I Don’t Know

I never expected to be doing this again. When I say this I am referring to writing. The last article I wrote for this publication was Looking In/Looking Out —published back in December right before the Winter hiatus Dennis and Co. so deservedly went on. In that article, I dropped some “hints” about going away. In my uncertain conscious state of mind, I was not sure if I was saying goodbye. It then dawned on me and I acquiesced to the fact I had indeed said goodbye. I was done! There would be no turning back. I had no need for long goodbyes. By the time the end came, I had said whatever I said which was all that I had to say. I would leave no remnants behind or clues as to who I was to those who would come after me.

So here I am in a place that seems so familiar but yet this process was from another time and place which no longer had a place in the new place I was in. What was could never be or would never be again.

Yet here I am again. Do I want to be here? I don’t know! Do I belong here I don’t know! Should I be doing this again? I don’t know! What prompted me to do this again? I don’t know! I do know there are some people out there (I will not name names so as not to slight anybody) I miss and want to be a part of again. But again do I know this is the right thing to do? I don’t know! I just don’t know.

In a faraway land somewhere north of here in another time there were these steel or iron carriages with doors that struggled to open. Inside there were these incessantly blinking light bulbs that sat on polls underneath fans that wobbled dangerously overhead. There was a groan as the carriage begrudgingly moved. There were men in suits with newspapers folded in half occasionally peering over them to see who was towing over them. There were no women on board the carriage. If there were nobody saw them as that was the way it was supposed to be back then. Soon you were plunged into the darkness as the carriage pulled itself underground or underwater to this island. Where did these people go? Where are the carriages? Do you know? I don’t know! I just don’t know! What became of those seemingly innocent times? Do you know? I don’t know! I just don’t know.

So much for history. If I sound angry it is because I AM ANGRY? Who am I angry at? Probably me but possibly more than me. Do you know? I don’t know! I just don’t know. Do I have a right to be angry at whoever aside from myself I am angry at? Do you know? I don’t know! I just don’t know. The next logical question would be what am I angry at? What do I have to be angry at?  Do you know? I don’t know! I just don’t know. Where do angry people go to let go of their anger? Do you know? I don’t know! I just don’t know.

Fly away, skyline pigeon fly

Towards the dreams

You’ve left so very far behind

Let me wake up in the morning

To the smell of new mowed hay

To laugh and cry, to live and die

In the brightness of my day

–Skyline Pidgeon-Elton John

There is the silence of the night as I sit here and write underneath a micro led light that illuminates the darkness. The darkness was the mysterious phantom easel I used to place my words upon. No more! I never knew what I would write or why. I would sit here in front of a blank black screen with my phone resting comfortably next to me ready to play a song or two for the mood. And then it would happen. The words would flow as do the rivers or the sea meeting the sand. Why did it always happen this way? Do you know? I don’t know! I just don’t know.

Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.

–Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy), John Lennon

As I alluded to earlier I changed my life. I tore down what once was in order to build what could be which was that which I wanted (want) it to be. It will take time I know. This was the call that called me back to what I was once. The drive was back. Telling the world to call me well after midnight almost every night. Jumping for the phone when it rang. Dashing out an e-mail after 3:00 am in my haste to answer an e-mail that just came in. No more than five minutes must pass before a response was sent. My hard and fast rule. Why do I do it this way? I KNOW why! I DO know why! I am at the beck and call of somebody who is paying me what I told him he must pay me. He wants more from me. He will pay me more. This is my new reality. Cut the competition at all costs! Its what I do now. It’s what I used to do in my prime. Can I do it again? Do you know if I still can? I don’t know! I just don’t know. Come what may with health thrown to the wind I will fight on. I dare not try to stop me!

Friday afternoon there is still bread tossed into the grass for the birds. They still come to feast but I do not see them nor do I hear them. They have been here waiting for me. I will not disappoint them. I will not fail them. On the distant horizon, there is a move that may come to pass to where I feel I belong. I worry about what will come to them. Will they still find food? How will they feed their young who need their elders to feed and nourish them until that time when they take flight on their own on the way along the way. Will the mother bird miss them? I will miss them. Does anybody miss me? It’s hard to be missed if no one knows your gone. I like those baby starlings went when it was time for me to go. When you say goodbye but leave the question open if that was what I did. That’s what I did when the fire went out. Goodby was what I said. Is this opus a prelude to another goodbye? Do you know? I don’t know! I just don’t know. I suspect it may be as it may have to be but I am not completely sure.

