the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero


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…the father becomes the son. (more thoughts)

[ADDENDUM: 11 January, 2015]  When my father first told me of his near-death experience, many years ago, a flash of memory hit me, like a curtain being drawn from my mind, to reveal the light of the morning sun.

I remember begging, pleading with him, to go back, so that I would have a chance to be.  I did not remember all, but over the years, I came to know the deep sacrifices that were made in those moments.  I would revisit them when he nearly died, again, and each time I climbed up on the surgeon’s table, the last time being the 7th of January, 2015.

This is my Atonement with the Father.

JOR-EL: Once, when you were small, I died, while giving you a chance for life.

It was a shock when I saw him.  He was wandering around aimlessly, obviously not in his body.  He was NOT supposed to be here.

“What are you doing here?  You need to go back, and be my father, just as we planned!”

“I’m tired.  I hurt.  I don’t want to go back to a broken body.”

“But you need to go back!  We agreed!”

My father first got really sick in 1992, when I was hundreds of miles away going to college in Rexburg, Idaho.  When I crashed out of school and took the rebound to community college, I came home one day to see him carried out on a stretcher into an ambulance.

Almost two decades passed and he got really, really sick again.  As in deathly ill.  He could barely move and he grew a beard because he didn’t feel well enough to even shave.  “Not now,” I thought.  “I still need you.”  But I talked with my youngest sister about it, and we made peace with it; we were ready to bury him if that was really to be.

I sent him pictures of me and my son to try to cheer him up.  He was in really bad shape.

A Boy and His Dad

It was obvious that I was not going to persuade him by plans of the future.  I would have to appeal to his here and now.

“What about your family now?  Won’t they miss you?”

That seemed to be more persuasive.  He softened a bit and looked more ready to turn back.

Dad found a specialist in Walla Walla that seemed to know what was going on, finally, and he recovered.

JOR-EL: And now, even though it will exhaust the final energy left within me…

CLARK
(turns frightened)
Father, no!

JOR-EL
Look at me, Kal-El!

“Wait, before you go.  I have to do something.  I… I will carry a part of that pain for you.”

“You don’t have to do this.”

“Yes… yes, I do.”

“No, you don’t.”

“I do.  I promise, I will help you.”

“Very well.”

My back was thrashed– not too long  after my son was born, I found out that some of the discs in my spine were wearing out, and one was being crushed like a pancake, pinching the nerve (sciatic) in my right leg.  In the first week of October in 2009, I had a fusion surgery, but the nerve damage was done.

I found myself comparing notes with my father on pain.

JOR-EL: The Kryptonian prophecy will be at last fulfilled. The son becomes the father – the father becomes the son.

My father later apologized to Cimmorene, and to me, for his mistreatment of me in the past.  He got it.  Things would never be the same again.

HeroesjourneyAtonement


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To write love on her arms

Two years ago, I learned that my daughter turned to cutting to deal with the crushing stress in her life.

She turned to it again two nights ago when Cimmorene lost it with Boy when he would not go to bed for several hours.  Cimmy let me know, because she knew I wouldn’t be angry– how could I?  I dealt with it myself.

I cut myself years ago when I was in a stressful romantic relationship that ended with false accusations of rape.  Cimmy wasn’t around then, but she was when I started cutting again, as the university we were attending was soaked in scandal, and the music department especially was mired in dirty politics between professors.  When she miscarried before our son was born… more cuts.

So all I could do was listen to my daughter, and tell her more about my struggles with this issue.

I want her to continuing taking pencils, pens, and such to paper– not a knife to her arms.


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…the father becomes the son.

JOR-EL: Once, when you were small, I died, while giving you a chance for life.

It was a shock when I saw him.  He was wandering around aimlessly, obviously not in his body.  He was NOT supposed to be here.

“What are you doing here?  You need to go back, and be my father, just as we planned!”

“I’m tired.  I hurt.  I don’t want to go back to a broken body.”

“But you need to go back!  We agreed!”

My father first got really sick in 1992, when I was hundreds of miles away going to college in Rexburg, Idaho.  When I crashed out of school and took the rebound to community college, I came home one day to see him carried out on a stretcher into an ambulance.

Almost two decades passed and he got really, really sick again.  As in deathly ill.  He could barely move and he grew a beard because he didn’t feel well enough to even shave.  “Not now,” I thought.  “I still need you.”  But I talked with my youngest sister about it, and we made peace with it; we were ready to bury him if that was really to be.

I sent him pictures of me and my son to try to cheer him up.  He was in really bad shape.

A Boy and His Dad

It was obvious that I was not going to persuade him by plans of the future.  I would have to appeal to his here and now.

