Category Archives: love

AVERSION.

Two magnets opposed cannot touch.

Or, we humans lack the strength to bring them together.

But, what of the psychological forces which repel?

I have no memory of what could have provoked the first episode, nor can I recall the manifesting scenario. All I do know is, my tendency to be easily averted has been lifelong.

Basically, aversion is turning away.

As a force, aversion seems to drive me to move in a direction opposed to that which I would otherwise choose. I can avoid tasks, events, even people, for days to weeks, cause not immediately named. And, my emotional connection to the activity or the person doesn’t seem strong enough to prevent this.

Rejection, or its potential, always lurks as a catalyst.

Often, the behavior of a single, key individual affects whether or not I turn from something toward which I would normally run. It’s as if some negative power or influence attaches itself to what I love, rendering it hostile. Like a poisoning.

Several months ago, I was displaced as pianist by another available candidate who had actually been nominated by me to serve temporarily in my stead when I could not. I made this recommendation on the basis of another’s reference, something I rarely do without knowing the quality of the player. But, ultimately, I lost my seat to this person, the panel in place to choose having determined availability to be the sole criteria in line with their needs.

While all these appeared satisfied with their decision, I was fairly well demolished by it. Gradually, I lost interest in my association with the group and, even more astonishing, my desire to play the piano. Now, every time I so much as look at my beautiful Steinway grand, aversion grips my soul.

The initial emotion was, invariably, anger; how dare anyone infiltrate my precious relationship with the music I made on this magnificent instrument?

Yet, the anger gets directed toward that from which I’m averted! The piano itself embodies the negative force exerted by those who have expressed their rejection of me, as if to become a tool of their power.

The dishes in the sink, waiting to be washed, seize me similarly. If I do not wash them immediately, they become increasingly capable of averting me until not a single clean plate or bowl remains and the task demands attention.

I use the term “lifelong” because I cannot return to a time when aversion was not played out in my realm.

Psychologists posit that trauma is the originator. Pain, and the fear of pain, cause us to do everything in our power to prevent its recurrence. Somehow, trauma causes pain and pain becomes associated with that which we hold dear.

Childhood trauma has many aspects – physical abuse; sexual abuse; emotional abuse. Being beaten; being violated; having love and care withheld. Our brains make connections. A single event can permanently associate the pain it generates with any number of experiences in the future which trigger its memory.

Likewise, the source of the aversion attaches itself like a barnacle to that from which I’m averted. They meld. The source seizes ownership.

Many, many years ago I did experience a memorable trauma, one which can be isolated and named. That episode caused PTSD, a phenomenon still manifesting residually all these years hence. And, what did this affect? My other musical instrument, my priceless cello. The ghosts of the nefarious surround me every time I look in its direction.

My conscious awareness of the cause, plus my love for my students, are the only forces which overcome this realization; I deliberately penetrate the veil of hate every time I choose to grasp hold of that instrument.

Aversion isn’t just a psychological neurosis. It’s the power of hate to command control over that which is loved, very well one of the demons about which the ancients speak.

We must all rise, and stand against such a force. “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.” – Song of Solomon 8.

Nothing should touch that which is loved except love itself.

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Copyright 8/28/22 Ruth Ann Scanzillo. All rights those of the author, whose story it is and whose name appears above this line. Plagiarists, take your hate and turn away.

littlebarefeetblog.com

Johnny.

Johnny was my idol.

Johnny Crawford. Son of RIFLEMAN.

Then, Ringo Starr. Mickey Dolenz.

And, David McCallum. To use a borrowed term: “…….Yumm.”

(Who knew why blond curls captured me, but my Kindergarten crush had so many.)

Heck, my own father – the first crooner, the first bones player…….he’d set the bar high.

How does a girl choose?

Before the hormones descend, it’s purely an aesthetic. Pretty faces. Strong bodies. Drummers. But, as the female child transforms, all her sought after features manifest on the random character in the story which tells her own……

Johnny Depp never drew me. His characters were cartooned buffoons. His skin was painted. He was masked.

By the time he showed his face, I had moved on. From 1987 through the 90s and beyond, after a five year dalliance into slumtown as a diner waitress/ pop band keyboard backup I had become a working professional, both accepting my first position in the related arts department of the school district for which I had spent my college years preparing, and taking the stage as a live musician. I was done with idol worship. There was real work to do.

Turns out, my commitment to reality vs. fantasy blew right past the two major heartthrobs of my first graduating class: Mel Gibson, and Tom Cruise. I would play catch up a decade hence, renting everything Mel ever did and writing him a screenplay which he never read because I, longtime step- skipper, attempted to bypass acquiring a literary agent by calling Ed Limato’s office on July 4th. Sharon Stone answered the phone. But, I digress.

So, my world unfolded, populated by literal men, competitive women, and hundreds of children – a gritty gruel of thrill and toil. There was hardly time to experience anything except all the forms of work that a functioning artist generates – rehearsing; performing; teaching; practicing; rinse, and repeat. A teacher by day, professional musician by night, if fantasy had fed imagination this was displaced by actuality. I had entered the realm of that about which others dream.

Perhaps because I was slave to my work, any men who entered my personal sphere saw an easy take. Never any energy left at the end of a week to protect myself from opportunists, the busier I got the less I could discern what was coming at me.