Tomorrow which it is already Zip Recruiter, Indeed, LinkedIn, Craigslist, Careerbuilder, and Monster will be front and center. There will hopefully be more people to send my cold call e-mail pitch to. Popeye needed his spinach. I need resumes as that is the product that I peddle along with me who is the peddler. This is what I asked for but would never pray for. Yes,  I still believe in and pray to G-d. Yes, Israel is still my spiritual homeland.

Am I happy? Do you know? I don’t know! I just don’t know. Few are the giggles, smiles, and laughs although they were never in plentiful supply. Do I need to change my life, acquiesce to statistics, research, books because somebody who doesn’t understand I know what I know thinks I should do, change the way I eat, how much I sleep, turn off my phone, turn off my computer, reconnect with people I haven’t disconnected from because I don’t know them in the first place, slow down or whatever else is now prophecied? I answer NO to all the immediate questions above. Face it I was never any good at understanding anything I did not understand or felt a need to understand let alone agree with.

Now I leave not with arrogance or anger but with regret. Arrogance is an abomination! You will write your words for eyes that have greater clarity than mine. What you write deserves to be read. That is my wish for you. May the comments you receive lift you and invigorate you while giving you new meaning. If what I say to you is not a match it is because of vast differences in how and where we grew up and the experiences we had along the way. It is right for you to think as you do but it is my right to disagree. You should not treat this as an insult as you have been doing.

So here it is whatever this is. I came back to this place. Is it possible to go home again? Can what once be again? Do you know? I don’t know! I just don’t know. A soul yearns to be amongst other souls who meant (mean) so much. Caught in a crossfire in the war between the creative spirit turned capitalist. In the end, I chose to be what has gotten over me. It is not always pretty, pleasant or palatable. I will set a place at this table where I sat amongst you for the hope one day for it all to be good again. Thank you for all the love you sent my way. Thank you for being some of the most tremendous people I could never have imagined to meet. Go now with your courage and your strength with your humanity held high.

My kid will learn guitar and find his street corner somewhere

There he’ll make the silence listen to the dream behind the voice

And show his minstrel Hamlet daddy that there only was one choice.

–There Only Was One Choice-Harry Chapin


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. Dear Joel Sir, I would like to share a little secret with you, now that we have crossed the bridge, friends together, caring and sharing, as it has evolved over the past few years. I took a heartrending decision not to comment on this article of yours as I found myself in the same shape as an orphan would, on losing his or her parents. Your writing has given me a new meaning of life, and this is why I had been hoping I would be able to convince you not to leave us any poorer.

    I am short of words to sincerely express my gratitude for your willingness to keep on leading us through these turbulent times. Your continued inspiration is nothing less than a direct renewal of our license to live in the moment and to say our prayers, knowing you are with us in full regalia of a well-seasoned leader.

    My joy knows no bounds in knowing my persuasion could convey the feelings of the immense respect I so dearly cherish for my unsung hero, my mentor, my outstanding friend, and that is you, Dear Joel Sir!

    Warm Regards, With a Prayer


    • Bharat, you have overpowered as well as overwhelmed me with this comment to the point that I am speechless. I truly am speechless and stunned. Nobody has said anything like this to me. It is hard for me to picture myself as being a mentor or anything close to being a hero much less a leader. The bond of friendship we built should serve as an example for many people. Your prayers are needed so much now for all of us. Thank you again for this message that I cannot get over, I am just an ordinary obscure person which suits me just fine. Take care and stay well my friend. Take care and stay well.

    • Bharat, I had to reread this comment as it was the most touching I have ever received. How in a world that has so much ugliness in it could there be a gem of a person that you are? The comments I see that you have provided to other members of the group project so much warmth. Your kindness, as well as your level of caring, know of no limits. You don’t have to try to convince me you are not a perfect man. None of us are anywhere near perfect. Yet here you are a shining example of what is good and how good we can be. You are not only a leader but you are an inspirational leader as well. We need many more people who conduct themselves as you do. Every so often I will come back to read this comment as it is an instant shot of vitamin B12. I hope you will remain true to who you are which is pretty special. Thank you, Bharat!

  2. Joel, you have the honesty to bare the labyrinth of your mind and to do so with resonating eloquence as you ask questions that may have no answers or the answers are still forthcoming. That you ask them is nevertheless important because they lead to a guiding light towards inner peace. This is what I wish for you. Taking a break from writing is not necessarily an irrevocable decision as you well know just as you know that your articles enrich all your readers. Whatever you decide to do I wish you well.

