Saturday was a very difficult start, and this blog is quite messy but I think it is very honest and may lead to some good writing and insight into myself. When I dropped back into bed exhausted, a deep dread took over and I had to take a 2.5 mg. valium. I was almost totally panicked, clutching the crucifix from my rosary and begging the Holy Spirit to come give me peace. Eventually I calmed down (am I becoming a drug addict?) and did my knee exercises while reading the book Claire loaned me called Wild at Heart by John Eldredge. His primary thesis is that “men need something else. They need a deeper understanding of why they long for adventures and battles and a Beauty.” “No question about it—there is something fierce in the heart of God.” 31 This book is really affecting me, especially a passage from a section called “What about adventure?” “If you have any doubts as to whether or not God loves wildness, spend a night in the woods….alone [this is something I have done many times, camping by myself in wilderness areas like the Outer Loop of Big Bend National Park and on a solitary 50 mile hike on the West Coast of Vancouver Island or on the two vision quests I experienced]. “Talk a walk in a thunderstorm [hiking out to Lewis Lake in Yellowstone I was hit by one of the fiercest thunderstorms I every encountered and sat it out, drenched but not panicked and another time with my girlfriend up in Canada’s Glacier National Park, where a huge storm hit us and while my friend was scared, I just told her we had to sit it out] “Go for a paddle with a pod of killer whales [when I was camping on the West Coast Trail I went for a swim right near a pod of killer whales]. The passage goes on to talk about “the deserts of the Southwest with all those rattlesnakes—would you describe them as “nice” places? Most of the earth in not safe, but it’s good.” 31 From my childhood on I have always had the desire for wildness and adventure. I have hiked and fished many times in grizzly bear country, my only protection my singing to alert a grizzly if I couldn’t see very far. After my first encounter with the Canadian Rockies, I returned every year for ten years. It was a sacred place and one of my greatest experiences was climbing to the higher peak of Mt. Rundle (after failing the first time by losing the trail). Perhaps this experience was what led my ex-wife to fall in love with me. But I did these things for 30 years and ended up living by myself for eight years in a Thoreauvian cabin without running water, a mile from my nearest neighbor, with foxes, deer, wild turkeys, coyotes and bears ,
And then Tracy and I had a log house built and we lived there together for 6 years until she left to move into town.
“Why is pornography the number one snare for men? He longs for the beauty, but without his fierce and passionate heart he cannot find her or win her or keep her. Though he is powerfully drawn to the woman, he does not know how to fight for her or even that he is to fight for her….What makes pornography so addictive is that more that anything else in a lost man’s life, it makes him feel like a man without ever requiring a thing of him.”40 I remember my first experience with pornography when I was an early teen. My older brother had some Playboys hidden in a secret place under his desk. I would masturbate to them and this behavior only stopped recently when I started going to the Church again. For the first time since my teens I haven’t masturbated in months (although the desire starts at points but I stop it immediately by praying) and I feel that I have made a real change in my life. The pornography affected the sex I had with many woman because I would fantasize about someone else when I was with certain women.. I also had dark and violent fantasies also so I perverted an act that should have been a satisfying emotional commitment into a meaningless ejaculation.
Now, diagnosed with kidney lupus, on a number of drugs including prednisone, and getting ready for my fourth Cytoxan chemotherapy, I am trying to return to the Catholic church. I have gone to confession and confessed the sins above, received communion and I go to mass every week and to the Holy Spirit group each Monday. I also pray and sing on my porch whenever I get home before dark. But I can’t say I see much change. Nature was my god for close to 60 years and it is hard to change gods. “God wants to be loved” 37 I believe this but how do you do that? I beg for the Holy Spirit to enter my heart. I see all the holy people in the Holy Spirit group and I want to be like them. But how?
I was tired most of the day but I did a lot of writing (much of it going into the essay I am working on) and I did get to 5 o’clock mass but I didn’t feel like I got much out of it. I am anxious and confused and I am not sure the Zoloft is helping me that much. I am going to go for a bike ride and then head home for prayers and songs.