Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Tin Man - Where is Your Heart, Your Axe and Your Wedge

Today, I was working in my yard on breaking down some of the largest logs that were cut out of my huge tree. 
I asked some men from my church to come with a chain saw and cut them as I had already cut most of the branches down into usable sizes for my wood stove. They brought a short chain saw and it couldn't cut the big logs. Here is one of the posts about that. 

I was trying to use my reciprocating saw for that but the wood is green and the logs are huge so that wasn't going to work.

My neighbor told me he had a wedge and a hammer I could borrow last week so today, I took him up on his offer. 

They were both outside by his shed and the axe handle is a bit weathered and I worried about it working and both the wedge and the axe needed sharpening. I ground them down and went out back to start working. 

I put the wedge in a damaged piece of wood and the wedge was easy to get in and easy to hammer down into the log.

The log split easily and without much effort. I tapped it in and for a few seconds after I hit, the wood would feel the stress and then split, then split a bit more long after the main hit. 

The stump/log pieces that had some damage to them were so easy to work on. I thought my job was going to be a breeze. 

The next log was a piece of the trunk. It was hard, solid, no weird growth patterns and no damage from insects. It was great. I couldn't even get the wedge in well to hit and split it. 

I used my little saw to cut a line down into the log and after there was a line sawed, I was easily able to get the wedge in and hit it hard and after a few major blows, the cracks started to appear all over the healthy, solid log.

It took me much longer to attack and break down the solid log into usable pieces than the unhealthy logs. 

It was also harder to get the wedge in. 

This whole experience had me thinking on a few things. First off, the tin man. Why in "The Wizard of Oz" did Baum choose to make the tin man the one without a heart? 

What proceeded him choosing that character to not have a heart vs another animal character or anything for that matter. 

I found it interesting to look at the depth of character he chose. The man was frozen, stuck in time, unable to move forward or any direction. 

He had no heart. What did he do for a living? Cut thing up and tears them down. He had been left out in the weather. He couldn't communicate. His tools? Axe and I am sure a wedge. He was made of Tin. He was a "shell" of a man. Tin is a weaker metal and doesn't hold it's shape well. It is not able to give heat of itself. It actually takes heat, thaws things and the only way to change its shape is to heat it so hot that there is nothing left of the original item in the end. 

I thought of marriage. I am not sure why that analogy came into my mind while chopping away at these huge logs but those were the thoughts that came while I was tearing down these logs. 

I think sometimes in marriage, one person damages another and as the marriage is trying to grow, because of peoples inability to change or say "I'm sorry" and truly heal the damage, the "tree" or marriage can't grow into a healthy tree. 
When a life trial of health, accident, loss, or infidelity come , the tree isn't healthy enough to withstand those type of  "wedge" and it is easy for that little wedge to take the tree apart with one or two blows. 

However, in a healthy marriage, where little things are taken care of and forgiveness is given quickly, they don't make large damage as the tree grows healthy because they weren't left to fester or allow bugs in etc. 

In order for that wedge to get in, it takes some serious cutting or hammering to get it into that healthy log. Even when I got through one piece, I had to put that wedge in seven more times to break down that huge healthy log. A good healthy marriage doesn't come apart easily with just one wedge or a crack in one part.

The thoughts I had on the Tin Man were about how we each have some of the characteristics of The Tin Man.

I think sometimes because we are so close to those we love, we know right where to stick the "wedge" in where it will hurt them most and can do the most damage. Our words or some of the choices we make are wedges. If we are hurt by something someone has done, we can pull out of little wedges of words and insert them where they will do the most damage. 

Sometimes, bringing up past mistakes, name calling, or pointing out flaws can be the wedge. Other times, we forget the wedge all together and just bring out the axe, cutting away at our spouses or children in ways that hurt. Having a bad day at work, bring it home and attacking those we love because we can. 

Other times, we are indulging in behaviors that we feel guilt about and so we start fights with those we love because if we are mad at them, we don't have as much guilt so we find any reason to start the fight. 

This is the "Tin Man" taking out our hearts to avoid feeling. If we used our hearts, we would never do that to those we love. I met a man who admitted that to drink alcohol and not feel guilty, he would start fights. Another I know used to start fights with his wife so he could head off to work and look at porn and chat with women online and meet them on business trips. If he could start a fight before going, he wouldn't feel the guilt and the anger would take it's place, thus turning him slowly into a "Tin Man."

