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#359838 - 04/16/11 01:10 AM Restacking
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 1007
Loc: WA USA

I live in the Pacific Northwest on a basalt cliff overseeing the Columbia River where there is little top soil but plenty of wonderfully shaped, burnt colored rocks. Over the years Iíve relocated these rocks of varying shapes and sizes creating several hundred feet of rock walls.

This weekend I plan to do what, from time to time, I find I must. Tear down some of the existing stone structures and reshape them. Not unlike what I need to do with my own foundation when I see or feel it sagging or disintegrating. As I begin, I pick up each rock and examine them, typically creating three separate and distinct piles of sorted rock. There are those that are solid, shaped with a distinct character that I believe will lend to a solid foundation. Then there is the smaller pile - rocks separated for their lovely shape, color and lava heated then rapidly cooled designs. Some bubbled creations are beyond de>
_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

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#359844 - 04/16/11 04:24 AM Re: Restacking [Re: earlybird]
Darkheart Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 331
Loc: Illinois
You have come a long way brother, when you can sense the need to reshape and rebuild ...just know this bro...I'm good with a sledgehammer if you need help smashing and rebuilding smile

_________________________
My Story...

http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthr...8711#Post348711

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#359851 - 04/16/11 07:44 AM Re: Restacking [Re: Darkheart]
itrahan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/02/10
Posts: 96
Loc: Louisiana, Gulf Coast
earlybird, I am in awe of your depth of emotion & understanding, which seems to be burdensome to you at times. I envy you, after reading some of your posts & poetry I feel as though my soul is cold & isolated...unwilling to yield & explore it's depths....hidden from it's purpose. I met you at Sequoia 2010 and still have regrets of me not being in the "place" or taking the time to get to know you. You & your wife have settled in seemingly the best enviroment for you to continue your soul searching & sharing....Thanks for opening up to all of us so many precious & delicate detials of who you are.
Appreciate You,

Ivan


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#359855 - 04/16/11 08:51 AM Re: Restacking [Re: earlybird]
prisonerID Offline
Greeter Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/08
Posts: 1247
Loc: Oklahoma
You have drawn a wonderful and explicit illustration of the work of a survivor. We have to remove some layers to get ot the underlying cause. Just like with emotions - at the base of so much anger is depression.

As you work on the walls do you mentally tackle some of your own inner issues? As you restructure do certain thoughts enter your heart and mind? While your hands and eyes seek out what you need to know from each stone? Just wondering if the two overlap and the first one spurs on things with the second.


Daryl

_________________________
Broad statements often miss their true mark.

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#359860 - 04/16/11 11:15 AM Re: Restacking [Re: prisonerID]
Ever-fixed Mark Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/02/10
Posts: 725
Loc: United States
Husbanding
the pillars of the earth
to order,
is the architect's vision
to stability,
the engineer's labor
but beauty and meaning
are wrung from the poet's heart
a crucible of philosopher-artist
Born twice in fire.

Creation is a key
that we turn
in the lock of our hearts
a promise to ourselves
kept
Order from chaos
Beauty from decay
Meaning from despair
Ease from pain

Monument and meditation
Writ in cooled stone
Raptors see
Earth knit by hand
But Seekers feel
new portals
through the basalt mandala
Beckoning...

-efm

_________________________

Everybody here's got a story to tell
Everybody's been through their own hell
There's nothing too special about getting hurt
Getting over it, that takes the work

- "Duck and Cover" by Glen Phillips

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#359861 - 04/16/11 11:25 AM Re: Restacking [Re: Ever-fixed Mark]
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 1007
Loc: WA USA
Thanks Darkheart, Ivan, Prisoner ID, and EverFixMark

For your continued support.

Darkheart, sludge hammers might be a little two aggressive but knowing your hands and heart will be working alongside mine is energizing.

