Clarity  From Underneath The Clouds

And they’d sing

Dance a little closer to me

Hey, dance a little closer now

Dance a little closer tonight

Dance a little closer to me

Hey, it’s closing time

And love’s on sale

Tonight at this five and dime.

—Love At The Five And Dime, Nanci Griffith

One day back in February in an article entitled “I Don’t Know” I tuned out the lights in mind that lit the path for my words to travel on. Although it wasn’t crystal clear due in part to my indecisiveness as to what I wanted or was going to do in essence I said goodbye. I knew my days as a writer were done. My final bow was taken. All that was left was to do was pack up my bags and go. And so I went. An e-mail was all it took to shuttle me back to the days of fee percentages, payment terms, candidates, prep sessions and placements Yes, I was a recruiter again. In truth, the “bug” had bitten me before that and it wasn’t long after that it became apparent this was who I am, was, and would always be. Then came the “virus.”

On cue but without a clue as to why my mind began to write again. No small amount of this was due to the deluge of love so many of you sent urging me to come back. Save for an encore once the show is over it’s over! So here I am more than slightly embarrassed as I can’t help feeling that this is filler. Truth be told I don’t know if I am back or even if I deserve to be back. If the time comes when a message of I need you should find its way to me I will respond in the affirmative. In the recruiting industry jargon, this is called “yes I will work on this job order.” Please do not feel that I am using you as that is not the case. You found your way into my soul. I will never forget you. But for now, here I am back from where I came. You can go home again but the chain must come off the door to allow me to wipe the grit, mud, and grime from the bottom of my shoes and tiptoe into your living room.

Riders on the storm

Riders on the storm

Into this house we’re born

Into this world we’re thrown

Like a dog without a bone, an actor out on loan

Riders on the storm…

–Riders On The Storm, The Doors

Gaze into the heavens where the clarity is hidden in the clouds. Try as it may the sun will never burst through the sky. Who is to live and who is to die? It’s not my call. It’s not my decision at all. I like you can only sit and wonder why. What is real and what is an illusion. When it is time it will be revealed. It will be then we shall see what is now is what was way back then when after standing at the foot of the mountain we gave back the gift we were given. For the lack of feeling love as it all disappeared. In disgust, the words carved into the stones we were to cherished were smashed and crumbled and so we were crushed and broken.

Do we carry on or secede from life as death takes hold of what was once life? Life laid to ruin from what we cannot see yet thrives within us. The rivers of blood that run through our veins soon will cease to flow. A most formidable foe has taken so many has come for more than just flesh. The very essence of a being is systematically being taken away. Here we sit at ringside waiting for the referee to ring the bell signaling the end of the bout. Who among us will stand with hands held high signifying victory over defeat?

So where with my trembling boney fingers do I take you now? What is it now you would like me to say to you? Are there pearls of wisdom you wish me to offer? Put your ears to the ground while casting your wandering eyes towards the sky. Turn your head the other way around to see what you’ve heard. Tell me now is it true that somebody who speaks the truth or knows of truth has spoken or is it just a mournful cry from a man frightened from fear. I am not your leader nor do I represent myself as such but know this I will not follow you or bend to your will. For wherever it is I must be or was already it shall be perhaps my final stop where I will rest my wandering.

There is something in essence unnatural unfolding before you while you fixate on every word I type which is to say I am not in sync with what I am saying. These words need somebody to tell them what they mean if they mean anything at all. I need to know if what I am saying or clawing at the air with nails bitten down to the bare to say holds something for you that I as the writer am not aware of. I know of no lines that need to be read between the lines in order to be understood. In order for you to feel as I feel even if what I feel is not what you have ever felt before I must still tell you. You know I don’t like to be known even though you have come to know me despite me not always knowing who I am when I was me way back then. I am different in many more ways than I am the same. Try to understand me even if I hold you close by keeping you afar.

Now as I glance down towards the lower right-hand corner of my computer screen I notice the time is 3:30 am. I think back just a few simple weeks ago when this was the time my day would end for the night as a new day had taken over. Yet here on this 22nd of March in the year 2020 all life as I knew it has changed as it has for so many. There were those who have died or about to die. Our engines must throttle down to pause. I can’t help but wonder what sense there is to make I there is any to be made from all of this. Is it unreasonable to wonder if this is the beginning of the end of the world or just the final scene from one of those conspiracy movies that promote the production of fear, hate, and doubt?

