Saturday, July 21, 2012

Back In The Day

Birthday Month Musings

Back in the days when I was a neophyte at finding the light in the darkness, as I had only just begun to see my own, my eyesight was as challenged as my psyche. I had a long way to go back then in learning to see the world, let alone myself, with the vista I have come to have.

Along the way, not only has the world changed dramatically, but so have I. And, while my eyesight is still a huge challenge for me, when it comes to seeing and dealing with the dark side of human nature I have become quite an artist and I am proud of it.

Among the most important lessons I have had to learn was how to see the dark in myself as well as in others. Then I had to learn how to confront that darkness, giving myself full range to understand it in both positive and negative terms. (I could write books about it all. And, actually I have.) Finally I have had to learn how to dance with the dark, doing my part to guide it to move to its higher potentials rather than being caught in its descent.

Looking back to the days when first I began on this journey of mine, out of the darkness into the light, I give praise to whatever it was that protected me from the worst of the dangers of the Washington, D.C. fast track that could have befallen me. But I was fortunate. Something in me and/or the blessings of some kind of inheritance of mine was already attuned to circumventing the myriad traps humans can set for one another in the “games people play.”

When I look back on those days, the most challenging being 1965 – 1973, when I was immersed in the D.C. fast track (and almost caught in its net), I am grateful beyond measure that the notorious fate of doomed damsels was averted by me. Perhaps it was that the intoxication of a Hollywood adolescence had seasoned me so well to flash that Washington power players did little more than challenge me to learn how to see through their gloss.

Teen-age years at the side of my beloved father might have opened my eyes to the cost one might pay for admittance to the courts of glamor and power. Raised in a small Ohio town of 2,500, he was at his best as a big fish in a small pond, never quite catching on to the dance and the dazzle of Tinsel Town well enough to fully make it his way.

Whatever it was that inured me to falling too far into the sink hole of the fast track game, I left it behind before too long, preferring to analyze and understand its darkness from the periphery rather than make it my own. The Washington, D.C. fast track is fraught with dangers for a naïve, vulnerable, well-built twenty something woman. And, I was certainly one of these. Excitement and drama can easily entice one into it. Especially when she begins to taste her own power and what it can begat, as I was already doing in my small way. (Tales for another day.)

But escape I did, rejoicing over the years at my standing back from Watergate, far enough to assess, understand and write about its lessons, using them to teach vulnerable others. Now when someone such as the woman, Vicky Triponey, who confronted Paterno, at last, gets her due in recognition and respect for her clarity and courage, I can applaud her as one of my kind, knowing full well the price she has had to pay for the effort.

I can, also, draw comfort and validation from such steadfastness in the face of undue pressure. I have done that numerous times this past week or so as I, once again, danced with the dark side in my own small New Horizons arena, disentangling us from the relatively benign Pretender Peace Buddy Pod that, at the very least, was more than the blemish it was for us. Corruption in a system is corrupt. No matter its size or import in the overall scheme of the day.

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