Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lone Wolf or Leader of the Pack?

In the midst of contemplating from what angle I would approach writing about the tenuous grasp I have on and still dynamic nature of my recent cancer diagnosis, we picked up a book yesterday entitled: 'Eat Right For Your Type', which guides the reader through eating right for your blood-type. Maybe an odd topic, but it was actually recommended by a chiropractor who was evaluating Lucas for possibilities for countering the unknown cause of his constant ear-infections. When reading about my blood type (O+), I was struck by an explanation that us Oh-Pos's are deeply rooted in ancient hunter-gatherer characteristics and resistant to changes. (Sounds familiar). The book went on to describe that ancestry linking the dietary habits of early Europeans and that the life of a hunter-gatherer greatly revolved around a solitary-by-nature mindset. Just today I was driving up into the foothills getting Lucas to sleep, on a state highway bordered on either side by two canyons. Far off on one side, I saw a split where the canyon diverged and left a little plateau on the high spot with a solitary pine tree standing tall upon it. It reminded me of a certain favorite spot of mine near Donner Pass up near Lake Tahoe where a similar solitary tree stands, growing out of a rock, overlooking Donner Lake far below. Places like these speak to my soul and to my own solitary nature. It speaks of how much in my life has been seeking out ways to reach a higher feeling through solitude and isolation. Since learning of my illness, I've yearned for that feeling again that I've found so often before hiking in the beautiful isolation of the Desolation Wilderness, climbing a snowbound peak, skiing powder in Alaska, or visiting my dear friend the bonsai tree. These things brought me to a meditative place where nothing else existed except for the moment.

At times as of late, I've been overcome with feelings of frustration or anger at 'the moment' and can't seem to find a source outside of strenuous adventuring to funnel all my feelings and worries through. Going to work for 14 hours a day, saying goodmorning to my family then trying fruitlessly to sleep while they went about their day just to wake up and do it all over again; that wasn't easy either, but it was familiar. That's still a farcry from the life I want for us, but now that I'm home everyday and the kids have gotten used to me being around, I feel we've never been closer but also know that it won't be able to stay like this indefinitely. The extra time I thought I'd have is eaten up by the demands of family life, though willingly and being a clear responsibility as a parent and a husband, I've still struggled with the desire to just be alone. I've found however, that in order to find the 'Zen' I'm looking for, I can't have all of one and none of the other. As with anything that requires sacrifice in life, it must be a fine balance between many things.

The new found bonds I've been able to develop and make stronger with not only my two beautiful children and my amazing wife but with a multitude of friends and acquaintances from recent times and long ago, has done much for my heart and soul. My utmost priority is staying healthy at all costs in order to provide (hunt) for my family and surround us with (gather) the love and support of all those praying for us so that our spiritual and mental health does not suffer. I seek only peace and happiness for my family and cannot do it alone. That is why we have you, our faithful and endearing friends and family to help us through. Balanced with this of course is a need deep within myself to escape to where I can contemplate and focus my own energy on healing from the inside. Though I can't retreat on a whim and go spend a week in the woods at random, tempting but not fair to those who still depend on me, I can still seek out that solitary tree on the hill, whether hopping a fence and trudging through a canyon and over a river to get to it or just visiting it in my mind during one of the few brief quiet pauses in our day here at the rodeo (our house). The need to compensate for the lack of the physical activity that used to define my life is staggering and surely the source of many of these feelings. Skiing, biking, climbing. These were an outlet to release any and all frustration and worry and a way to center myself and reset. Finding alternatives has been hard, but I know with the help of my eternally supportive and encouraging wife, I will find that outlet, though regretfully in a tamer form, once again and allow myself to harness the energy into a healing one as well as a supportive one to continue to be the best husband, father, son, brother and friend those that I love deserve.


1 comment:

  1. Aww, Pete, this was so touching. You and Alysha, are so strong and such amazing parents! We are praying for you! Right after I finish this comment Ryan and I are going to say a big prayer for you! Hang in there! We are cheering you on! ��