Sober Rambling Introspection: Be Kind

It’s only a little after noon where I am, so it isn’t as if I’ve been enjoying any adult beverages.  That’s not to say I’ve never had any before noon, but not lately.  Not this month, and I don’t think this year.

I’ve been reading a book entitled “The Second Greatest Story Ever Told” by Gorman Bechard.  I knew Gorman had written some books, but my experiences with him have all been film-related.  (He has done some terrific documentaries – which he is best known for – and a few narrative films that stick their hands deeply into the dark water of human emotions).  I’m getting sidetracked but I don’t edit these entries so what’s the harm?  I’ll try to remember to leave a few Gorman Bechard-related links at the end of this post, including a link to the Kickstarter for his new documentary on senior dogs.

This house is very quiet lately.  I can hear the tiny pops of expanding and contracting air ducts and such at night as the attic crawl space cools down.  I watch movies and listen to music but if I don’t turn them on, they don’t make any sounds.  So instead I can ride the slot car tracks in my brain, almost always at full speed.

I mention the book because the daughter of God is in it, and she has one message: “Be Kind.”  I read quickly so I have been making a conscious attempt to consume books in smaller doses lately, so they last longer.  That means I’ve encountered her message a lot in the last few weeks.

I am kind.  In actuality I am probably far too kind.  Yes, I hide it behind a sarcastic and blunt exterior (although being blunt is not necessarily being unkind).  When someone I care about is in need, I try to help.  And I don’t mean just financially, although I’ve done plenty of that.

I listen.  I understand.  I support.  I encourage.  I search for ways to show someone what I am seeing in their actions and behavior, without making it a personal attack.  I empathize.  I focus, trying so hard to follow the thought process of someone else so I can see how they got from A to B.  when I can trace that path, I can uncover ways to point out mistakes and oversights while not breathing life to their defense mechanisms.

All of that takes a lot of energy.  But that’s who I am.  I know I don’t give myself a lot of credit for such things, because I am able to justify the devaluation by realizing it felt like the natural response for me.

I try hard to save money.  I don’t like to spend it, at least not on myself.  Now and then I’ll buy a DVD or a CD or a ticket to some concert, but not often.  If it’s for someone else, that’s a different story.

I have always gone overboard with gifts in my relationships, whether it’s a birthday or an anniversary or some other occasion.  It isn’t about showing how generous I can be; it’s about making the other person feel loved and appreciated.  Gifts is only one way of doing that, and certainly not the one I focus on the most.

I know I’ve lost the direction I was going to follow here.  I’ll wind up posting this anyway, because I don’t give a crap about hiding things.

Be Kind is a wonderful slogan.  Be Kind to Friends.  By Kind to Those in Need.  Be Kind to Those You Love.  Be Kind to Animals.

Be Kind to Yourself is the one I haven’t got a great handle on yet.

Even when I do spend money “on myself” it’s frequently in the form of directing it outwardly.  The new Senior Dog documentary I mentioned earlier; I’ve backed that on Kickstarter.  That was “for me.”  A woman I was talking to a lot and trying to build a new relationship with expressed a strong interest in going to see Depeche Mode play live.  I got tickets, which was “for me.”  (I’m in the process of selling them now, since that relationship isn’t going to grow the way I hoped it might).

My current musical obsession, Lydia Loveless, came to play in Dallas a few weeks ago, as part of a day-long festival.  I bought myself a ticket.  That truly was just “for me.”  So I went, and I talked to a few people, and while she and her band were on stage I soaked up the sound and the energy and even the tension I saw and felt.  I stood right up front, center stage, my mouth silently singing along to every lyric, my eyes open about as often as they were closed.  For the forty minutes she was on stage, I was nowhere else.

Then it was over.  There was still a day’s worth of music left, some of which I was very interested in seeing.  But not excited.  I’d been excited, and that moment was gone.  I left.  I took that forty minute set and I left with it in my head.  I cancelled the hotel room I’d booked in case I had a lot to drink, I got in my car, and I came home.  For those forty minutes I was in one singular moment, and then I was alone again, lonely in a crowd of people and surrounded by the kind of small talk that makes me want to pierce my ear drums.

I’m not sorry I went.  If that’s the impression I’ve given, it is only because those forty minutes are not yours.  They’re mine.  It’s a private relationship between me and Lydia Loveless, where communication only goes one direction.

I’m also not sorry I went alone.  If I hadn’t, I may have enjoyed the rest of the event in a much different way.  But truth be told I was there for those forty minutes, and anything else was secondary.

A decade ago – up to about year ago – I thought I had found the person that understood me, and accepted me for who I am, and loved me for that person.  Now I know that wasn’t true, and I wonder if it ever was.  Instead I’m just waiting around to get paperwork back and finish the divorce.  The person I was married to no longer exists.  The one who took her place is someone I don’t know a lot about.  She thinks differently, acts differently, and even the words she uses show no relation to the woman I was married to.

Now I just make a strange face and shrug my shoulders when I ask myself if I think I ever will meet the person who understands me, appreciates me, and accepts me.  I’ll keep looking, and searching, and listening, but if I had to put chips on the table I’d pile them on the space for “No.”

That’s okay.  It just seems like a waste in some ways.  I still recognize that a lot of the ways I am kind to myself involve being kind to someone else.  Alone, many of those opportunities will never happen.  And if that person is out there but we never meet, or never speak, that’s depressing in itself.  Because they’ll continue to ask themselves “why can’t I find someone who understands me and appreciates me and accepts me for who I am?”

Yes, I realize there was no real point to any of that.  That’s why it’s called “rambling.”

A few links for you.  If you’d like to take a look at the Kickstarter campaign for “Seniors” you can do so at:

Please consider supporting the project.

If you’d like to check out Gorman Bechard’s book “The Second Greatest Story Ever Told” you can do that here:

And if you’d like to see what music Lydia Loveless has blessed the universe with, you can do so here (and yes, her song “More Like Them” is still my life anthem at this point):


See you next time, preferably after a few adult beverages.  Who knows…that could be as soon as tonight.