Saturday, May 8, 2010

Idols Of Doom

Worry is the darkroom in which negatives can develop.

"Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them nor serve them."

My mother was a worrier, and extreme worrier. She was also a controller. She would decide how long my brother could stay out and when he wasn't back when she expected him she would begin to pace the floor and declare out loud that she knew something terrible had happened to him. When he finally did come home, even if it was ten minutes later, she was in such a state of fear and anger that he was not warmly welcomed. And I, who had to listen to her pacing and ranting, was not much better at greeting him. If, heaven forbid, the phone rang during her parade of worry, it would strike a chord of greater fear in her. She would pick it up expecting to hear the dire news. I learned to answer the phone for her. It was usually one of her friends who wanted to chat. Too bad. She had to worry instead.

There were reasons for my dear mother's condition: the sudden tragic loss of her husband at an early age, a subsequent nervous breakdown and continuous financial insecurity and impoverishment. But her imagination was so active that even when there was no danger to any one of us she held on to the pictures of disaster, they became engraved on her thinking and she worshipped them without realizing that's what she was doing.

Visiting the temples of our doubts, fears and failures, burning incense to our worries and letting them bow us down to a negative life is a fruitless activity. Today there are people who dwell in the world of doom, who hold in thought all the things that could go or might go wrong. And some of them are very active in trying to prevent what they have imagined and engraved on their own thinking. There are those who try to convince others of the dire consequences of life, whose thrust of conversation and action is against not for. Goethe called the devil "the spirit of negation."

It would have been possible for my mother to turn her head around and start having trust and faith that her kids were able to take care of themselves and that life wasn't so bleak and tragic.. She never did.

It is possible for the negaters of the world to start having the same faith in the future, working and speaking in a positive way to that future and erasing the engravings of doom from their thoughts. Will they do it?

DB - The Vagabond


One day an ardent fanatical feminist told me I should never refer to a woman as a "lady." No "Ladies and Gentlemen" no "Ladies Room" no "Ladies First" no "Everyday Is Ladies Day With Me"? Well, I'm not an anti-feminist by any means but, nonsense, I say. Here's your contest.

Who are these first ladies?
(Match each of these ladies with the names of their gentlemen friends below.
Do as many as you can before you start to cheat.)

1. Ellen Axson
2. Edith Kermit Cardow
3. Nancy Davis
4. Julia Dent
5. Frances Folsom
6. Hannah Hoes
7. Elizabeth Kartright
8. Lucretia Rudolf
9. Margaret Mackall Smith
10. Claudia Taylor
Grover Cleveland
James Garfield
Ulysses Grant
Lyndon Johnson
James Monroe
Ronald Reagan
Teddy Roosevelt
Zackary Taylor
Martin Van Buren
Woodrow Wilson

Good luck.


Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

Can not imagine what it would be like to be a worrier. That just is not for me.

Gerry said...

I have always thought that people who believe in it can make magic happen. I have seen it happen so many times, especially in the theater. Oh my God, there is nothing like watching someone create a play with some kind of vision in mind, and then to go and see it realized up there on the stage, complete enough that magic has happened. I remember going to see Raymond's children's play "Amy's Attic." It's a circus play come alive in Amy's attic. He always loved clowns and there was this one scene that was like the three ring circus with the clowns performing in three rings and magic happened in this scene, the way he directed it, the way the children clowns performed, I will never forget it, that scene. I saw others do Amy's Attic but not that scene that extended beyond the directions for that particular production, every time, those clowns doing three acts in three rings, keeping their concentration, until magic happened. Memorable moments like that created by people with other people, in this case with children falling in love with clowns, is something that causes you to believe in theater forever and what it can do to bring back the magic into people's lives.

pacifica62 said...

Will they do it? No. Not without a lot of psychological counselling to help them overcome their fears. Sometimes situations in life happen that are so traumatic that some people can never get past them. We are not those people, we are not living in their shoes or in their mind, so we have little understanding of how some life altering events can truly scar a person's psyche with doubts, fears, anxiety and worry. Some people have dark spaces that they never invite anyone into.

That corgi :) said...

I can relate to your mother, DB. I am a recovering worrier, I hope. I use to imagine the worst in any given situation related to my son, although mercifully he was usually home by curfew (but I came to learn he would oftentimes sneak back out afterwards when all were asleep). I used to and still do dread the phone ringing, always waiting for the other foot to drop.

Its hard to let go and trust. I'm learning to do it, but it is a constant battle at times.

we do the best we can, us moms, but lots of times its not the best as we look back on our actions


Big Mark 243 said...

I am going to approach this from a different light. I have empathy for your Mom. We don't know what caused her to be that way but you did present valid and sound reasons as to why she may have been a worrier. Have you thought that at one time, before you knew her, she wasn't a worrier? That the living through those events made her become the way she is?

And it wasn't all at once. The complexities of life drifted in one by one and though she was able to deal for a bit, soon became an overwhelming thing in her life. She had fears based in a reality and had to deal with the consequences that inspired the fear. Not to mention what ever stories that she knew about and conditions that existed in the outside world that her young sons did not.

I bounced through life knowing little of my Mother's concerns. Oh she would try to make me understand but I didn't. Now that I am mature enough (actually it didn't take until 'now'... I got where she was coming from in my 20's) I see where her fears added complications to our relationship... but was it her fears alone or my ignorance of what she was feeling that aggravated the situation?

The quote is one that describes some of the clattering in my own mind at the moment. But I think that Mom went through a lot and deserves some slack.

Rose said...

I sympathize. I, too am a worrier. I know that when my young brother was murdered at the age of 25, my fears began as a young mother of two. So, when my children became of age to go out on dates and be out at night.......Yes, I paced the floors until they returned...

I can still hear my mother's screams when the police arrived to her house to tell her the bad news. My brother was missing for days before they found him. I get the chills just thinking about it and that was 30 years ago.

It is horrible to be a worrier...I know first hand.

I'm sure it was uncomfortable for you to see your mother react to these type of situations. The poor thing was suffering too. Sad.

Hugs, Rose

Liz said...

In this digital age the darkroom has been replaced by pixies...oops!... pixels that enable us to develop our thoughts online into pictures others can then see.