the tao of jaklumen

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


Leave a comment

Update on Hero Introduction (A Pride of Heroes)

For the original post, please see BeWoW: Hero Introduction (A Pride of Heroes).

I sent Matt Langdon this message:

Thanks, Matt!

I’ve been admiring the work of The Hero Construction Company for a while.  After I decided to start blogging about the Hero’s Journey, I wondered if others were writing about it, and I came to the collection of blogs that include the Hero’s Handbook.

I hope you don’t mind that I included this message in a blog post: https://jaklumen.wordpress.com/2015/03/11/bewow-hero-introduction/ while referencing “A Pride of Heroes”.  I really do want more people to know what you do.  So many others I’ve talked to think the Monomyth is just about writing stories, and haven’t considered its real-life applications.

Due to indigent circumstances, I’m not sure I can scrape enough money to attend the Hero Round Table Conference anytime really soon.  But I’ll do my best to participate as much as I can until circumstances change and/or a conference comes closer to the Pacific Northwest.

and Matt had this to say by way of reply last Tuesday:

Thanks a lot for the blog posts. No idea how I didn’t see your original posts, but the internet is a funny place. Thanks also for the compliments. It means a lot.

Keep an eye on the Hero Round Table. If you can make it there, I can comp you a ticket. It’s a really energizing time. You’d meet some kindred spirits.
Wow!  How about that?  I’m still not sure how I’d make it to Brighton, Michigan.  The last (well, only time, really) I was in Michigan, was when Cimmorene and I were still university students, and we stayed with friends in Ann Arbor.  The plane ticket alone wasn’t terribly cheap, and I have no idea how I’d gather the funds now.  Just by comparison, the Trauma Recovery U/#NoMoreShame Project retreat is in Portland, Oregon at the end of June– much closer to us, and I’m not sure if we have the funds to go to that.
We’ll see.


4 Comments

BeWoW: Hero Introduction (A Pride of Heroes)

What is BeWoW?

BeWoW stands for Be Wonderful on Wednesdays, a blog hop/blog prompt started by Ronovan at RonovanWrites.  The idea is to share a blog post that meets the definition of encouraging, positive, or wonderful.

For more information, click on this link: Be A #BeWoW Blogger

For Ronovan’s entry this week, click this link: Being Positive Support for Others.

Okay.  What Wonderful Thing do you have to share, jak?

I got this message very early this morning:

Hey Jonathan,

Nice to see your comment on the Hero Handbook. Thanks for stopping by. If you’re interested in talking to more hero people, I would suggest checking out the conference we’re running in Michigan (for the third year). The Hero Round Table basically came into being because I wanted people like you in the same room as each other. It’s been a cool experience thus far.
Blogging for more than ten years is pretty damn impressive. Well done.
Matt
The Hero Construction Company
810 689 HERO
theherocc.com

 
Join Us at the Hero Round Table Conference:
The comment that Matt is talking about is on his post A Pride of Heroes.
Here’s an excerpt from that post, to give you an idea:

A while ago I asked the Hero Construction Company Facebook page what a group of heroes could be called. Some offerings were host, league, and army. Then came pride. It won me over instantly.

I like it because it highlights that heroes should be proud. Heroes are always humble, but there’s no reason they shouldn’t be proud. I like the lion connotation too, as it seems lions of different shapes and sizes all fit equally well into the pride.

He offered anyone who was reading an invitation to this collaboration he calls The Pride, and all readers had to do was comment with their first name, initial of their last name, and their general location.  So I left a comment, and that led to the rest of the story.

Let’s wrap it up.

I’ve followed the Hero’s Handbook for a while, along with some other blogs done by fine folks at the Hero Construction Company and the Janus Center.  I wrote about them previously (here and here).  I was so impressed not just that they were teaching schoolkids about the Hero’s Journey, but that they were teaching them how to integrate it into their own lives.

As seen at Ronovan Writes- https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com All image rights reserved to Ronovan and his son.

