“It’s just that when we get together you often talk a lot about yourself,” she said.
It was her birthday lunch and I sat quietly and listened. I assumed that, like so much feedback from others I trust from years gone by when I was in my “condition” that it was more than likely accurate I mean when you are IN a condition how can you really know the extent?
Having a “good heart” or good intentions has nothing to do with it.
Now this is not the first tie that “the Jedi”has spoken truth into my life. It was she – at age ten – who set me on a course of three years celibacy to learn how to be happy being alone. It s something most of my sons have not yet realized is true about me: that I can take a direct shot up close and personal – even more so if delivered with love.
Camille is candid and speaks her mind freely with me and it has never done anything but earn my respect and a greater openness.
I can change. I do so all the time.
I am not the man I was 15 years ago…not even the man I was a nearly a year ago when I set food in Oakland on January 3rd of this year. I continue to grow and change.
And Camille has once again, however limited her scope was, challenged me once again to change on a much larger scale.
God I love that girl.
She has yet to realize her fullest potentials – but she will on her own in time. I need do nothing but encourage her. I have faith in her.
I have been wanting to buy a camera. To do so conjures up the past for it was something – one of the main things I shared with my father who just passed away. We did not share much but we both loved photography and basketball and were both good at both. Oddly, he did not teach me either. It was just in my genes. He did build me my first darkroom in the garage of our place on Park Place – after the divorce. And he went to a great deal of trouble to get me my first enlarger. I became the whiz kid at Clayton Valley with camera – whivch is the only reason I graduated.
I have always been good with one – even digital. But as I have been looking at units it brings back painful memories of cameras lost and associations with lost relationships.
So the simple question keeps cropping up: Do you wanna live in the past or move ahead into your new future?
Because it occurs to me that Camille’s observation – and my earlier need to talk about myself is really about the past.
And here I sit on my first full day in my new apartment, rent paid, in Grad School and a new career ahead of me; a great girlfriend with whom I have -by far – the healthiest relationship I have ever had – no addictions or anything to hinder me and that simple question.
What does that look like?
Well, beyond keeping it (life) simple, it means stopping writing so much about myself and getting about what I was meant to do, which is theology, followed by anthropology.
That is why his post is HERE at SPOKE and not on some personal journal.
There is still way too much ME around here. That will need to change.
My past is irrelevant now. I fought through the mire – and frankly – the mire won. He picked me up out of the mire (Psalm 40) countless times when I was dead and set me in a safe-enough place to continue.
All that is relevant is what happens from here on out.