• author
    • Tom McMasters-Stone

    • November 8, 2015 in Columnists

    Going Dutch

    “We interrupt this writing to bring you an important question from your counselor…”th (1)

    I had been working on the finishing touches of a piece about the Trumpster and Benghazi when I had to take a break for my weekly, FORMAL delving into self.

    Fast forward a couple hours and I was sitting on the third floor of a medical building, overlooking Lake Tye. Rain was slapping gently on the window, driven by the ever-present breeze, and the sky was surly and gorgeous at the same time.

    The nondescript office was nonetheless both welcoming and comfortable, painted in pastels, and just warm enough — neat and tidy, yet clearly occupied.

    On my journey, after quite a bit of struggle, I am quite comfortable with a Power greater than myself. Refusing to apply any of the traditional “God-faces” to him/her, I have anointed him with the face of Yoda. He has wisdom, knowledge, peace — and a light saber. Sometimes in life you have to pull out the light saber.

    Certainly, the Dalai Lama would have been a higher “goal” for me, but, like Dirty Harry said, “A Man Has Got To Know His Limitations…”

    After I told my counselor a little bit about my last two weeks, and that I had decided to push the half-drawn light saber back into its sheath, and why, the look on his face told me he disagreed.

    Based upon my reasoning, he rebutted “Are you really making her job easier in the LONG RUN?” referring to the Ranch Manager. Meaning, was I delaying the inevitable, when an amputation will start to heal the sooner it’s done?

    Hmmm. I guess that’s why I pay him the big bucks.

    It’s gets better, because then he shot me right between the eyes and I think most people would have been likewise bull’s-eyed by the question:

    “Are you making decisions as a free man?”

    Clunk. (Sound of stomach hitting the floor).

    I knew immediately that he was not talking about learned experience and I sat for a few moments, staring out the window.


    Free from the past — the abuse, the ridicule, the abandonment, the bullies.

    Free from the present — which way will the ripples meander?

    Free from the future — I will be okay “no matter what!”

    Did I make this decision as a free man, leaving the light saber in its holster and making a decision that was the right one for me, for others, for the right reasons?

    I don’t know and I am not sure, after this, if I will ever know.

    They say “we shall not regret the past, nor wish to shut the door on it.”

    Maybe that door in the picture above is the answer. Close the door solidly on some of it and don’t/can’t look back (the bottom half), let the good things jump through the top half, and then close that portion, as well — and take a glance back through the windows when necessary, but not too often.

    A new tool in my tool box and a new meaning of the phrase “Going Dutch”.

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