Who’s it going to be today?

Some days, some circumstances bring out my true motives in stark contrast to the motives I wish drove me, the motives that should inspire me, motives that are holy, courageous, altruistic and beautiful.

Some days so clearly reveal my desire for approval and acceptance that it stands out against the backdrop of those higher motives like a silhouette.

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It hit me like a punch yesterday as a I wrestled with the near-panic closing in on me. The anxiety was refining my thoughts, carving away the affectations, demanding an unvarnished, unadorned look at what was happening as my heart-rate climbed, my vision blurred and my mind began to blur. The words came into my conscious mind with violence:

“Who will you choose to disappoint today?” 

There’s not a single person who I don’t have the potential of hurting, disappointing, off-putting, letting down, offending, misunderstanding, mistreating, wounding, injuring, disillusioning.

Every relationship is a time-bomb. My world is a mine-field packed so tightly together that I can’t avoid stepping on some.  I feel the anxiety of the inevitable explosion…

Don’t answer an email / answer and email

Don’t return a text / return a text

Choose not to converse / converse

Take time off / don’t…

It doesn’t matter what I choose  – I will be diminished in someone’s view.

This is the truth of what drives me from one moment to the next…a nearly unbroken sheet of motivation which defines me…standing in stark contrast to anything like real love.

I am afraid and ashamed. A tragic character. I’m not Sam Wise Gamgee. I’m fucking Boromir.

Boromir

 

Manos

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Even as I type, I see my dad’s hands.

I like it. They are good hands.

They have seen work.

The scars have been earned.

They are hands that a boy who is worried about his masculinity can reflect on and feel a little less concerned. They don’t hide from future callouses inside gloves.

They reflect wisdom. They are not misshapen or deformed. The nails are not chewed short and stubby, there are no missing digits. They know their place. They have never seen a manicure, but they have never been broken either.

Their age is beginning to show but I don’t mind much. The fingers are just a little crooked. The skin seems just a little more worn; the veins a little more prominent.

Many, many days of sun. Many more of wind and rain, each etching a story on this canvas of flesh and bone.

The place wear she first slipped on that ring will never be the same. I bear her mark. I am delightfully branded.

The scars have been earned.

Oh, that I could see my soul with the same eyes.