Lessons Learned: Loss, Regrets and Moving Forward
Most of you will have noticed that Wolf rarely posts much in the way of personal stories unless there’s a lesson to be had or something specifically relevant to our School and Sanctuary. This then, is a noticeable and vulnerable departure. It is extra vulnerable in the sense that we are all, and especially Wolf, grieving a death in our family which is very hard at any time, and especially now during the holidays and in the darkest time of the year. I personally want to thank our many allies, friends and students who have been so supportive and protective, and for, as one of my dear friends and fellow herbalists put it, circling the wagons round. Thank you, we deeply appreciate your support during this difficult time.
The internet is a boon to teachers, students, researchers and people seeking to connect, even as it has its down sides. Besides the toxic production, volumes of misinformation, commerciality and sleaze, online theft, spamming, government snooping, and simply spending too many mortal hours looking at a plastic glowing screen, there is also increased opportunities for the spreading of deliberate lies, manipulation and malicious attacks (“flaming”). Even more insidious, may be the way the internet and social networking can be used to the advantage of the emotionally disturbed, especially any scarily determined stalkers.
In the past, the worst we have to deal with were personal or ideological attacks which I, at least, get an odd sense of satisfaction from. More than 99% of all response we get, after all, is hugely positive, making the very few negative reactions much easier to take. If the attack has any merit, the discussion leads me to make new connections and thus conclusions. If it is an unreasonably vile attack, full of venom and obviously fed by the stereotypical deep seated issues, I save them for my records. While the quotes I send about me to magazine publishers are sweet compliments from peers like Gary Snyder, Ed Abbey and Terry Tempest Williams, for my own entertainment I sometimes pull out my favorite attacks. Confusingly, I have been blasted by some as too compassionate with the destroyers of the earth and the old ways, while others yell that I am too radical and uncompromising. My writing has somehow been seen by certain segments as “too flowery” at the same time as others have called it too “polemic.” Often the adjective used is “too,” and so I have taken satisfaction in being “too tree hugger” and “too cowboy,” coming across “too much” or “too little.” And most proudly repeated, is the accusation that I am “too intense.”
Far less pleasurable has been our experience with the first stalker of our very own.
I teach never doing anything you will ever regret, and in fact to this day I am proud of nearly ever thing I have done no matter how hard it was on me, and no matter what the ultimate results. The few regrets I have, almost without exception, involve relationships that did not work out, strictly physical flings in my younger days, and/or the situation of children created in this way without the opportunity to raise them. I have violated sustainability principles on this overcrowded planet by producing a full litter over time, two that I partially got the privilege of raising until they were taken many states away, some that I did not even know about and two I have yet to meet. I can’t regret the creation of any new being, with their own opportunities to be whole and purposeful, but I do regret my early cavalier wildness for creating offspring when I wasn’t told about a birth, when not there to sustain them into adulthood, when two suffered the wounds of being taken away from me and I found I could not with all my efforts bind one to the joyful embrace of life. And for all my remnant 60’s sensibilities (60 BC more than the 1960’s), I have to confess I regret any one night stands partaken of in the name of natural desires or individual freedom, especially one with a complete stranger calling herself Mi—-, who turned out to have had an obsession with me, and who has now stalked me for decades.
I would far prefer to be simply demonized and pummeled. Instead, this person has persisted with a nonstop campaign to win me over or at least get my attention again, making up amazing untruths to do so. Thanks to the internet, for last few years this person has sought out and joined every forum and community we work with, tried to become close to everyone we are connected to including our students, and “friended” many unsuspecting women on Kiva’s and Animá’s FaceBook friends list. Any attacks would appear obvious and the motivations clear to the people who know us, but this person poses as an extremely sweet, “only concerned” friend first, lays the ground work, and then begins careful strategizing. More recently she is posing as a spurned but caring lover, as someone I actually had an involved relationship with. The untruths she has posted are hurtful, but not nearly so much as those truths posted to the general public that one would hope could be privately felt and processed. I have been pierced to the core by someone who insists she loves and admires me, at one of the most vulnerable possible times.
Anyone so “friended” is asked to please “unfriend” this person for our protection, and we would appreciate anyone contacted directly either forward us the material for our growing records of illegal harassment, or else simply spam the sender. To the majority of readers spared contact, we suggest this be fair warning of the dangers that go with our online world, as well as fervent encouragement to measure all acts against the potential ramifications and goblins that can come back to haunt.
The deeper story here is not the regretful acts in all of our pasts, but the value of learning from them… as I have learned from the resulting heartbreak, the potential unhealthiness of unattached and uncommitted sensuality. And through the trauma of my disconnection with a percentage of my blood offspring, learning the importance of being here consistently with our Rhiannon through all her formative years, certain, consistent, steadfast, devoted and tirelessly dependable. It is partly because of what I have done and hurt over in the past, that she will never have to wonder who or where I am, nor how much or how well I love her.
Think for a moment, if you will, about the most consequential mistakes you’ve ever made, the most painful failures you can imagine. Now picture – as I do, and must – all that has been learned as a result. The wisdom your healed wounds and opened eyes have provided. Any resulting changes you’ve made, the scary but exciting changes you know are still coming, and the undeniable growth that has happened. Picture the new pledges you can make or have made, the reasons why you have or will make such pledges, and how powerfully and faithfully you are now enabled to fulfill them.
Thank you for listening, and loving.
Categories: Announcements & Updates