Thursday, October 23, 2014

Why I Love Captain Hook

From : Colorful Animation Expressions

At the tail end of last month's tale, (The Mermaid's Secret : Diving For Hidden Treasure) I asked if pirates led me to sunken treasure. This seems like a contradiction. Pirates grab the gold, they don’t lead others to it. But they might. Consider Hook.

As we continue to skirt the watery edges of  Neverland, we see the dark pirate ship ahead where the evil Captain Hook lurks. As villains go, Hook is a fairly sympathetic, and even lovable, character. He is handsome, intelligent, charming, adventurous, and extraordinarily courageous (except, understandably, where crocodiles are concerned). Sure, he’s a duplicitous, cold blooded killer, but nobody’s perfect.

Hook’s role, like that of most villains, is to spur the protagonist to action. And in their responses to villainous threats, heroes and heroines face their (and our) fears, meet challenges, and ultimately triumph.

We need the bad guys both as literary devices and in our lives. They serve a vital purpose whether they are internal (yes, even your much maligned inner critic!), external, fiction or non.

My former husband (FH), who is not a killer and shares all of Captain Hook's best qualities plus many more, also at times shared his coldness and duplicity. He did not hook me into marrying him to suck me dry of my life force. He did not tie me to a mast, leaving me hungry for love and thirsting for the truth my soul needed, and he did not make me walk the plank into shark infested waters. Nonetheless, in the days following The Day My Life Changed Forever, I believed this to be true.

From: Colorful Animations

Although much vilified by my loyal support network (while I got to pretend to be virtuous by feebly defending him and secretly goading them to say more about what a cad he was), FH was far from despicable. I could fill many pages about what makes him sweet and lovable and his many kindnesses to me and others but I am highlighting his worst side (we all have our dark shadows), the extent of his betrayal (although I am not reporting all of the gory details) and how excruciating my pain was, so that those who are reluctant to forgive their villains can see what is possible.  His actions served to give me the courage to embark on an adventure that helped me grow stronger, wiser, more joyful and to live a magical new life.
As I look back on the time of our marriage I realize that far from being an innocent victim, I was a vicious criminal - towards myself. To a lesser extent, I also engaged in unkind behaviors towards FH that contributed towards his choices that I found so bewildering and undeserved.
It was convenient to make FH responsible for the ways in which my authentic self shrank and grew fainter and weaker while my joy diminished, but the truth is that his "dastardly crimes" of betrayal and lies paled in comparison to the betrayal and lies I perpetrated upon myself in the name of buying what looked like security but was actually a pirate's dungeon of my own creation.
If FH had remained faithful to me, I would have remained unfaithful to me. I shudder to think what state I would be in by now had he not given me the key to my prison and the map for the sunken treasure with his infidelity and dishonesty.
By forcing me to walk the plank, (well, actually I jumped ship) he saved us both from the piracy of having our true selves plundered on a daily basis.

AFP/ Getty Images / Joe Klamar

This month's new moon falls on a solar eclipse which is a similar story of how the sun is blocked by a cold shadow and then the light and warmth returns.

We go through many natural cycles of light and dark in our lives. We may blame others (the ancients believed a dragon was eating the sun at eclipses) for our dark times, but ultimately it is the story we tell ourselves and others that either leaves us miserable victims or helps us find power, beauty and gratitude even in the darkest days. 

The next time you see a skull and crossbones flag flying on a ship on the horizon or feel a hook pierce your heart, check to see if you had a role in hoisting that flag or embedding that hook. 

Although there are random events of violence beyond our control, usually we can take at least partial responsibility for our contribution (even if just by attracting someone who mirrors the unkind ways we treat ourselves). We can also look for the gifts in the situation and let go of blame. When we do so, we have the power to transform ourselves and even some of the dynamics of the painful event. 

I want to make it clear that I am not advocating that we should be passive in response to harm being done to us or that we should seek out difficulties in order to grow in our lives. We need to take appropriate actions to remove ourselves from situations where we are being mistreated and we certainly don't need to invite trouble. Challenging times arrive like the cycles of day and night or summer and winter. What I am saying is that trying to resist night or winter, rather than appreciating the time or season for what it is, is not only ridiculously futile, but causes more much more harm than the dark and cold.  

Letting your pirate off the hook will benefit both of you as well as all of the innocent bystanders and all whom all of you encounter. Even if you want to see him (or her) twist in the wind, know that you are twisting right along side of them. Why not set everyone free?!

If you would like some keys and maps to assist you in this process, contact me to see if Sparks & Leaps can add some magic and joy back to your life and/or the lives of your children.

Note to readers curious as to where all of this is going:

This blog has a life of it's own and usually surprises me. The basic premise of The New Moon Blog is about new beginnings, but of course, all new beginnings are preceded by endings. Apparently, I needed (hopefully for the readers benefit as much as mine) to spend some time re-creating (recreation = play!) the death and darkness of that time with all of these first posts and playing with the bones around this season of Halloween and The Day of the Dead. 

My plan (blog willing!), is to wrap this stage up and move on to Thanksgiving with my next post so I can let FH and his new wife rest in peace. Both are readers of this blog who are probably quite ready to have me quit rattling skeletons and leave this time behind! And although they have both heard me say this many times, just for the public record, I love them both and bless them daily!

I trust that the story of the flight to my new life with all of it's magical pixie dust will be better understood and appreciated with this foundation firmly planted in the depths. I also hope that readers who are currently experiencing the death throes of a part of their life will be able to relate and see glimmers of hope.

Preview of next month:

Who is your favorite villainess? Vote in the comment section below by telling me yours and I will try to fit her into next month's blog. Remember, you can sign in as anonymous by clicking on the box underneath your comment that says: COMMENT AS and you will see the bottom option is ANONYMOUS. Just click on that. You are welcome to tell me in your comment who you are or let me try and guess


  1. Interesting to read the background of the note Duppy posted on FB. My situation has a totally different context but your words still applied. I lost my mother a little over 2 years ago. The last 2 years of her life I spent much time with her and nearly lived with her the last two months. She just missed celebrating her 94th birthday and was a charming and grateful woman to the end. I spent much of the first year after her death blaming myself for not being able to keep her alive and yet also understanding at some level her need to pass. After therapy and much nurturing understanding of myself I have spent the last year rejoicing Mom's life and the opportunity I had to spend so much quality time with her. Last night I saw the movie The Judge and there is a scene in it that reminded me of the things I did to help Mom that were so embarrassing to her. It triggered all my blame that must still rattle around deep inside that I could have done more for her. As we were driving home from the movie I checked Facebook and the first post I saw was Duppy's sharing your quote. " Ultimately, it is the story we tell ourselves that either leaves us miserable victims or helps bring us power, beauty and gratitude." It slapped me out of feeling sorry for myself and rejoicing again in all I had to be grateful for. So keep writing your blog and I will follow. We just never know where a hand can be extended in time of need. I also love this quote and would like to share both with others if you approve. Perhaps more people can find help through your healing. "...look for the gifts in the situation and let go of blame. When we do so, we have the power to transform ourselves and even some of the dynamics of the painful event." Thank you. Diedre

  2. Thank you for sharing your story, Diedre. Losing a parent is a huge transition in our lives. I just lost my father a few months ago and had to do some rewriting of that story as well. I would be thrilled if you chose to share my quotes. If you want me to put you on the mailing list for my blogs and emails, you can send me your email address through private message via Facebook. Otherwise, I just appreciate your taking the time to comment. I hope your new story is filled with the blessings of both the happy and the difficult times with your mom and your life now. Much love, Michelle


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