A Little Anarchy

I admit it, (though my eldest argues against it), I have an anarchic streak that rears its cynical head from time to time. I’m not talking about cheering the English Rioters nor am I planning on shaving my head and buying a pair of Doctor Martin’s Boots. I’m talking about the little voice that screams “What the hell are we doing?”
Now anyone who knows me will be aware that I think the first world has its priorities well and truly screwed up. We are subjected to a dangerous type of propaganda, telling us that we are far more important than anyone or anything else. The media tells us that we can have whatever we want, whenever we want it. Our WANTS have become NEEDS and our needs are taken for granted. We have become a disposable society, where we discard rather than fix anything, forgetting how to be grateful for the things we have. I’m not immune to the alluring message that we’re being force fed, catching myself falling for the bull$#!% that streams out of my TV every night. I find myself wanting this new thing and that new thing and becoming dissatisfied with this or that long before the warranty runs out. For someone with a demonstrated addictive personality, I find the constant media barrage hard to resist.
First world society seems bent on using up all the resources available, even stealing those meant for our descendants. As an ex-gambler I have seen this kind of behaviour before.
It’s like we park our responsibilities in the casino car park and go and gamble our futures away.

A knock

The first thing I remember is the last thing I saw the toilet rushing up to greet me like a bizarre porcelain Liverpool kiss, then…nothing.

Underneath me, there’s something soft, and distinctly un tile-like.

It feels like the blood is rushing to my head. Am I upside down?

Dare I open my eyes?

One eye first, then the other, try to ease into the shock.

It’s a bad idea. There is no easing into the shock.

I’m lying on grass with my head pointing down a hill. I’m staring at the inverted fields of purple grass that flow off to the horizon where the sky gently sways in the breeze.

I must have hit my head harder than I thought.

I hear the unmistakable farting of a 1960’s VW combi van and sit up; It’s another bad Idea. My head pounds in time with the engine sputter .

I watch as the psychedelic van pulls up nearby, its swirling colours join the throbbing and I think I’m going to be sick.
I hear my own voice call out. “You okay Man? You don’t look so good.”

I look up to see that it’s me driving the combi.

“I think I’m going to be sick,” I tell myself.

“Well don’t spew up here or the A.B.’s will give you a body seach you’ll never forget.”

“A.B’s” I ask.

“Antibodies, dude, get with it.Get in,” I say to myself, “you shouldn’t be in here”

“What? I shouldn’t be in where? What is this place?”

“Your head, stupid” I answer. “You can’t be in here. Get in the van before the thought police get here.You’ve got to get out of your mind man.”

“I think I already am.”

This is going to get worse before it gets better, I just know it.

Did I say that out loud.


Father’s Day

I haven’t always been a Kneipp…I used to be a Griffin. My father was a poor paternal example and the last time I saw him I was twelve.
I’m reminded of the kid’s books featuring The Berenstain Bears. The father is always attempting to teach the young cubs to Sail, or ride a bike or something, and generally finishes up damaged, espousing how that was a perfect example of what NOT to do. As a father of two teenage boys, I often feel this way – my teaching efforts turn into great examples of what not to do.

My Grandfather was damaged as was his son, my father, who fell off the face of the planet, taken by alcohol, gambling and a refusal to deal with the responsibilities of Fatherhood. I heard he died a few years ago, still running from the consequences of his actions.

I was recently told that “To become a man you must do three things. Understand your father, forgive your father and respect your father.” I have no problem with one and have come around to two but the Respect for my father is a slow train coming.

I am well aware of the kind of father I want to be. Wise, loving, patient, etc, but I find myself again drawn to the Father Bear of the books – damaged and a bit the worse for wear.

It occurs to me that the lack of respect I feel for my father has bled into my own soul feeding my own lack of self respect. This is the journey that I am now on. This is the lesson that I still have to learn and wish to pass on. If I am going to give my children someone to understand, forgive and respect, I must first deal with these things that hold me back.

My greatest desire is to break this chain, this long line of damaged fathers damaging their children. So far I think I’m doing okay.

Trying to be a good father
Without fatherly advice
A son born into fracture
Raised within divice
No malice borne toward him
Through the decades that have past
Nor lack of understanding
Of the shadow he has cast
I remember very little
Of the man behind my scar
But his demons’ ever haunt me
And his madness’ never far
So I’m learning from my children
And my one truth, lover, friend.
And I fight to finally put
this damaged cycle to an end