“You may want to hang this on a hook in the back of your head”. My Grandfather no longer walks the earth, but whenever I hear myself use one of his frequent expressions, he’s right there.
Hooks in the back of my head? The literal imagery is as disturbing as it is ludicrous. But from an early age, I understood it was my elder’s way of cuing me worthy wisdom was about to arrive…wisdom worth hanging on a hook.
Hooks have purpose at the core of their design.
We use them because the purposes they serve are ours.
My son’s birthday was this past week. There are very few vestiges of my first life that remain. The irony of shunning is I was dead to my mom and dad long before they died. He is one of the very few hooks left that bridge my old life and the new one I began forging more than 25-years ago.
After being separated for years, then joyfully reunited, it was a tragedy to see how quickly others made it their life’s work to interfere with what was beginning to happen between my son and I.
Since I loved him and he said the same to be true for him, I owed it to us both to be clear and unambiguous that afternoon. Our last meeting was five years ago. It was not a birthday party. Bluntly put, I told him it was time to buck up and make up his own mind about lots of things. If he did that, I would respect his decisions whatever they might mean for him and I. If he did not? He was cheating if he rode in limbo on someone elses vision of who he was and what he stood for. If he wanted to trade that cheaply, I would know it…and so would he.
So this past Wednesday, as I have done for every birthday since we were initially reunited, I sent him an email sentence or two commemorating the day. As has come to be the case in the past few years, no response.
Hooks can tear.
Early colonists were good with hooks. Materials were scare and life was hard. Having a place for everything and everything in its’ place made sense. Hooks made the sentiment as practical as it was actual.
I get the importance of hooks.
One of the vivid memories I have of Kindergarten was having my own hook to hang my things. My name was handwritten on a card held in a little metal frame. My shoes went on the shelf below my hook. I belonged. Others could see when I wasn’t there. My hook mattered. It didn’t just hold my coat, it held my place in the group. Hooks can hold a lot.
When I was in my teens, my future looked as big as the world. There was so much I had planned. I had a hook for all of it. And if I didn’t have enough hooks in my head, I added them.
As life has unfolded, there is very little that looks like I thought it would. Many of those early hooks held things with so little relevance to what’s important in my life now. And my life now? It is so much richer and brighter than I could have ever imagined it would ever be. But I’ve had to make room. I’ve simplified. I’ve emptied some hooks and taken others down altogether. And yet, there are other hooks keeping me bound to how I used to be that still vex. Deciding which hooks to keep and determining the value of what is hanging from them is a much a part of becoming a knowing Soul as leaves knowing to turn colors in the Fall. I respect the process.
All of which brings me to today.
My life is full. Tending to my relationship, my work and the blogging experiment occupies my every waking moment. I’ve decided to challenge myself in ways that are going to take up every moment.
What’s on the hook in the back of my head?
I hope you’ll understand when I say I’ve got to leave in order to arrive at a new place. I will be back in November. In the meantime, take advantage of my absence…there’s plenty to read around here. You are my honored guest so pull up a chair and enjoy what you find on my shelves. Such as I have, it’s yours. See you when I get back.
PHOTO CREDITS and ATTRIBUTIONS:
Banner Coastal Redwood Forest by Eric E Photography is used with permission.
img75o: http://ab.pkimgs.com/pkimgs/ab/images/dp/wcm/201221/0003/img75o.jpg; father-hug-son-2: http://thebeausejourpulpit.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/father-hug-son-2.jpg; simplynaturaldecordotblogspot_1: www.simplynaturaldecor.blogspot.com; today: http://thedoctorscloset.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/today.jpg; be-back-soon: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-gaLmLH-yYys/UQb1ob16FOI/AAAAAAAAh60/xvVmqOCsRBM/s1600/be-back-soon.jpg
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