Just Emile

Maybe

I read books. Reading is one of my passions. I am almost always in the process of reading a book. Many of the people around me can't wait to tell me about conspiracies, tragedies, deaths, sickness, inefficiencies, corruption and the like. I listen, and sometimes, every now and then, I wish they would end the diatribe with just this line ... “So Emile, what book have you been reading lately, and what's it about?”

Maybe, just maybe, one day I will be just as valuable as the gossip.

Dream Head

Soft Warm Scent of lavender Silky smoothness Safety Easy inhale Easy exhale Head finding a place to rest Soul becoming the ripple-less surface of an undisturbed pool No striving No problem solving No trying No effort All that I need to be is what I am Complete Accepted unconditionally Cherished wholeheartedly Loved fiercely Cradled gently Protected with a promise

Eyes closing Breath slows Drifting off Becoming the sound of three words

I ... am ... enough.

Incorporating Chaos

M. Scott Peck starts his literary masterpiece, The Road Less Traveled, with these three words ... “Life is difficult”. He then immediately ends the paragraph and begins a new one. That statement is meant to stand on it's own, as a sentence and as an entire paragraph. The next paragraph then proposes a theory ... that once we admit this, that life is difficult, and fully accept it, ironically life becomes less difficult by a fair amount. We no longer “rage against the dying of the light”, but merely accept the “dying” as part of the “light”.

I find this to be quite an endearing and attractive idea, and maybe not without merit. But I have wondered if it could stand up pragmatically.

I have reached a point in my life where the difficulty level has increased, and for all intents and purposes it seems that it may stay at this new level for an extended period of time. It will most likely increase at some point.

So I have been trying an experiment. I have been trying to incorporate on-going chaos and difficulty into the natural framework of living. Specifically, I want to know if it is indeed possible to thrive, to do remarkable things, to contribute, to live a meaningful life despite the swirling vortex of negativity that I find myself in, despite the people and circumstances that will attempt to pull me down.

I am beginning to have very very small successes with this experiment. It may be a new equilibrium point, where even though I am not happy, at least I can be useful. Where I at least can be a walking solution, as opposed to yet another of the world's two-legged problems.

The Dark

My brother and I were dealt a significant financial blow due to my Father's illness. It has set me back significantly in many ways. So I have started again to build back. In 2019 I achieved my dream of freedom, but it is no longer there. So I must rebuild. We all went through a small hell for a month. My Father's body went through basically everything that could go wrong.

I visited him the other day. He was going to have dinner. And what he said was that he was looking forward to having a “doubles”.

I don't think I have anything in me left to “be the bigger man”. A statement like that could only be understood by psychiatrists or psychotherapists. If I knew that I almost died, and knew the effect that it had on those around me, emotionally, physically and financially, would I ask for a “doubles”. No I would not. The thought of one would terrify me.

Could it be that my Father loves food more than his sons? This might sound preposterous, but I have no more energy in me to recognize the preposterous. So I am going to run with it until I see some evidence to the contrary.

For some time now, I knew that I did not understand people. Now, additionally, I don't really care to. I have no desire again. None.

I will continue to fulfill all of the responsibilities that are necessary for the care of my parents. But am I not valuable enough such that it must work the other way as well? Shouldn't my parents fulfill their responsibility toward me? Am I not deserving of that? Or am I yet another thing to be used up and thrown away?

I don't know. I don't want to know. The side of me that gives the benefit of the doubt got hammered recently and is non-functional.

Today, this word came into my head .... “Thrive”.

I sat back and pondered on the word. And it seemed that I had not thought of the word in a long time. It felt like I had not felt the effect of this word for ages.

Almost everything around me is about surviving, about just scraping by. It's a constant stream of bad news, of the same old thing. Scrape, scrape, scrape, scraping by like scavenger fish sucking at the sea floor. Wretched.

There will always be a part of me that looks at life and what it has to offer, and then feels that it would have been better not to have been born. Before 1973, I was nothing and I knew nothing. There is a part of me that finds that to be a beautiful thing.

What's the use of existing, of knowing if all there is is just this scraping by, just this surviving? None really.

These days it's almost like I am awake and dreaming at the same time. It's like I am two people, each existing in a different world, but contained in the same body, in the same mind.

The awake part just executes tasks off of a to-do list. One thing after the next, after the next, after the next. Getting things done. And it's just tedium he feels. Just going through the motions, doing the do. Smiling every now and then but not really meaning it. Dead inside.

And then there is the dreaming. A student posts his completed Udemy course certificate on LinkedIn and does so with pride. And I tell them Congrats! And they say thank you. And it's sacred, and it's protected. In that space, we both demonstrate a personal responsibility to one another, a mutual respect, a mutual appreciation.