As seen at Ronovan Writes- https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com
All image rights reserved to Ronovan and his son.

heroesjourneynew


Leave a comment

The Lies Our Abuse Tells Us | Childhood Sexual Abuse Recovery

A good online friend and helper of mine, Bobbi Parish, wrote an article recently.  Here’s an excerpt, with a link to the article:

The four lies are:
— We should be ashamed of our abuse, which manifests as Shame
— Our abuse was our fault, which manifests as Self-Blame
— We are bad because we caused our abuse and deserved our abuse which manifests as Low Self-Worth or even Self-Loathing
— We are powerless to change anything in our lives, which manifests as Powerlessness

The shame, self-blame and low self-worth reside at the very core of our being, defining the way we see ourselves and the world. That triad of lies is protected by the fourth lie: that we are powerless. The powerlessness tells us we cannot change the feelings of shame, self-blame and low self-worth that we feel. In essence, our feeling of powerlessness guards that core triad of lies. For this reason, I call those four lies The Lying Triad and Its Dark Guard.

The Lies Our Abuse Tells Us | Childhood Sexual Abuse Recovery.

Please take a moment to take this article in, dear readers.  I was just tweeting with Bobbi a moment ago– she was telling me the “The Lying Triad and Its Dark Guard” came to her in the middle of the night as I was saying it sounded like an enemy of an epic saga.

I felt inspired.  So many people know The Hero’s Journey as a template for a story, but I see it as a reflection of real life.  Our legends, myths, folkloric stories– are reflections of our values, dreams, outlook, for the societies we live in.  I took some time to explain that in a series of posts on “The Inner Journey”.

In essence, this will be “The Journey out of Childhood Abuse” and “From Zero to Hero”.  (Remember that WordPress blogging challenge, dear readers?  You see now why the theme resonated with me?”

Stay Tuned


14 Comments

Compassion for the Sensitive

This was the name of the title of a post on the forums of The Icarus Project.

(TRIGGER/SENSIBILITIES WARNING: If you’ve got a problem with salty, crass language, you might want to stop reading right here.  Several four-letter bombs are to follow, a few sections down.)

It’s difficult for me to sum up what it was about, although I can recall some details quite clearly.  The content was raw, and the statement wasn’t terribly lucid.  No surprise, really, given the purpose of the site is to look at mental illness in a radical way– to look at it as a gift to creativity, insight, and alternative perspectives.

What I can say is that it was clear to me that the author wanted respite.  She described a therapy/counseling session, in which she described her frustration with being sensitive, so easily upset by seemingly small things in the world, expressing sorrow for the tiniest expressions of suffering.  Although I found her story a bit rambling and incoherent, I found succinct, articulate eloquence in the title.

Are we compassionate to the sensitive souls in our life?

Navigating social media hasn’t been easy for me.  If you’ve followed my 10 Year Blogging Journey, dear readers, I hope that’s been clear.  I hope you’ll forgive me a moment to be selfish and speak sharply against those who have been so unkind.As I said, I started blogging to face the darkness of my childhood abuse.  I started when blogging was relatively new, and people still looked at it as presenting a diary to the world.  I was drawn into LiveJournal by a live-action roleplaying group– a toxic lot, I found.  When they weren’t pretending to be scheming, backstabbing, warring vampires, mages, werewolves, fairies and other fantastical supernatural creatures, they busied themselves with drama whoring, pettiness, gossip, and gutter sniping in real life.  Much of the rest of the community seemed to be that way, too.  What remains popular there now is the “Oh No, They Didn’t” subcommunity– which I would sum up as the TMZ of blogging.

“Damn it, Val, you really are a sick fuck!  … Good thing I like sick fucks.”

When I looked to the old VOX blogging platform as a possibly more mature alternative to LiveJournal, things didn’t get too much better.  Does the notion of controlled, private content bring out the worst in people?  (The site took the idea of controlling which readers could see which content, although a little less customizable.  Most blogging sites now hide posts individually by password, instead of filters.)

Jack Yan at Wellington's Software Freedom Day ...

Jack Yan at Wellington’s Software Freedom Day 2010 event (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I met some folks I still have the pleasure of interacting with, such as Jack Yan.  A lot of the people I initially connected with are gone, however.

I still miss Valerie Rae (valerae) in particular.  The quote above in this section is easily how I’d sum up my impressions of her.  She was into shock humor and geek culture, and while her aggressive, mischevious style sometimes wore thin with me, I’d still have a smirk or a shit-eating grin on my face.  A certain core of the community, however, decided to ostracize her, as she decided to have an extramarital affair, and her would-be paramour decided to air all the dirty laundry about it.

