Sunday, April 12, 2009

The (Sometimes Impaired) Tortoise

I am gifted with a slow wit. My mind is blessed with shackles that do not permit dashes to conclusion, understanding, or expression. I am compelled to know such words as “tarry,” as operative terms for my comfortable functioning in life. I simply must linger, dwell, and know quiet moments of uninterrupted consideration … before I can appropriate an understanding of any setting, concept, hypothesis, theory, encounter, or engagement. This is the core operating Truth that governs the Being of One who is created as a “conceptual” thinker. I must form a concept … “see,” “feel,“ and “sense” the “picture” that lies in every element of life … before I can respond, effectively, to a circumstance, opportunity, or situation.

This is something that I have come to peace with in this world of “multi-tasking,” and hurried business, that denies precious time for stillness. I am a “Tortoise” in our world of exaltation of the “Hares.” If only I had understood this unflinching fact much earlier in my life! Instead, I was (most frequently) labeled, “Lazy” by teachers, family, employers, and some friends. For, you see, my “potential” (as exhibited in I/Q tests, and general functionality in my day-to-day tasks), was not being realized. And no one knew what to do with me. Most importantly … I did not know what to do with me.

Then Life visited a supreme Gift upon me. My son. And I became (through my immersion in his struggles with mental retardation) aware of the marvelous reality … that our brains function quite individually … with their own distinct set of “operating systems.” (If you will) And, unfortunately, those operating systems are just as likely, to be flawed, and hampered, in their functioning, as they are to be enhanced. So … not only are we working with unique and individualized “operating systems,” but we have varying degrees of operational efficiencies in each Individual’s brain. Wow! We are not “cookie cutter” replications of a “standard” set of capabilities! Some of us have learning and functioning challenges that are perfectly OK ... just requiring particular tactics and methods to deal with. This was a tremendously liberating insight for me.

Thusly, I became quite adept at recognizing my son’s abilities … and was able to address each aspect of his life … and its inherent sets of requirements … in the light of what he was naturally equipped to “process.” And, the same was (and is) true for me.

So, My Darling Friend, as I look at your lovely ’comments’ on my blog, and realize that I haven’t the capacity (at that moment) to respond to your thoughts (as I so enjoy doing.) I am at peace with my understanding that I must be patient with my Self. I must wait until I can linger, tarry, and be still with my complete focus on You and your message, alone, before speaking to your Presence. Then, when I am at that Place, I thoroughly enjoy the intimacy and special-ness of actually Being … in spirit and truth … with you through our shared exchange. This is a beautifully sacred reality for me … something that I relish and cherish. It is completely unacceptable, to me, to offer Life’s sweet Gift of our encounter, anything less than all (undistracted and undiluted) of who I am.

In light of all of this, I am permitting all of the mechanisms of my Self to deal with my ever-present Companion in life … dear clinical depression (not the "mood modifying 'Thing,' but the chemical 'functionality-limiting' Thing) … with an understanding that at the end of this particular “bout” I will, once again, return to that place that will permit my immersion in thoughts of You. For, you see, ‘Mister D’ saps those conceptualizing abilities … and leaves scant-little with which to focus and consider, all that a response, to You, deserves. I am not "down" ... just unable to focus, conceptualize, and appreciate the dimensions and scope of new thoughts or ideas. So, I thank You, My Darling Friend, for your patience and understanding with this old Tortoise. I will be back to celebrating your posts ... and responding to your comments on mine ... real soon. [smile]


Chuck Dilmore said...

you are loved.

if you are The Tortoise, then we
only marvel at your pace,
your resilience.

you remind us
of the gift
of slowness.

the world moves fast, and maybe
this is why we all love
this place we have made,
this quiet corner.

we are with you, of you.

John-Michael said...

My very Dear Chuck, on this day, when all of my recollections are of years of directing Easter cantatas, co-ordinating sun-rise services with choirs of other congregations, hurrying and scurrying to gatherings at in-law's home with afternoons of impersonal interactions and a complete absence of any honest, and genuine intimacy ... Your sweet message caresses my Soul with a kind and sincere authenticity that refreshes and blesses to complete Joy.

I thank you, Dear Friend, for your generosity of Spirit!

Lovingly ...

Linda Pendleton said...

There are times for all of us when we have the need to enjoy the quietness of our soul, and bask in the light.

lime said...

real friends take you just the way you are. big hugs. in your time...

Suldog said...


I often don't reply to commentary left at my place, but I assume those who leave the comments understand that I love them. I know, when I leave a comment here, that you cherish the interaction, much as I do. If you don't feel up to responding, I am still secure in the knowledge that you appreciate my words.

Be well, soon. That is my prayer for you.

Calli said...

There is absolutely nothing impaired in you, dear sir, John-Michael! You are a gift and you are cherished in this place, and in life! And, I am with Chuck in saying, we are with you and of you!

much love~

Coccinella said...

John-Michael, I wondered why I hadn't heard from you for a while. I've only recently 'met' you and didn't realise the depth of your being; your eloquence with words amazes me; I wish I could express my thoughts the way you do. My prayers are with you and your son and your speedy return here.

I will have to go back through your posts to the one where you described your feelings about where you live (the photo of the lake); it expressed exactly what I feel about where I live! I live in country Victoria Australia, 2km from pondages and 4km from a great lake - it is a very pretty place.


The Clever Pup said...

Jon Michael - I was wondering where you had been.

Please take care of yourself. In these troubled times my family and I truly believe that slow and steady wins the race.

I'm envisioning the oh-so-very old Bugs Bunny vs the tortoise as I write this. Be strong.

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