    • Laurie, This article was indeed my way of saying goodbye. I hinted about leaving the group during the last article I wrote back in December. There are different factors that cemented my decision which is not important. People like you have been so very kind. Seeing that you enjoyed reading my piece makes me happy. Anytime somebody tells hey have read one of my articles I am extremely grateful. It is possible an article might “pop” into my head as that is my crazy writing process but I think people would rightfully why am I writing an article if I have said goodbye. I hope your experience on BC360 is tremendously rewarding as mine was. You are in for a treat as you going to meet some very special people. Thank you, Laurie, for your caring words. Take care and be well.

  3. Joel your writings have been missed by many of us on Bizcatalyst I am certain. Welcome back and if it is any consolation, I have often thought of stepping away from writing but the voice inside me tells me to keep going even if only one person reads what I write. Welcome back!

    • Lynn, thank you (as always) for being a loyal friend and regular reader. With this article, I was basically saying goodbye to BC360. There were many reasons for this decision but it is one that is necessary. Sometimes G-d puts us in different places for reasons known only to him. Far be it for me to question what G-d does. Perhaps down the road, I may write again but for the foreseeable future, I cannot do it. Take care! Yours is a voice I respect because you are a religious person.

  4. Once again I want to thank all who have been commenting on this article while urging me to write. It takes a special breed of person to do as you have been doing. Please never forget what you have meant to me all this time and how moved I have been by all of you. I wish you all good health, happiness, a good living, and long lives. Thank you for being such a big part of my life.

  5. Joel this is a very touching to me. My friend you must write. Our ability to write is gifted to us so that we may find words to heal not only our souls but to touch others with our words as well. We as writers are a band of brothers and sisters that have the knowledge of Strong Ink. We understand each others need to write and we try to inspire each other to unleash the words we hold in our hearts. I would ask that you walk this path with us, your fellow writers and friends. You never even in the darkest night walk alone for we are bonded in INK.

  6. Joel this is a very touching to me. My friend you must write. Our ability to write is gifted to us so that we may find words to heal not only our souls but to touch others with our words as well. We as writers are a band of brothers and sisters that have the knowledge of Strong Ink. We understand each others need to write and we try to inspire each other to unleash the words we hold in our hearts. I would ask that you walk this path with us, your fellow writers and friends. You never even in the darkest night walk alone for we are bonded in INK.

    • Larry, the words you just wrote hit me hard and knocked me backward from their power. I never expected or looked for the inspiration and outpouring of love that so many terrific people from this group have been sending me. Everything you are saying is true. I honestly don’t know if I can even write anymore or if I even want tp. My mental typewriter where these articles used to write themselves no longer works. Words, phrases, etc. no longer “pop” into my head. I can no longer simply look at something (anything) and have an article write itself. Complicating matters is the fact that I do not feel like I belong here anymore for various reasons. Having my own business was something I wanted for the longest time. Things are moving slowly except for the money I have to pour into it. Long before I knew I could write I was a recruiter and a good one at that. New York will swallow you up whole if you are vulnerable or don’t have the drive, etc. that is needed. I read your words over and over again as that is how powerfully touching they are. Dennis wants me to be a part of that new group but I told him right now I do not know if I can or want to be involved. I promise to try to write an article here and there. What will happen is another story. I work until about 2:30 am every day except Friday. I am tired much of the time which doesn’t help. Thank you, Larry, for everything. Through the magic of the internet, a special friendship between you and I was born. May it always be there.

  7. Joel, Raissa’s comment captured what I was thinking about my experience with the keyboard as I read your piece: “I too have loss my consistency in writing but alas, when the words do flow they need to be expressed and we will be here waiting to read them.” Sometimes my Muse is off somewhere. And sometimes she shows up without warning, cracks her knuckles and says “Type. What are you waiting for?”

    Keep typing, Joel.

    • Jeff, I have been overwhelmed( in a very beautiful way) with comments from people like you who are urging me to continue writing. I did not stop writing because I am mad at anybody or because of somebody doing something to me. It was (is) a feeling I have that I no longer belong. This feeling has been growing stronger and stronger for months now. I am trying to build my own Staffing Agency (Independent Executive Recruiting By Joel) which takes up all of my time. I work usually until 2:30 am (or later) close to six days per week. To do this I had to shut my mental typewriter off so no new articles would pop into my head out of the blue like they normally do. I am no longer actively participating in the group except for Dennis sending e articles t comment on which takes up way too much time on top of the replies to my comments which take up even more of my time. I do promise to (I don’t know if I can write anymore or if I even want to as my heart is not in it) to write an article every so often. I am deeply touched by people like you who have shown me so much love and caring. THANK YOU, JEFF!