Perhaps it is best not to call further attention to myself as my protective shell has been ripped away leaving me exposed and vulnerable. It is disconcerting to feel calm in the midst of a four-alarm fire. A radioactive leak in the form of a virus whose name brings to mind a section of Queens, NY I never felt safe in has stolen from me as it has from you. The more it steals the more it needs to steal so it can have it all. From me, it took Marc away. When it took Marc so too it took ZipRecruiter, a new marketing system for recruiters like me, networking, referrals, job postings while rendering the website that I created useless.

There is a man the likes of which I never knew. That man for no other reason but caring wanted so much for me to do this again. He pushed and pursued me unrelentingly. Even after I thought I had finally convinced him there was no turning back he got me to come back. I never understood why it was so important to him that I write again. Afterall so many new members of the elite society of writers came on board. Grudgingly I would comment on their posts but at least I felt they negated the need (not that there was necessarily a need) for me. And the world crashed around me. Marc is no longer a part of me as he had been for so long now. In the aftermath of this selfish rant, I remember this one man. This man grabbed me by the brain setting it in motion again. This special amazing man is Bharat Mathur. It is for Bharat Mathur I dedicate this effort to. Thank you, Bharat!

For those who are exploring the possibility Marc was a love interest you were not aware of or that I started to have feelings for those who are the same gender as me, I can assure you that is not the case. It was Marc who brought me away from you. So who is Marc? Marc is a recruiter’s dream. He gives me job orders to fill, hires people from me, pays me on time every time then gives me more job orders to work on. There is no shortage of recruiters out here but Marc has never worked with one like me and I have never had a client like him. I leave you with this question: If it came down to a choice with everything being equal between Marc or Bharat which way would I go. It feels great to be with you again. Bharat made this happen. As for Marc, I suspect he and I will not need to be in contact for a while.

Sundown, yellow moon

I replay the past

I know every scene by heart

They all went by so fast.

–If You See Her, Say Hello, Bob Dylan


Joel Elveson
Joel Elveson
INDEPENDENT Executive Recruiting By Joel is an "up and coming" Executive Search Firm formed and headed up by Joel Elveson whose visionary ideas, leadership & creativity have brought to life a more "user-friendly" approach to recruiting. His clients and candidates form powerful strategic partnerships that we use to help you. Joel’s Firm offers Permanent, Temporary (case by case), & Temporary To Permanent staffing solutions for all of your Human Capital Requirements. Contract IT/Consultants are available if needed. Above and beyond they are experts (by way of their personal industry work experience) with mortgage, mortgage banking, middle-market banking, accounting, along with many others under the vast financial spectrum of disciplines. Their business goes beyond candidate recruiting as they also train, mentor and develop your internal recruiting staff with an eye towards helping you reduce the cost of hiring. They will also work in areas such as compensation, effective onboarding processes and alike. In other words, their business is to help your business by becoming an extension of you by filling in gaps that cause delay or waste. The recruiting methods employed by Joel’s team are time tested that results in a high rate of successful placements. Joel was trained in the art of recruiting by some of the top staffing industry executives in addition to the best recruiter trainers who to this day drive me to exceed the lofty goals he has set forth.

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  1. Your writing is close to poetry. Someone told me that it is the poet who needs inspiration to write. Everyone else listens to their heart and finds the story inside that must be told. Maybe you are a little of both. Maybe you, the writer, just didn’t have anything to say for a while. Welcome back. We will always welcome your stories.

    • Jane, your comment just showed up. A poet or any writer needs the inspiration to write. Your comment was touching as well as heartwarming. I cannot thank you enough for it and your kindness. In truth when I was away it was due to the fact I decided to concentrate full time and then some to Independent Executive Recruiting By Joel. With that, I turned off the typewriter in my head where my articles originate from and convinced myself I no longer had the ability to write. It is precisely due to the welcoming I have received I am now convinced I am back home again. But as I said in the article if Marc is ready to start interviewing and hiring again I will happily start recruiting again. Thank you, again, Jane for your lovely comment.

    • Thanks a lot, Aruna Ji; perhaps you never realized what a huge source of inspiration is hidden in your own words that you so graciously share with us all. Your expertise in the hospitality industry can easily be summed up as incomparable, as it always leaves the readers richer with added wisdom.

      Thanks once again, With Warm Regards, and a Prayer


    • I wish you, your family and your team well. With lots of hope, health and happiness in the present time of crisis and after!

    • L. Aruna, thank you for your kind wishes. I wish you and yours the same. Please take care and stay well.

