I didn't get a Father's day card last year. I was fairly pragmatic. After all, its just a made up day and mostly geared to selling cards, gifts and generally sustaining our consumerist economy. If you're not hung over, bloated or broke after a big day then it can't have been that good, can it? I'm not heartless though. It did hurt a little. It must have, because I can remember how I felt. But piling misery on misery really doesn't have any beneficial effects so it's not good to dwell on these things.
I got one this year and it feels worse. They say absence makes the heart grow fonder, which is true if you're on a promise. But when nearness is painful, distance is a mercy. When you're separated from your family by distance you can count the miles but when you're separated by regret the counting never stops. I'm on my own with a lovely Father's Day card in the window. It says "Thank you for everything." So I did something right but it feels like cold comfort. My own father used to endorse the line, "It's better to have loved and lost than to never to have loved at all." How is that? It's a hell of a lot more painful. They say things are better 'felt than telt'. Failure can be a foundation for success but whereas a lost football match is a learning experience, a failed marriage is a disaster.
Merriam-Webster defines dissonance as 'a clashing or unresolved musical interval or chord.' When you convince yourself that love was worth it but your heart screams, "No," that's cognitive dissonance. I don't feel like a father and I don't want convincing that I should - that would not resolve the dissonance. Everyone has a picture of how life should look and when the picture on the wall is different to the one in your head you invariably want to change the picture on the wall. You can pretend they are the same or close your eyes and ignore the reality but at some point you have to negotiate.
I've been arguing with a guy concerning consequences. It's common for Christians to believe that they simply have to ask God's forgiveness and he makes everything right. But nothing could be further from the truth. Cause and effect is a fundamental principle and (fatalism aside) if you separate the two, the universe ceases to make sense. Put your bare finger in the fire and it will be burnt. If we deny reality we are likely to make poor decisions. However, it's as much a mistake to take the painting at face value, as it is to refuse to believe it exists. Neither should you dismiss your dreams just because reality won't budge.
It's becoming apparent to me that my focus should be on that painting that causes me so much distress in that I must either concur with reality or at least come to some arrangement. You don't negotiate a rock by insisting that it shouldn't be there. Neither do you allow it to dictate your actions. Your options will depend on the tools at hand, the size of the rock and your knowledge of what lies beyond and you must consider all three. That card in the window challenges my mind's eye. I have something physical in front of me so what will be my response? To think, "What if?" or to first receive the message in the spirit in which it was given, then negotiate that rock.