    • Jeff, thank you for your concern about my health. I have a very severe case of insomnia to the point medication does not always help. If I can ‘t sleep I may as well work. I destroyed my health habits years ago by working these crazy hours. This is how I know to do things. I hope to see you back here again sometime but as I keep saying I can’t commit to it. My heart is not into writing right now neither is the typewriter in my head where all my articles pop into my head at all times no matter where I am. THANK YOU, JEFF!

  8. Joel, if there is ONE thing you do know, it is this. You are loved. Many of us care about you and enjoy reading what you write. You decide. When the time is right, you will know. And if you do decide to stop writing, you will be sorely missed. That we do know.

    • Yvonne,
      Thank you for your heartwarming comments that deeply touched me.
      I am not leaving out of anger towards anybody.
      This decision has been in the making for some time now.
      The time clearly has come for me to go would rather not elaborate on.
      Here and there I may write an article but nothing is on the horizon nor is it guaranteed.’
      I miss all my friends but as I said earlier it is time for me to go.
      It is no fun being a square peg that is trying to fit into a round hole.
      Thank you, Yvonne, for all the kindness you have shown me,

    • Yvonne, I am very touched by your comments. This decision was not made out of anger towards anybody. I sensed my time was up back in December when I published my last article during which I hinted I would be leaving. This article cemented everything. Here and there if it feels right I will write another article. Sometimes in life, there are times when you know you have to go even if you don’t want to. This is what is happening now.

    • Thank you, Paula for the kindness you have shown me. I did not expect this out pouring of love from so.many people. Every now and again I will write an article. I can never go back to being a full time writer or regular contributor again . Time waits for no one and I am no exception. Looking back awhile back I asked if I could remain in the group even though I could no longer contribute on a regular basis. I knew then my time was nearly over.

  9. Joel.
    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

    • Paula, you are an amazing writer. Your ability to create rhyme is incredible Perhaps you can give a refresher course in poetic writing to Bob Dylan and Paul Simon as they no longer write as they used to. As for me this article was my way of thanking all the special people I met during my time here for their kindness but more importantly to say a formal goodbye. You are a person with a heart of gold. You never lose your optimism. Thank you for your heartwarming thoughts.

      • 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. 🙏🙏❤️

  10. Neither easy nor fun to be “Caught in a crossfire in the war between the creative spirit turned capitalist.” My coaches and shrinks all urge me to integrate the two rather than consider them opposites at war with each other — to “embrace the perceived opposites.” Possible or not? I don’t know? Do you know? Is it worth finding out? I’d give it a shot.

  11. Joel, we all have gifts to share with the world. I urge you to share yours. Your thoughts are valuable and meaningful and may resonate with people that you’ll never know.

    Just as others have gifts to share… equally as valuable and meaningful to others… we ALL have the opportunity to connect with others and grow. That connection and growth require an open mind and the same kind of manners we’d use face to face. There is a responsibility that comes with building a community. We don’t always have to agree, but we do have to recognize that a vibrant community is comprised of diverse perspectives and the true value we get from “community” is learning from perspectives that may differ from our own.

    • Melissa, this was so very kind of you. I freely admit to having a mind that is bolted and riveted in a closed position except when it is open. My professional life has been one where I have had certain training which affects my thinking as it was that good but I also learned so much on my own. I adhere to strict religious beliefs that do not conform to much of what I read from the other readers. I can’t go against G-d! When my last article was published back in December I felt I knew it (BC360) was over for except for the odd article here and there. This article was trapped in my head for so long. Last night I gave in and did what I did not think I was going to do again which was writing again. For now, Independent Executive Recruiting By Joel is where I must put my heart and soul in. “But she’s got the urge for going so I guess she’ll have to go”-Urge For Going-Joni Mitchell. This line sums it all for me. Thank you Melissa for being a far bigger person than I am. Take care.

  12. Joel, you know writing isn’t about what others read or think. It’s not whether someone does or doesn’t like what you’ve written, it’s art. Art isn’t in the lines, ever the same, enjoyed by all who see it or worth a million dollars. What it is however is what the artist feels, sees, imagines and dreams and most importantly pleases him. It’s not about the success or the accolades, the recognition or how others feel, it’s about saying “I don’t know” when in your heart you realize it’s you, your release, your joy, relaxation, passion and most of all what you love to do. J

  13. Joel, you are an amazing writer. I wondered where you might be…You declare that you don’t know about many things, but what we do know is that your unique writing is received with open arms from all of us. Please keep writing even if you don’t always know the answers to the questions you raise. Just allow your mind to wander because what it reveals once on paper is just magical!

