize my comments in your own words…” but in the end, I either decide I have earned my spot of clay here on the planet or I don’t. I is.”

  2. stephenarcher says:

    Thanks Stephen. I like the interdependent part. We do need each other. I have wondered if we are made to need each other so we create community. Maybe it explains our general emotional immaturity–it serves to drive us toward one another which makes it safer for all of us.
    I also think I like beginning with the end in mind. I interpret that as having intention. Intention creates realities–puts energy behind the thought, creates permission and possibilities.

  3. Yes, interdependent. Friends, not enemies. Beginning with the end in mind, but not at the expense of someone else’s dream or vision. I agree, we do need each other in life. Think of it like this. Three people living in a community. One is blind, one deaf and one mute. Separately, they are weak and struggle in one aspect, but suffice and maybe even excel in the others. But when they come together and form a human bond, they become strong in all areas… thus making them less vulnerable. Yet, there must be intimacy (space & trust), which is interdependency.

  4. stephenarcher says:

    Right. It’s a bit of a puzzle. Sometimes I am myself deaf, blind and mute!

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