A Man




July interview with Kevin Ray Cook

Whether it is cultural or just growing up in a small farm town, I have a conservative nature. But looking back I now realize that as a child and teenager and adult I was very emotionally dysfunctional. Intelligent, but a train wreck at the heart level. Fortunately for me emotional intelligence can be learned.

As DH Lawrence relates in a poem "Healing"...

"I am not a mechanism, an assembly of various sections.
And it's not because the mechanism is working wrongly, that I am ill.
I am ill because of wounds to the soul, to the deep emotional self
and wounds to the soul take a long, long time,
only time can help and patience, and a certain difficult repentance,
long difficult repentance, realization of life's mistake,
the freeing oneself from the endless repetition of the mistake
which mankind at large has chosen to sanctify."

Ten years ago, I wouldn't have understood that poem, but today I know exactly what Lawrence was getting at. My father took the mechanism approach. But in view of James Hillman's thesis in "The Soul's Code" it's hard to say if the wounds I absorbed are what cracked open the shell of my soul or delayed the process forty five years. But that is a red herring for me, and I suspect for most. To analyze what would have happened is a moot point when what happened has been "repented".

The bottom line is that my healing was a long process of releasing the wounds, and thereby my emotional body's attached to them, and thus they no longer distort the self-energy, which is ever being born. It didn't happen all at once, it took place in fits and starts over decades, and the residual effect still echoes within me, but the heavy lifting is done. The primary source of my demons has been beheaded. The war with shadow is over. The mistake which mankind at large has chosen to sanctify, is seen for what it is, pure and simple: ignorance.
© 2003, Kevin Ray Cook

just words

The trouble with a hard hearted man,
Is that with just words
He can break a child in two.
And the breaking comes
When the child believes
That the words are true.
© 2000, Kevin Ray Cook

Never to stay (lyrics)

I don't need to own these words, as if they were ever mine.
I found them by a river, and I can go back anytime.

I don't need to hide my gold, 'cause I got it from the sun,
So take all you need to, there's more where that come from.

Time is nothing if you're living for the day
'Cause it all comes to pass but never to stay.

I don't need to make up stories or be living any lie
Enough of that already to make the angels cry.

I don't need to understand if every miracle is true
I'm happy in the mystery and surprised I made it through.

Life gets easy if you're living for the day
'Cause it all comes to pass but never to stay.

Born, September 27th, 1952, youngest child of 5 to a very poor farmer in south western Ontario, Canada.

I was a left handed child in right handed family, a black sheep, then and now. As they say-the story of my life.

I was deeply fond of folk and country, poetry and lyrics well before I was a teenager. I was raised, after the farm went broke, in a very small town just north of the Lake Ontario.

I ran away from home at 13, was found 3 days later. I left home, more like ejected, at the age of 16, like my three older brothers before.

I was more or less homeless for about a year or more. I hitched through the US at 16 and finally got deported. I got arrested at 17 in Vancouver, Canada, and sent home on probation. Since my education was boring, frustrating, and interrupted, I learned most of what I know by reading and by listening to my heart.

I discovered Kahlil Gibran at 14, he opened my heart. I started the practice of transcendental meditation at 24, it saved my life. I started men's work at the age of 42, it saved my soul. From my healing work with men and with the mentoring of boys, at the age of 50, I found my way back through a terrorized and troubled childhood, past the wounded little boy, to recover a golden child who had been waiting for me. Not everyone gets to be born twice in one lifetime. It's been a trip. I'm surprised I made it through.
© 5/5/2003, Kevin Ray Cook, myjourney.webenvisioned.com

© 2005 Reid Baer

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The fame you earn has a different taste from the fame that is forced upon you. - Gloria Vanderbilt

Reid Baer, an award-winning playwright for “A Lyon’s Tale” is also a newspaper journalist, a poet with more than 100 poems in magazines world wide, and a novelist with his first book released this month entitled Kill The Story. Baer has been a member of The ManKind Project since 1995 and currently edits The New Warrior Journal for The ManKind Project www.mkp.org . He resides in Reidsville, N.C. with his wife Patricia. He can be reached at E-Mail.

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