Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Kipster the Trickster

The loss of my truck has cracked a solid blow to my optimism and good cheer. So deeply weary of the struggle to thrive, I ache to awake, and wander through my day wondering how and in which direction do I take another step.

Firstly, I blame myself for this newest failure, expensive and inconvenient. Changes of oil are the minimum requirement of maintenance which I—in my constant state of hurry and paucity—have neglected. Foolish enough to put off and put off, the engine seizure is the reward.

This is the perfect example of the natural consequence of living in the belief of scarcity. If I live as if there is not enough money or time to take care of such basics, I create a world of problems that need to be fixed. As if this is not big enough, I take this opportunity to confront the very core of my being, the constant, prolonged struggle to reach a place of financial comfort in my life. The broken rods in the engine are like the bonds holding me to the habits that have driven my life. Something has snapped, and I am broken down on the side of the road.

Last night, in my group of men, we set up two chairs to ponder two voices that resonate within me. In the one, sat the healthy Kip who recognizes that Life is not working and wants to make changes. The other chair represented Kipster the Trickster who plots and schemes and wallops his skis through mogul fields of trouble so forcefully, he invites whoops and hollers of appreciation, but is still well back from the medal stand at the end of the day.

This little devil slouches comfortably, arms crossed, the cool cat, joking and jibing, a gleam in his eye, and the best intentions in all the world to juggle the many needs of himself and others to a glorious conclusion. He means no harm, but is really like a little boy, excited by what lies before us.

“Oooh, look at this glitter, look at that shine! You know you could really do this, or even better, really do that. If you just squeeze a little here, tuck a little there…”

All day long, throughout my entire life, this little trickster has whispered tempting distractions in my ear: easy shortcuts, big plans for glorious results, and convincing arguments to think if one such task is easily accomplished, why not three? Shirking on the details to actually complete any motion, he steers the eyes ahead to the infinite possibilities that lie just beyond our sight.

My trusty brothers forced me to run an exercise where first I spoke as the trickster, ogling and inveigling. Then I sat and spoke as the healthy Kip, the man who was tired of working so hard through so many obstacles, mistakes and misfortunes, always jumping right back to the task with a smile and encouraging cheers of bravado.

It is time to stand up to him, to put the trickster in his place, to say “no, let’s do it sensibly.” Not to diminish the spirit, or belittle the efforts, the time has come to tame the rebellious, rambunctious trickster, to invite him to rest and observe how moving with the flow of others, harnessing the mind which currently leaps six steps ahead, could better simplify and create a world of calm cooperation and successful endeavors.

Sometimes the wheel does not have to be reinvented, but can spin productively just the way it is.

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4 comments:

laughngrl said...

Maybe your best entry yet, Kip. Painfully honest. It sounds as if your men's group knows you well. Don't forget, like that truck broken down on the side of the road, your engine can be rebuilt, but it won't be easy.

Laurie said...

You ponder a really fine line Kip. There is safety in the sensible part of you but your passions and creativity, I would bet, is housed in that prankster part of you. It is difficult to tame him but not to crush his spirit because after all, his spirit is you spirit. You are right in that there needs to be a balance, a rhythm between the two for to live totally in one creates either a life of chaos or a life of boredom. I know you can find the point of balance in you (praise and encouragement for you) but don't kill your inner child. He is the one who would pull down his pants and slide on the ice!

Hayden Tompkins said...

I wonder if maybe you sabotage yourself because you believe you should be punished for something, or that you are unworthy. Or maybe that you need to be forgiven, so you keep creating situations where you have to ask for it? I don't know why I get that so strongly from your posts, but I do.

Laurie said...

@ Hayden- interesting idea. Worthy of a look Kip. My hub does it all the time.

"What you look for you will find" Rob Bell

What are you looking for? You are welcome to pose these same questions to me. URGH!