“What about your family now?  Won’t they miss you?”

That seemed to be more persuasive.  He softened a bit and looked more ready to turn back.

Dad found a specialist in Walla Walla that seemed to know what was going on, finally, and he recovered.

JOR-EL: And now, even though it will exhaust the final energy left within me…

CLARK
(turns frightened)
Father, no!

JOR-EL
Look at me, Kal-El!

“Wait, before you go.  I have to do something.  I… I will carry a part of that pain for you.”

“You don’t have to do this.”

“Yes… yes, I do.”

“No, you don’t.”

“I do.  I promise, I will help you.”

“Very well.”

My back was thrashed– not too long  after my son was born, I found out that some of the discs in my spine were wearing out, and one was being crushed like a pancake, pinching the nerve (sciatic) in my right leg.  In the first week of October in 2009, I had a fusion surgery, but the nerve damage was done.

I found myself comparing notes with my father on pain.

JOR-EL: The Kryptonian prophecy will be at last fulfilled. The son becomes the father – the father becomes the son.

My father later apologized to Cimmorene, and to me, for his mistreatment of me in the past.  He got it.  Things would never be the same again.

HeroesjourneyAtonementNEXT POST IN THE SERIES: A Blogger’s Journey: Seizing the Sword/Grasping the Hammer


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The son becomes the father…

I would have put “10-year blogging journey” in the title, but that was starting to become clunky, and so I omitted it.  But just for your reference, dear readers, I’m picking up where I left off from New Life and the VOX years.

“One must have a faith that the father is merciful, and then a reliance on that mercy.” — Joseph Campbell

I had very mixed feelings about having a boy in my family.  Memories of being bullied by boys was too fresh in my mind.  Middle-school classmates called me “faggot” and “queer”, and chastised me for discovering I was into hardcore porn.  I was deathly afraid for years that the homoerotic aspects of my otherwise heterosexual fantasies would be discovered.  It took me a lot just to admit this to Cimmorene, much less to anyone else.  I also repressed a lot of memories of my father beating me as a child– it wouldn’t be too much longer until I remembered.

Masculinity was in turns fascinating and repulsive to me.  How could I be a good father to a boy with that conflict churning inside of me?

I had already come a long way in understanding the buried rage at my mother, for all those years she chipped away at my self-esteem, then strangely turning to me as some sort of surrogate husband.  But I was only just beginning to understand the anger I had towards my father– not even so much for beating me (that did terrify me)– but for not protecting me from my mother and grandmother.

“The problem of the hero going to meet the father is to open his soul beyond terror to such a degree that he will be ripe to understand how the sickening and insane tragedies of this vast and ruthless cosmos are completely validated in the majesty of Being.”

How do I describe this?  It was one thing for me when my daughter learned to say “dada” and then “Daddy”, but yet another when my son spoke those words.  I knew I was a father to a boy!  But how to reconcile mixed memories of my father?  There were good ones as well as bad ones.  As my son grew, it slowly became apparent to me.  My son demanded my physical touch.  It didn’t matter too much then whether I was paying full attention to him or not, as long as I put my hand on his head, shoulder… he was satisfied.

It awakened something deep inside of me.  Something that had been missing, for a long time.

Some time later, I remember my father telling me how much I had matured over the last five years. When I told a friend of mine about it, she didn’t miss a beat. She said, “That’s because that was when your son was born.” Indeed, it had been five years since he was born.

HeroesjourneyAtonementSee also A Hero’s (Inner) Journey: Atonement with the Son

Next post in the series: …the father becomes the son.


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A 10-year blogging journey: New Life and the VOX years

So next was a post about fleeing the terrible fourplex.  I’ll just link to it, since I don’t feel like summarizing it much.  Then there was a post about crime at the apartment complex (the new place).

After the miscarriage, my next big LiveJournal post was Bun in the oven.  This was nine weeks in, yet I knew it was going to happen.  Right at the moment of conception, even– with me grunting “have my child” at… well, you get the idea, right?  It was like the stars aligned and I knew it had to happen, right then.

October 28, 2006 I left the Camarilla.  Toxic people, toxic effects, but sadly it happened because I realized I’d alienate my sister if I stayed.

by distemper at DeviantArt-- presented by claim of fair use

This was as close as I could get to a parody some LJ’er in the Camarilla made of the old TNT network logo (it said “CAM” instead of “GOTH”). So true, it hurts.

Then we got confirmation the little wombmate was a boy.  We knew this already, as I said– our kids made themselves known.