And so, the teacher became the reluctant student. I learned about what makes men seek women, why they keep them and why they discard them. I found out that relationships can be treacherous ground, best left for those who have the time at the end of a day for somebody else.

But, through my role as a public performer I developed a sense of kinship with those others glorified. I knew they were just worker bees, cloaked in familiar persona. I recognized their foibles, afflictions, and failings. And, it was this familial sensibility which drew me to Johnny Depp’s public display of one not so private life.

As captivated as the rest of the some two million, I paid keen attention to his daily, live testimony – whether on the witness stand, or seated at his doodle pad. I had, by this time, seen his dramatic roles, and respected the actor’s depth and timing. I watched his every move, training my ears to every word. His adversary also piqued my interest, as did the slew of ridicule which seemed to follow her everywhere. They each presented the selves they wished us all to see.

And, I peeled them apart.

What did I find? Johnny had ardent fans, but they mirrored what his life had become; Amber had virtually none, at least according to the media blitz. But, what Johnny revealed to me was a quiet child miserably abused, a young man with a gentle, soft heart for the mistreated, and a soul so tortured that benumbing it seemed the only act worth taking on his own behalf. Furthermore, he’d evolved as the commodity of those who saw in him what he’d never recognized in himself. His whole life had unfolded almost entirely outside of his own design.

As creative polymath, he set aside the artistic gifts he naturally possessed in favor of living out characters which seemed attached to an increasing number of external players – agents; producers; directors; writers; casting departments. And, as if to balance that precarious scale, he’d taken to gathering his trusted friends close and handing them extravagance on a silver platter. His indulgences escalated. Ultimately, his ill fated convergence with Amber the tipping point, Johnny’s life was now unmanageable.

The video and audio testimony convinced me of that about which I was very familiar; Johnny was a nearly lifelong substance addict. Many such unfortunates had been in and out of my life. And, Johnny was given to binging, these episodes likely producing periods of amnesia. If he testified to an action, his confession was only as good as his memory of the event.

Regardless the jury verdict, Johnny is still caught in a delicate situation. Were he to admit to the possibility of physically abusing his partner, acknowledging what he might not remember as potential fact, this would vindicate him as a man. But, his heart might not let him. He likely cares too much about those who, for decades, have come to both own him and depend upon him for their livelihood. Coming clean would, ironically, only serve him; by contrast, doing so could leave those he loves as well as his dependents bereft.

Some may also say that “wife beater” is a label to doom any career. I don’t disagree. All labels diminish, reducing every story to its most common denominator. The same is true of “Sexiest Man Alive”; one can neither top nor bottom out from under either. In this case, domestic abuse was proven in court, on both sides of the argument. It’s possible restoring honor is important to some, but for those too humble to crave it the point is moot.

I won’t idolize you, Johnny Depp.

I could forgive you, but you’d have to confess.

And, who among us would remove our mask, first?

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Copyright 6/10/22 Ruth Ann Scanzillo littlebarefeetblog.com All rights those of the author, whose name appears above this line. No copying, in whole or part including translation, permitted. Sharing by direct blog link, exclusively; no RSSING. Thank you for respecting the writer’s honor, however craven.

Breaking The Horse.

There are a few things about which most of us know nothing.

Rendering a wild horse civilized is likely one of them.

This past week, we all had the opportunity to be introduced to that remote subject. Our tutor was none other than actor, daughter, sister, mother, horse breaker…..Amber Heard.

Asked to describe her childhood, by a defense lawyer in court, she complied. Seems her father was the professional – a Texan, a rancher, and a specialist in the art of taming equine mammals for use in either breeding or racing. As a young girl, self described as the one designated to “be the boy”, Amber was placed on the animal’s back as soon as she was able and taught the skills which, as she outlined, were twofold: a.) stay on the horse, and b.) stay on the horse.

Taming the wildness in these 900+ pound creatures was simple, yet profound: remain on the horse’s back, whatever it took, until the horse gave up trying to toss you off.

For as little as we do know of life even after living a few decades, many of us do learn the value of guiding metaphors. This writer could not miss the one portrayed by this story, nor its power over a growing girl’s future outcomes.

To what end would the young horse breaker mount the wild man named Johnny who said he loved her? His habits bred behaviors in both himself and her which, according to her account, became at times life threatening. Could he be tamed? The possibility was at the mercy of her resolve; she would stay on. Did he want to be broken? His desires ceased their power; she would stay on. Would she be thrown? She would get back on. Amber would remount her wild horse, and remain, until he let her stay.

None of us is immune to the forces which compel. Whence these arise can be found in our deepest past. How we are trained determines in large part the manner in which we face life’s obstacles, and what we define as these can become our targets.

Did the daughter of a Texas rancher set out to vanquish the howl of the wild? Clearly, she learned to fight the bucking stallion. But, did she choose her prey, or did it choose her?

This is something only the horse whisperer knows.

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© 5/7/22 Ruth Ann Scanzillo. All rights those of the author, whose name appears above this line. Please respect your fellow creatives in the effort. Sharing by blog post link, exclusively, and not via RSS. Thank you.

littlebarefeetblog.com

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