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Eyes Filled With Tears

by Dr. Derek Lamar

"Tears were just rolling down my cheeks like I was waiting for a bus in the pouring rain."

A lot of entertainment accompanied the curriculum at the Fourth Way School I was in. At least it seemed that way. But the "Sly Man" approach was always at work and often you found out that what you thought was entertainment was simply the soundtrack to your own movie and though you might have the starring role, it was often filled with scenes of frustration, disappointment, anguish and pain. It was after one of the classes that Thane Walker had given that Andy hit the tape recorder on cue and played Peggy Lee's "Love Song". The entire class began singing along. Eventually people started standing up, hugging each other, moving toward the stage as Thane looked on. At some point I made my way up to the stage and found myself standing there crying. Tears were just rolling down my cheeks like I was waiting for a bus in the pouring rain.

           (Above: Humanity cries out for release.)

It wasn't the tears of joy even though it was one of those many memorable moments. It was release. At that moment I was experiencing the freedom to be me. Not the reality of me, but the "me" which had unpleasant, untapped memories packed inside like dirty laundry in a duffel bag in the closet. Suddenly everything came pouring out. I didn't know what it was except the freedom to express myself: to get it out. I had never cried in front of others until that moment. Revealing it to others was admitting it to myself.

"You know it can't harm you to feel your own pain!"

John Lennon once sang that it "Can't do you no harm to feel your own pain. I found out!" from his "Primal Scream" period. Here I was in a Fourth Way School and I was supposed to get in touch with my feelings. I understood the process but it still eluded me and basically I was afraid of it. I couldn't deny the pleasure I actually felt in the letting go process. But this didn't seem to end the pain that was living inside of me.

(John Lennon in his first album, right, performs "I Found Out".)

Pain has a way of reproducing itself. As long as it is alive it continues to grow. You can cut it off like the lawn on a hot summer day or you can pluck it up by the root like a dandelion taunting you with its beauty and daring you to spread its seductive seeds. One of the things we learned in class was that there was a difference between "relief" and "release". Relief is when you let some of that bottled up pain out. It feels so good and it may even last quite a while. Then one day you realize that it is still there working hard to make itself known once more. However, release is when you let it go totally and allow the real unobstructed feeling of innate love emerge and operate freely. This way you can allow your "BEING" to function rather than accepting a blockage of "non-being" that holds you hostage.

"hatred and violence... apathy and vulnerability"

During the early years of the 70's I lived at my parent's home for a few weeks. One night, while watching the film "Joe", my mother's blasé attitude toward the "shocking" and deliberately provocative hatred and violence in the end of the film triggered me into full blown hysterical sobbing. I ran from the room although I'm sure my mom just lit a cigarette and fixed herself another drink. The memory of that sticks with me.

(Left: Joe starring Peter Boyle and the debut of Susan Sarandon. French poster says: "This is also America!")

A few months later I moved to Santa Monica to be closer to the school. One night I was watching TV on one of the cable channels and a movie called "Emperor of The North" starring Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine came on. The hatred and cruel violence exhibited throughout the film caused the same emotional reactions in me. In the counseling report Betty Cuff wrote about me to Thane, she said that "This led us to discuss apathy and vulnerability" It seems that we sometimes do not allow ourselves to react to our pain or attempt to stop it because we first learn it at the hands of our parents or other adults and we are afraid to fight back. This can go on for a lifetime without realizing this is why we hide our pain from ourselves. We swallow it along with our pride and stop asking questions.

(Right: Ernest Borgnine and Lee Marvin go at it in The Emperor of the North.)

As I began to get more in touch with my pain my first reaction seemed to be to lash out at others and maybe hurt them. This way I could finally fight back. Though I didn't realize this at the time I can see that this was what was going on in bits and pieces. I was fighting back in ways that ultimately would hurt other people's feelings or at least confuse them. At work in the apartment complex I was constantly fighting with "the old lady" who was my boss. Ruth and I were always at each other. But mostly she was on my case and I would fight back.

