All I did was write an article. That’s all I had set out to do. In truth what I really did was finish an article (In My Little Corner) that I had started writing weeks back but just could not get myself to even look at it much less complete it. From what I remember of it was that it was or seemed to me as being very boring not to mention devoid of anything that resembles good writing. Finally, on Saturday, November 24th of this year with all the enthusiasm of a child being told spinach is that night’s dinner I slumped into my chair with two scenarios in mind. I was either going to finish it that night (or by early morning) or delete it from my computer.
Each paragraph took so painstakingly long to write. I would look down at the word count only to become frustrated and disgusted by this long drawn out process that was putting me dead on course to wind up writing something that I had no clue where I was going with this thing or whatever it was about. Clearly, this was not going to be of the same high quality as I (we) are accustomed to seeing from Larry Tyler, Bharat Mathur, and so many others on BC360°. Through the not so clear lenses on my glasses (cleaning the lenses on your glasses is a very good thing to do on a regular basis especially if you would like to be able to see out of them) it was so crystal clear the article that was shaping up before my eyes was bad, horrible, boring and any other negative adjective that I would come to mind.
I awoke from my nightly restless slumber on the late morning on November 25th and lumbered over to my computer. The first thing that eyes focused on was an e-mail from our resident genius (Dennis Pitocco) alerting me that my article had been published. A feeling of dread overcame as I could not bear to see what a colossal failure this article was.
Much to my utter shock accolades were pouring in at a rate I could never have envisioned. Each comment was so very dear, so very special, so very touching, to the point I could no longer hold my tears. The dam had broken wide up and the salty flood waters ran down my cheeks.
In between comments, I would walk to the bathroom to look at my flushed face to see if what everybody was saying about myself and my article was real. All I saw was this youngish looking 62-year-old man whose scraggly beard had not yet been shaped that day. There were words like inspirational, masterpiece in the comments. Lost in confusion in all of this I concluded that there must be some mistake. Me (Joel) inspirational or people feeling inspired by me? Masterpiece? This article is a masterpiece? I am what? Here I was trudging through the muck and mire trying in what I thought was a futile attempt to put something together that was of quality and loaded with meaning and philosophical meandering and the end result was that.
Twenty four hours plus had since elapsed since that article was published and the compliments were running past me like displays of stock prices, NASDAQ indicators or cameras panning across a baseball diamond with scores rushing past as if they had somewhere else to go.
Monday the most dreaded day of the work week arrived without fanfare. Until I put my computer on and then there more accolades to be seen from the screen I am forever in front of. I blurted out loud in a befuddled voice in a volume was pitched high enough so nobody would hear “I have to get to the bottom of this! How could anybody like this convoluted concoction of words that fit together about as well as pieces from two different word puzzles? “ Twenty four hours plus had since elapsed since that article was published and the compliments were running past me like displays of stock prices, NASDAQ indicators or cameras panning across a baseball diamond with scores rushing past as if they had somewhere else to go. I jumped up from my hunched over position to stomp to the bathroom for a winner take all confrontation between myself and the mirror. There it was again a face so flushed with tears of unbridled feelings of being valued yet no inspirational figure was seen. The poet could not be located. The beard was slightly more scraggly and my eyes were brightly reddened, burning as though they were doused with battery acid ready to clamp down on each other.
Monday blended into Tuesday. Then came Wednesday who all too quickly became Thursday and who knew what Friday would bring. The choirmaster (Dennis) had blended together a group of writers each with their own distinct voice, vision and style not to mention stories of successes, failures, leaders and more into a symphony with each instrument in perfect unison with the other. Unbelievable prose and poetry spawned from their ripe minds. Amongst the ranks were professionally published writers of high acclaim. Then there was me. Just me and me alone a flea that became embedded with those I swore were above me. These special people lifted me towards the sky to take my place alongside the clouds. Instead of being the outcast I was officially an in cast.
I sit now in the afterglow from last week further illuminated by the brightly burning candles on my menorah. There are figures that dance inside the flame that cannot be exactly identified as to who they are but make no mistake this is not symbolism. Sitting in front of the flame I feel the warmth that at least in part melts away some of the ice cycles that engulf a person who is essentially isolated (in part by choice) from the world. A world that revolves around the constant anxiety about death and what will be after that.
As each flickering flame slowly burns down I am reminded of the souls and the lives whose flames will no longer sway gently back and forth as sea breezes blow on by. The precious lives who no longer reside alongside us but will be forever memorialized in our souls, hearts, and the deepest crevices of our minds. May their light always shine brightly down on us clearing our vision so that we may see the pathways that lay in front of us and underneath the souls of our feet. Each memory of each person or pet who was a part of our lives in one form or another should always be held on to and cherished for all time.
Oh, I know we’ve come a long way. We’re changing day to day.
But tell me, where do the children play?
–Where Do The Children Play, Cat Stevens
So it was a week I will not soon forget nor should that ever come to pass. Your unvocalized words will live inside of me in infamy. Today (Sunday, November 9th, 2018) ushers in a new week. If this article is published at that time please remember these words which I say to you know can never effectively articulate the way you made me feel. In the interest of not being redundant by inserting names of numerous people but suffice it to say as I type each word that blends into a sentence, I dedicate each one of them to all of you. While many of us do not know each other very well it is of no consequence as I feel the warmth of your neshama’s (souls) sitting right beside me.
May all of your dreams come true in all of their grandeur. All that is good that comes from this world I hope finds its way to you. I hope not to disappear in the weeks to come but sadly I may need another place to plant my seeds (and of course my computer) that will hopefully be safe and secure but nothing is guaranteed. If my name fails to appear either by way of comment on a post or a new post from me it will not be due to suicide or illness! You may have been with a person for many years not realizing the hate, anger, and violence that in a flash their aim is to destroy physically or mentally while lining up others to engage in acts of violence and taking delight in the smirks on their faces as there a slump or crash onto to floor perhaps never to rise again. If this should occur (G-d forbid) know all the good you did for me. THANK YOU!