Shutting Out The World

In the dark of the blackness that is night sits a man at a desk with moisture in his eyes as he stares blankly but longingly into the archives of his mind. There is music he knows so well accompanying him on his journey to way back along his way back home. Those were the sounds of his younger years. With a tap of his finger, he is launched to wherever he knows not where.

Daybreak introduces a new day. Now to find a new way to be amongst the living while avoiding the world. The internet is and is not his great escape. Wherever he goes the world is with him as it rests in a pouch attached to his belt on his right side hip. He is no longer in touch or desirous of a hand to hold or lips to kiss. The world is not a friend but he knows he is in this world with others knowing he exists as well. His heart is connected to his mind. They work in unison to keep him going.

You can close the shutters of your life if you so choose. Close the windows tightly. Draw the blinds down low. With every breath, you breathe in this world you indoctrinate yourself to place you want no part of but nevertheless, it is unavoidable. A ring from a phone, an unexpected knock on the door all further serve to remind you yet again that you exist as life exists. Accept the unacceptable truth of who you really are inside of what you pretend to be.

The hurt, the hate, the successes once enjoyed, the failures that really were not are all being tied up in a neatly stacked bundle to be displayed in a curio cabinet perched in a place of prominence. In the attempted absentia of all things living in cohesion cannot be covertly covered up. And the light sneaks its peeks into the forefront preparing perhaps for the numbing of the rejections or objections that festered for so long now. Try as you may the world cannot be shuttered nor shut out even as you shutter yourself in.

Sometimes everything is wrong

Now it’s time to sing along

When your day is night alone (hold on)

(Hold on) if you feel like letting go (hold on)

If you think you’ve had too much

Of this life

Well, hang on

–Everybody Hurts-R.E.M

Seasons spent sighing away until the tears rolled in and onto an already beaded beard. A heart so broken from living a life of loneliness. A closeness that rode away in a silver car packed to the brim shredding the formerly felt feeling of family. What that must have done to you. My friend, I know yes I know how it feels. While the aching back was already starting to break from the agony of anticipating agitation that woman sat before you covered with leeches hurled her hate attack right at you. Needless to say, the target was hit. Once a man who did deals they said could not get done is now less than a skeleton of his former self. The pride of his power to produce plunged into an ocean of obscurity.

Although you were defeated by despair now it is time to hunker down to fight your life. One day it may all come running back to you with a renewed feeling of rejuvenation. Back up your vacated throne you never thought you would ever sit on again is exactly where you may be. Remphasizing your unrelenting rules of my way or no way can conceivably become reattached to you. Go for it! Strategically recreate Strategic Staffing Group. It was not Jenny, Jackqueline, Ray, Robert, Arie or Jack whose shoulders carried the team. It was YOU!

Yours was the only personal phone that was allowed the ring to resonate throughout the office. It was ONLY YOU who was allowed to slam and stomp as you damn well pleased. What you said you wanted, what you said you needed, who you said you needed was gleefully given to you. Your answers to the questions were the only ones that mattered. Almost on hands and knees and faces filled with fear, they would beg you to stay.

Brian tried to knock you down to his shoe size but he could not dislodge you. That was YOUR turf! That was YOUR world! Only a select few could play in your playground. This is the past you now choose to pretend never happened. Bang the door behind you minus all you once were which is now hidden in the packages you schlepped (the Yiddish word meaning carried) home on the subway. You may schlep along but you are not a schlepper.

You can shut people out or let them tune into you so they are part of your life and not an intrusion into it. The earth continues to spin on its axis. So you too are spinning around desperately trying to encircle yourself to a place of solitude. Go ahead run away from yourself or run to yourself. Choose your direction or it will be chosen for without your prior knowledge or consent. Choose not to live life in seclusion while you still have a life to give.

So often we choose to crawl when we can run. We choose to be blind when we can see. Our lives are not our own until we take possession of it. On the road, with, what we call life it is all there before your eyes. Put down the shield take down the shutters open your heart. No longer can you illuminate the illusion that you are all you have or want. A click on a mouse or push of a button will not mute the sound of waves beating against the inside your mind struggling to get out struggling to live and be free.

Just because you play a game of let’s pretend there is no world other than acquired nothingness it does mean all the singers and players will fall silent. The moon will still glow in the nighttime as it hovers over the majestic waters that flow from mighty rivers. Dolphins leap into the air with glee in celebration of life. Birds still fly free laying down their nest wherever they may be. The dust that is twisting in the winds turns and flips over and yet over again before tumbling gracefully on the ground chokes you up with words you yearn to speak but will not hear.

