Saturday, March 31, 2018

Six degrees of separation Part V: creeping acceptance and surrender

Like most people going through a significant transition, experience is slowly teaching me, in little incremental steps, that life goes on.

Back on February 4, the day my wife phoned me and told me she wanted to come back to the house she had left, to be with our boys, and that I must vacate the house, a good friend had said to me (earlier) on that day

a) get your shit together Immanuel b)I am not a victim...I co created this situation over many years with my selfishness and willfullness and taking things and people for grantedness.

that was very important to hear, and remains a central part of my healing two months later

Lying here in a tepid bath of pain
trying to get that there's no one to blame
____________________________

I am afraid
that the silence will
swallow me
_________________


O son of Chavah and Adam
you do not need to be saved from the silence
Silence will save you

I and aloneness have been spending some quality time together.
__________

Ah my bride Presence
how beautiful your veils:

anxiety
fear
grief
anger
uncertainty
powerlessness
sadness


thank you
for the way
they part to reveal your
ever shifting beauty
___________

Into a mikvah of pain
I ascend
perhaps to be birthed
into love without end
_______________

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Six degrees of Separation - Part IV: the slow death of the ego

My ex wife said she was coming around to take our son to school, so I put on my nicest clothes, wanting to make a favourable impression and perhaps arouse some old longing in her. But in the end she did not come.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

For men who believe they have been "replaced": Helpful resources

Last night (Feb 24th 2018) I went to a men's yoga group in Botany, and shared about my wife having initiated a separation two months ago, having a relationship with another man, living with not knowing and uncertainty, and the traumatic fallout from all of that. It turned out that at least a third of the men there had been through similar or parallel experiences - at least as far as separation goes, and one also the state of not knowing.

The amount of environmental support available makes a huge difference to our ability to function, be happy and create wellbeing. This was graphically illustrated when we did a tree pose. We were arranged in a circle, and first we each did the tree pose individually. I did not even try and lift my supporting leg of the mat, but left it with toes on the ground and heel pushed in aginst the ankle of the load-bearing leg, believing I did not have the strength or balance to stand unaided on one leg. I tyhink the majority of men there did lift the supporting leg completely off the ground.

Afterwards the facilitator, Jeff Miller, invited us to stand closer, and extend our hands so that we were all pressing against the hand of the person to our left and right. Now, with this environmental support to lean on, I was able to easily do a full tree pose with confidence and a sense of possibility. It was a wonderful illustration of how mutual support and interdependence can transform our experience of everything.

__________

Useful Eckhart Tolle talk on Ego relationships vs real love

______________________________

For those men  who decide to continue their marriage after an affair: some resources (not my own experience, the experience of others)

"For my own part, just as she needed to let go of the affair, so too did I. I needed to stop talking about it, stop voicing every thought, stop throwing it in her face. She isn’t sleeping with, pining for, secretly meeting with anyone now, so what am I angry about? My ego is bruised, my trust has been damaged, my belief in my marriage has been shaken. It’s legitimate anger. But it’s anger based on past events. She is in the marriage now. She is reaching out to me. She wants to be with me. I still need to accept that completely, but I’ve found the less I dwell on this, the better I feel.
It was also helpful to accept that I can’t depend on her for my happiness. I need to secure that for myself. It’s not a bad result to all of this. I am less beholden to her and I think she appreciates me more for it.
One important aspect to keep in mind (and it helps the betrayed understand the mindset of the betrayer during the affair) is that one can become addicted to the pain of betrayal. Wallowing, anger, ruminating are all bad habits I’ve fallen into. I’m used to waking up and thinking about them. I’m used to passing by places they met and getting mad about it. It becomes Pavlovian after a while. I found I needed to have those negative feelings because I became accustomed to having them. They became a sort of crutch for me. Without them, without being the betrayed husband, who was I? I imagine my wife felt a similar need. She developed a bad habit of needing to hear from him, to see him, to read his emails, and when she tried to break that habit, it was too difficult.
I’ve really tried hard to break my own habits, to replace negative thoughts with positive ones. And one really important lesson I’ve learned is that tomorrow really is another day. I get the one day at a time mantra.
We will never be as naively trusting as we once were, but we will never be as dependent either. I think that independence allows one to take a chance on love once more."
___________________

Of limited use, delineates the problem from the point of view of the person - but I find more useful approaches which point out that the person itself is the ultimate 'problem', and that only moving towards Presence can return us to our completeness. Such as the Eckhart Tolle talk above. He points out that words like "betrayal", and "abandonment" are stories that lock us into victimhood and powerlessness.