I apologize if that offends some of my ex-Vox readers, but, seriously, now.  Did any of you catch wind of the whole #Gamergate debacle?  It’s okay if you didn’t; I think it relates, though.  I’ll sum it up like this: People that talk smack about folks in their personal lives should recognize it for the smelly, steaming shit that it is, and shut off the damned diarrhea from their mouth already.  Both “The Great Shunning of Val” and #Gamergate involved people spewing their personal shit for all the world to see (like someone they just fucked is now apparently a skanky slut), and it just resulted in more stinky shit.

I don’t pretend to give myself a free pass or an exception here.  I was really sad to see that continue on WordPress.  What was the scandal?  Rachel Mallino decided to call out Eric “Le Clown” Robillard on sexually predatory behavior.

The backlash against her, as a result, I think was very unjustly deserved.  Sure, I’m biased, I guess.  For the first time in my life, I met someone who understood and had lived– no, survived— maternal abuse, albeit with a complex case of PTSD (cPTSD).  I’d say the tales of her mother’s narcissistic abuse are much more horrifying than my own, even if my own mother is too quick to gossip about her co-worker’s vagina falling out.

Western society is not kind to those who wear their emotions on their sleeve.

It was a really awkward journey, getting to the point where I was ready to write The Analogy of the Splinter.  Metaphorically, I was bleeding, urinating, and defecating in pain across the blogging community I knew, spilling out ugly details of my pain and suffering.  To be fair, I guess that’s against the social mores and folkways of blogging: you’re supposed to air your stench on your own space, not in the comments section of someone else’s.  But instead of receiving some tender care and merciful attention, I got people recoiling in disgust and revulsion.

Hmmm.

It’s called “read between the lines”. Credit: save-send-delete.blogspot.com

Oh, wait.  Maybe I wasn’t clear.

When “hold your horses” just won’t do. As seen at danceswithfat.wordpress.com

I loved this Depeche Mode tune back in the day (actually, I still do), because it encapsulates my outlook on how I interact with the Internet and the world around me:

What you see, is what you get.

Hey, I’ve got no problems making fun of myself.  I mean, speaking of feces, grand kudos to those of you dear readers that got through The ER doc told me I was full of shit.  Especially those that commented to great comedic effect; clearly, you fine folks realize that shit happens. Or rather, that sometimes it doesn’t, and you’ve got to take some drastic steps to get it to happen (no, seriously, this is how it went down, folks):

Why yes, my bowels are cramped up and hating me all over again– thanks for asking! Image credit: memeshare.net

Coming back full circle to The Icarus Project, I remember crudely parodying Rienhold Niebuhr’s The Serenity Prayer on those forums:

God grant me the serenity to accept the shit that happens,
The courage to clean up the shit I did shit,
And the wisdom to know not to mess with someone else’s shit.

I don’t always practice well what I preach, but I do strive to be consistent.

There are some people in my life, mostly close friends and family, that would be shocked by my liberal use of profanity, such as “fuck this shit”It’s a bit hypocritical, because when I discussed such things with my daughter, I listed several of the common 4-letter bombs and admonished her not to use them in polite company, and to use them precisely for what they meant.  Generally speaking, I don’t believe in silly Old English-Latin dichotomies where saying “fornicate” or “feces” is acceptable, but “fuck” or “shit” isn’t.  But then I use those “vulgar” words broadly, as in, I’m not really going to stick my gentalia in a pile of manure, or literally penetrate something with my penis, and that stuff isn’t literally splattered with excrement.

For the record, she loves humor that is just littered with coarse words, but since her brother with autism is too prone to parroting a lot of things, well, there was this dialogue…

(audio from some random YouTube channel)

“Motherfucker…”

(me in the background)

“What?  The only person I want to hear saying ‘fuck’ around here is me, damn it!”

What’s all this?  This is the 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion, that’s what.

Oh yes, this raw, crass post has a purpose.  It’s in response to the massive event Yvonne Spence and Lizzi “the Considerer” Rogers put together.  Please see their posts 1000 Voices Speak For Compassion and We ALL need The Village for context.  Or see this lovely video that the awesome Tamara Woods put together:

Again, apologies if my four-letter bombs were offensive, yet, I tell you, dear readers– that’s life.  Life is messy.  Life is ugly.  Life is raw, and brutal.  If you got past my salt and spew, I salute you.  I almost didn’t write anything for this, because I was still smoldering with rage, festering and boiling in pain.

Please, have some compassion for those who are suffering, even if they are thrashing about in an awkward, unseemly, even vile and disgusting way.  It’s more than worrying about someone in a land far away, or fretting over the depressing headlines the mass media uses to sell news.  Not that such isn’t important, or such empathy for those you don’t personally know is invalid.  I ask you, dear readers, to notice and care those that are right beside you, or those you might not consider as worthy of compassion.  Someone like me.