    • Darlene, thank you for your comments which were very touching. As much as I enjoy and love to write this time around it felt strange and uncomfortable. Time after time I felt myself odds with what others have posted which fueled my decision to go. This article was trapped in my head for so long to the point last night I had to write it. After you say goodbye and then reappear you lose all credibility. I am gratified to know my articles meant something to people. At this point what I have decided to do is write every so often. Whatever was there is gone. There are so many people I miss but not being in a place where you feel you belong leaves you no choice but to go away. All my best to you, Darlene.

  14. Joel, one of my LinkedIn connections wrote this today: “A good writer, a truly inspiring artist with a voice of their own and a timeless, heaven-sent agenda, what a rare specimen are they. One of their identifying traits is being dangerously low on cash in the new worlds of ‘content.’”

    I thought of that line when I read this line from your piece: “Caught in a crossfire in the war between the creative spirit turned capitalist.” I believe all of us here in this community are caught in that crossfire, fighting that war. That’s why we need you here among us — to remind us, to make us think, to inspire us, to challenge us to fight the good fight.

    You are that rare specimen, my friend. All of us here need your voice. And all of us here are stronger in that war with you here.

    Write. Please, write.

    • Mark, I cannot thank you enough for this comment. It’s a nice feeling to know I am needed. Writing is my love and G-d willing it will always be. For me when I wrote my article in December there was an overpowering feeling it was time to go. The emotional connection I had to the group was gone due to a myriad of reasons. Even today responding to all the beautiful comments I have received along with the urgings to return I just don’t know if I can or want to. People have told me how they were inspired by some of my articles yet I do not see myself or my writing as having the capability to inspire. I am just a regular guy who loves to work and suddenly found himself in a situation where Dennis has mentioned me in various posts seeking my feedback but I have had difficulty with the content that has led to a myriad of negative feedback on my part. I am leaving the door open just a crack to walk through it whenever it may be possible. Thank you again, Mark.

      • Joel, I don’t believe there’s any such thing as constant inspiration. Nor do any of us with reasonable senses of humility recognize our capacities to inspire. All we can do is respond to the visits of the Muse, regardless of how infrequent, and write.

        You’ll never find a guy more regular than me. Don’t judge yourself for being regular or anything else. Just write whenever it may be possible and share what you write with us. We’ll always learn from it and be grateful for it.

        We’re all in this life together. That’s why the best and the most we can do for each other is to share.

        You have a community here that’s receptive to and eager for anything you choose to share. I’m a proud member of that community.

  15. I often fell into the hole of thinking I had to stay put to stay on track. If I told someone about my plans, it was etched in stone. If I made a promise or vow, I should follow through no matter what. But nothing could be further from the truth. What do we know? That things will always change. It could be your residence, you career, or your health. But I say – if you want to write – write. If you want to work – work. What does the future hold? Do you know? I don’t know! I just don’t know!

    And that is perfectly okay.

  16. Joel you must keep writing. Do I know why? I don’t know but I do know your words speak to many that struggle to find their words and assures them they are not alone. I too have loss my consistency in writing but alas, when the words do flow they need to be expressed and we will be here waiting to read them.

    • Raissa, I am very touched and flattered by all those who are urging me to keep writing. While I love to write and hopefully touch others this time around writing did no feel right to me. I guess whatever I had in me is gone. The last thing I want to do is hang around when it is clearly my time to go.

  17. I agree with both Tom and Len, Joel. If you have words, express them. We all have stories inside us, and it takes courage to let them out – and to let them go. We are all unique, and there is a confluence of ideas and insights generated here. If you were called back to writing, then there is a reason. I’ve often felt like I’ve had enough, and that I’m done. But I keep coming back to it because it is a part of me, and I know on some level I need to share it. Listen to your heart, Joel. Thanks for being here, thanks for sharing.

  18. When there are thoughts that need to be expressed, or ideas that need wings, we can’t wait and wonder about who will say them. It’s up to us, each of us, to say what needs to be said, and to say it in ways that only we can say it. Thank you for putting this out there, if you didn’t say it, it would never be said. Take care, and all the best, Joel.