Rethinking infidelity ... a talk for anyone who has ever loved | Esther Perel




Source: https://www.emotionalaffair.org/6-comment-gems-affair-survivors/


Sunday, January 28, 2018

Lust land

Isn't it interesting how most people who appear in made-for-profit pornographic video do not appear to be stateless, are not visibly malnourished, do not have debilitating skin conditions such as psoriasis, stretch marks, vaginal or rectal prolapses, testicular cancer, gynocemastia ( man boobs), hernia's, hemmorhoids, large beer belly's, erectile dysfunction or vaginusmus, and apparently do not need to fetch or feed or nurse or nurture children or aged or infirm relatives, or dependent animals, and seem to live in reasonably clean and functional and well maintained dwellings where presumably the plumbing works and there is food in the fridge or a phone call away.

Do they all live in a special area, like the young Bhudda in his father's palace, from which the ravages of time and poverty have been banned - "the pornographic zone."?

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Six degrees of separation - stage 3

Have moved back into the bedroom, having removed all of her remaining things, in a symbolic act of making it bearable...would that I could remove the lingering thoughts as well



Its like I'm being rebirthed, but the birth is so painful and everything so constricted it must be that the birth canal is not a vagina, but an arsehole.... (added later, was in no space for wry sardonic reflection at the time this post was made)

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Manning up to death and the maiden

I suppose this is what a separation looks like...6 degrees or otherwise

I think I am learning new and important meanings to the phrase "take it like a man"

Take your loneliness like a man
Take your aloneness like a man
Take the inescapability of now like a man, so that you may find a strange and new peace
Take the absolute necessity of letting go like a man
Take the fact that it does not matter if you apparently choose to unfurl your grip, or if Life simply stomps on your fingers til they bruise, bleed and slip, like a man
Take your loss of the illusion of control like a man
Take your addiction to stories, and hurl them into the great silence, like a man
Take your not knowing from minute to minute like a man
Take your non-ownership of any other human being like a man
Take the unexpected like a man
Take your loss of fake power like a man, so that you may discover where your real power lies
Take back the love that was never yours to possess or give away, but is always just there, sometimes forgotten for a short moment, like a man




Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Ten advantages of going through a separation:


1) You stop eating chocolate: in fact some days you stop eating altogether, so suddenly that slim youthful body is within reach. My size 32 trousers now hang loosely around my knees.

2) The pain and suffering burns away many - if not all - vanities - and you get to query your beliefs about everything in a way that can be most liberatory.

3) If you haven't yet, you begin the process of falling in love with yourself.

4) Lots of petty addictions fall away. For example, in my case obsessive FB reading and posting went from 5-10 a day to 1 a week and now back up to 2-3 a day.

5) I got really focused about priorities and economic realities....stuff I've avoided for significant chunks of my adult life.

6)Because I've been so emotionally labile - lots of tears, weeping etc, I've connected with people I've known a while in much more profound, honest, deep (er) and authentic ways, learnt more about them, and become much closer.

My crying has been quite involuntary...I can be talking to Viv on the phone and suddenly burst into sobs, or a friend can tell me about the death of a parent and I'll start crying, or I'm retelling a moving Raymond Carver short story to that same friend, a story which isn't even "real", and my throat will choke up and tears come...on Monday I was cleaning out a 70 + woman's fridge and she asked about my poetry, (and shortly before received a cold and distant text from Viv about a technical parenting matter), and I sat down on a chair and started howling.

"What did I do, what did I say?" she rushed over to me, concerned and distressed. She hugged me, as best she could with her badly bent back, and made me tea and toast with vegemite and told me how she had wanted to leave her husband and hadn't had the strength to...

Then she gave me another  long long long hug - which i suspect was more her need than mine  - and kept on trying to feed me. It was nice to receive her kindness and concern, and how moved she was by my uncontained emotion, and to have one's defences suddenly down and see how that allows the other's to drop as well - and its liberating and special and comforting to have heart to hearts with relative strangers, andto to perhaps slowly realise that love can be found almost anywhere, with almost anyone, if we can allow it.