Ivan, it is a shame we were unable to bond at WoR. What an experience, my first time looking at someone eye to eye who ďgot itĒ. WoR was an invaluable moment in time, one Iíd recommend to everyone though Iíll never attend again. You talk of feeling cold inside yet your words were incredible warm and filled with depth of emotion. Iíve had others tell me this, try to see what we see. Your words filled my heart and surrounded core. No one with a ďcold soulĒ could bring such a feeling of concern and love; especially to someone they donít even know. (By the way your statement about my ďdepth of emotion and understanding ď being burdensomeĒ was a cold splash and has been swirling around and in me all morning. Thanks for the insight)

Prisoner,

No one here knows me better than you. Weíve walked along side and separately at times as weíve worked on our issues. You are dear to me and have shown me a love rarely seen between men, especially men who are so different from each other. Your ponderings as to ďdo the two overlapĒ and the answer is absolutely. One triggers the other. The rock wall Iím in the process of tearing down was one of my first to build. As Iím tearing it apart Iím questioning ďWhy did I place that rock there. What an idiot no wonder it needs redoing. WHAT WAS I THINKING!!!Ē Tell me I havenít said that to myself a thousand times when it comes to how I tried to repair the damage done by the SA. So yep, it relates every stone, the artistic ones, sturdy ones, or - what I use to refer to as the throw away ones. Now Iíve learned each stone, large, pretty, or broken has a purpose in my wall and my life if only Iíll take a moment to discover what that purpose is.

My God EFM

The poem is amazing and has reduced me to tears. Good ones for the most part but embarrassing all the same. :-) As with any poem it will take me a while to digest it to gain the full measure of its worth. Please give me time to work the out the rhythm and beat of the lines. Again something that we each must do with our own CSA or ASA caused issues.


The East wall is now torn down piled in what would appear to be a useless heap. Later this morning Iíll start on the south wall. But for now, with the sun rising, Iím sitting here looking at a jumble of stone remembering how often, when I begin to tear apart the sexual assault and its effects, I look at myself as I believe others look at me Ė itís not unattractive. This is one of the major reasons I, in the past, have always chosen to take on this task of rape alone. My feeble attempts to do it differently, working with others here on MS, has been challenging and in many ways rewarding but not without a smashed finger and bruised shins, some mine, some others. Honestly I donít mean to cause injury to my fellow survivors or their partners/wifeís and over the year Iíve learned how to better create and work with fellow builders. Itís time to get back to work.

_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

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#359865 - 04/16/11 12:30 PM Re: Restacking [Re: earlybird]
SamV Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/13/09
Posts: 5940
Loc: Talladega, Alabama, USA
Fine progress, Earl, fine work.

Comparing this work of remodeling, rebuilding and restructuring to SA recovery is a stroke of brilliance! (Hm, maybe another word than stroke for the scope of the work you are doing?)

May I just say, what good companions you have here, so ready to come to your aid. I am moved with compassion for their support.

*put his gloves on...

When reworking the rocks in wall, one needs to consider the existing placement, as you have, Earl, and as one can wonder about the original arrangement, one may consider the value of the original design.
In placing the rocks as you had, you may have noticed the season, the sun, the flora, the fauna, or the colors of the house, the deck or your emotional color. Those hints may have given you insight into how your right brain wanted to build the wall.
This is not to be taken lightly, Eeb's, rather, you may wish to find those impetuses and remind yourself that it was a good idea then, and congratulate you on a job well done.

In building the new wall, there may certainly be reasons for the change, but the change itself is not negative, nor is it meaningless. I think here too there is some congratulations in order.

Looking in a positive way at the making and remaking of ourselves over in our lives and surroundings is a challenge to better ourselves, and that's not a bad thing. Only make sure that your previous changes have their respect and adoration, you once thought the previous work was the limit of your creative abilities, perhaps, and those fortunate enough to enjoy your work first hand complimented on it, and enjoyed it with you. Nothing negative there, brother.

Remember to take water breaks and see the good progress of the labor you are undertaking in both of your endeavors today.

