All the Purpose
Feeling a little indifferent this morning. I mean I had a fairly decent evening catching up on my guilty pleasure TV. But this morning like many mornings this month, I’m just ready to get the shit over with. I hate feeling this way about my day. You know, waking up going through the whole routine without an ounce of enthusiasm. I suppose you could say, that’s just how life is sometimes. But isn’t that what turns us all into little worker drones bees? Draining all the purpose out of ourselves?
Creativity… art for the lack of a better word, is my driving motivation. For the last few years I’ve turned into a dreamer that way of sorts. A worthless human being to some, that dreams in typed out images. Mostly writing in the first person mind you, usually droning on and on about my “inner demons”, but creating all the same. But with the passing of the holidays and the return to reality, life takes on a slow boring routine. Where I feel a bit, no a lot helpless, to it’s relentless pull. So I digress.
Back to a world of waiting. Waiting for the light to return, for that spark that motivates. But this routine of indifference has a date on it. A date where a moment of euphoria takes over, then disappears like the winter sun. But what were we talking about again? Oh yeah, motivation, inspiration, and total indifference. Three of the deadly sins that effect my once “normal” mind.
Thrust Upon Me - A Poem
In my gut I feel pain
Through the mail I read pain
Across the news I see pain
In my heart I know pain
Transgressions both created and thrust upon me, enveloping my soul
Moments turn to hours and hours into days
I’ve built the patience, but after a while it becomes a façade
Making my heart weary from the journey
So I turn off the world, and search for solace in the teachings
Away from prying eyes that seek and destroy
Until all else fails and I’m left just a little smaller than yesterday
A Backhoe and A Hammer
Since my soap opera was so rudely interrupted by this week’s news. It’s warmed enough for me to enjoy the day outside. It’s a busy little day for my neighbors apparently. The guys across the street are continuing to take down the dilapidated house. And the EMC guys next door doing a little remodeling to the maintenance offices. In fact it’s a bit noisy out here with the backhoe and the hammering. It kinda reminds me of all the noises, sights, and smells I experienced; on hundreds of constipation sites I worked throughout the years.
But time and a broken body have reduced that life to a distance memory. So now all I can do is sit in my rocking chair and watch. But that’s okay, I’ve accepted my fate. No longer do I fight myself to change what can’t be undone. But that’s enough feeling bad about me, because like the laundry blowing in the wind I can adapt and change. I laugh to myself watching that kid next door get frustrated when the old backhoe shuts off. Having to constantly restart the thing, I wonder if he knows to check the fuel filter for water.
It is a hell when life does us that way, stopping and having to restart at the most inconvenient moments. The best you can do in those situations is take a breath and walk away for a minute. Getting mad and taking a hammer to it usually makes things worse. And while it may feel good in the moment, so to can just quitting all together. Learn to adapt to the situation and weight your options. While my physical role in life has been reduced to being a chauffeur and a housekeeper, I use my mind to create. Never give up on life. Never look at yourself and think, is this it? Stay engaged, stay brave, and never let circumstance steal who you really are.
Throw Them in the Trash
There’s this old dilapidated house across the street from mine. It’s been quite an eyesore for a while. For the last several weeks a small crew has been taking the house down one board at a time. I’m sure they could just as easily took it down with a backhoe or a bulldozer. But it’s been refreshing to see the crew going board by board reclaiming as much material as they can. Sitting here thinking as they work on getting the floor and brick foundation blocks up. How recently in my life I’ve been doing the same thing.
You see we could easily just demolish whatever parts of ourselves we don’t like and throw them in the trash. And honestly for some stuff, that’s all you can do. But within us there are some things that are still redeemable. Parts of us that need to be thrown away. But oftentimes we grab a sledgehammer and go to town. On ourselves, our relationships, and on our very existence. And I should know, I’ve done this more times than I can count.
Anyway when going into a reconstruction project; understand what parts are salvageable and what needs to be discarded. There are parts of me that I had lost that I never thought I’d get back again. So don’t let fear or destroy the best parts of yourself. Don’t let hurt or jealousy pull you away from the ones you really love. Clear your mind, learn to listen to the pain. Forgive yourself, forgive others in order to see intention the commonality. As the crew stops for their lunch break, I can now see clearly through the debris. Through the ugly parts that are being laid to waste. To see with clarity what lies on the other side.