7)I am discovering a new kind of unconditional happiness and gratitude ( same thing?) in loving what is and in being forced, or guided by Life, to let go.

8) separation is like being on a raft with four people on a white water river. You fall out of the boat, which is anyway moving rapidly, in a state of constant flux. But you cling to the rope along the side of the raft, imagining that it offers some sort of safety, security, solidity, continuity, permanence. And all the while the raging water is tugging at you, pulling on your life, and your grip is getting weaker and weaker, but you're terrified, and so you cling. But you know you're going to have to let go, or be pulled off, and swept away. And then it happens and you're into whatever happens next, with terror or elation or peace, or all three.

9) Autonomy muscles that have long atrophied are suddenly rediscovered and flexed again.

10) Surrender happens....and happens again...and again. What Byron Katie calls dying into love.

11) Suddenly cupboard space is not a problem.

Gam Zoo Le'Tovah - Also This is for the Good

Last year at this time someone rear ended my Mazda 2. It was a write off, and with the insurance payout I was able to get a newer and slightly better car.
Around the same time I lost my mobile phone and as a result got a newer phone with a bigger screen.
Now I am apparently losing "my" marriage and who knows what magnificent surprise and gift will come out of that.

Poems 5778 - 2018

Lying here in a tepid bath of pain
trying to get that there's no one to blame
_____________

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
שאלות ותשובות

Who owes us something?
No one
Where must we get to?
No where
How must we get there
No way
Who are we?
Nobody
What must we do
Nothing


(Receiving is not necessarily an action)

_____________
At my father' hastily
cobbled together funeral
where a well meaning rabbi
who had never met my dad
officiated
the men, as is the orthodox custom,
were invited to each
throw in a few shovel fulls
of soil into the fresh grave
to participate in the mitzvah
of burying the dead, and once the grave
was mostly filled in, and the mourners, both
men and women
had begun to walk away
my sister, breathing
hard from the exertion
and a struggle long
fought, picked up the shovel
bent,
alone
against the darkening
sky
and added a few more
loads of
reclaimed earth,
determined
despite
being excluded
to include herself
In this last
and first right

__________

אני מטפס למעלה
ממצוקי המוות
אל ארצות החיים
________
I am in the desert.
As if from nowhere
on the horizon
a dust - devil appears,
rapidly approaches
it grows, gathering height and girth
towering over me
I turn and run
my heart a
frightened creature in my chest
but am quickly overtaken,
enveloped. Resigned,
I close my eyes
only to discover
it is made
not from tiny flecks of cutting sand
but of love
and that
I am innocent
and always have been
it sweeps me up
takes me away
twirls me around
and deposits me
exactly where
i'm meant
to be

_____________

What was warm
now is cold
what was young
now is old
what was luxuriant
now is shorn
what has died
now is born

_________


Sometimes
there is a
wounded beast
in my heart
it tries
but cannot
pull out
the shafts
because it has
not hands
but hooves

____________

Oh I have been famous
in the kitchen
at the washing line
on hands and knees
with the carpet stain
or tossing and turning
in my humble bed

_____________

I look like a dowdy
middle aged man
and perhaps indeed
that's what I am
but a child-like heart
still beats in my chest
and like all hearts
it knows no rest
ready to thrill, to discover, to play
would that that heart be seen as well
and cause another heart to swell


___________________

I am being caught
more and more
off guard
by the ground

______


In the house seemingly alone
Ella chewing a nameless cow's bone
even tho she upped and went
I suddenly glimpse I can still be content
______


I am afraid
the silence
will swallow me
_________


O son of Chavah and Adam
you do not need to be saved from the silence
Silence will save you
__________

Ah, Presence, my bride
how beautiful your veils:

anxiety
fear
grief
anger
uncertainty
helplessness
sadness


thank you
for the way
they part to reveal
your ever shifting beauty
___________

Song of Presence

I stop at a robot*
- most beautiful red
I've ever seen
and love it no less
when it changes
to green
____________
* traffic light

_____________

Into a mikvah of emotional pain
I ascend
to be delivered unto healing love
without end
_______________

