Untotaled: Stepping 65 (February 10th, 1971) Jon Russell…May 2nd, 2015

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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(Transcript)

Dollie woke me from a nap and told me that her water broke.

Still sleepy and also very ignorant, I patted her on the shoulder and said, “Don’t worry. We’ll get you some more.”

She hurriedly explained what she meant.

In no time at all, we found ourselves at Riverside Hospital in Columbus, Ohio and she was wheeled in on a gurney to a back room. I was told to wait in a small enclosure with two other fellows who were quickly informed of the arrival of their children and departed, leaving me all alone.

Hours passed.

I was completely unacquainted with hospitals and was afraid to ask many questions, so I just watched television.

At about 11:15 that night, a doctor came in and told me that I had a new son and asked me if I would like to see him.

Of course I did.

So I walked around the corner and there was a nurse with a mask, holding a bruised, bloody and misshapen mass of tissue which I could only guess was supposed to be my human son.

The doctor noted my shock, and explained that because my wife was under anesthetic, that they had to use forceps to get the baby out, and there had been some bruising–which would quickly heal.

As soon as he made this explanation he left the room, saying that in an hour or so I could see my wife. So I went back and sat down, trying to get my nineteen-year-old mind to understand that I was a father of some gelatin mass.

Johnny Carson was on TV with The Tonight Show. His guests were the Edwin Hawkins Singers, performing O Happy Day. As I listened to the music and the inspiration of the thought, I realized that I was very happy, in a deep, forlorn, frightened and devastated sort of way.

Sitting there that night I had no idea where the rest of my journey would take me:

Three more children of my own and three additional children I brought into my home and adopted as my sons.

I could never have envisioned the struggles, the thousands of miles, the victories and the defeats.

I was glad I was alone, because I cried.

I wept over the little boy who was dying–and also for the man who was trying to emerge and make his place.

 

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Sleepy Adam … July 25, 2012

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If you mention the creation story from the book of Genesis, you always get an interesting traffic jam of reactions.

There are those who believe that God literally created the world in six twenty-four hour periods and that our planet is no more than sixty-five hundred years old. Others are a bit more careful in their proclamations, adhering to the process listed in the book of Genesis, but allowing for more time to have elapsed between creative bursts. Then, some contend that the creation story and Eden are mere metaphor of processes which actually occurred more “chemically” than “supernaturally.”  These folks still hold tiny ropes in their hands, still believing that the whole thing was instituted by a divine presence. And of course, there are disbelievers, who pooh-pooh the whole passage, debunking it with relish, and in so doing, establish their superiority to fairy tales and imaginary friends.

Having presented these categories of thought, I will now tell you — I don’t care.

I read the creation story the same way I read the whole Bible–in relationship to what I am experiencing and understand as a human being on a planet that is still reasonably functional. I neither deter from divine inspiration, nor do I defend it like some aging soldier who just won’t let the war die. What I find interesting is the use of certain language when explaining the procedure.

One of these phrases is “the creation of man.” I think it’s rather interesting that the Bible leads us to believe that God may have intended to create just a male part of the human race, who would have lived forever as more or less a permanent, masculine caretaking force for the earth. But as the story goes, He discovered that people are not good when they’re by themselves. So He decided to create woman. What is fascinating to me is that God, according to the tale, put Adam in a deep sleep, in order to gain parts of his innards–kind of like an anesthesiologist.

Perhaps this was a mistake. (It may have given men future permission to doze off while women are sharing their feelings and new ideas.) Adam might have benefitted greatly by being given a local anesthetic and being fully alert as he watched how God put together the body, spirit and emotions of the feminine of our species.  For after all, somebody has to step in and stop men from being sleepy and women from being allowed to reluctantly run the world while receiving less salary for the project. There are eight things about men and women that are true (well, at least I think so):

The first one is that we are competitors. There are twelve years after our birth where nose-to-nose, men and women are equal. Matter of fact, women sometimes run faster, grow taller and mature more quickly than the male of the species. We should be using this time in our schools to teach compatibility, respect, understanding and empathy between the sexes. I call this the “Let’s Run” phase. Matter of fact, in a good, healthy relationship, a man and woman will always have a decent amount of competition.

From there it moves on to a sexual partnership. Yes, God placed within the spectrum of the experience of both sexes a potential for pleasure to go along with the competition. There are just enough parts that are different to keep the game interesting. I refer to this as the “Let’s Play” part of the experience.

But it doesn’t stop there. Life is not all about sexual conquest. You meet one you like, you get together and basically, you become business associates. You start your own little corporation. I like to dub this particular station “Let’s Work” Once again, if you’ve had twelve initial years of learning to respect and have been granted a sexual interest between each other, then you should be prepared to be mutually involved in a great effort to make money and build a lovely little kingdom for yourselves.

Time marches on and the miracle of procreation brings about children and suddenly–you’re a parenting team! The natural name for this particular juncture is “Let’s Learn.” (By the way, just for the record, there’s no such think as a naturally born mother OR father. We all do it poorly until we do it better and still get to the end and wonder if we’ve crapped out. It’s so reassuring to have another person with you to share the blame.)

The kids grow up and you’re back to being together as a team and you suddenly realize that you’re getting older and you need a health advisor. Yes, it’s nice to have somebody else monitor your cholesterol. It’s wonderful to have someone around who understands your weaknesses without thinking you’ve become weak. Can I call this passage “Let’s Think?” Because as your body begins to lose some of its pizzazz, it’s nice to know that your brain can fill in some of the gaps.

All this time, you still haven’t lost the competition. That special someone is a sexual partner (even though it may be considerably less frequent). Of course, you are still business associates because the checkbook still requires balancing. Parenting team comes into play because the offspring may threaten to return. and most of all, you have the wonderful blessing of having a constant dinner companion–because there’s no power in living a life of “Let’s Think” if you don’t have a person sitting across from you stimulating “Let’s Talk.”

Time presses on and those two eyes in your head begin to dim a bit and it’s nice to have another set around. Yes, four eyes can often decipher what two fail to see. Another set of eyes.Let’s Seelife together–even as we get older.

And finally, the reason I think Adam should NOT have been put to sleep but instead, should have had full exposure to how his mate was created, is that one of the most reassuring parts of being linked with another person is that you know  when you pass on there will be one mourner, “Let’s Remember.” Isn’t that nice? Even if the rest of the world fails to consider your journey, there will be one person who will always sense your absence.

It’s the miracle of man and woman.

  • Let’s Run
  • Let’s Play
  • Let’s Work
  • Let’s Learn
  • Let’s Think
  • Let’s Talk
  • Let’s See
  • And Let’s Remember

If you can resolve the difficulty tha seems to linger in our society as we promote the struggle between men and women, you are more than halfway to unlocking all the secrets of the universe. I believe if God had it to do over again, he would not want a “Sleepy Adam,” but instead, an alert man who understood what was being created in front of him, and prepared to have a competitor, a sexual partner, a business associate, a parenting teammate, a health advisor, a dinner companion, another set of eyes and ultimately … a mourner.

It was a perfect plan–perhaps imperfectly executed. That’s plausible, right? But if we can get all of our “Sleepy Adams” to be more sensitive to our Emerging Eves, we will certainly have a healthier Eden. At least that’s my opinion.

And opinions are where we desperately need to have that other person … who’s willing to listen.

   

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