It can only be what it is...

Friday, April 20, 2012

Suffer the children

While it is fairly true I have never quite considered myself Catholic (too many swipes at the back of the head from brothers and sisters in high school I think) , the quote from the bible (Matthew 19:14) pertaining to the suffering of children has always struck a chord. Although, truth be told, suffering is not just for children but it does feel that it is something that we should as a society strive to avoid.

When faced with children who are in pain, generally we want to do something to alleviate it. Sometimes it is obvious physical pain, but what to do when the pain is more psychological ?

A drop of water into a still pond causes a ripple, and with it it's own set of consequences. What do we do when someone is not able to see past the ripple ? Doesn't see long term, or couldn't care less for short term for that matter , What then ?

I am trying very hard to grapple with this . I am filled with remorse for all the suffering that I am seeing, and the need for action to remedy it, and yet the more action seems to bring me to a deeper pit of a feeling, that this suffering is inexhaustible, too deep to be reached and cleared out. My actions will not ever be great enough to wipe it out.

Samsara (the continous flow) of life, birth ,death will always roll on,

I breath in, I breath out, Om mani padme hum...

 om mani padme hum, mean that in dependence on the practice of a path which is an indivisible union of method and wisdom, you can transform your impure body, speech, and mind into the pure exalted body, speech, and mind of a Buddha[...]"-- H.H. Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama, "Om Mani Padme Hum

(picture of mani stones in India near the Himalyas, the stones have the mantra om mani padme hum inscribed on them)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Being the Dad-it's all relative

Being the Dad, not as easy as it sounds.
Not that I ever thought it was.
From a very young age, I realized that it's a tough, job, especially if you didn't have the benefit of someone that took it all that seriously. My grandfather was from Scotland and a man of very few words. Children were to be seen not heard. you were to speak when spoken to only, and God forbid show up at the dinner table without a proper shirt (t-shirts were not not considered proper even in the middle of a heat wave.)
Emotions were not expressed either. It has to be said that the man fought in two world wars and that may have some bearing as to the man that I knew.
Regardless, my father's role model had not prepared him adequately for the challenges he would have when my mother passed away leaving him with two young boys and no help from family. His only respite came from a bottle and trying to instill the discipline that he thought was fair and just. Although from the bottom of a bottle, it was skewed to say the least.
I have long since made my peace with my Dad, fully expressing to him that under the circumstances, he did what he could the best that he knew how. Was it always right, ?
Not even close sometimes, but it was OK. I forgave him.
None the less I have always vowed that I would be a different Dad, a better Dad.
Reality Check 2012 : Sometimes I am , sometimes not.
Truth is there is no preparation for what life throws at you. Sure you can tell yourself as I did for years that the same mistakes won't be made, and that's true, I did not make the same ones.
I made some doozies all on my own. I found myself lately wanting to compare war stories with my daughter, let her know that what trials I had faced and how they all were imminently more challenging and tougher that hers, but you know what ?
It's all relative.
I can only hope that one day my daughter reads this and makes peace with herself and the mistakes that were made. Realizing that the mistakes came from a place of love and compassion, that any anger that I had came from fear, fear that she would be harmed, or that harm would come to her and that she is my daughter, I love her with all my heart and she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to.
She too like me is capable of great love and compassion and yes, fear and anger as well as they are the flipside of each other, but if we truly live in the moment, we need not fear.



"In the sky there is no distinction of east & west; people create distinctions out of their own minds & believe them to be true." ~Buddha -- Zen Proverbs (@ZenProverbs)

Monk before the moon

Just like this pic