For 2018

"Life is lived forward, but understood backward. It is not until we are down the road and we stand on the mountain looking back through the valley that we can appreciate the terrain God has allowed us to scale.” Jill Savage

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Patricia Volonakis Davis

Okay I'm in Denali now at the Grand Denali Lodge. I rented a cabin and this is MY breath taking view. I'm above Denali and this is the town of Denali below. It's really only open in the summer season - the stores and everything close. There is a 24/7 open Subway there during the summer.

My son and his wife spent 6 days camping in Denali Park itself - on the ground - with the wild animals all around. They actually let campers off the bus, deep in the interior, and get a cell number to call if there is an emergency (if they happen to find the emergency). Oh yeah they ask you for the color of your tent. The will not go out and look for you if you don't come back - the contact number you gave them has to call and tell them to look for you. They didn't give them our number here - they gave his wife's father's number. Didn't want to worry me. . .

to Clarify- I AM an Expert
Posted by: Patricia Volonakis Davis on: July 30, 2009

Now this is totally taken from her Blog - word for word. I don't know her or remember how I found her blog - but I love her feelings, her humor, her honesty, her anecdotes, and how well she is able to put everything down on paper and make it sound so interesting. She seems like a kindred spirit.

Here's her post:
"I have been receiving a lot of emails from readers ever since my book, Harlot’s Sauce, was published. The emails have ranged from "good book, but change the cover" (more than one person has said that, and finally the publisher has listened, but more about that later…) to an outpouring of admiration and assignations to me of wisdom and expertise, as in, "You’re SO wise when it comes to relationships. I wish I were more like you."

And this feels… weird. Because, first of all, a letter filled with adoration received from a person who doesn’t know me is, to paraphrase Amy Alkon, a bit like having a stranger come up to you and give you a foot massage- it feels good, maybe even a little exciting, but at the same time, it’s unnerving. It’s too intimate, too fast. And I haven’t really earned that intimacy with some of the people who write to me. If anyone who doesn’t know me wants to trust me on anything, trust me on this- no one should be wishing to be more like me.

And the part about me being wise? Ha ha. That’s funny. The only thing I’m an expert on – a REAL expert – is FAILED relationships. I have failed so many times at love- whether it’s romantic, sexual, filial, maternal, daughterly, or comradely, that I guess those who send me emails are right- I probably could predict for anyone when they’re headed for tragedy in any of those relationships. But only because I’ve BEEN there- in a big way. So let’s say then that not only do I have that Ph.d in Patrichism, I have also earned my DFR- Doctorate in Failed Relationships. I’m an expert, alright – at breaking my own heart.

My first serious romantic relationship was with a man who used me and my naive virginity, along with my marked lack of self-confidence as his beard for sexual picadilloes I will never repeat, unless they are tortured out of me. I followed that up by worshiping at an altar I created for a man who for decades, considered my dedication to him his ‘money card’. He withdrew on that card, and withdrew, and withdrew, with no re-investment, until finally there was no balance left to extract.

During that same time, I had a ‘best friend’ to whom I was also devoted, and she dropped me not too long after I finally dropped this man. That hurt almost more than the failure of my romantic relationships did, when it finally dawned on me that we’d been ‘friends’ only because my psyche was in worse shape than hers, and my discontent made her feel better about her own.

And there is so much more, with father and mother and siblings, and an extended family group on one side that was less a ‘family’ and more a ‘coven’, blood-sworn in their dedication to dysfunction and maliciousness. A cult which cannot admit people who try to be or are happy or whole, because somehow that slackens their dark, powerful clutch on one another. I’m talking about the kind of people Anthony Hopkins in some film would warn you to stay away from, unless you were covered in garlic and Crosses.

I developed a terror of getting too close to people generated by all of the above. Why? It was pure self-protection – I only had so much blood in my veins and I’d let those I cared about suck on it for way too long.

As a result of that fear, I screwed up yet again, and almost lost the one man who truly loves me, who is my best friend, as well as my husband and lover. Fear was never going to allow me to make the honest and true friends I do have now, if it hadn’t have been for the intervention of some seed of good sense that managed somehow to grow into the great, sturdy tree it’s become inside me, despite the soil deprived of minerals in which it’s had to blossom. Or maybe it grew because of that…who knows?

And this is me- the real me, without the cleverly written descriptions of my life that make you laugh, the anecdotes which on some days are so tricky to get down on paper – after all, how easy is it, really, to find ‘the funny side’ of your own foolishness and pain?

Why am I confessing all of this now, and in this unusually maudlin way? Simple. I want you to know who exactly it is you’re writing to, asking for advice, and venerating for her ‘wisdom.’ I want you to know that sometimes the only way to become wise, is to make your own mistakes and live through the agony of them, so that the lesson sticks.

Remember this the next time you come across someone who sounds like an ‘expert.’ Because they may have become experts the same way I have – not through success after success, but through disaster.

And you know what? It’s not nearly as bad as one might think, to learn to be wise that way. "

Look her up if you want to read some good stories and insights on life and love. So how did you learn your lessons in life? Some people learn from listening to others, some learn from going through it themselves, some learn thru pain and suffering (me). And are ever to old to learn? And doesn't learning make life better? Or does learning make us feel more pain?

My favorite quote is by Anais Nin: "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." That's my reason for going to Alaska.

Now you could say it is only though dysfunction that you find function.

Chatty Crone


^..^Corgidogmama said...

I do believe that we learn more from mistakes than success!

ClassyChassy said...

I guess it is good to be able to learn about life in a variety of ways - experience is generally the best teacher, but later, learn from knowledge gleaned from others' experiences and talking with them. That is sometimes a good 'short cut', so you skip across some areas you would rather not wade through yourself!

Chatty Crone said...

You can learn from mistakes and you can learn from others mistakes.