Hidden Within

Exploring the dimensions within myself! Inviting you along for the ride, should you care to come. Who knows? Maybe something useful can be gleaned.

Some younger readers of this post will likely find no lucid relevance to their own lives but might gain some insight into the working of a mind still ticking away the twilight seconds. Hidden within this time-pressed body is one of the darkest, most menacing demons it’s been my misfortune to confront. Meet my number one demon, Guilt. This bleak gnawing beast has been with me since the beginning of my thought processes, no doubt an atavistic part of my quaint DNA. Guilt has been with me since my Bible Belt days in Appalachia, in truth nourished by those very disquieting days of Southern Baptist fire and brimstone, of family disconnect, and of mobile nomadic yearnings. Guilt has ruled much of my life, and it has not been pity and some nebulous acclaim I seek in the books I pen, in the simple characters and plot lines one might find therein. It is the endless desire to better understand the soul that is hidden within that Guilt.

If you do not already know him, meet a friend of mine, James Kavanaugh, the rebel priest who would finally hold his ‘masses’ at local taverns with some rowdy blue-collar workers, or, in one of his most beautifully written books. There were some doctrinal issues with the Catholic Church, and Dr. Kavanaugh would take a leave of absence from the Priesthood, travel to California in his VW Bug, and write books. He became a most popular public speaker, and a widely acclaimed poet-author. He is no longer with us. He died in 2009 at age 81, but he has left a beautiful legacy in his books and in his papers. The two books of James Kavanaugh I shall most remember are: There Are Men Too Gentle To Live Among Wolves and Will You Be My Friend? It is his first book of poetry (“…Men Too Gentle…”) that awakens some part of me, that helps me to exist alongside my number one demon, Guilt...not to be rid of it but at least to dull somewhat its visits. It is my hope that some followers and friends who do not know James Kavanaugh will discover him as I did, particularly if Guilt plays a role in their lives.

There are other demons that are hidden within that torment me at times, the old standards, like, Prejudice, Pride, Greed, Selfishness, and Self-Loathing. There are good people in our world that seemingly have few demons, and I’m always shocked when one of my heroes or heroines fall from grace. Are demons hidden within all of us? It has taken a lifetime but I am beginning to believe that they do.

It helps me at demon-calling time to read James Kavanaugh’s Will You Be My Friend?

Will You Be My Friend?

Will you be my friend? There are so many reasons why you never should:
I’m sometimes sullen, often shy, acutely sensitive, My fear erupts as anger, I find it hard to give, I talk about myself when I’m afraid And often spend a day without anything to say.     But I will make you laugh
    And love you quite a bit     And hold you when you’re sad.

I cry a little almost every day Because I’m more caring than the strangers ever know, And, if at times, I show my tender side (The soft and warmer part I hide) I wonder,     Will you be my friend?

A friend Who far beyond the feebleness of any vow or tie Will touch the secret place where I am really I, To know the pain of lips that plead and eyes that weep, Who will not run away when you find me in the street
Alone and lying mangled by my quota of defeats But will stop and stay – to tell me of another day     When I was beautiful.

Will you be my friend? There are so many reasons why you never should:
Often I’m too serious, seldom predictably the same, Sometimes cold and distant, probably I’ll always change. I bluster and brag, seek attention like a child. I brood and pout, my anger can be wild,     But I will make you laugh     And love you quite a bit     And be near when you’re afraid.

I shake a little almost every day Because I’m more frightened than the strangers ever know And if at times I show my trembling side (The anxious, fearful part I hide) I wonder,     Will you be my friend?

A friend Who, when I fear your closeness, feels me push away And stubbornly will stay to share what’s left on such a day, Who, when no one knows my name or calls me on the phone, When there’s no concern for me – what I have or haven’t done – And those I’ve helped and counted on have, oh so deftly, run, Who, when there’s nothing left but me, stripped of charm and subtlety, Will nonetheless remain.

Will you be my friend? For no reason that I know Except I want you so.



3 thoughts on “Hidden Within

  1. I appreciate your truth and recommendation for JK. I often wonder the same thing, if people struggle with these demons. I hate to sound prejudice or un-tolerant, but it seems the world has become such a faster paced constant change kind of earth. Peoples attitude in general seems so removed of guilt, perhaps even a little of a “me first attitude.” I wonder if this is just a coping mechanism all the time, might I stay tolerant. And I feel GUILTY about that !! 🙂 I enjoy reading your posts !


  2. Thank you. This is beautiful and it’s always comforting to remember we are not here alone together to suffer for nothing. We all at some point experience guilt, loss, disappointment and other emotions. Your writing is a wonderful reminder that there is always a beautiful side to ugly.


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