You may wish to reconsider the personal perspective as well, dear Earl, I have never seen you as unattractive, I cannot believe anyone would have that image in mind when it comes to you. I do believe when we are abused, we feel we MUST be unattractive or broken for someone to treat us that way, but then, we need to realize that that thinking allowed a criminal to overwhelm us and perpetrate abuse, attacking us. Throw-away those structurally insufficient "stone" like ideas.

Time to use new stones or make new stones from the good we have been taught in our maturing and recovery. Oh that I could sip a good merlot and enjoy your productive and aesthetically pleasing efforts, as I have enjoyed the rebuilding work i have seen in your thoughts here in MS.

Good health to you, in mind and heart, dear Earl,

Sam

_________________________
MaleSurvivor Moderator Emeritus 2012 - 2014

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#359875 - 04/16/11 02:22 PM Re: Restacking [Re: SamV]
itrahan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/02/10
Posts: 96
Loc: Louisiana, Gulf Coast
When I read this inforation this post came to mind, reflecting Change and all it entails. I hope all find it appropriate.
According to John Murphy in his book, Think Change, the key to successful change is discipline and "reprogramming beliefs." A cautionary inner voice will tell you not to rock the boat, to stay on the path of least resistance, but your heart is telling you otherwise.

Listen to your heart. Filter out the old static and tune in something new. Challenge your assumptions, identify and study people already doing what you want to do. Read books and listen to tapes that will motivate you to break away from the notorious "comfort zone." Confront your fears. When one unsatisfying day just blurs into the next - your life is begging for a change.

Comfort zones put padlocks on the doors to growth, discovery, and adventure in your life, but three keys that will unlock those doors are discipline, hard work and faith. When it comes to progress, when it comes to change...Inch by inch, life's a cinch. Yard by yard, life is hard. Unlock one door at a time, enjoy small successes, and soon you will have achieved your goals.

Some key points to remember:

1.
No pain! No gain! There will be some setbacks.

2.
Fear is a human emotion. The absence of fear is not courage; it's brain damage.

3.
Give your fear a name and it becomes a problem. It's easier to solve problems than to conquer fear.

4.
With each obstacle you overcome, your confidence will grow. Every time you conquer any fear...no matter how small...you are better prepared for the next challenge.



Change can truly be a wonderful gift! It can recharge your emotional battery and nourish your soul. Just do it! Choose change and let it make a positive difference in your life.

Ivan




Edited by itrahan (04/16/11 02:24 PM)

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#359888 - 04/16/11 04:25 PM Re: Restacking [Re: itrahan]
earlybird Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/17/10
Posts: 1007
Loc: WA USA
Again thanks to each of you and for your suggestions and thoughts. My East wall is complete and my back is as well. I may never move again. LoL

I always dry stack my stone walls. When asked why I tell peopleĒ because I like the look.Ē But deep down I know this is a cop out because I can accomplish the dry stack appearance by concreting at the back side of the wall leaving the front looking untouched. I thought a lot about why I dry stack as I was placing one rock upon another. In some ways I do the same thing with my recovery work. I donít permanently cement the repairs into place. Iím beginning to think I donít concrete my walls and life because I know I donít have the competency to get it right. Therefor I need the fluency to redo the work as I grow and learn.

_________________________
Balanced (My goal)

There is symmetry
In self-reflection
Life exemplified
Grace personified

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#359897 - 04/16/11 05:47 PM Re: Restacking [Re: earlybird]
itrahan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/02/10
Posts: 96
Loc: Louisiana, Gulf Coast
Earl....I sit pondering what would serve me better....having the competency to get it right, or the learned wisdom to achieve fluency in so many different areas. To each his own, but either is a winner.

Ivan


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#360134 - 04/18/11 10:50 PM Re: Restacking [Re: earlybird]
CruxFidelis Offline


Registered: 06/16/10
Posts: 486
Loc: NJ
Hi Earl,

There are a lot of analogies we can work with here.