  2. Good to have you back my dear friend. Friends will always influence how you see life. They add value to who you are, loving and believing in you. Without friends, part of who we are is missing. Love you my brother……

    • Thank you, Joanne! I am not a fan of my writing. There have been many posts I have disagreed with except for mine. The reason for this is I can’t figure out what my articles are about so I can’t criticize them.

    • Your articles are about your thoughts and feelings. And you do a great job. What more could one ask for? Stick with that one Joel.

      There is a saying. ‘All you can do is all you can do and all you can do is enough’ I hope this is correct. Take care.

    • Thanks a lot, Ms. Joanne, for your beautiful words; you, through your words, wit, thoughts, and sharing, impart the necessary inspiration anyone would be proud to receive.

  3. Joel,
    This is why we can “never say never”…..

    Ill remind you of my comments from February….
    “ No one knows.. we ask and toy with the unknown.
    But when the words inside your head are fighting, all you have to do is keep on writing!
    You are a wonderful deep and well articulated sharer of words,
    stories, memories.. songs, lyrics and lines
    You my friend are one I did find, because of your written line….
    Thank you Joel!
    You can try to resist
    But words will insist
    When they want out
    You write with a shout
    They will flow
    You don’t know
    And that’s ok
    Just let them say
    I then said….

    “You will be back. You can’t fight whats in you…Thank you so much for your words of praise. It took me a long time to get where I am and share! You are an inspiration. And with that comes responsibility.”

    If I would add one thing to this…it is that when the world insists and needs you…
    A writer will not stop. The compassion is deep and holds you. We just cannot resist…we want to help…

    All events happen..nothing is forever… Be it Marc, writing, work, enjoyment, passion or agony…. Each is a process meant to be. Each has a reason to flick the switch of our performance in life and what we can do to make it work… it’s not a matter of having a spotlight…but on who you can shine it on.

    Thank you for writing this and showing the vulnerability and raw nature of being a human. The catalyst of life is knowing that no matter what we need to push through the resistance…..

    My love and prayers to you Joel!
    Thank you for showing up and answering the call of duty with your pen‼️❤️🙏

    • Paula, I have a lot of trouble with compliment filled comments such as this one. A few moments ago I thanked Mark O’Brien for his comment which like yours was very touching. I am not a big fan of my writing. Writing is something I enjoy doing but in my estimation am not very good at it. Thank you, Paula, for your warm words. Whenever an article pops into my head I will write it if I am at home. As I told Mark a few moments ago there were a number of articles that I trashed so they were never seen. You are a special person. When I walked away from writing it was to go back to doing something I had been doing for years which was recruiting except this time I was working for myself. My professional life was insurance, mortgage banking, staffing and recruiting, and finally merchant cash advance. I don’t remember how, when or why I started writing. Every so often I will read some of my old articles. So many were terrible with others being mediocre.

  4. Joel, I’m not precisely sure how to express or to convince you of the enormity of what you’ve accomplished here. Maybe you don’t even need to recognize it or comprehend it.

    I read this piece as a perfect reflection of the global, existential disorientation in which we now find ourselves. We’ve never been here before. We’re like the first people to step foot on another planet: Are we safe? Will the environment sustain us? If not, how and how quickly will we know? If the environment infects or affects us, will we necessarily become ill or debilitated? Will we die? How many of us? How can we know? Can we develop immunity to this environment? If so, how long will that take?

    Nothing is as we knew it. It may never be as we knew it again. If we’re wise, we’ll make as many things as we can better, more reliable, less dependent. Perhaps the age of globalization will regain its respect for sovereignty. We don’t know. We can’t know just now.

    I feel all of that in your struggle to find your bearings. You’ve expressed that for all of us. That’s very powerful. And it’s a gift.

    Thank you for sharing your gift with all of us. No one is alone in this.

    • Mark, this is some comment! I am one of those who can never make sense of anything I write. Those who read my articles seem to be able to figure them out. To thank me for sharing my “gift” is an enormous compliment that I cannot thank you enough for. However, (see I am an equal opportunity nitpicker) I fail to see where I have any gift. The few times when I have reread some of my old articles I found a great many of them to be terrible with others being mediocre. You are a very bright man who thinks things through very deeply. Thank you again, Mark.

    • Joel, my wife is a painter. I have one of her paintings hanging in my office. I love that painting because I asked her what she was imagining when she painted it. What she told me was nothing like what I see in it. That’s why I love it and why I know it’s art.

