Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

The Madman speaks again

After 14 hours on planes and in airports, I am home. Of course I am not me and my wife isn’t her.
Nearly 2 months we were apart, and its been incredible, though painful for both of us.
I believe that everyone has a person they are supposed to be within them and waiting to be revealed. The experiences we have trim away fat and leave the soul bare as we mature. Our soul becomes more of our identity. We become what it is that we are supposed to be
While I was gone I made peace with what I am, and having chosen to be what I am rather than try to be something else, I am stronger, and more me than I have ever been. I am an inventor. I have been since I was 3. I have tried to be something else for 26 years. In end, its fear and fear alone. Because it is ME I was afraid to be me. When you fail at being someone else it doesn’t hurt so much. But the fear of failing at that One Thing is terrifying. So I pretended to be what I am not rather than what I am for fear of failing and being mocked.
I turn my back on that. I am an inventor. I have reams of paper filled with drawing, ideas, thoughts, diagrams. I have a mind which doesn’t work like other peoples’. I am not going to fight to be like them or liked by them anymore. I’m not good at it, and it doesn’t make me happy. Having a job to do and inventing a new tool that helps me do it faster and easier gives me a rush. It gives me a rush like sex or drugs (I never taken street drugs. I have a dear friend and mentor who is a recovering heroin addict. So when I say “like drugs” I mean like drugs sound.) It makes me happy. When I am in front of a blank piece of paper, a precision lathe , or a bare engine block, my world comes down to a single vision of what must be done. What I look like doesn’t matter. What others think doesn’t matter. I don’t feel hunger, thirst, the need for sleep, its all so much noise. All the exists is a physical reality to be altered. And unlike people, physics won’t be B.S.ed. You cannot emotionally manipulate an engine to run without a head. It will not run better for you if you compliment it. It will not be moved by your pleas, it will run when certain laws of physics and engine design are followed. To the degree that you follow those laws the engine will thrive. If you chose to ignore the laws it will run poorly, when it runs at all. Design implemented well moves me. I can see it in bridges, in lenses, in glass of a bottle and the cooling towers of a power plant. All over the world there are designs to be seen. Bridges carrying 100 tons on a single cable. I want to touch that cable, to run my hands over the steel and feel the mind of someone like me.
I buy electricity everyday to run my small piece of the world. I want to stand in the presence of the turbines. I want to feel the floor shake as a thousand tons of steam is turned effortlessly into megawatts of power. I want to see Parson in my minds eye, drawing the curves of the turbines’ blades on parchment. I want to see him go through the differential equations by hand in the light of a gas lamp. Think my thoughts after him, see his visions in brass and carbon steel. The world tells me to have a house payment, watch football, pay taxes. “Stand in line, shut your mind, and open your mouth” is the motto of the world. I can’t, I won’t, and I won’t pretend to.
But I am madman. I don’t expect these thoughts to comfort others. People are most often disturbed, if they say anything at all. As I turned to my invention notebook to deal with the loneliness of being without my wife, my wife turned to writing. She’s written everyday since I left. Stories, blogs, letters, and she found something she loved. She found that when she writes she feels what I feel. The insipid whining of “pop culture” goes silent. The madness of trying to be what other want you to be grows dim, the disapproving stares stop mattering. In short, like me, she too found a reason to be, besides being commanded.
When I saw her across the airport, I knew something was different. She was more beautiful than I had ever seen. Not the usual – haven’- seen-you-in-2-months pretty. Beautiful like a painting. Haunting inner beauty that makes you want to poses her. Later, after putting our daughter to bed I sat on the couch with her, looking at her eyes and wondering what was this other worldly beauty that had taken hold of her. I and suddenly I knew. For nearly 7 years I have told my wife she was a beautiful woman. But this was the first time she had ever believed she was beautiful. She looks in the mirror and sees what I see. She truly believes she is beautiful. Having found and done what makes her happy, she is confident in herself from the inside out. Her femininity graces her. Every move she makes is suddenly right. Like a foal learning to run suddenly she can run like the wind.
We spoke for hours and she told me she doesn’t care about the picket fence anymore. She won’t sacrifice her life to the two faced goddess of June Cleaver-Pamela Lee Anderson. She wants to live. Really live. Turn her back on fear, and being feared, and do what she wants to do. She wants to travel, she wants write, get more piercings, be tattooed, raise our daughter, and be the loving wife of the madman.
Its potent, this love. Its heady and breath taking. I’ve recognized over the last 2 years or so that the I wanted to face my fears. (Its one of the main reasons I joined the profession of arms.) But it started to cost us very early. 2 dear friends departed. In their own gently befuddled way they told us… “your not one of us anymore, but its not to late. You can repent.” We’re 2500mi from our families. As the light in our eyes gets brighter, loved ones turn away.
Through it all, I was willing to lay down my vision to keep my wife. She is half my soul, and I can no more turn my back on her than I could cut of my hand with the same hand that holds the knife. And to find that over these eight weeks, she faced what I faced. She found the little bit of fire in her soul and fanned the flames. On her own away from me, she found her own vision. She defined her own value, cut away the dross and made herself true steel.
It makes me want her more. Her soul, her body, all of it. I think most marriages are two people saying “You, be with me, mix your gold with my silver.” I know ours was once, but not anymore. She is pure gold and she knows it. I am gold and I know it. We aren’t together because we are afraid to be alone, or partnered together because we fear the world. We are united by the fact that we don’t fear the world or fear being feared. Together we strong as steel and more valuable than gold. We partner to make more gold, not to make alloy.


February 25, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Some Suggestions….

    1. Drugs are a pale imitation of your own reality.

    2. You are what you do.

    3. The exception to number 2. Is that you are a Child of the King… what you do had nothing to do with That.

    4. Go to the end of the Book of Job where God tells Job about his Creation and asks him if it will obey Job. Compare that to what you said about machines.

    5. Your Mother and I have KNOWN you were an inventor since you were three. We also know that most inventing is like writing and publishing poetry. It’s like throwing a kleenex in the Grand Canyon and waiting for the crash when it hits the bottom. If your happiness comes from the crash, you won’t have any. If it’s in the creation and watching the kleenex fluttering in the breeze, you’ve found it.

    6. Go read Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintainence again. Look past the Zen Buddhism crap to Phaedrus and Quality and how the book applies the Presence of the Creator into the Creations of His children. And maybe son, just maybe you’ll see that to be created in God’s image includes the Gift of Creation… gee.. is that what being an Inventor is?

    Comment by RiverRatRanger | February 25, 2007 | Reply

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