Unexpected – Safe Harbors

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Good early morning,

I began this last night on my iPad, but it seems that each device has something unique to it and until I put together a post on it and figure out some things, I will invariably erase what I have written. Fortunately last night it was only a paragraph or so. I think it was a good paragraph, but nonetheless, it has been transformed into anti-matter and I must begin again. I do know that what I began with last night was “I must not listen as attentively as I think I do or that my comprehension skills are certainly much less adept that I realized.” I came to realize that I made a serious mistake in the use of my hermeneutical abilities or perhaps much like things can be reassessed or reconsidered, there has been a change in plans or intentions. It is always interesting in how we come to perceive a particular situation and then there is the “really understanding it”. What I know about myself is that I have this, perhaps unfortunate, problem of believing that other people’s intentions are honorable or admirable. In spite of being proven wrong time and time again, I seem to fall into that trap.

I think it is because I did not want to live my life suspicious and unhappy. I did not want to believe that everything had a price tag and that nothing was ever done without some ulterior motive. I grew up around that and it was toxic. I believe it is toxic. When we spend our entire lives making sure no one gets the best of us, that is precisely what happens. No one ever sees what is best in us because we hide it away afraid to show it because of the potential hurt. As a consequence we miss opportunities to really shine and we allow the real goodness in us to be swept away or shoved into a closet never to be found, until like some dusty artifact or remembrance, someone stumbles across it. However, much like a corroded penny in a junk drawer, there is no luster and it appears to be less valuable than it really is.

It is even more amazing to see how that sort of mindset robs us of our potential and keeps us from accomplishing that of which we might actually be capable. I might go as far as to say I am stunned as I ponder how, in spite of this fundamental lack of trust, one appears to manage things with such a sense of grace, decorum, and beauty. I wonder if there is any limit to what one is capable when such giftedness seems to be merely common place for them. I want to believe the good intentions, but my logical side scream out for me to remember the humanness in all of us, that we are not altruistic; we are certainly not unconditional. Is being safe selfish? Probably not . . . at least when one is trying to maintain safety out of fear. But when being safe is a conscious mindset or lifestyle does it become selfish? Again, perhaps not, but the consequences of it can most assuredly seem selfish or appear so. When words are measured and ambiguity under the guise of trying to be fair or see both sides happens, it seems what we have created is a convenient way out of any situation. I am reminded of a quote by William G.T. Shedd. He said, A ship in a harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are for.” It is such a true statement, but we as humans are so frightened to take chances, or important chances. We will take chances on foolish things or spur of the moment things, but when it comes to something of substance or importance, we shy away. In fact, perhaps we run away.

I just had a great chat with my niece in Iowa. She is such an insightful and enjoyable person. She also has some first hand knowledge of the situation so it was helpful to hear her perspective on my last 18 hours. She helped me see it from a different perspective. It is a perspective that I know and, to some extent, I understand, but it is getting caught off guard by it. I think that is what overwhelms me at moments. I would like to believe that I am intelligent and insightful, but then moments like this last day occur and I find myself questioning if I understand or know anything. One of the things I have gotten better at it to write and wait a bit before I hit send. I wrote a pretty lengthy, what has become “ein typisch schrift”, but I will ponder it. The other thing I have learned is to become more protective of myself. While I am still not where my mother was, I think I am a bit more careful. In speaking with my niece, she reminded me of a number of things, but she sees it everyday in her own life, so it is commonplace for her. My being alone for so long has isolated me from some of that and my lack of experience in certain realms is certainly apparent to me, but I guess I cannot instinctively know everything about everything, but I sure wish I could. I noted in my last posting that some of the relatives and colleagues are coming to visit. When I wrote the last post, I did not have dates. Now I do. It seems July just got a lot busier. It will be nice to have them here.

I wonder how I was perceived when I was twenty-something? I do remember my older brother really laying into me one day when I had not done somethings I should have done around the house (I was just out of the service) and I had to be 20 or almost 21 because my brother was still alive and it was late summer. My father was out mowing the yard in the heat and humidity and I should have been doing it. I was taking my father for granted in a way, most likely without realizing it, but it was because I was pretty self-centered at the time. I had my agenda and I did not really consider how my actions affected the others around me. Unfortunately, if I am to be really honest in my assessment of myself then, I am not sure I really worried too much about it. On the other hand, later in my life, I think I worried too much about it. Now I am trying to moderate and find that happy medium. I am not sure I accomplish that as well as I would like, but I am making small steps.

What makes us safe? What keeps us safe? These are questions I will ponder for the next couple of days. Perhaps I might find an answer and write about it soon. The next blog will be to do what I promised Sr. Galán I would do. That one will take some thought and some soul-searching, but a promise is a promise.

Thanks for reading.

Michael

3 thoughts on “Unexpected – Safe Harbors

  1. You are very bright and you got to where you are todsy despite all your health issues. However, you are also very caring and that sometimes we trust to much. Intelligence has nothing to do with that and sometimes we are reminded not to be so giving. Hang in there. Whatever your situation … Your intentions came from your heart.

  2. It would be my great pleasure to inform you of how you were perceived as a 20 something as I knew you so well then.

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