Friday, February 16, 2018


I had the sweetness of spending time with my youngest son last night. We went to see 'The Post' which we both enjoyed and then onto a Malaysian restaurant to eat dumplings and other delicious food. Usually we talk non stop after a movie about the movie. As someone not well versed with the story and the characters he was more focused on the technicalities of how they told the story and after that we moved onto other topics.

Our conversation tended to traverse areas of personality, since he has recently returned from Cambodia. When he first came home his comments related to the local people and how happy they were with their simple lives. As time has gone on he has tended to ponder the behavior of the other female students there who had a tendency to be hard on one another and especially judgmental of another male student who confided in my son that he has Aspbergers.

This boy and my son were room mates, sharing a hut to themselves. My son told me of a funny moment. At the airport on the way home he confessed to the boy that when he said he was going up on the roof to look at the stars, really he was going up there to get a break from him. The boy said, quite seriously, 'I enjoyed it when you went up there too.' Of course, I laughed, because isn't that the truth!? Too much of anyone and we find something that we have forgotten to do and take off for a while.

I've been revisiting material lately about the qualities of an 'empath' and ways to protect oneself. It seems that I had this somewhat covered as a young person according to my instincts.

When I was a college student my father gave me a little Mazda. It wasn't the fanciest of cars nor particularly stylish but I adored my first car for the simple reason that it allowed me a safety hatch. I was telling my son about those times over dinner. My husband always felt obliged during term breaks to return to the farm for the entirety of the time. He was always a very loyal son and he felt the weight of this expectation.

As his girlfriend if I wanted to spend some little time with him I needed to drive myself up there, and of course, the expectation would be that I'd stay for a week, or longer. But, a week is a very long time for an empath in an environment where everybody speaks loudly, and more loudly again to get over the loud people competing for space. So often I'd yawn in the evenings and explain that the country air made me very sleepy and I thought I'd go off to bed. It wasn't that I was so terribly tired but rather that the noise created was too much.

After five or so days I'd explain that I needed to go home and attempts would be made to convince me to stay longer. I'd explain how much I'd love to do that but I had shifts at my casual job and simply had to return. The drive home alone was always sweet and I'd stop off in some little town and buy jam or have a cup of tea. Sometimes I'd be brave and try a new route home. I've always loved these little solo adventures. To this day I love to drive alone in the country, often with just my own thoughts, or even mindlessly.

To return to Mike, the boy with Aspbergers, my son explained that he finds it hard to understand why people can't just accept people as they are. I guess it is bragging but I have to tell you that I have the most amazing son. He actually converses with me about psychology and philosophy. I can't say this to anyone else or they would think I was nuts but I told him about my feelings about trees.

So, when one goes out to the park you could just go walking and not notice the trees too much. But, I've always felt that they have personalities and that I can feel it. Some trees grow so straight and tall, majestic and proud. Some trees look as if they haven't had the most tender loving care when young, or some event occurred to interfere with their development. Maybe they tend towards one side or develop unusual characteristics. But, certainly in a park setting or out in nature we tend not to be too harsh with the tree. We accept the tree. We can do this with trees but we tend to be much more judgmental of people.  We need to think about people more like trees.

My thoughts are jumping about, I know, but this week I was working with a young boy. The idea was that he would read to me a story about fairies in which he had become immersed, but I notice that when a young person gets my one on one attention they just have to share their life with me. So, he told me all about his family, that he was an only child and a detailed story about the twins his mother was expecting ensued. When I delved further, something didn't feel right and I made a mental note of that.

It wasn't until I was driving home in the car that I remembered that he said, 'My Mum and Dad aren't married. When they get married they will have them.' This came after his explanation that the twins arrival was indeed imminent. His mother wasn't expecting twins at all, but he'd conjured the twins, just as my first son conjured two imaginary friends when he was about three years old who we took everywhere. The story Mike told me was a result of his loneliness and his feeling that he wasn't like the other kids somehow.

I see this morning that there is an article, in the New Yorker I think, with the subject matter of how the United States government has failed to keep their children safe. This is undoubtedly true. My youngest son knows that we are traveling soon to the States and he was very serious when he said to me to keep my wits about me there. This made me feel very sad, that the time had come when we felt fear about traveling to the United States of America.

The United States is my second home although I have been away for a long time. I raised three of my children there. I gave birth to two of them there and another was conceived there. It seems that the young man who shot into the crowd of students, killing 17 of them I believe, was regularly carrying guns at school before he was expelled. How is this in any human beings mind acceptable behavior?

Sadly, this young man desperately needed help and tragically young lives were stolen when he didn't get the help he needed. What could possibly have been more important than seeing to it, by his parents and educators, that he got the assistance he needed to be at ease within himself such that the carnage was avoided?

When watching the movie last night it went through my mind several times, 'Oh, we've lost something.' Investigative journalism that serves the people  seems not to matter so much any more. Maybe not enough people are willing to take the time it takes to read the long story teaming with facts. That's the way I learned about Watergate and it felt right, that a wrong had been righted through careful dissemination of the truth.

Guns are lethal weapons, best not handled by those who are in a delicate frame of mind. No child should be able to access a gun. Maybe if someone had bothered to converse with this boy about matters that were on his mind as he grew up we wouldn't be having this particular conversation.

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