Contact Me Here
This form does not yet contain any fields.
    « Riding Your Lover's Edge | Main | I Invented Fire »

    SuperFly's Eleven

    There's a scene in the movie Ocean's Eleven where George Clooney's character, Danny Ocean, surprises (shocks, actually) his ex-wife Tess (played by Julia Roberts) at the restaurant in the very hotel he's scheming to rob blind. I remember when I first saw the movie, something about that scene hit me so hard between the eyes that it felt like my third chakra was having an orgasm. In the moment, I wasn't focusing on my inner experience; I was way too into what was happening on the screen. Later, I pulled it apart, as I usually do with such powerful episodes. My takeaway, in a nutshell; "What fuckin' balls".

    Back in late March of this year, that scene came up again during a therapy session. I've mentioned before that one of my challenges early in treatment was to more strongly identify with my adult man and integrate him with my inner boy. It wasn't that my adult self wasn't already there and underdeveloped; it was that he sometimes didn't show up when I needed him most. He needed some serious coaching in that, and other things.

    I needed work on converging my exuberant, vibrant, sensitive boy with my powerful, wise-minded, more emotionally mature man. All too often, I literally experienced these two parts of me as separate people. And these two didn't know how to relate to each other very well. They loved each other very much, but didn't know how to communicate. Think of a father and young son relationship where the two have difficulty talking, sharing, and getting each other. The father is responsible for that kid, so he's gotta man up and learn how to show the boy that he loves him, will protect him under any circumstances, and allow the kid to express himself, in all his childlike glory.

    Simply put, I had to grow up. And I had to grow up without losing the boy. My fear has long been that if I really "grew up", I would lose the boy in me. And this fear is not an imagined one. You see it all the time. Men, as they mature, often lose their sense of play, their sense of awe and wonder, their curiosity, their ability to let it all hang out, their passion, their imagination, their joy for life. They become overly serious, less expressive, more stoic, more distant. They lose that Je ne sais quoi that was alive and well when they were kids. 

    I consciously never wanted that to happen to me. Ever. At any cost. Partly because I so identified with the boy, loved him with all my heart, and let him run so free within my life (in this context, the tag line is "In Healthy Ways"). I picture this metaphorically as a huge field, bordered by a forest, where a little boy is running and playing with wild abandon. He's insatiably curious about all the flowers and fauna he encounters. He's climbing the trees, and examining their leaves and bark and limbs like he's looking at them for the first time. He's building a tree house. He's exploring, and genuinely wowed by the experiences he's having. He's playing, pretending, creating, on the fly. Well I never wanted to cage that boy. I never wanted to put him in a playpen, no matter how big they playpen was. I wanted that kid to advance the limits, test the waters, and actually open the envelope (not just push it).

    What I did need to learn is how to better parent that kid. And to do that, my man had to learn to communicate with him. To show his love, not just proclaim it. I've learned to bring that man into my life, integrate him with the boy, and have them so seamlessly one that they no longer feel like two separate people in the same body. I couldn't function anymore feeling so splintered. I had to be the whole, unfragmented trunk of the tree, all the time. And, paradoxically, I had to integrate that on an unconscious level so that I could consciously access the man in times when he wanted to bolt. Times when I needed him most. It's a process, and I'm well into it by now.

    Circling back to Mr. Clooney, he represented, in that scene, many of the attributes that I admire, respect, and want to emulate. The scene itself is brilliant. From an artistic perspective, it's very well conceived, brilliantly written, and marvelously acted. But for me there's way more to it than that. I was reading between the lines, identifying the subtext, drawing out the unstated feelings, digging up the emotional content, getting inside the characters, and using that information to serve me. I was, in a word, "Repurposing" that scene so that it gave me something I wanted and needed. It was giving me a partial blueprint for the man I want to be, the man in parts I already am, and the man I am becoming.

    Join me for part two, where I get into all the gory details.


    ©2017 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart LLC, and Red F Publishing. All rights reserved.

    Reader Comments

    There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

    PostPost a New Comment

    Enter your information below to add a new comment.

    My response is on my own website »
    Author Email (optional):
    Author URL (optional):
    Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>