Many of my friends
have been on a journey of not knowing
for quiet a while
and so have I

but I did not know it
_________________________


Like immigration
when we counted the days
since we had arrived
until it was no longer significant
or remarkable


separation

where we count the days
since something departed
until it is no longer significant
or remarkable

_____________

Like a merchant
who spreads out his wares
in what he imagines is an attractive way
to seduce passers by into his stall
so have I
spread out my imaginary wares
to seduce you
into loving me

and like a merchant
who spreads out his wares
before one who is hurrying
to another destination
so have I
spread my wares
before you

and like a merchant
whose wares are sound
and who knows that the call to enter
must come from within
not without
and does not wait
I
_____________

I think I am learning new and important meanings to the phrase "take it like a man":


Take your loneliness like a man
Take your aloneness like a man
Take the inescapability of now like a man, so that you may find a strange and new peace
Take the absolute necessity of letting go like a man
Take the fact that it makes no difference if you
apparently choose to unfurl your grip, or if Life simply stomps on your fingers
til they bruise, bleed and slip,

like a man

Take your loss of the illusion of control like a man
Take your addiction to stories, and hurl them into the great silence, like a man
Take your not knowing from minute to minute like a man
Take your non-ownership of any other human being like a man
Take the unexpected like a man
Take your loss of fake power like a man, so that you may discover where your real power lies
Take back the love that was never yours to possess or give away, but is always just there, sometimes forgotten for a short moment, like a man

  
_________________________

Adaptible Poem for Shabbat

Immanuel
( or please substitute any other relevant name)
even though you have hair
growing out of your nose
and ears
(please substitute any other relevant body part here)
I still love, honour and respect
the light and life
I see in you


________________

Now there arose a new king
who did evil in the sight of the lord
he turned the garden into a jungle
banned plastic bags from the kingdom
planted pumpkins and recycled dog shit
brought in monsterous chickens
that attacked and savaged the citizens
he let vermin run wild
they ate the cereal and sugar
but one day the people arose
and toppled that pretender to the throne
that charlatan man that would be king


________________

I wear around my neck
like a protective amulet
"she's dead
she's dead

she's gone
she's gone


and she's not 
coming back "

I even said kaddish in shul for her
just to help me get it
_________________

"we carry the affair around like some kind of pregnancy and who knows what will be born from it."
______________

Can I be loved or can I be love?
____________________________

I am angry that the sun is shining on the neighbours' house.
I had expected it to behave appropriately and only shine on mine.
_________________________________

i don't need a partner
to be whole
i just need to stop telling myself I'm incomplete

____________________________

late afternoon
when the shadows fall
and the fear of night
descends
is the time
I most prefer
the company
of friends


___________________

אני, ולא אחר
שומר עליך
מתוכך
כי בעצם
אני
היותך
ונאמן
לשמור
לא על מה
שאתה חושב שאתה
אלא על מה
שאתה באמת

________________________  

aloneness
you are such a beautiful bride
I do not find any blemish in you
and nor do you age and wither
___________________________

walk slowly
as if you were going to your own death
which you are

________________________

Just as on Pesach
we open the door
so that Ayliyahhoo the prophet
may also drink
from the cup of freedom
 

so every liberation
requires we open
a hithertoo closed
door in our heart
______________________

I have been exiled from exile
____________________

there is a bird
under the piano
and it sings
 

there is a bird
in my heart
and it sings
________

I am angry with words. They have deceived me.
___________________________

Am I losing my wife but gaining myself?
_____________________________

I am a meat eating vegan
_______________

Where the hell are we?
In this place zombies
watch endless cooking shows
listen all night
to call centre music
that is changed
only once
every called has died
write novel-length self-
reflective journals
to achieve professional
development points
for the plumbing trade
and wish each other
"have a good day"
before disemboweling
their neighbour


_____________________

Gifted child
looking for employment
will wipe bums


___________________

wham , bam
thank you man

_________________

איזהו גיבור?
הכובש את בדידותו
_________________


sending off poems:
the death throws of the ego
_______________________

Am I a man or a mouse?
Neither. I am a much loved poodle
______________________

I prayed and my prayers have been answered
not in the way I expected but nevertheless...
the incomprehensible creativity of Life

______________________

Where ever you go
there is a window
with a tree just beyond
even if 

at the time
you cannot see it  
_____________________

the dog
tenderly licks
the dead cow
from my fingers 

___________