"Selfishness, dishonesty and pain"

During my rounds one day I had to clean up a vacant apartment. A student named Alan lived there last. As I gathered up the trash I found a "tuition envelope" with a check in it that had never been turned over to the school. Rather than giving it to Alan I mailed it with a note to Thane. It was my intention that by getting the goods on Alan this would somehow score points for me. Yes, lame now, but at the time I was in a cloud of pain and needed to hurt someone. Alan and I both did graphics work in the school and often were at odds with each other. Thane didn't buy the letter or my "concern" and I was called on it. Thane called my bluff and wrote: "Some tuition envelopes were not reaching the person they were indicated for, including myself, but I would not have suspected Alan. We have to compare the printing on the envelopes with the printing of two or three students who print because we think we know how this envelope originated. If this proves to be right, it could be merely an oversight on Alan's part rather than theft."

(Right: Thane Walker, Teacher at the Fourth Way School: The Prosperos)

At this point I am freaking out. "I didn't say that!!!" I think to myself. In fact I made it clear, I said: "I have no reason at all to dispute Alan's honesty in the usual sense. I do not think he is a thief." But clearly I wanted to put Alan in a bad light in order that I could hurt him and make myself look good. But my intention was dishonest and this included being dishonest with myself. I wasn't dealing with my own feelings of hurt and pain and yet I was expressing it outwardly in my world.

But what was this pain all about? I still thought that the pain I encountered was like a red light at an intersection. You had to stop and wait and then it would change and you could go on your way. I didn't realize that deep within my subconscious I was manufacturing opportunities for myself to experience pain that happened when I was young. Pain that I was never able to deal with it at the time. Eventually this pain manifested itself in a tooth. I had never felt pain like this before. I took some pain pills and felt nothing nothing but the pain in my tooth. I went to Betty's apartment and she had some oil of cloves and that knocked it right out until I had a chance to get to the dentist.

"Energy must express itself where it will"

Around this time Betty made a comment about an oil tanker spill in the news. She said "energy must express itself where it will". We were having gas lines and high prices at the pumps. There were shortages of fuel and patience. Things do not always outpicture themselves literally according to our first impression but with subtle symbolic expressions, like dreams we have, they require intricate analysis. The overturned oil tanker represented waste and the anger the general public was feeling. The pain of the entire country could be seen in the meaningless event of a ship leaking oil just at a time when conservation or care and discipline should have been more evident. People's fear was that oil prices would go up even higher. What would do that more than oil spills? The subconscious expresses itself where it will. It might not make sense at the time, but eventually one's frustration can be seen in the midst of what appears to be chaos. For me it was a tooth with exposed nerves.

With most of my pain I never could place a face with the perpetrator. I had pain inside of me but I couldn't make it out it was like being raped and not being able to make out the face of the one who assaulted you. I never actually thought someone had hurt me. I just knew that I felt hurt and could feel pain. I never really thought of it as an injury that had never healed. I could cry out from the pit I lived in but I never knew someone pushed me into that hole. I never knew who pushed me into that place in my mind, the darkness, the loneliness, the rejection, the contempt, the self-condemnation for being responsible and feeling bad inside.

"I hate you... I've always hated you!"

In "The Children's Hour" Shirley MacLaine screams at her aunt who left town to avoid a court ordeal that causes the main characters to lose their private school. Shirley yells: "I hate you. I've always hated you." The aunt snaps back: "God will punish you for that!" Shirley looks her square in the eyes and says: "He's doing alright."

(Right: Miriam Hopkins who played the aunt, Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine... always out on a limb.)




"You have a divine reality that is not of that moment......but of Eternity"

We all feel that way at times. I find that there are periods of my life that are punctuated with moments of emotional outbursts and one learns to view these events as landmarks which alert one to buried pain in their consciousness. This is important because these pockets of pain are working contrary to one's own best interest. First you must claim them as your own and set out to remember what took place. You can view them as they were and sometimes that alone will allow you to move beyond them. You see that they no longer need to have control over you. Other times they require more work. This is when you must come to the realization that ultimately these feelings have brought you to a place where you can face them, let them go, and allow the real you to come forth. To stand up and know that you dealt with it the only way you knew how at the time, but now it must no longer continue to play itself out like a broken record. You have a divine reality that is not of that moment... but of Eternity. Saga continues Gay Meets Straight In A Fourth Way School

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© Copyright Derek Lamar 2005

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