This quote has been kicking around Twitter lately, and I think it’s appropriate:

as seen at hannekeantonelli.com — Please visit wendymass.com for more info about the author quoted here

Dare I say it, dear readers, we’re all quite possibly clueless– completely clueless.

Click through for image source/credit. Seriously, I find some of the best images right from WordPress bloggers, and for that, know that I am forever grateful.

becuo.com – Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself Shirt Images & Pictures

To close, consider a more recent offering from Martin L. Gore and his Depeche Mode bandmates:


2 Comments

TMFI, Mom

I work very hard not to badmouth or backbite.  Sometimes, though, I feel I have to share the “holy schmoly, did this person REALLY just say that?”  Now, because I’m assuming you haven’t dug through my blog archives (because the last time that happened to me, I got me a pervy female stalker)– I will tell you that usually, the person I name is Crazy Aunt.  Crazy Aunt who I haven’t actually spoken to in years, but, y’know, because she’s married to Dad’s older brother, more often than not, I hear some whack quote she said from him.

Oh, but no.  Not this time.

Cimmy was in a funk so I took her to lunch, picking up some images of my spine along the way.  (The why for those images is a story for another time.)  We decided to stop by my folks’ house to grab some frozen/canned goods– some of which we had helped to preserve.  We couldn’t linger very long, because our kids were getting home from school.  In fact, we had to call our daughter and ask her to watch for her brother’s school bus.  (He’s on the SpEd bus route, and the driver will take him back to school if someone doesn’t show her that they are home for him.)

My mother proceeded, on our way out the door, to tell us a bizarre tale about the co-worker who apparently will take her place once Mom retires from Social Security in May.  She warned us with a “normally I wouldn’t tell you this, but since you don’t know this person, I’m going to tell you anyways…” and although she was talking to Cimmorene (or at least Cimmy thought she was talking to just her), I said, “okay, TMI warning, go ahead,” well, we were not ready for what came next.

Apparently, co-worker’s vagina and bladder (anus? I forget) were falling out, and she needed a bladder sling put in AND a hysterectomy done at the same time…

Oh dear God.  WAY TOO MUCH FUCKING INFORMATION.

But since Cimmy and I are sick fucks, we pondered it out loud on the car ride home, far from her ears.  (Ironically, see, she’d complain that WE were sick.)  Cimmy said it was like she pulled out a frozen herring and slapped us with it.  I said, ‘no, I think it’s more like she pulled a frozen herring out of her vagina and slapped us with it.’  Cimmy pointed out that then it wouldn’t be so frozen anymore.  (I’m not so sure of that, but, y’know…)  We then proceeded to discuss the eww of mixed slime and the smell of real fish with… hot tuna.

Yes, dear readers, the only way to recover from someone telling us something disgusting is to make it even MORE disgusting.

Shout-outs to Aussa Lorens.  Seriously, she asked recently if we would be brave enough to talk smack about our crazy workplaces as she has (ironically, hers is a psych ward!)… well, we aren’t employed in the public workforce, but, this is what we’ve got.

I’m not too big on blog prompt questions, still, it seems.  If you’ve got a story where you saw or heard something you can’t bleach your brain enough from, please let me know in the comments.  Please tell me before I trot out the story about Hannah at LiveJournal making a post about a Valentine’s card with fanfic about Snape buggering Harry Potter, and that she thought it was funny as hell.  Oh wait, I just did.  Seriously… please share, dear readers.  Surely some of you have freakish family members who can’t seem to control what comes out of their mouths.  (Bitter bonus points if it was a family member that abused you… yes, dark sardonic humor…)


1 Comment

…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


7 Comments

jak’s turn to post some artwork

In my effort to encourage Princess and Cimmorene to further develop their graphic arts skills, I dug up some images of my own from an old physical archive.  I’m not sure of the dates but I’m pretty sure they’re from the early ’90s.  As they are presented here, they’re scans of freehand sketches, with a little bit of digital editing.  I’m not finished with them yet– they’ll need more digital cleanup and coloring.  In case you were wondering, the second image was originally drawn on college-rule lined paper, and I haven’t eliminated all those lines yet.

The final results will be posted to jak & Cimmy’s Journal Jar.

(Note to stephrogers: rainbows!)

Enhanced by Zemanta