      We don’t have to make sense of what we write. We don’t have to interpret it. We don’t have to judge it. We don’t have to view it as a gift. We just have to write.

      I’m so happy and grateful you’re writing.

  5. Welcomed Joel!
    It is honoring and inspiring for me to engage with minded an individual and professional like you, who thinks outside the box, is willing to explore and eager to share their knowledge, giving others with the opportunity to grow and expand their knowledge base.
    Take care of you.

    • Thank you, Aldo, for your very generous comment. If you look at your comment it will become crystal clear that it applies to you as well. Stay well and stay safe. This is a very difficult time for all of us.

  6. You humble me, Dear Joel Sir, and you that so often, and in so many different ways that I fail to visualize the depth of the foundations that our friendship has come to create. To me, the biggest reward of life as a writer is to see a sliver of hope cutting through the self-created hopelessness (or was it?) that was pulling you away from the zenith of a marksman (an analogy, you may or may not approve of, Sir. Your sharp attention to detail, embellished by the directly relatable songs from the most exceptional archives, would make your worst critic fall in love with the pearls you so freely dole out.

    As regards your choice between Mark and me, suffice it to say we both play our roles. Mark does it for the essential need of income to survive and thrive. On the other hand, I do it purely to feed my brain with positive thoughts, encouraging words, some sweet slaps on the wrist when I cross the line, and above all, a sense of respect for your talent that makes me more curious each passing day.

    Without trying to write an entire thesis on my urgent need for your continued inspiration for my budding skills at scribbling a few words, let me say, in bold letters, THANK YOU, JOEL SIR, THANKS FOR THE SECOND HOME-COMING!

    • Bharat, you kept insisting (in a caring way) for me to come back. No matter how many objections I threw at you each one was repelled. In recent memory, I cannot recall anybody being as persistent as you were until it came to the point where managed to do the impossible which was get me to do something I did not want to do. You eliminated all the negatives by replacing them with positives. Yes, it feels good to be home again. Thank you for reigniting the spark that I thought was lost forever. Take care of yourself.

    • Friendship thrives on giving, and you have admirably fulfilled your part of the equation, Dear Joel Sir. Perhaps, I too would be called upon to do mine some day. Let’s hope I would come up to your expectations as well.

      With Warm Regards, and always with a Prayer


  7. I’m afraid, “welcome back” is an understatement, Joel. I hesitate when describing myself as a writer. I never went through courses, classes, and seminars studying and practicing different ways to write. I’ve always been fascinated with words, grammar, and how they are interconnected and interwoven. How simply removing one word can completely change intent. Perhaps I’ve been practicing all along and didn’t know it. But I write because I’m compelled. If it ever reaches the point where it can financially support me, I’ll consider myself blessed (and probably still not a writer).

    • John, thank you for welcoming me back especially since I was convinced I had lost the ability to write. I never wanted (and still don’t want) writing to be my living. No matter what the reason you write for is the fact that you write makes you a writer.

  8. Thank you for this, Joel! I do not always have time to read everyone’s article, but I could not resist yours. Ironically, I just read and commented on Bharat’s article, and you mention him. Before I read your article, I sensed he was a lovely man based in his thoughtful comment on my article. You reinforced it.

    Now to your article, I am not saying this to be ingratiating, but your writing is not only thoughtful but mesmerizing. As a hypnotherapist, You as well as the other superb writers in this community go into a state of well being to create the remarkable prose transcended from the mind.

    Please keep it coming as you wish because it is a gift which shared provokes much thought.💖

    • Darlene, to start with I cannot thank you enough for your warm and exceptionally kind comment. Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I know how hard it can be to have to address so many things in one day. It can get overwhelming. My “typewriter” is not yet back on fully due to a feeling of loss. I was really enjoying what I was doing. Please do not feel slighted as all of you were always so kind to me while I was at times a grouch.

    • Thank you, Len. I must admit it felt and feels very strange. Please forgive my selfishness but I am lost without recruiting.

    • Joel – Recruiting is honorable and if it is something you enjoy, you should do it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t write for the joy of writing. You may not produce a piece daily, but write as moved so we can enjoy your talent.

    • How could you ever imagine to keep away from the keyboard for good, Dear Len Sir? You can never be selfish enough to keep the treasure-trove of real life experiences to yourself, and thus depriving everyone else of the inherent wisdom.

      I, for one, shall always remain an ardent follower of yours, Sir.

      With Thanks, Warm Regard, and a Prayer