Well I’m literally chillin' outside. After three days of cold rain and clouds the sun is finally out. It’s still chilly 47° (8°c) but I’m sitting outside with the sun to my back. Watching the laundry dry and checking out my neighbors at church. It’s sorta of a silly nonsensical life, but one I readily embrace. While I’m cold (which I may have mentioned a few times), but I feel pretty good. Oh I know the world the is “going to hell in a hand basket”. But isn’t going to stop me from having a decent attitude.
You know just because the situation around you looks like crap. Doesn’t mean you have to be mad or upset about it. Now I’m not saying to just give up and live in your situation. What I mean is to do your best to face it with a little hope and faith. If you know me at all, this may sound a bit hypocritical. But seriously, acceptance and clarity are just what you need to see you through.
So as my buddies next door pack it up for the day, I know things will eventually change. Nature teaches us that things move in a cycle. Winter comes, but soon after so does spring. So while I’m riding on an optimistic high, I’m reminding myself, that “this to shall pass”. So don’t let fear take you down the rabbit hole so far, that you can’t see the light. Accept your fear and love those parts of yourself that are messy. Then learn to forgive yourself so you can eventually see things change.
Do What You Can Do
Just kinda goofing today. It’s been cloudy and cold, so I’ve spent a good amount of the day under the covers. As you may or may not know we have no heat in this house other a few space heaters. It may not be the smartest way to live, but when you got just a little, you do what you can do. Having little to nothing seems to be a way of life for me. Even when it looked like the tide was going to change. There was always something standing in the way to snatch it all away.
For long time I used to be really bitter about that. But as I’ve grown more comfortable with myself; I’ve learned that jealousy and feeling sorry for myself only creates more despair. But you might say, “Damn aren’t you still living hand to mouth”? And I would have to reply, “Yeah, I still do”. It’s just that now I’ve learned to live with less and to have enough patience to see the light. I am fully aware of my limitations and I do my best to use what I have to it’s fullest. But drive and outward success aren’t my focus as much creating a better me.
Look there’s nothing wrong with being successful. It’s just at the moment I got a different vision of where I need to be. My focus is on kindness and using my intuition to create a better world. At the moment my world is very small. But size has nothing to do with the obligation. Becoming the best person I can is my ultimate goal. Trying to be a light to those in my circle is now my greatest satisfaction. We may not have a lot, but it is the intent of the heart to focus on compassion and peace.
Panic and anxiety attacks are nothing new to me. I mean I’ve spent the last 20+ years fighting them, tolerating them, and accepting them. My recent attacks shouldn’t come as any surprise. With our limited income and ever increasing bills, it’s a wonder the world’s going crazy. But as usual I keep such things to myself. I do my talk downs and breathing exercises, telling myself this too shall pass. I guess now I’m at a point in my life where I’m just tired of all the stress and anxiety.
On the outside I’m relatively a low key person. I’m fairly decent at talking people down off the ledge as it were. But as for myself, I’m the worse at taking advice. I guess I spent too many decades being told to “suck it up”, so I do. I don’t subscribe to a lot of flashy in the moment affirmations or self-help talks. I take things as they are. If I’m depressed, then I’m depressed. If I’m anxious, well then I’m anxious. I subscribe to a more Buddhist tradition of listening to the fear and anxiety. Accepting what I feel then loving those parts of me that hurt.
I know to some of you that may sound crazy. I mean I was indoctrinated into a world where we are all inherently evil and the only path to peace is through acceptance. But in a way isn’t that what I all ready said? The world is made up of so many colors and shapes. Still all of us carry a common thread of compassion and need for acceptance. As I work through my own pain, shouldn’t we all be a little more compassionate of the needs and desires of others? Maybe through that way of thinking all our own suffering can be eased?
Fact of Life
Went by my oldest daughter and son-in-laws house today to make a delivery. They both have Covid so now I’m their personal door dash representative. But I don’t really mind, I mean after all I’m driving her SUV payment free. It’s funny how give and take works, even in family situations. As you may know, my wife and oldest son live with disabilities. Disabilities that require them to have a caregiver (aka me). And even though I live with physical and mental problems of my own, it’s up to me to look after them as best I can. But just like so many others across the world, this is just an everyday fact if life. So you learn to deal with it.