To start the fights, he would pull out the "Tin Man" tools. He would put a wedge in his children's character by calling them "stupid", yelling and belittling as to distance himself as he got deeper and deeper into the porn and women he met online. He would sometimes take his "axe" and cut away at his spouse blaming her for things he was doing. Without realizing what he had done, he had taken himself out of the safety of the home, away from the warmth of family, and kept himself outside going on more and more business trips, meeting more and more women , going further and further with each which weathered him more and more rusting up the joints so that in time, he was unable to speak or go back inside the home. 

He was left alone, outside, without a heart, no warmth around him for him to take anymore. He had no ability left to move forward. He had used his "tools" to cut everyone down, piece by piece leaving nothing in his wake. He was a "Shell" of a man.

His family was in the house, trying to heal the wounds of the axe and wedge. Because they had a home, the warmth allowed them to heal and continue to move forward. Their hearts perhaps wounded could heal because they still had them. Without the "Tin Man" there continually cutting them down, they were able to start growing again in all directions doing amazing things and sharing their healed hearts with others. 

Sometimes, the "Tin Man" can cut someone down so far that they never quite recover or heal completely but they do their best. Other times, a "Tin Man" can create another "Tin Man" who is worse than the original. Both are just "shells" of real men, nothing on the inside.

These are the thoughts I had today as I broke apart the tree that has been growing in our yard for the 20 years we lived here and many years before that. It has been pruned once just before my divorce 15 years ago and has had three main branches fall off since we moved in. 

I realized today that the tree is like my life. Sometimes I am strong and solid and my branches are strong. Other parts have withered and aren't healthy. Parts of my life have "Split off" as have branches on the tree. Sometimes I weather the storms and other times, parts of me break under the weight of the storm and after the storm, I have to pick up the pieces and clean up the mess left behind by the storm damage. 

Some days I feel strong and give shelter to the birds, (my kids and their friends as well as my friends) and sometimes I give shade and cool (helping others who are having a struggle by easing their burdens). Other days, I dance in the wind enjoying just being alive. I love those days as a reprieve from the storm days. Other times, I have friends, neighbors and family come and help me pick up the pieces that have broken under heavy storms and the trials of life I've had to weather.
I know that pruning the tree is healthy for the tree and I am trying to clean out my house and home as well as cleaning the yard and pruning the tree. (Here is a post about cleaning out recently.) I am hoping that pruning my life inside and out will help me grow a stronger, healthier me. 

I know that at times we are all "Tin Man" avoiding saying the things that need to be said, cutting others down, putting a wedge between us and those we love, taking ourselves outside the home and safety inside and weathering storms outside without proper protection from the elements and not using our hearts to stay connected to those we love. 

Other times, we are victims of the "Tin Man" and perhaps we stay in an unhealthy relationship with a "Tin Man" hoping things will get better or thinking it is our job to continually try to bring him in from the rain or that if we do everything he says he wants, he won't use his axe and wedge to cut us down or push us away. The thing we are forgetting about the "Tin Man" is that he has no heart. He isn't capable of loving. 

He is unemotional, unable to speak his feelings if he had any, his only function is to cut things down and put wedges in to keep himself at a distance. He is always on the outside looking in unable to attach to anything. He is metal and unable to have any warmth of his own. The only way he feels warm and fuzzy is to take that warmth and kindness from others so he surrounds himself with people who don't see him for what he is, uses sarcasm to cut them down, takes their warmth and kindness leaving them drained and empty until he has taken all that they have to give and then moves on to find warmth from unsuspecting others.
I realized today that I have wedges that I have placed and need to work on removing and also, that I have many wedges that others have placed in me at times that I haven't always known about or noticed until certain situations arise. I don't want to be the "Tin Man" left out in the cold with no voice or heart and unable to move..... 

So, I ask you, Are you a "Tin Man?" and if so, how can you change what needs to be changed. Or, are you living with a "Tin Man" and if so, what is your best course of action? Staying could be fatal.... 

"Tin Man" Where is your heart?" Keep it warm and in the home and lay down your axe and wedge, better yet, bury them in a far off place. The axe and wedge aren't needed in the home. Perhaps your heart can grow to fill the "shell" and create a new man.   

Princess One has a "Wizard of Oz" collection so one year for Halloween, we were characters from the movie so she could have a picture that matched her room. We did all the other girls collections for Halloween different years. Here is a post to where we were all Warner Brothers Characters.  Anyway,  it was the only picture we have that has a "tin man" in it so I thought I would put it on this post. 

Hopefully we can all bury our "Tin Man" tools, use our voices, and begin to move forward with heart!

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