Friday, May 22, 2015


     I always thought that we could work things out. That you and I found some way to eventually agree on certain things. I never thought that I was losing. Now I find out that I was wrong about how serious and important this was to you. That you really didn’t agree with me, but just gave up and gave in. I thought I could just do things my way and it would not make any difference to you. But now after so many years of being together and just presuming that because I was a man that I could win in our disagreements and that it wouldn't make much difference. I now find out that I was wrong. That in fact, those little things that made me feel so big actually made you feel like I was getting ahead by climbing over you.
     It's like my making a joke that put's somebody down. You know it sounds funny unless you are the one who is the one who is made fun of or gets put down. In that case, it's just another example that the other person the self-centered and really doesn't think much about you. When that goes on for years and years that turns into something called a grudge. A grudge is like a rock in the belly. It's like a weight that hold your spirits down. It's like a wall that keeps you from enjoying life with the other person.
     Why is it that we are so unaware of these ways in which we are? It’s distance, isn’t it?  It is only when the other person rips us a good one that we realize just how wrong we have been. And there's no excuse that's valid for creating those hard feelings. How do you apologize for treating another so hard?
     Why is Truth so cold and hard?

     I am here because I have been cold and hard.
     There are no words that I can say that make up for years of abuse. The only way I can make this up is to become different. But, I do not know how to be any other way that cold and hard. I can't even say, "I'm going to be different." You can hear that all day long. Egoism is a powerful stimulant Ego says, “I am in control – that I am superior. That I can handle myself.” But, when I drink that cup of egoism, it’s is very heady stuff.
     I once worked with a man who was a former motion picture star. We were making radio commercials and he was the voice talent. He would sit in the studio by himself, alone with a microphone while we writers sat on the other side of the soundproof glass. Frequently he would say to the audio engineer, "Give me more me." Meaning he wanted more volume on his headset so he could hear himself louder. One day things were not going well and he was quite angry. And his ego was inflating larger and larger. And he kept saying to the audio engineer in an increasingly angry voice, "Give me more ME!" And the engineer would say to this man, "If I give you any more volume and you lean in towards the microphone with the headset, you will have a powerful feedback." And the boss said, "Give me more ME!" And the engineer said to us on the side of the glass where the boss could not hear, "Okay-dokey." And he pushed up the slider bar. And in a moment, the boss leaned into the microphone and a giant squeal filled the air and he threw his headphones off as quickly as he could. The engineer simply said to us on the one side of the glass, “Told you.”
     Give me more me.

     I want to change, but I am frozen.
     It seems that we only change our behavior when we meet something we don’t like. Why change if everything is fine?
The truth is that if signal to noise ratio intensifies, and peaks, it causes powerful feedback which can actually destroy eardrums. One or two incidents may eventually change our minds and not want “little more me”. Hard way to discover boundaries.
The truth is that when you treat others with a cold hard heart, you wind up being the one who is treated with hard and cold… and it eventually blows up your life. Things break apart. People drift away.
Rivers freeze over with ice from shore to shore. Claude Monet once spent a winter painting the frozen rivers in Paris. Then he moved to his home in Givenchy, Nord Pas de Calais. Monet was poor and struggling. He could not afford appropriate medical care for his wife. While he was there, his wife died. He despaired. He even painted her after she died. And then, the winter intensified, as the Cold Hard Truth will, at times intensify for us.
In Paris, just upstream from Givenchy that winter, more and more ice formed until the rivers in Paris began to explode! The expansion of ice ruined boats, bridges, and piled out of the rivers onto the shore.  It was called the Debacle – a sudden, disastrous break-up of ice.
Sometimes, when our inner hearts freeze over, we likewise can get a debacle  our lives break apart, people leave, people drift away because we are frozen. Such a debacle is only healed by warmth. The same way the Seine River was healed that winter. Warmth came and the ice began to melt and the disaster subsided.
And, in his grief over the death of his wife, Monet, stood by the river and painted canvas after canvas which are known as the “Ice Floes”. A symbol for us all to cling to in the winters of our despair.

© Copyright 2015, Jean W. Yeager
All Rights Reserved.      

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