Tarot Journal #1: XV The Devil

About Making and Breaking Walls

Today I woke up with a dream about my brother fading into a feeling that was complex with hints of remorse tangled in a lifetime of disconnection. I felt the weight of all the missed opportunities to connect with people. Lately I have had so much time to go over the past with a fine tooth come, teasing out resentments and reasons to feel guilty, but all that seems so much unrelenting and endless torment, at times my own version of hell. So much of the past and memory is vague and unnuanced, so I embellish and attribute motives to ultimately misremembered details that really have no meaning in the present. I have created whole mythologies of regret and abandonment, telling myself stories that are based on memories that have been rehashed so many times that they are worn into obscurity, so far from whatever originally occurred and open to all kinds of interpretation.

My brother and I were never very close. When we were very young, I felt I was always in competition with him and being a year older, he was almost always a little stronger and faster which he was never shy in pointing out to me. I had my ways of paying him back. I was probably a huge pain in the butt for him, but I don’t know he felt about me as with most children, it was all just happening to me. But we had our moments of friendship and definitely came to each other’s aid more than once.

He is a much more settled person and I have always been flying about changing jobs and locations, while he has worked at the same job and lived in the same house for about 30 years in the town were we grew up. When we lived closer to each other it was easy to become complacent about how our lives were growing apart. We were both raising families and saw each other at family gatherings and had friends in common. Even before I moved with my wife and kids to a different state, I didn’t have a lot of connection with him. He came to visit once or twice on vacation and I went down to California a couple of times. The last time I saw him for any length of time was at my father’s memorial service over 2 years ago. I never connected with him on the level of sharing deep feelings. But, what impressed me at this gathering was that one of the boys he and his partner raised, that I used to take care of when he was 5 years old, was there. He had grown into such a fine young man with an incredible family of his own. I got a glimpse of what a gentle and caring and steady man my brother has been to his family.

My life has taken so many complicated turns, the pandemic thing and my partner’s illness and death. The last ten years has been filled with shock and emotional struggle with intermittent hope and love that has ultimately left me mostly isolated and looking for a way to enter into some kind of meaningful connections with people. It is so easy to get locked into crises and a feeling of struggling through life and all the noise of getting through days creates walls and baffles in my mind. I lost my way in my self-made maze.

I realized that I had not not even called my brother since I saw him last. So today I called him just to see who would answer, because I really have not talked with him enough to know who he has become in the last 20 years. He answered and said he was on his way to Clear Lake for work and asked if he could call back when he got there about 8. I will be here at 8 to talk to him and maybe breakdown one of those inadvertent walls that surround and separate me from the world. One small step on the road out of the wasteland.

This entry was posted in All part of the process, anthropology, Being Human, can't really complain but, change, conversations, developing relationships, discovery and recovery, Family, internal landscape, mindworks, my life, paying attention, personal history, philosophy, Self-Experiments, Telling Stories, thinking in words, Works in Progress and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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