Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Rescuer Archetype

“ Expect nothing, live frugally on surprise.” -- Alice Walker

For most of my life I was a reluctant social drifter, accepting my role as a quiet observer, yet somehow internally passionate at the same time. Without knowing why I found myself following a rescuer archetype, which I will designate, the "Littlest Hobo". This will require digging up some dusty archive TV knowledge: Some of you might remember the intriguing old ¨Littlest Hobo¨ series from the 70s. It focused around a stray German shepherd that wandered from town to town rescuing people in need. It was similar to Lassie, but the Littlest Hobo never had an owner and though many people sought to adopt him, he preferred to be on his own and would head off by himself at the end of each episode. The faces of the actors always changed so that the only constant was the dog.
The dismystification process unfolded as my eyes opened to personality disorders. Although the poem below belongs to another writer under different circumstances, I still identify with the idea of being outside the door of my father's life and how it resulted in a pattern of moving from place to place without forming roots. Of course, there is something noble about rescuing strangers without asking anything in return, without belonging ... moving on as that little superhero figure. Perhaps it was safer to acquire admiration from a distance than risk intimacy with who kNows who … rescuing gets the job done, but without the ties that eventually could wound or shatter one's fragile idealistic world.
© TR 2008

"Underneath The Door"

My father was a doctor
Who would come home late at night
With a soul so bruised and bleeding
From his unending, faithful fight
To keep a hold of kindness
In a world that isn't kind
To hold out the hope of healing
To his hurting humankind.
Then he'd flee back to his study
To his bookish, quiet place
With notes and books and journals
To wall in his special space
And then he'd lock the door
From things that cannot be locked out
And his youngest son would starve for what
He'd always do without
But it was meant to make me who I am
And for all these many years
Still the little boy down on his knees
Full of hope and full of fear
Calling underneath the door
"This is me, it's who I am."
Cause we love the best by listening
When we try to understand
Desperate stubby fingers
Pushing pictures 'neath the door
Longing to be listened to
By the man that I adored
Inside someone who needed me
As much as I did him
Unable to unlock the door
That stayed closed inside of him
It's strange the way we tend to flee
From what we need the most
That a father would lock out a son
When his heart would hold him close
But our wounds are part of who we are
And there is nothing left to chance
And pain's the pen that writes the songs
That call us forth to dance.

Lyrics/Credits:P 2002 Covenant Artists, LLC©
2001 Mole End Music/Administered by Word Music Michael Card

1 comment:

SarahA said...

That's really beautiful, you. Sad, but beautiful in it's sadness.