No Post Day | Spirit Guide

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My regular appointment with my psychiatrist is in… eleven hours and I’ve been up all night working on another anniversary post thing. So I think I still have time for a decent sleep and a shower. Although I haven’t confirmed a ride yet…

Something he asked me to do was to think of someone I trust. Someone I feel comfortable with. It has to do with the EMDR thing we started a few weeks ago. The general idea, as I remember it, is to have this someone in mind as I work the knots out of my memories and clinical depressions.

I think it’s meant to work something like a spirit guide… or not. A force of good while I deal with the worst stuff. I do remember it can be a fictional character, or someone I’ve never met, or someone I know.

So, at the moment, I have two selections. One is Arizona Ames. He’s a recurring character in books written by Zane Grey. The other is my step-father. Watching my step-father with his kids, and having to come to know his character over the past… almost twenty years, he’s pretty much my ideal image of what a “father” should be.

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When I was 12, 13 and 14-years old Arizona Ames, and Grey’s other characters (the heroes were mostly the same), were my vision of the ideal man. I was thinking about this earlier this week… about how the fictional characters in books and movies filled the void from not having a father around.

Arizona Ames, according to the back cover, “didn’t talk much — didn’t even drink and swear the way the others did. But the old-timers knew enough not to tangle with him. Back in the Tonto Basin, they were still talking about the time he’d shot three gunslingers while lying wounded on a saloon floor.”

The first time I remember seeing my step-father was about a year before he and mom started dating. I was on my way home from high school and stopped to watch him and his two children (5,4) building a playhouse. I can remember just being hit with the understanding “this is what a father does”. Blew me away.

If I ever have kids it’s his example I’ll be trying to live up to. Anyway… suddenly this is the longest No Post Day in history.

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So my question, for anyone willing to play along, is:

Who, or what, would be your spirit guide and keep you safe as you walked through the not-so-fun pieces of your past?

Bonus points: Who is your favourite fictional character, and why?

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...thanks.

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About Gabriel...

...diagnosed with manic depression in 1989, for the next 14-years I lived without treatment or a recovery plan. I've been homeless, one time I graduated college, I've won awards for reporting on Internet privacy issues, and a weekly humour column. In 2002 I finally hit bottom and found help. I have an 8-year old son, and a 4-year old son... I’m usually about six feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my book deal. I mostly blog at saltedlithium.com....
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11 Responses to No Post Day | Spirit Guide

  1. exactscience says:

    My spirit guide would probably be my old (that is to say we no longer talk really) friend, Danni. Danni was wickedly funny, interesting and the first person I remember actively sticking up for / protecting me.

    Fav fictional character?
    From my childhood. Mr Fox from the Roald Dahl novel Fantastic Mr. Fox. He is outrageously clever and has a deep feeling of social responsibility.

    From my adulthood. Too many I fear. Though Prof Trefusis from the Stephen Fry novels ranks highly just due to his ranting wit and anglicism.

  2. thordora says:

    You know….I don’t have anyone. I really don’t. That can’t be good.

  3. bromac says:

    Hmmmm, good No Post Day post Gabe! I like it!!

    My spirit guide would be my dad, I think. He is the most stable, calm, positive, gentle, and kind person I know. He is able to withstand adversity easily and he dedicated his life to my brothers and I. He supported me 100% of the way growing up, so I think it would give me comfort to have him by my side through something as challenging as you’re dealing with.

    My favorite fictional character is probably the gunslinger in Stephen King’s The Dark Tower Series. Second place would easily fall to Edward from the Twilight Series. I am so obsessivly in love with him that it is dangerous though.

  4. Immi says:

    Mine would be a friend who died several years ago. She was fun, funny, able to smile through the tears, wicked intelligent, compassionate, knew what she wanted out of life and how to go get it, kind, helpful, wise, thoughtful, strong, and knew so well how to take care of herself without blowing off others. I can just hear her tinkling laugh at the idea of her being some sort of Spirit Guide.

    Fictional character is tougher for me. Off the top of my head, I’ll say Duncan Idaho from the Dune series. He was a limited but strong, real person, who lived through whatever was thrown at him, and did what he needed to do anyway.

  5. Gabriel... says:

    This is the second time you’ve brought up Mr. Fox, Scott. I’ll have to find the book. Why not use Stephen Fry himself instead of one of his characters?

    I had the same problem Thor, it took more than a week to come up with a couple of names. My psychiatrist went down my family list, then asked if I could remember anyone from school worth being the image… blah. It was an interesting exercise.

    The same fictional character popped into my head as well Bromac. But as soon as I thought “western” then Arizona Ames felt more comfortable. I never got a chance to finish the Dark Tower series… I got through the second book but then Stephen announced he was putting it aside because he wasn’t sure where it was going.

    I couldn’t get started the Dune series Immi, it just looked too large. I liked most of the movie though. Your friend sounds like someone we should all have in our lives… spirit or otherwise.

  6. And you didn’t pick me? Ouch.

  7. Gabriel... says:

    I thought you were busy Friday afternoons Justin… I think I’d also go with the coyote logo on the front of the original Phoenix Coyotes’ sweater, or the Johnny Cash coyote from that Simpson’s episode.

    Actually… Philip J. Fry would probably be ideal.

  8. BroMac says:

    King has compared the series to the Canterbury Tales. About killed me when he did.

    After writing the comment above, I decided to re-read the whole series. I am so stoked. I haven’t found a book that interests me in months, now I have seven!

  9. Gabriel... says:

    I know… I pulled out my Zane Grey’s looking for the Arizona Ames book and now I want to read them all again as well… I’m not even sure who gave them to me, I have to ask mom about that because from memory a “new” one just kind of appeared every once in awhile.

    I wonder… you know how when you read something you read a long time ago the memories of that period come back? Like when I see an X-Men comic, or hear a Men At Work song, suddenly I’m thinking about reading comics in my friend Kristen’s bedroom…

    I wonder what memories I’ve attached to Arizona Ames…

  10. The Johnny Cash coyote is an awesome selection. He is wise.

  11. bipolarlife says:

    I’ve read that the Balinese believe that each of us have four spirit brothers who watch over us and come to us in dreams. I kinda like that idea.

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