That's like a dream. That's thriving. That's legacy.

The nightmares have started back. Last night I was in a silo and it was slowly being filled with grain, until it covered my head and flowed into my throat, gradually choking me, and killing me.

I'm scared to go to sleep tonight. I'm scared of being choked again.

Yet another day of tedium tomorrow ... another list to execute. Some more acting and pretending. So be it.

A New Udemy Course

I am working on putting together a new Udemy course. I feel confused, frustrated, overwhelmed and disoriented. The entire project seems absolutely hopeless. I keep going back and forth, over the same things and I just can't seem to get a feel of it.

In other words, things are perfectly normal.

This happens every single time. It's going to happen every single time.

Over the years people have complained to me and asked me about the easiest path to learn this or that or the other. Errrrrr ... how the fuck should I know? Easy path? What the fuck is that? Go ask your Mommy, maybe she will tell you something sweet and calming.

People say that I am smart.

But that's not my superpower. It's that I lean into discomfort. This morning I am uncomfortable and I hate it, so I know I am heading in the right direction.

Onward!!! ... Boomshakalak!!!

Thank Heavens

Thank goodness that I have no children. No one will have to pay for the results of my weakness, carelessness, and dumb ass mistakes. Thank God!

Ole Friend

Today I got a message through third-party means that a friend of mine from university days was thinking about me. And the reason that she was thinking about me was that her brother had heard of the death of a friend who he went to university with.

OK. One would say that was thoughtful.

But there is a deeper phenomena that is taking place. There is an undercurrent here that can go unnoticed. Generation follows generation, copying this and that and the other, without questioning.

I am approaching 50. And the people that I went to school with are approaching this age as well. And as we are in this bracket, and especially since we are all fucking foodies now, the stories of death will increase at an almost exponential rate.

What did everyone think was going to happen? What was their impression?

That they would follow the recipe. Get married, get a house, get cars, have children, have dinners ... and all would be well?

Did they not think that in the busyness that their lives would fleet by? Did they not think that the relationships they let whither away while they were “busy” would not matter?

The kids will move away. There will be less and less dinners if any at all. What happens then? What if the body does not allow us to be whipped into the constant “whirlwind” to which we have become accustomed? What then?

Very simple ... meaninglessness. And that can be terrifying.

I have seen it happen over and over and over and over and over and over again. Was anyone else watching? Did anyone else notice this? Or were they busy with the house, and the cars, and the accent walls, and the kids, and the dinners, and the garden?

From the looks of it, maybe they were.

Why was Emile reading all those odd books while everyone else was getting married and redecorating their houses so that it would be a reflection of their personality?

Maybe he noticed ... maybe he got scared ... maybe he did not want that generational disease to happen to him.

Why must each generation make the same mistake over and over and over and over again? Must my generation do the same? Don't we have enough of those fucking inspirational Facebook memes to notice some shit? That something is wrong?

Much tradition is just rituals by a group of people that were too lazy to decide to do something else.

What is the remedy?

Easy.

Admit to yourself that finding meaning is hard, but the absence of it is excruciating. Know that the key to it is to find something to live for that is bigger than yourself, than your fleeting life. And when that thing evaporates, find another and another, until you are not breathing anymore.

And yes it's hard. What? ... nobody ever did hard shit before? For fuck sake.

Or don't bother at all ... just feel free to go ahead and think about your ole school friend who's life you have not inquired about for 30 years, who is not the same person anymore.

That will surely help.

Unexpected

When you are sitting in Starbucks sipping coffee and trying to plan your week, and then they decide to change the background music to the entire “Kind of Blue” album from Miles Davis. Oh my my my ... this was unexpected ... and juicy!

Two Deaths

The death of my physical body is inevitable. But that's not my fault. Some asshole created death, and I definitely know it was not me. But the death of my spiritual body will only come when I forget that I, like any human being, am a possibility.

I can re-invent, overcome, push forward, change, adapt, and create. I am a possibility.

Rape is a serious thing. Rape is a serious word. Rape describes a horrendous act. But that's what life has the potential to do, to rape us of our possibility ... slowly, gradually, bit by bit, without our noticing.

But I notice. I notice. It's a constant terrible sorrow to notice when others cannot. But I see the devil.

And when I push myself forward, scrape up my last bits of energy, get up when I would rather lay down, move when I would rather stay still ... I see the devil bleed, and it gives me joy.

I love seeing the devil bleed.

Perfection

This may very well be the most perfect poem I have ever read:

LOVE AFTER LOVE ... by Derek Walcott

The time will come when, with elation you will greet yourself arriving at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat. You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart. Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror. Sit. Feast on your life.

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