Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Navigating the Sea of Separation

I feel like I am on a sailing ship, let’s call it Endurance. The figure head is an energetic, long-haired beauty, looking remarkably like my ex. I am navigating the sea of Separation. Today has been an awful day at sea. As the wind wails and whines in the rigging, I listen for a quiet, internal voice to explain to me the wonder in the world.

The weather outside reflects my inner state. I am fulminating – or is that female-hating. I cannot comprehend how one person who claimed to love another can go on to do everything in her power to demonstrate behavior that she would only reserve for one who had truly wronged her.

Together, she and I created the greatest gift that nature can allow two people to create – a human being, flesh and feeling, mind and behavior, spirit and soul. Our child, our son.

Her revisionist history now writes me as her rapist rather her lover. With the wrong now written, she wreaks a revengeful rage, as if I am one who threatens life rather than the one with whom she created a life. The creator/destroyer in one person is a profound mystery; I struggle to fathom the depth of this conundrum at times.

I muster all the masculinity I can to rise above this feminine rage. Woman, like Mother Nature, can do awesome things. However, Nature’s rage, only hinted at by a wind-whipped ocean, a Himalayan storm, a spewing volcano, is distinct from that of woman. Nature’s rage lacks intention. Woman’s rage is full of intention.

However, I wonder if this woman truly grasps her own intentions. She later excuses her behaviours as due to her being beside herself with rage. The behavior is aptly named out-rageous. I am truly perplexed when a woman tells me later, ‘I had no idea how you were feeling. I cannot imagine how you must have felt at the time.’

I seek to find my place within the fabric of that which makes up our extraordinarily complexity. I am here to exorcise the fear of the feminine that exists in me – not to exorcise that from the woman that makes her woman. I am like a witch-hunter in Salem who belatedly realizes that the devil is not in others outside and around me, it is in me.

A woman’s role in creation is awesome. As a man, I have contributed so little to the act of creation, a nano-tadpole, and that is completely absorbed by her enormous egg. I can only sit at the birth like a voyeur, never capable of coming even close to experiencing the feminine power of extracting the ecstatic expectorant of an excited man, and creating, developing, bearing, suckling life.

It is my unenviable task to accept that the will of the feminine will dominate in my young son’s life. My sole power is to sit, to reflect, to be grounded, to maintain my contact with the earth. I reach down to touch the feminine earth with my fingers like the Buddha acknowledging the witnessing of the Mother Earth as he dismisses the final challenge of Mara and his temptations.

She who bears me can be forgiven for her indifference to the touch of my fingers. Just as I am forgiven for the fact that I touch her tenderly with my fingertips while my ass cheeks are spread wide as I sit cross-legged upon her.

Barely surprising that she bites me when the man in me gets a little cocky. If I get above myself, think of myself as on top of her, thinking of the mighty power I wield, she can (and does) bite me, on the ass, hard.

My role is to be grateful, to see that the mother of my son accepted me, allowed me to enter her, me as opposed to another. Of course, it could be that it was another. It is possible that I am a cuckold. Man can never truly know his children. Mother Nature’s delightful irony is that man must feel his connection with his child, he can never know it physically like the mother does.

The new challenge for me is that she is with another, and therefore, my son has a new man in his life. I hope that her new lover will grow through his love of the child of another man, to embrace the idea of the gift of having a child of his own, with her or with another. My gift to both my son and her new lover is to have contributed to the growth of each as a man.

I seek calm knowing my son will return to me. As the child innately suckles at the mother’s breast, so eventually the child will seek the father for a broader understanding of the complexities and paradoxes of the world. One of those paradoxes is that woman whose very core essence is about care, can be such a master of hurting behavior.

Perhaps it is easier for the man to accept this from the position of observer. The woman can claim to have been beside herself when acting, but must accept that even if she splintered in some schizophrenic fashion, it was she who did the doing.

He, while outside of her, must remain beside her – she was beside herself, and he must find the courage to be there too: to support her, to support his offspring by her, and to support the offspring of other women – including the women themselves.

I honour myself for the role I play, for having, with a mere spit, given life. Through that union, I now see the unity in all things. She gifted me with an opportunity to see my own connection with all other life – my son, my ex, my ex’s new lover and all those others, men and women, that I do not know but with whom I know I am connected.

And the wind continues to wail and whine in the rigging.

(© Stephen Holden 2006 - published Summer 2006 in Mentor, Newsletter for the Men's Health & Wellbeing Association, QLD)

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