I told him that sometimes fear is an uninvited guest and that the mark of being a man isn’t being fearless but of managing your fear.
And then I told him about how there were times when I was younger in which the dark terrified me and how even now there are moments where I feel like there is something out there waiting for me.
But the difference between now and then is I hate waiting so there have been times when I have gone looking for that beast.
Moments where I have wandered through dark forests ready to do battle but relieved when I found…nothing.
If he could see inside his father’s head I’d show him this video and find a way to help him see what drives me.
Heroic speeches like the. one in Gladiator populate his head
My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.
He’d see his father lean forward in his seat, watch his eyes focus and see his fingers twitch and know that I love that kind of stuff.
Dad loves the hero who finds a way to overcome all odds to save the day, even if it means that the hero doesn’t always get to experience the aftermath of victory.
Or maybe we’d go a different direction, maybe he’d see Rick in Casablanca.
A different sort of hero, a different sort of man who figures out how to dance in the fire.
Sometimes You Fight The Devil…Inside
The toughest opponent we will ever face is the one that wears the same face as you and I.
They don’t always recognize all of your strengths but they know every weakness with the sort of intimacy that is usually granted to a lover or maybe a doctor.
The question isn’t whether they will use that knowledge to yank your chain but what will you do when they choose to press your buttons.
How will you respond when the voice tries to move from a soft whisper to a loud roar.
Will you tell it shut up and slink back to its cage or will you indulge it knowing that it feeds upon your fear and that it will not willingly walk away.
What hurts me the most and is by far the hardest part is this is one devil I can’t fight.
I would do so without question and without thought.
There is a reason that Old Scratch went down to Georgia and bypassed LA. It is because he knows damn well that some neighborhoods here would be dangerous to his health.
But there is no invitation to this battlefield and even with an invite there is no way to wander in off of the streets.
So I have to be like Mr. Miyagi and stand on the sidelines, hoping my Daniel-san has learned to paint the fence and wax on as well as wax off.
- El Dorado- Iron Maiden
- Livin Thing- Electric Light Orchestra
- Paranoid- Black Sabbath
- You Are Loved (Don’t Give Up)- Josh Groban
- Tapestry- Carole King
The music involves the usual roll call of people, places and memories.
Somewhere in the moments I remember something about Soft and Smooth and think of promises made and broken.
There is something in that particular piece, a moment or memory that I need to pay attention to because it provides a clue as to the future I want to build.
Wisps of memory float by and as I try to grab ahold of the fragment I wonder how it relates to everything else and if there is a bigger picture moment here.
Maybe it is about giving up or being told it feels like I have given up because that is never said to me by anyone who knows me well or is thinking clearly.
Not because of ego or bravado but because I am not programmed to just let go.
I am built to do what is required and to if necessary take the beatings that come with not letting go when things get tough.
Maybe that is tied into why I like those heroic speeches and get off on the idea of one guy taking on ridiculous odds knowing that his chances of victory are slight.
Perhaps that is it and I am supposed to use that realization to help show him how he can still be his own man yet be like dad too.
Or maybe that is just one father’s dream.