Mom’s Day: Joy, Celebration, Ambivalence

Mom’s Day. Joy.  Celebration.  Ambivalence.  A fine line,  Ambivalence.  I could drift into “my stuff”, my baggage,  my blues.  With age, my awareness of that fine line grows.  Grappling continues, with ambivalence, even with my awareness.  One explanation, for “ambivalence”, came through a lecture.

“Ambivalence is the existence of two mutually exclusive emotions, concepts, realities, truths.”

I worked in a residential program, guys struggling with their substance abuse addictions, many overwhelmed with ambivalence.  Good example: a man who has been drinking whiskey and beer for the previous twenty years says this: “On one hand, I know I need to be here in this residential program, because I must quit drinking!  On the other hand, I hate this place, and I want nothing more than to sit in my favorite bar over on Colfax and drink some beers.”  Ambivalence: ‘something dichotomous happening.  I appreciate dichotomy, for the most part.  Proverbs has dichotomy going on. Example, from the 4th chapter, one amidst many (18-19):

The ways of right-living people glow with light;
    the longer they live, the brighter they shine.
But the road of wrongdoing gets darker and darker—
    travelers can’t see a thing; they fall flat on their faces.                  

Proverbs has this rhythm-thing going on which comes across like this: Wisdom this, folly that.  Righteous this, unrighteous thatRhythm.  There is rhythm in Proverbs.  Back to ambivalence.  Here it isSunday morning, at my desk, staring out the window at the white precipitation coming down hard, part of the 6-12 inches that Weatherman is calling for.  My daughter with a sore throat, my wife under the weather, I know that our normal routine is a church we go to which connects with our souls.  I am not legalistic and feel like I have to be at church.  It’s about me and the fam wanting to be at church.

What’s my point?  About Mom’s Day, joy, ambivalence?  I am joyed, over the top, by my wise and elegant wife.  I cooked  breakfast for my bride, and brought it to her in bed.  Ambivalence is sprinkled here and there as if sprinkled out of a spice-bottle.  I have been a long-term depressive, continually contemptuous of my lack of excellence and achievement in this arcane world. This all connects with the reality that I sometimes look into my wife’s eyes and am sad.  I am sad because I want to be a better man than I am.  I wanted to give her the best things in life.  This saint of a woman smiles at me, loves me, explains that “those things” are not important to her.  I am also immeasurably thankful that she calls me out to be a better man, and her callings are seasoned with grace.

And that is a glimpse of my ambivalence.





3 thoughts on “Mom’s Day: Joy, Celebration, Ambivalence

  1. awe – breakfast in bed sounds perfect -and what special pots – I really loved the part about Proverbs –

    “Wisdom this, folly that. Righteous this, unrighteous that. Rhythm. There is rhythm in Proverbs…”

    Peace out T! 🙂

    1. Some sojourners appreciate Proverbs more than others. I’m glad you are somewhat of a Proverbs-fan, if not more than a somewhat Proverbs-fan. When we get to the Other Side, we will know more than we do now; and I will worry less than I do now. Peace, T

      1. Hey T – well just one little tidbit about the Proverbs – first – I find that this is where some translation mess up badly – like we have a bathroom book that has two proverbs for every day of the year – and I actually ripped out a few pages of it and put some in birthday cards or in a gift bag once – you know – like here is the Proverb of the day on your special day – but one time I decided not too because with all the “thous” and “thees”- and other literal translation probs – well I am about ready to toss what is left. not an expert here – but you know, when you start getting to know the word of God it is amazing to see the original compared to English versions (and I bet you have a parallel Bible…)

        anyhow, the second thing about Proverbs is that some of these little nuggets of wisdom really came alive for me as I got older – for example, Proverbs 16:9 almost sounded like double talk early on – “man plans his way but the Lord directs the steps” – but then as I saw how the Holy Spirit prompts us and just felt the Divine appointments and all that – it became crystal clear to me as to what that meant.

        and even with Proverbs 27:15

        A contentious nagging wife is as annoying as constant dripping on a rainy day.

        well this one I got right away = made sense and all = and even before I was married I knew woman often set the tone for the house – etc.

        however, when we had gutter problems – and after two repairs there was still this drip – and it was right outside of our master bedroom window – well that verse came more alive. because now I knew what torture it was to just hear a drip. It was not pleasing like other water sounds – and well, the depth of that verse came alive – and it was more just about how wives can set the tone and how much influence we have – and it showed how miserable quarrelsome and instigating behavior can be – by any spouse – and while I am sure there is more gender stuff here – well i will end my long ol’ comment now – ha!

        Peace out T!!!

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