Curiously Absent

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I wish my silent absence was due to a period of reflection, or self-development, about which I could wax lyrically. However, instead, life’s curve ball sent me chasing down a path of lay off, searching and reemployment. This was an unplanned adventure caused by the ever present, unpleasant, human condition of the quest for wealth by people other than myself. But those events are now history, and I find myself now, seated in a new office, looking at a wall, hung with pictures of my ladies, thinking about what has been and wondering about what will be. At times I place too much trust in individual’s whose character subsequently fails them. Their proclivity for evangelizing a future ripe with unmet promises should teach me to become more hesitant to trust their false promises. My family’s stability is not and should not be so fragile as to depend upon my gainful employment, yet my own mental health teeters on the brink of that dependency. Habitually defining ourselves by our employment rather than who we are inside; a partner, a lover, a father, a kayaker, a writer, a builder, a dreamer. Breaking ourselves of the omnipotent classification of our asset acquisition potential allows us the opportunity to instead allow the world to see inside our being, and understand who we truly are.

A few weeks ago I received a message from a burgeoning friend that concluded with “always remember the obligations you have to your fans”. I am sorry to have let down the people who read my words. My absence from the keyboard probably has interrupted the relationship we were establishing through my thought sharing. I found it important to retreat inside and insulate myself from the inevitable external critique created by writing while I navigated the emotional turmoil of leaving employment involuntarily, and searching for the next income stream. As a general rule, the emotional vulnerability that comes with expressing my thoughts publicly through my written words, is rarely appreciated by employers. Many have chosen to interpret my vulnerability as weakness, so whilst it would have been cathartic to write whilst travelling along life’s brief diversion it would potentially have inhibited my reemployment. But now, I find myself again gainfully employed, and once again in the treadmill of global enterprise. It seems like it will engage me, it seems like it will provide amply for my family and our needs. My new role will not be how I define myself, but it will gratify those extrafamilial entities who feast like leaches upon my family’s financial coffers.

Family events, graduations, visitors, parties, vacations, job searching, new employment and many other ongoing activities have interrupted the rhythm of mindfulness that I was establishing. My yoga, meditation and reading have become compressed, missed, suppressed and confused by the conflicting priorities of life’s rich patterns.

I am reestablishing a new norm; routines, patterns of time and behavior, of self-investment and improvement, returning to the practices that have helped me the past months. My relationship with food is evolving, a desire to commit to be fully plant based is taking hold. Cow’s milk in my latté has been replaced by the almond milk. I have been reading recipes for homemade nut and legume based cheeses. Last night I sampled a plant based chocolate bar. Slow and steady adaptation towards a goal to which I am yet to fully commit.

The stack of books waiting to teach me has grown not shrunk. I have started to create time and space to read again, this resonated with me as I read it yesterday:

No human being is more or less important than any other human being. No human being is more or less important than anything else in Nature. For human beings to regard themselves as in anyway superior to anything else in Nature is to take a stance of arrogance rather than of humility.

Colin Mortlock

A steady, grounding, presence has been slowly emerging within my workshop. A new project developing, growing in scale and beauty. Revealing its potential, titillating with promise for future adventures. The process of building, providing the opportunity to meditate upon the wonders of the rich grain of cedar as it is honed into the hull of my latest expedition kayak. The process of creation, the repetition of muscle movement, the caress of hand on wooden curves, all calming the mind, creating space, to breath, to reflect and to find time to improve.


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