I must admit, I do enjoy the way your thoughtfully worded prose illustrates your interaction with your natural environment, out in the beautiful Northwest. Making walls with rocks sounds like it gives you the psychological benefit of creative problem solving, along with the bodily gratification of hard manual labor. A mental and physical exercise. What I also see is how you're positively manipulating your environment to fit your aesthetic vision. There's something about moving giant rocks around that seems almost primal, like you are making your own Stonehenge or Machu Picchu.

Your story about undoing your previous work and realigning the rocks reminded me of a fond memory. It has been years since I did any carpentry, but it used to be something I enjoyed very much. When I was in high school, I used to help my dad with some DIY repair jobs on the family home. That house has my work all over it and it still gives me joy to see all those weekends with my father carved into the walls of our home. I hope we never sell that house, so it stays in the family forever. I remember the way father used to shake his head when he would uncover the handiwork of the previous owners--shoddy touch-ups and quick-fixes that were never built to last. "What were they thinking?" My father taught me never to do anything half-assed, and his voice still lives on in my inner critic. As others here have mentioned, taking apart lithic structures that are no longer working for you might be your way of externalizing the restructuring of assault-related thoughts, memories and emotions going on in your interior life.

But what about your exterior life? Could those walls of basalt also represent the walls survivors like us often build around ourselves to protect from being hurt, or to stop our own pain from spilling out onto others? Are there boundaries that need to be fortified in our relationships, and are there walls that need to be broken down in other places? Is it time to revisit where to draw the line?

I must confess, the only stone walls I see on a regular basis aren't the hand-stacked ones you describe. People don't do that sort of thing in New Jersey. My mind has taken your words and painted a picture of rock walls in ancient Europe stacked by loyal subjects of one king, to distinguish his land from the domain of other kings. A wall for safety and security--distinguishing homeland from foreign territory. Borders don't occur in a vacuum. It can take years of fighting and conquest between nations in order to achieve the resolution needed to draw lines on a map that make cultures feel secure in their own identity. In applying such an analogy to my life, I think about the lines I drew around myself early on, right after being assaulted and rape. Don't tell my wife. Don't tell my mother. Don't touch me. I can't. I won't. I don't feel like it. Don't call me on my cell phone, don't all my home phone, don't e-mail me, don't text me. I don't want visitors. How many times do I have to say this to people? Don't hug me, don't kiss me, don't hold my hand. Get your hands OFF me. No visitors means that YOU DON'T BELONG HERE. These are the walls I have constructed in my own life to keep myself safe, and I find myself up in my lookout tower, surveying the perimeter of the land 24/7 without rest, for fear someone might find a weak spot in my wall again and take me as a prisoner in my own land. I've closed myself off from a beautiful world that I used to inhabit because I had my honor and integrity torn to shreds by an encounter with pure evil. Are my walls strong enough to withstand another assault, and is it worth the isolation?

All right, that's enough for one day. Sometimes when people put analogies in front of my face, I take them to their most logical conclusion like a raving lunatic. I just don't know what to do with myself.

Earl, take some time to recognize that there are people out there that would look at those piles of rocks--the metaphorical rocks and the actual rocks--and get so intimidated that they'll walk away from the whole process. The fact that you did any recovery work at all, after suffering what you have suffered, is an achievement in & of itself. Now, you've got the self-awareness to revisit the progress you've made. Do you have any idea how much strength that takes, and how evident that is in what you've done? I'm not going to be hauling giant rocks any time soon, but you've inspired me to think of things I can do to regain a sense of mastery over my environment. I cannot think of anything right now, but the places that surround me do not feel like my domain. I still have that giant pile of cardboard boxes, in the well-appointed house that my wife bought without my input. Maybe i need to build some walls of my own.

Peter

_________________________
ďIf a man wishes to be sure of the road he treads on, he must close his eyes and walk in the dark.Ē

- Saint John of the Cross

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