As human beings in order to survive we’ve learned to “adapt and overcome”. But for whatever reason we seemed to have forgotten how to do that. We’ve all centered ourselves into our own little world’s, often forgetting there is a greater good to be done. We shelter in place hold tight to whatever beliefs feel comfortable and hang out with just our own little tribes. But in a world of greater interconnectivity, being closed minded and openly hostel to traditions other than our own, is simply madness.
Now I’m not asking you to change your own personal beliefs. What I am asking you is be a little more tolerant of others beliefs. Here in the US we live within the boundaries of the rule of law. An imperfect system that can be adapted and changed. But remember what’s fair is fair. Boundaries are set for the greater good. But to rig the system for one’s own personal advantage is unfair and immoral. So let’s stop singing the praises of individual freedom. When all we really want to do is enslave others to our will.
Another desert, another purgatory I find myself in. Wondering but never thinking, dreaming but never building. In-tune but out of tune, searching but never really seeing. Rather it’s illness or just plain exhaustion, my mind can only focus in short burst of energy. I live on a philosophy of the moment. Constructing and deconstructing the man I was into the man I wish to be.
Decades ago I was forever unhappy, I found myself drowning in an ocean of obligations. Fearing that my next move would be my last. So when the ground beneath my feet finally crumbled, I found my hell. A place where the voices I swept under foot poured over me until I couldn’t breathe. For twenty years I fought to come back to the surface, only to find that the dreams I thought I wanted didn’t really satisfy.
So here I am, feeling lost again. Allowing life’s troubles to steal my peace. Part of me just wants to say f*ck it all, while another part of me wants to heal. Why is everything such a struggle? Does every lesson in life have to come with a dose of discomfort? I don’t try to preach to anyone. I’d much rather lend an ear and let things sort themselves out. But damn if I don’t feel my heart sinking back into the water. Not wanting to feel anything, just looking to wonder through another desert.
Down to the Bone
Just laying here in the bed, having come in from the cold. Our youngest son came in and plugged up the ceramic heater, I guess he got tried of seeing me look so pale and cold. It’s funny in a way, when I was over 350lbs I never had a problem with being cold. But for the last few winters, the cold air has really affected me. Chilling me right down to the bone. Recently though my digestive issues have come back with a vengeance. It seems that every time I take my morning medications, they tear my stomach up and start my daily cycle of hugging the porcelain throne.
I should probably check in with my PCP, but Jesus Christ I’ve had at least one doctor appointment every week for the last two months. And this was supposed to be my month off. Another thing I’ve noticed, other than the obvious, is that my appetite is disappearing again. I’ve noticed my weight has been dropping again and while no one has said anything, I believe the family has noticed as well. Which probably explains why my youngest is constantly checking in on me.
While a lot of deadly illnesses seemed to have been ruled out, I’m still weak as hell. Since my cardiologist pulled me off one my heart medicines (it’s toxic to my liver), my heart flutters are back again. That and one of my son-in-laws just tested positive for Covid. It’s all got me a little stressed out. Fear is a funny thing though, it can heightened your awareness. But at the same time, it can pull out a lot of the dread and foreboding we all keep buried within us. So while digging through that clutter is beneficial; the emotions it can generate are emotions I would much rather not feel at the moment. Do you ever feel that way?
A Short Vignette
I catch a hint of smoke while sitting in the cold January air. My EMC neighbors are unusually quiet considering their usual hustle and bustle through the day. There’s barely a leaf left on these old sycamore trees. While the only sound breaking the silence is the sound of a distant car on the highway. I used to revel in the noise and excitement of the world. Now I’m much more content smelling the smoke from a chimney and watching a single leaf struggle to hang on.
One of the keys to my continued survival is my ongoing sense of awareness. During the dark times, I would hide away from everything I feared. Now as an observer of life, I embrace the things I see and feel. With a wider perception of curiosity and faith. Writing stories, mostly in the first person, not because I don’t have any imagination to spin. I just find it more comfortable and therapeutic to shine a light on my own growth. I’m sure it doesn’t make much of a story, but then again, everything now in days has to be presented in some short vignette.
