Sunday, June 21, 2009

Inimical Instructions 6/21/09

Inimical Instructions 6/05/09
Don't let anyone tell you that it doesn't matter what you think. Of course it matters. Above all else thinking matters the most.

DB - The Vagabond
Things that must be written, must be written.

I made an appointment and went to see a very wise man, a well known provider of good advice and positive, practical solutions to life's problems and difficulties, My problem was that I felt I had no purpose and direction in my life, that I was aimlessly working as an actor with no reason nor objective, that I really didn't have any value in the world. In response to his questions I told him about growing up.

My father died when I was 4 years old. They never told me that he died. All they said was that he wasn't coming back. My mother, my grandmother, my sister and my brother; none of them told me. They say that I cried for many days afterward. For the next 8 years I expected him to return. The phone would ring, there was a knock on the door, it might be my father. I would look out the windows of cars and buses to see if he was walking down the street. Why did he abandon me? It must be my fault. I wanted to find him, to apologize and bring him back home. Finally, at the age of about 12 years, I accepted that he was in truth never coming back. Why didn't they tell me? Why wasn't I valuable or important enough to be told the truth?

The relationship with my mother was adversarial, My brother and sister left shortly after that, but when they were around they either ignored me or were critical of me. There was no love. I was not liked at home.

I grew up without my father's wisdom, advice, judgment, encouragement or approval.
I missed him. Ironically, it was at my mother's funeral, 40 years later, that I could grieve for him. At the cemetary I was placed in a chair directly over my father's grave and for the first time I read his tombstone. He was a young man when he went, only 53. He was a Lieutenant/Colonel in the U.S. Army. I wanted,with all my heart, to know the guy and wanted him to know me, his son. I wept.

"There is a sacredness in tears" Washington Irving said

As I spoke on with that wise man, I told him about the influences on my life after my father's death. How I had been criticized and minimized and disapproved of by everyone around me. How I had fought to reject other people's opinions of me and how I was trying to establish in my own thinking a positive structure of self-respect and self-approval but that I was having trouble doing it and needed help. Then this wise man, the purveyor of positive advice and well being said to me "Well, fortunately it makes no difference what you think."

How, after listening to my tale of deprivation and woe, could this wise man, this guru of positive thinking, this friend of mankind, this generous and compassionate dispenser of good, sound advice tell me that it makes no difference what I think?

I left his office believing him, and his words sank down into the very bottom of my being. After losing my father and not told why, after the scorn and resentment from members of my family and to be told it doesn't matter what I think, I realized what I was: a useless thumb on the hand of the world, a worthless appendage that needed to be amputated, something taking up space for no reason. As someone once said to me "I don't understand why you're still alive."

Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made:
Those are pearls that were his eyes;
Nothing of him that doth fade,
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange,
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell:
Hark! now I hear them, ding-dong, bell.


In my mid 50s, when I had outlived my father, I began to understand some things. I began to put some pieces together and throw out some others. I may be a worthless and annoying hunk of junk as far as the world is concerned, I thought, but I was still alive, I was working, supporting myself and entertaining people. And if there was only one thing I knew it was that it did matter what I thought. My thinking was just as valid and important to the world as anyone else's. Thinking matters the most. And one who thinks is not a useless appendage, taking up space. That's something my father might have taught me when I was just a boy.

Shakespeare also wrote "There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so."

Even today, at 70, I miss my father. I miss what we might have meant to each other. I want the love only a father can give. I want the advice of someone who cares about me. I want the companionship of the man I can look up to and admire. I want the words of encouragement and approval from the man who is grateful I was born and is glad I'm alive. I want my Dad.



  1. DB:

    I don't know what it would be like not to have known my father, but feel like he was with you growing up. I believe he watched you as a child to the man you are today. Maybe, his absence was what your soul needed in this life. Your heart screamed for his love and your mind juggled heavy emotions, no doubt. One day your souls will greet each other, until then you have bountiful love from friends.

