This is probably the most frighteningly honest blog post that I’m about to write…
Ha! What an opening, right? Pretty heavy portents, like the beginning of a melodrama co-authored by Gogol and Nerval. Just imagine those words rewritten in the Lovecraftian perspective:
These words that I am about to share tell a tale of such terrifyingly personal vulnerability that I am fain to set them done in paper lest the words create a festering madness upon my brain. What God would allow such erstwhile madness to penetrate the thin membranes of our world? Do I hear the walls rattling?
And so on. I never did like H. P. Lovecraft much as a writer. Anyway…
Last night, I was out with a friend, someone I’m getting to know and like. I find them intelligent, creative, amazing, funny, beautiful, y’know, the melody of hits that we all recognize. This person, like myself, has been through a lot in a short space of time. This person is also wanting to heal from a physical injury as well. This person stresses about life everyday and has an amazing job that often stresses this person out. This person is above amazing and needs some healing, physically, emotionally, and all of the rest. The time that I spent with this person was fun and it was good for me to come out with them. I met new people, visited a new town, learned some really interesting history, and generally experienced what the Sages would call a “trip worth making.”
As a guy with one foot in the spiritual world and the other in the reality world… and the other in the fantasy world (it’s my analogy, damnit!), I live by what I like to term amalgamated beliefs. What this means is, well, I have an ethos drawn from many varied sources, ranging from Buddhism to Doctor Who, Groucho Marx, and even Winnie the Pooh. You have one, too, and you call it whatever you like to call it.
Typically, this hodge podge is manifested in a bone mala that I wear around my right wrist and a triquetra pendant that I wear around my neck. A triquetra is a loose triangle composed of geometric lines. A lot of people call it a “trinity knot,” symbolizing the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. It’s a nice little piece of Celtic folk art and, to me, has a very ancient vibe to it. By ancient, I mean prior to our world’s existence. I also like it because it makes a change from the traditional piece of Irish jewelry like the Celtic Knot or the Claddagh ring. It also tickles the faux Irish self-identity in me… I’m the son of a Farrell and I likes me Guinness… something that I think most Americans suffer from. I hold no illusions to being the son of the Emerald Isle. In truth, my heritage couldn’t be more British cum Kentucky hillbilly if you added a peerage and moonshine still to it.
But the triquetra also symbolizes something else for me, which I’ll get to in a bit.
Back to our story…
As the night wound down, I thought about how much fun I had with this person and how I would like to have more fun times with this person and that I hoped that this fun, amazing person would someday return to full strength so I could continue to spend more fun, amazing time with them… I impetuously took off my triquetra and hung it around their neck. I’m not really sure how they interpreted or perceived my actions, but I put it around their neck because I was really starting to care about this person and that this would represent a wish for them. Because whereas most people see this Dada-esque Venn Diagram to represent God, Jesus, and Donny Most, Pagan or Celtic symbolism, whatever.
I see it as the Self.
For me, the triquetra comprises everything that makes up what is Me or whatever designation we use to signify what we are in this space/time moment. It symbolizes growth, with the triangles extending beyond the confines of the natural circle. It is organic, almost a vascular system. Within each swirling vein flows what I strive for in myself and in others: health, strength, happiness, compassion, creativity, love, curiosity, humor, patience, tolerance. And these qualities all wash around and pass through the very center of the triquetra, that empty little space that, to me, represents a heart.
Right there. That’s me. And all around me, these satellites of values whiz by, giving me what I need to get through this minute, this day, this life, in a structure that naturally supports it. Yes, this is a highly subjective interpretation that works for me but might fall apart on concentrated analysis. But who says symbolism needs to have a mailing address in order to create meaning?
In giving this person my triquetra, I was giving them a wish for wholeness. I want them to come to point where they are free from pains and hurts and whatever makes them Not Really Themself At The Moment. It also means that I know what it’s like to really experience loss and pain — though we do it in different ways and I hope this person comes out alright in the end.
What we go through is significant to us and no one has a monopoly on suffering. Except maybe Cubs fans.
When I opened this post, I said it was frighteningly honest because of its very candid, yet vulnerable theme. I know that by putting this “out there” that it opens me up to criticisms and responses. That’s true in any real creative medium. But emotions are hard and though I’ve often opened dumped out my emotions and feelings here like Ally Sheedy dumping her purse in The Breakfast Club (and often, with the same motivations), it’s still a highly personal venture to let you all pick through the contents. I’ve kvetched and processed my divorce, my struggles with life, doubts, Myo and her eventual passing, stories, and other odd bits here. Essentially, this blog has always been about exposing my belly to you, the online reader, and saying, “Go ahead. I can take it.”
But there’s also a slight chance this person could read it. If so, then they (and you) probably get a good idea of what I think of this person. I have hope, but there are some obstacles in the way. I don’t see them as unmanageable; it all depends on perspective. If it comes to nothing else beyond a fun time or three, well, no attachment to outcomes, I suppose. If that is so and you’re reading this, please keep the triquetra in the spirit that it was given, in an act of wishing you real wholeness. You deserve nothing less than that.
So this is out there now. At worst, I end up looking and feeling foolish for being so damned open about me, myself, and I. The alternative, while more preferable, might involve more belly showing.