So I hope you don’t mind me indulging myself in this moment. For pauses such as this are often the most important things we have. Considering that the world wants nothing more than to consume all your attention. So consider the whiff of smoke or the struggling leaf. Because you never know what you might uncover in a simple pulse of time.
Late into the Night
Laying here not doing much of nothing, just going through my social media. Through my scrolling and responding, I noticed a post from a friend. In it a couple were dancing carelessly through a diner window late into the night. In the messages we exchanged we wondered about missing moments like that; and to be brutally honest, I really do. I’m sure we all long for the undisciplined days of youth, where time seems to go on forever. When spontaneity was just an everyday thing.
The new word now is “adulting”. I suppose it has to do with the every day mundane work of being an adult. As for myself, I had about 10 years of carefree youth. Then I married the first time. But after a series of adulterous affairs, drug addiction, separation, and a bitter divorce. You’d think I’d had a belly full of marriage. Well a little over a year later while still sweeping up the pieces of my first marriage, Lisa and I began our scandalous affair. For us the honeymoon quickly ended before it began. We married officially when Lisa was eight months pregnant. So basically we hit the ground running leaving all spontaneity and freedom behind.
After 34 years of official marriage, I can honestly it has taken it’s toll. Not to say there were never any good memories, like watching our monkeys grow. Still in these later years you go into your own thing. Lisa has her hobbies and activities she does by herself, and I can pretty much do the same. I suppose that’s just natural for empty nesters, but with that little bit of freedom glaring cracks are exposed. You notice things you ignored when you’re too busy raising a family. Which to a point has me wondering, what is the balance between security and freedom? And, what is more important stoic determination or dancing late into the night?
Uneasy Feeling of Time
It’s a clear day after a couple of days of hot and stormy weather. And while I see most of my peers making plans for the New Year. I’m standing here picking up limbs from around the yard after last night’s storm. You know, I used to dream in plans; but for the last number of years I’ve find myself being content with just being in the moment. I don’t know rather it’s the fear of disappointment that keeps me in this mind frame. Or the fact that I only find peace when I stay in the present. Either way, thinking of these things only gives me a headache and an uneasy feeling of time.
I so often douse any plans I make with buckets full of apprehension or laissez-faire. Often finding myself simply too tired to invest any energy into any kind of faraway goals. It’s funny, years ago I would have looked into the mirror and hated the person I saw for never finishing anything. Now I just see an old man, covered in contentment and melancholy. I suppose I could just pump myself up again with affirmations and promises. But at the moment I just assume close my eyes and go to sleep.
At this point I find it hard to even complete these thoughts. Physically more than anything I just want to be left alone. The freedom from making plans relieves me of the disappointment of failing. Yet I’m smart enough to know that failure often leads to growth. But at this point in time it doesn’t really matter. Soon I will wake up from this momentary wave of discontent and see that things aren’t often as bad as they seem.
See Where I Land
It’s Sunday morning and I got a little sunshine popping out of the East and some nasty looking clouds coming out of the Southwest. With the wind blowing in from the Southwest I may not be outside very long. But seeing that I’m a bit of a risk taker, I’ll just roll the dice and see where I land. Yesterday was a brilliant day, for a day that was supposed to be cloudy and dreary. I even got some clothes washed and hung out. Still I couldn’t think of anything in particular I wanted to say. So I stayed away from my Word app and laid around being lazy and bored.
Anyway, I slept well last night dreaming of flying an ultra-light airplane and diving through the clouds. I got up, called my father-in-law, made myself some decaf, and took some pills. You know maybe I should save my writing for something more spectacular. But it’s the doing that brings me the most pleasure. Rather it’s the mundane or the incredible, creating something from nothing is the greatest gift one is given.
I guess what I’m saying is, don’t sit on your creativity. Don’t tell yourself that you are not creative or talented. Each and every one of us has a passion and a desire. It is our heart’s escape button from the troubles of this world. Well it looks like I rolled 7’s, and the dark clouds have passed and the blue skies are back. Don’t take the world too seriously. Save your strength for when you really need it. Take a good hard look at the world around you. If the winds blowing and people are just going about their day, then you are where you need to land.
All post written by
FD Thornton, Jr
All Rights Reserved.