letting go..

My beautiful 15 year old son Tao had an altercation with his father.
I understood the boy/man's sense of injustice.
I have not seen him for 24 hours.
He is on a train heading to Joburg.
He says he needed to do this, get away see if he could survive
the outside world.
I know he needed it, but there is a tenderness arising and a concern.
The full moon rises.
The jasmine scents
The dogs leap about in anticipation of a walk.
Life continues
as it always does......
And I ask your prayers be with him...
this beautiful being
learning to fly


Pangolin said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pangolin said…
Thus with balls-blind boys objecting to the cuffs of elders
go walkabout.
blind to lessons harder than a warning hand.
return bruised but wiser
or walk farther out
find worse than bruises

Thus mothers watch pained by distance
and fathers bluster 'bout cuffing the whelps
swallow the bile of worry

boys will grow,
will leave, come back
will learn
or not

The cuffs resume....

Learned or not
home or trail
the lesson waits......

I will meditate that his lessons will come easier to him than mine have to me. Like most boys I placed my head in the lion's mouth with great frequency. Learned some; fighting others to this day. Raising teens is fishing with thin line indeed. I've pulled too hard and snapped the lines with mine. Resigned to watching from afar for now.

While I have girls instead of boys I venture to say I share your pain this moment.

Gate, Gate, Paragate, Para Sam gate Bodhi svaha- If ever there was a time for the Heart Sutra, or whatever your equivalent is on your path it is now. Let go, let be.



v-word: geniz
apologies for the delete. bad typo.
nina said…
15 is a little young. Does he have a cell phone, does he know people in Joburg? What is Joburg like? His father must go and get him now and be a kind father. Not alarmed, not punative, just aware.
My thoughts are with Tao. But he doesn't know enough yet, how it isn't what he thinks. 17, 18 would be better to try it solo, and then temporarily, with parental support and approval to give him confidence. Leaving in anger is troubling for all. I don't know all the circumstances, of course, but this will continue to go badly unless father and son can meet in understanding, sympathy and with compassion for each other's needs.
These things must happen Susu, no blame. Cast off guilt. Father must let Tao know he loves/values him just as he is.
Anonymous said…

Yeh Su, me and mine are travelling separate paths in parallel universes. In earlier times life was harder but simpler, now life is a lot more complicated than it used to be. At 15 it is a tad young for such an adventure, still older than Huc Finn though. It is the rebel with a perceived cause age and it has to go through the process of being worked out. I am reminded of the old adage “When I was 18 my father was the stupidest person on the planet but when I was 21 I was truly amazed at how much he had learned over the last three years.”

Our thoughts are with you Su and our fingers are crossed behind our backs.
su said…
The thing with Tao is he not a rebel.
He has total integrity and awareness.
I am so often in awe of his wisdom.
For the past few weeks I often see him doing push ups - when i asked why he said whenever he did something unconscious he would do push ups.
He said it made him more self aware.
He does not hang out aimlessly with the other teens, he joins them and then returns to read, paint, build, be with Iona.
He does not need discipline, he does not overstep the mark.
What happened here was a decision he made was overturned.
And I could see how this frustrated him. I myself found it uncalled for.
And yet now many hours later I could see how this row had to come about.
He had to step out at this time.
He needed to prove something to himself.

The panic has passed - he is safely on a train (in South Africa is that possible). Has arranged places to stay that I know will take care of him and actually be great.

He says he will return to the fold in 2 weeks time.
The relief is palpable.
Thank you all for your words, prayers, thumbs crossed etc.

Pangolin: Amazing you came up with that mantra- i ran a salt laden bath and lit 3 candles - lying submerged in the water I chanted it again and again and again.
Peace did arrive.

Nina - recriminations arise only to dissolve in the oils that constitute the painting. They are the little burst patterns that arise unexpectedly that one wants to remove afterwards but somehow does not.

Norman - i recall the really trying days of having 3 boys in 4 years. never able to sit down because of a demand,a need, a hunch. it was exhausting but really simply.
I guess there is a beauty in change but an equal challenge.

word - faisms - tao is going through a faism in his life.
nina said…
Well then, relief all around. This is a milemarker event and to be celebrated. I'll be interested to hear what Tao brings home to the unschool. It will just get better as time passes and you see the manifestation of a great person in your midst.
Anonymous said…
Just popped in on this one--good to hear that "There's no place like home"--

Around here, you can't find work at 15, no one will hire you--even 16 is iffy--then again, you're also in competition with the retired folks who thought they could make it on social security---I know a lot of 15-19 year-old's who can't find work

