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September 29, 2005 [ More archived home pages here ]

Least Expectations

Today's song is by SuperTramp, Give A Little Bit.

I have a couple friends who are writers and have already published more than one book in their names. They share their thoughts to the reader openly. In one case, one friend also gives presentations before groups, telling some of his stories to the gathering participants. Sometimes he receives questions that allow him to expand on what he presented. He loves what he does and wants to become a traveling author in this next year.

Both of my authoring friends as well as others have urged me to write a book. For the last year, I've spent time developing my Storytelling opportunities, but I must admit, I thought I would be further along by now. What happened is a realization that I need to get more of my direct thoughts out there in written form. The web is a great place to gain exposure, but people will not regularly read lengthy segments on the screen. Neither will strangers stop what they are doing to listen to me tell a stories of my life without first gaining additional public recognition.

I've decided to write a book. I already have the artwork, the title, the stories, the motivation from my authoring friends to move ahead on this goal. I think the book will propel me into storytelling, much as has happened to my author friend who also presents before groups. In fact, maybe someday he and I will tour together. That's something I've considered lately as I get to know him better and realize he's got a different slant on many of the same things I feel inside that need to see the light of day. But first, I need to get my book done and see how the results go from there.

This site provides my readers an opportunity to catch a small glimpse of what dwells within me. I often receive emails from people that ask deeper questions of what they find here. I try to supply them with the answers they seek. Most of their messages only scratch the surface in their inquiry.

I find the same issue when people who do not know me very well, nonetheless approach me in-person to comment about this site. Almost every person in that group expresses what they wish, but with apparent reluctance to say what they really want to say. I can see the hesitancy in their face, while curiously their voice, eyes, gestures, and body posture are straining to ask more. They don't understand that they can express what they want to me without fear or judgement from me.

The greatest difference between what is asked and what they refrain from expressing is from women. Our society's culture teaches women to not tell men what they feel unless a very strong bond of trust exists between them. I believe that women are concerned that expressing feelings is tantamount to offering themselves up sexually to a man. Even in this "modern age", most women still can't break that barrier to discuss feelings about certain topics with a man openly, unless she is in a relationship with him. Fortunately, I have known more than a few women of all ages who did cross the cultural restraints and found they can talk to me without entangling themselves with this married man. Still, for the most part, each time a woman asks me something in-person about Time Out Of Mind, their "emotional speed-bumps" go up in what they say, but not in what the rest of their body expresses to me visually. If only they could just let go and understand they are safe in talking to me. They would feel better and so would I.

Men don't have that particular hang-up. Any topic they broach is without hesitation. It must be the testosterone that allows men to venture where otherwise estrogen-based people would withdraw. However, men can close-up too if the topic gets too tough to them. Men close-up if they start to feel a tightening in their throat or wetness in their eyes. I've seen plenty of that behavior over discussions about Time Out Of Mind.

The point I want to make through Time Out Of Mind is that we can free our bounds more than we think we can. We can trust a bit more with some people than others. We can do those things and still be in control of ourselves and protect ourselves as needed. There is nothing unreasonable or improper about what I'm suggesting.

I do not have great expectations about changing our culture to embrace my suggestions written about in this message and also sprinkled throughout this site. In fact, I have the least expectations that I will impact more than a few of the people I haven't met yet or those that already know me.

In some ways, my book will reveal more about me than has already been written or otherwise created by me. If it becomes successful to the point of giving storytelling presentations I can expect to see and hear from those in the audience. I wonder today what it would be like to have a stranger ask me in-person, a deep feeling question without hesitation? Will I be able to respond appropriately or will I myself, say less while my own body expresses more?

Don


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