We all have a voice or a vision of what it is we are even if it is not what we want to be. Take hold of a hand and let it take you to its leader. Accept a kiss on the check from ruby red lips. Your circle is no longer unbroken. The chick that just cracked the eggshell that had it trapped inside is now free. It wants the world while the world awaits its arrival. So too does the world wait for you to re-emerge whereupon you will feel the power of the wind as the rays of the sun is soaked into your moisture-starved wrinkled skin. Grab a handful of life and this time don’t let go. There will be plenty of time for you to slumber underground but that time is not now. You can’t shut out the world as it will never let you rest until it finds you.

Thank you to all who read or will read this piece. There are two people who never cease to amaze me or douse me with their humanity. It is with this in mind I owe a deep debt of gratitude to both Larry Tyler and Bharat Mathur whose friendship can never be put into words but mean so much to me. THANK YOU LARRY AND BHARAT! Not a day goes by that you fail to impart you unfailing wisdom to me. The miles that separate each from the other will always lead us to be together in one space.


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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    • Cynthia,
      Let me first thank you for taking the time to read my article. If my words have helped you or touched positively in any manner, shape or form as then as a writer I have succeeded in reaching somebody. Your kind words mean so much to me.

  1. Joel – When my youngest daughter got sick, she always wanted her dad. I would sit and hold her just to let her know that in time, the pain and discomfort she was experiencing would pass. As I read your essay, I wanted to comfort you and give you the same advice. You are able to elicit such strong emotion with your words. That is truly a gift. Thank you for sharing your art with us and helping ever reader to see the humanity in others so they become kinder.

    • Len, When you write about your and how she only wanted you when she was sick brought back memories when my son (Now 32 years old)would look for comfort from my wife or myself. I had no inkling that my words elicited any type of emotion in my reader as that was never expressed to me. Let me profusely thank you for your encouragement and advice. It is always a pleasure sharing my articles with whoever will read them. The fact that you whom I have the highest degree of respect for makes the difficulty I was having writing this article all the more worthwhile. Thank you, Len, for your encouragement in addition to your comments.

      • Joel – We, as the authors on this important forum, must be the first to encourage and support each other. Each of us know that we make ourselves vulnerable when we put our feelings and emotions into words. But when it is done right, as in this wonderful essay, it brings about hidden memories and emotions that age has told us to stifle and releases things that, at times, we must all face even if it is painful. That, my friend, is a gift and you are a gifted word smith. Thank you for your raw and honest writing on the forum.

            • Len, As a matter of respect I believe it is important to address people by their names. Rest assured I will keep on writing articles of this genre’ save for a sprinkling of articles about business. It is always a pleasure to hear from you not to mention reading your inspiring articles.

              • Len, I am seeing this comment only for the first time right now. Your words to me were very kind and thoughtful. My computer keeps signing me out of all the social media outlets I belong to. Microsoft believes the mouse is causing all these problems. I hope that is all it is. Please accept my apology if I have wronged you in any way. You have my undying respect and appreciation. Your articles are a joy to read. Thank you, Ken

  2. Your article touches my heart deeply. There is darkness ,there is hope and there is light. I felt your pain which brought tears to my eyes. As my friend Bharat so eloquently put it we look to you for guidance. I thank you for a very powerful article And for a long friendship

    • Larry, First and foremost let me thank you for your heartwarming comments. Yourself and Bharat are very special people. The friendship I have with yourself and Bharat is something that I treasure. I honestly do not know how to respond when people tell me I have inspired them or in this case that you both look to me for guidance as I just don’t see myself as being somebody that fits the mold as being inspiring. Thank you for being who you are as that is quite special. By the way, how was it that you were able to pick up that they “he” in the article was me? You are quite perceptive in addition to all of your other qualities.

  3. The master story-teller weaving an intricate pattern in poetry that surpasses all beauty, further augmented by the addition of deep introspection and a wide perspective! Dear Joel Sir, you are just INCREDIBLE!

    P.S. On a side note, I must appreciate your generous praise that I honestly believe to be unearned for me. It is your greatness that you give credit to sincere friends for only trying to stand by your side so you keep growing taller each step of the way.

    I’m absolutely sure, my Dear Friend Larry, would coincide with me on this note.

    Once again, I offer prayers to our Maker to Grant His Continued Grace to You and Yours, for Ever and A Day!

    • Bharat, in addition to all of your other qualities you can add being humble to that list. I am overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of your compliments which I can never thank you enough for. Last Thursday night I was so disgusted with the whole article (except for the first paragraph) that I erased everything except for that paragraph. You will never see me staking any claim to greatness as in my mind it would not be true. What I wrote about yourself and Larry came from my heart. You have given me one of the most expensive gifts one person can ever give another person which is the gift of friendship.