Staying with friends won't really open his eyes much--you have a free roof over your head and food in your stomach that came from a magic refrigerator like the one at home--
You carry with you the clothes that someone else paid for, though you call them your own---then the magic of staying up late and having your needs met get old by those you are staying with and it's time to go on to the next free way station----
then it's either try it on your own in a crappy apartment with 5 others, or swallow hard and go home---the first time you get ripped off is always an eye-opener

To me, 15 is too young to really go out on your own unless you have a job set up and plan on paying rent wherever you are going to be--that starts the responsibility angle--

Just be sure he isn't under the illusion that he somehow made it on his own while he was gone--help him plan to put money away and keep the connection going with the folks he stayed with so that when he does decide to go, he has his head on straight and knows, as much as you can know at that age, what to expect.

I moved out when I was 17 but had a good job and a car--which was huge--As Jimmy Buffett said, "I made enough money to buy Miami, but I pissed it away so fast". I also worked in the suburbs and not a big city.

Our now 18 year old paid rent for the time he was living here after high school--he now lives with his girlfriend and her folks in the next town north--working as much as he can too--Mrs. Jj took half of what they got for birthdays and Christmas as they were growing up and buried it in the back yard (lol)--when he needed a car for work, we found him one and he had the money to pay for it outright. Although he doesn't know it, the money he paid in rent will be there for him if he gets in a real jam--otherwise, he would just piss it away as I would have---don't anyone tell him though (lol).

As always, Su writes from the heart--
Have him start a dialogue with some of the trusted folks you know--where you live, or over the net--what we as parents say to our kids, even when we back it up in how we live, never seems to make sense to them until someone else tells them the same thing--then we look a little less parental when it all clicks for them..

Anonymous said…

I know, you can’t find work even when you are 19 and when you are 20 those that are hiring want experience. I don’t believe that Tao has actually gone away, he is just walking around a big block before he discovers the front door again.
su said…
You got it exactly.
Leaving a home where we are together 24/7 to see what lies beneath until he finds the front door again.

You are perfect.
Your wife is perfect.
Your control of your life is perfect.

Excuse me whilst I stumble along - fucking it all up as I wend my merry way.
I wish my kids got money for their birthdays - they get clothes, basic unlabelled clothes.
No putting anything away.
Everything utilized for today.

veriword - calmsit.
Anonymous said…
Oh! su...

Please do not disparage yourself!

you of all people should not be asking to be excused... for anything!

May i remind you of all the wonderful things you have shared on your blog...which is why i feel that i can write this to you now. Your beauty has brought a tear to my eyes and a gladness in my heart and thank you for that.

the unschooling... Rosegrub... how perfect is that!

Your beautiful son will return... how can he not...
Needing to stretch and flex muscles... overcome that testosterone thing with his father (who probably has his own testosterone thing)... so a change has happened... called growing up.
Our western society likes to keep young ones as kids for way to long. osit
Tao sounds mature... doing the push ups...striving for self awareness... wow! that right there just has me awed... at 15, he said /does this...
Lady, you have one awesome son !

so no excuses please
with love and admiration

v word: experee
su said…
Have withdrawn from life completely.
Am on the 21st day of a 28 day water fast.
Am still waiting for the euphoria, right now I am just a cantankerous fart.
Well the dreams are clear, and the light is more intense and Tao is home.
Thank you for your words Ravi - do you go by any other name that I might recognise?
Anonymous said…
No su, no other names to recognise...

Glad to hear that Tao has returned home... a whole new chapter in the life... as it ebbs and flows.

Thank you for being, you cantankerous fart and thank you for sharing.
Wow on the water fast!!

and Happy Equinox... as our light wanes-thankfully!

with love and admiration

v word: ilies
su said…
Ravi - thanks for the thanking.
And for appreciating the fartness.
Anonymous said…


I don’t understand the water fast thing; I thought you could only go for three or four days without water. So pleased that Tao is back, sometimes you have to show your love in out of the ordinary ways that aren’t always cool for you. Has he grown in the meantime?
su said…
Yes he has undergone some change.
More self assured.
More able to set boundaries.
He is now going on a 5 day fast.
By water fast it means nothing imbibed but water.
I had grapefruit juice today.
Took about an hour to sip and swallow it.
Cosmic really.
nina said…
I know you will show up when you feel like it. Last photo, you did not look to me as if you needed to lose any weight. You must have angles by now. I bet you can fit into Iona Jade's tee shirts.
Miss you, love you.
su said…
Hi blessed one,
Lying low.
Slightly angled.
Good to hear from you.

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