Thursday, October 2, 2008

Men Created Equal

When first seeing the list of who planned to attend our weekend retreat, I Emailed back a joke about “…mixing with the Big Guns.”

Since my initiation weekend a year ago, I have witnessed daily correspondences between members on a listserv. In most any new group, like stepping into freezing water, there is a hesitation to immerse oneself fully, particularly hard for me not being a “joiner”.

So easy to imagine others knowing more, fearful of appearing foolish, unconfident amongst such confidence, I still dared to share some short stories and blog entries relevant to men’s issues that were flowing through me. On that forum, trusting the promise that it goes no further than between these men, I even shared the other half, the ugly half, of the reasons for my impending divorce.

Several men I had not met supported me well, and I now looked forward to matching faces to their generous words. Others had familiar faces, being on staff at my training, which I could connect to names, and I looked forward to sharing with them the accelerating events that have so changed my life since that weekend. Largely, I expected to observe quietly, converse modestly, and, in my own corner, reaffirm some of the lessons gained a year ago.

To my surprise, I discovered the power and confidence in each of them burned no less within me. An air of complete equality lay between us all where bank accounts, resumes, and educational credits were completely irrelevant.

In fact, I was astounded to be greeted immediately by my corresponding friends, and complimented enthusiastically by a reader of my Artisan Workshop blog. Introducing myself to others whose names I recognized, it was gratifying when my name sparked similar recognition.

One of the facilitators at my training had just received national recognition and would lead a session in the morning. I wanted especially to connect briefly with him for a little better understanding of my process, if he could spare the time. Instead, I learned—when the Universe delivered my mentor to the bunk below me in a cabin of six—there is no more equalizing lesson than trying to avoid stepping on someone’s head in the darkness of night.

Actually, it made no real difference if these men liked me or not. I liked me. The power came all from within, not from their approval, judgments, or beneficence. There, I was a writer and musician, face-to-face with compassionate brothers, with no stigma of a failed business or marriage. Some men had read this story, and by the end, they all heard me sing it out fully.

A man with an open heart, the power came from deep within, and stayed with me upon my return to my tasks of turning my old home over to new owners and dealing with an economy that bodes badly for carpenters. The timing was perfect to feel strength, and then be so tested here, faltering only slightly as I watched the last remnants of my marriage dumped into the machine to be swallowed and crushed.

Then, wiping away a tear, I moved on.

Please share with your friends

1 comment:

Laurie said...

Your marriage has been swallowed and crushed but you haven't. You remain. You have not been consumed in the crushing machine along with your marriage. You are strong. You are competent. You are worthy. Experience your grief and then let it drift away. Look ahead to a new sunrise full of hope and promise. Play the movie of your life forward a couple of years. What do you want to see? Now start walking that direction.