    To hear that family didn't tell you the truth is very unkind. My family was hard on me too, most times my opinion was obsolete. I was always the last to know, even if it took years. I heard many people say "It's because your the middle kid!" I never bought into that logic, it was because I was different. Born with a hole in my heart, and some disabilities. "A little slow" Eventually, I grew out of my "slowness". I still suffer from mild dyslexia though. You can tell by my writing sometimes.

    My father was the one who was there the most. When he wasn't working, and not in the middle of fixing something. I knew to be quiet, and just watch him. He taught many great lessons, but I learned more by my mistakes. More by the people that took the same path as I throughout this life.

    My Brother Don was very supportive, when he was alive. Smarter than me, but weaker emotionally. He never fully recovered from our parents divorce, he allowed alcohol to be his shield. Growing up I was his punching bag, until I was a late teen. When I finally defended myself, he never tried it again.

    Db, I'm not a violent man either. It was one of the hardest things I had to do.

    In the short time I've known you, I can tell you taught yourself often. That you've known many good souls in life.

    I think that we help god chart our lives and we agree to endure many lessons. That we need certain growths for our soul, before we can go back home. We may help decide where the potholes are placed, on the roads of our lives.

    But, who am I to now the ultimate truths. Most of the time, I speak from the heart. I listen to my soul's advice and use my brain the least.

    I have enjoyed your writing, no matter what you've wrote. You speak from the heart as well, your knowledge is appreciated. You are kind and wise man, so just keep writing whatever you soul demands.

    I wish you a splendid day tomorrow.

    Blessed Be,
    Wes Ackerman

  2. DB, how ironic life can be. Here you are at 70 is braving to tell the world you miss your Dad! You wish to know him whom you believed would impart you wisdom you need as a growing child, a growing young man throughout your growing years.

    I ask you, what if the circumstance is different? Your Dad is alive but he disowns you for his own reason? Would the longing you have now could possibly be the same if the man you call a father doesn't even care?

    Your pain has touched me. Not for myself but for my children. Ah, you're a man but you did not hide your emotion. What more for my children whose father is alive and he seems not to be made with a soul let alone a spirit. For how could a human being like him can afford to ignore and deprive his children?

    Anyway, I'm very grateful with life. I have no complain at all. We weathered all storms and we are still here.

    It's very interesting to know some people's psyche about personal things that to some cultures can be a taboo to discuss openly.

    Therefore, my observations have made me to conclude that culture is not a barrier for us not to feel the same thing. For us to have different emotion, thinking, values and what else.

    Personally, I don't mind much the negative factors that surround our lives. We just move on with silent weepings in between from time to time.

    However, each time my head touch on a pillow, my very first thought is to thank God for all His goodness, mercy and justice. There's no justice in humankind, only HIM.

    I thank Him for the safe day that went through without any mishap happening to us, to our surrounding, our neighbourhood, our suburb, our city, our country and most of all, our family including those who are abroad.

    Each time I wake up, I say the same. Thanking even more that He prolongs my breathing. That means I am still alive. I can see the light coming out from the window and what a lovely sight to see the sun shining through.

    Ah DB, we are still a lot better off compared to those who are truly less fortunate.

    Thank God we both live in a country where there is sufficient fresh air, we can eat three meals a day, drink fresh clean water, sleep in a nice clean bed.

    Sometime in life, things happen beyond our control. Please don't be too hard to/on yourself.

    There are things that are meant to happen the way they happened. Our goal is how to cope and how to manage a strategy in being able to approach life, live life accordingly.

    We survive with less but I don't mind. I feel sorry for my children but at least they can't say I have abandoned them, neglected them or ignored them.

    I raised them with love, understanding, compassion and care. I nurture them with Godly values even if we are not perfect. The only thing I asked from them is for them not to turn their back on Him who gives us sustenance to our existence.

    You are about a decade ahead of me, and like you, I also miss my father and my mother. I wish they are alive then my children would love to have them as they would to them.

    I'll come back to read more of your writings. Lots of lessons to learn from you. I am not ashame to admit even to my children that until today I am still learning.

    Cheers from Down Under.

  3. Sorry DB, I come back. I just want to share with you a story parallel to this post.