Twenty days before he was delivered cesarean, I started blogging on VOX.  We were nervous up until the delivery day:

Well, not much of anything of import to say, save that my wife’s recent pregnancy has been a rollercoaster lately.  Last Saturday night and Sunday morning, we had a false alarm– 11 hours in the hospital during nighttime hours, only to find it was likely a UTI that triggered contractions. (March 14, 2007)

It’s down to the last week or two now, but babies do come when they want to. (March 20, 2007)

I felt a mixture of emotions when he finally came out.  He was so quiet, even when I was helping one of the nurses clean off the white stuff off him.  (By constrast, his older sister wailed.)  I was so impressed.  But later, I wondered why I didn’t feel as much excitement with him as I did his sister.  I thought, “If they took him back, that would be okay.”  What was wrong with me?

The Hero's Journey: Ordeal, Death, Rebirth

The Hero’s Journey: Ordeal, Death, Rebirth

Next post in the series: The son becomes the father…


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From the archive: Santa’s been here!

As I was sifting through the LiveJournal archives, I found this post from December 25, 2005.  There will be more photos in four days from now, so I decided to share it today.

Since there is no way to import posts to WordPress (that I know of), I’ve simply grabbed the HTML from the post and copied it here.  Merry Christmas to all my dear readers.

The goodies… look like some have been eaten!

Oh, that’s why.
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Santa’s card:
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Stuffing the stockings:
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Image Hosted by ImageShack.us (Cimmorene was a very good gamer girl)

Tree with pressies:
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Santa himself (wow, he hasn’t looked this young since “The Story of Santa Claus“– you know, that animation special based on Frank L. Baum‘s novel? C’mon people, same folks and same style as with “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer”.
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A 10-year Blogging Journey: Death, before Life

In my LiveJournal blogging, I never mentioned my “Sifu-of-Sorts”, whom I met online through the Camarilla.  I call him “Sifu-of-Sorts” because he balked to be called a sifu or a sensei, but, he was my Meeting of the Mentor (stage four of the Hero’s Journey, per se Vogler) regardless, and that was the name, “Sifu-of-Sorts”, that he reluctantly approved.

Research Association of Laozi Taoist Culture

In the Mage venue, I was playing a member of The Akashic Brotherhood (which refers to the akashic record in Eastern reckoning).  I had some interest in Eastern paths, so my Sifu-of-Sorts recommended that I read the Bhagavad Gita and the Tao Te Ching.

I did not get too deep into the Gita, but I read the Tao Te Ching like a man dying of thirst.

Jan. 7th, 2005 — “Still grieving”:

You know, oddly enough, Julie is dealing with the loss pretty well. I haven’t been handling it so well though.

Many tears were shed; I had really wanted this after all. They say it’s good therapy to try again but a part of me is reluctant. The doctor said after four weeks was okay.

I try to keep remembering that the child will come when the time is right; we do have a feeling this next one is very patient. But I still feel so much.

We knew that we would have another child after our daughter.  Both of them made their presence known a long time before they were born, somehow: there was excitement, anticipation, near impatience with our daughter, and more patience and gentle love with our son.

Perhaps Boy needed that patience, because he didn’t come right away.

We waited a while.  I wasn’t sure we were ready– we were in that crummy fourplex and things were difficult.  I remember my father coming to visit to help Cimmorene break the news to me that she was pregnant.  “She really needs your support,” he said.

But it wasn’t to be, yet.  My memory is hazy, but I remember Cimmy saying something was wrong, that she was bleeding for some reason.  She rushed to the toilet, and miscarried– and I saw the process in all its ugly, gory horror, blood and all.

This was The Ordeal.  I was devastated.

I blamed myself.  I thought that because I wasn’t supportive enough, that I hadn’t wanted the pregnancy at the time, that I was to blame for her miscarrying.  I cut myself, many times, scoring the inside of my forearm with a razor blade.  I wept.  I brooded and stewed as I often do.

I e-mailed my Sifu-of-Sorts about it.  He was so sanguine, as he often is.  He explained that miscarrying was the body’s natural way of dealing with a faulty pregnancy.  I already knew that was true, but I had an emotional dissonance, as I often do.  I may know something logically, but emotionally– it’s often a different story.

But Boy did come, two years and a few months later.  That, of course, is the subject for a future post.

The Hero's Journey: Ordeal, Death, Rebirth

The Hero’s Journey: Ordeal, Death, Rebirth

Next post in the series: A 10-year blogging journey: Woman as Temptress


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12 Steps Deeper Into The Special World: Approaching the Abyss

The seventh Outer stage is Approach and the seventh Inner stage is Preparing for major change.  Vogler writes, “The hero and newfound allies prepare for the major challenge in the Special world.”  I wrote more 12 Step posts into the first half of 2005, but they started to drop off after the Ordeal came.

And that, dear readers, is the subject of the next post.