Transitions in Time

Some minds know only their own space that no one else can know

–Tzvi Freeman

“How do I know what I am supposed to know if I do not know what it is I am supposed to know  as I never knew what I didn’t know?”

–Joel Elveson

Transitions in time and space are interwoven into all the days of our lives. For once we wake we start to grow from infant to child and back to a child just before we die. The cycle by that time will have gone full circle. In innocence, we are born in innocent simplicity we die.

I never thought I would see what I saw on the 29th night of November in the year 1986 as seemingly within moments I transitioned from husband to a husband and father of my first and only child. He was born as #4 but he will always be my #1. There I stood in this sanitized room alongside a bed where across the room stood a stand with a mattress on it where a brand new life would soon be placed upon to bathe in the warming yellow light.  Curiously hovering the bed was a miniature color TV where I watched in stunned silence as Oliver North lied to the nation. This room was a “birthing room” in Long Island College Hospital located right along the Brooklyn/Queensn Expressway on the Brooklyn side. A room where the father who wanted to witness the birth of his child could stand right at the foot of the bed while the miracle was unfolding.

There was a bubble followed by a pop. Immediately after that my bewildered disbelieving eyes witnessed the miracle of birthright in front of me. With pinkish looking skin and smushed face there he was. This tiny creature weighed less than seven pounds lay motionless as the yellow light warmed his body to the correct temperature. I cried as he cried for the first time when I nervously cradled him in my quivering arms so very cared he would fall out of my arms and break. The life and now continuing legacy of Lee David Elveson named in honor of the grandfather he never knew who never knew him or that he was coming and his great grandfather. Somewhere in the middle of the maturation process, he became me as I was him years before.

Many years later we met Marty in Oceanside, NY although I do not remember how. An unassuming red-haired man with a warm endearing smile. Marty could be seen riding his bicycle all over town wearing his signature baseball-style cap and a chain that hung from his neck. Who knew it would be Marty to coax me out of bed to go to YIO where my son was having a life event as he was transitioning from a boy to a man. That too I saw and heard what I could not have conceived hearing and seeing what I saw and heard that afternoon on the 6th day of November in 1999. We danced all around Lee while I cried as I did 13 years earlier. It was pre-planned that days night would be my last as a transition to a new place that would unexpectedly house us when a crisis arose. If there was a constant it would be consistently going from crisis to crisis with more crisis on top of those crises.

When the orders came that it was time to go I was in the hospital for cardiac issues. I was spared from seeing the site and feeling the fright as the orders were carried out. In the aftermath, there was nothing except for what we had with a dog named Magic in tow. We dwelled in warm rooms surrounded by rooms inhabited by less than holy people. In the middle of this was an invitation to dine with a man who let it all unfold refusing to offer aid until we went through the process. My son would be there accompanied by the father of the boy who was his best friend but was now close to becoming the adopted brother.

To sit amongst us you had to be from Brooklyn, worked in Brooklyn, visited Brooklyn, knew people in Brooklyn, had relatives from Brooklyn or some sort of connection to Brooklyn.

When the storm clouds passed we all reunited under a new roof that sat on top of a mustard yellow sided house in a city called Long Beach known to many as the city by the sea. The waves romanced my bare feet on my first chilly walk along the sand somewhere around April. A sort of love was in the air. A new transition was well underway. The books were all anonymously donated wherever we could think they should be. The newly decorated Saturday was marked for the beach yard sales and lunch at the foot of the boardwalk. As we were finally blended in we came across Marty at a yard sale. He heard we were gone and what had gone down. We chatted and laughed heartily when we recalled how while being banished to the back we deemed it the Brooklyn section. To sit amongst us you had to be from Brooklyn, worked in Brooklyn, visited Brooklyn, knew people in Brooklyn, had relatives from Brooklyn or some sort of connection to Brooklyn. My wife, myself (I from Brooklyn by way of the Bronx, Santa Rosa, and Queens) were from Brooklyn. Who knew Brooklyn? We all knew Brooklyn. Wasn’t the whole world from Brooklyn? At that time it seemed so. With a smile followed by warm wishes, Marty was peddling his way back to Oceanside. Back to where those cursed people lived. I can’t say there wasn’t a feeling of betrayal but we knew better. A man must go home to his home. It was where he must be if he was to be anywhere at all.

As the waves thrashed their sound echoing in our ears there was a new order waiting to be carried out. With little time left on the clock, everything that could be put into something was things we put into a thing to hold our things. Lee was gone on his own after a fight told him it was his time now to lead his life to a future he did not determine.  From the pristine beach to a dirty street with a well-known deli we would live above was a place we had run away from to live in another place to live differently than life living in this place. Yet here we were years later back into here after a scare that gave rise to the call to go. In transition, Magic had to be induced to sleep forever. Missy Girl came with us but soon had to go. Millie came to eat the rodents. As we moved yet again to where we are from where we were Millie got sick and had to go back to where she was from before she was with us but never came back. ” Nearly a decade later we are still here but we must listen to the wind in our souls that say we may now need to go again. We may never go again after that unless we go again.

We have known the word life but nobody could ever show us what the word looked like or was. “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Little did I know I knew little. For there was a once when I could not see I could walk. There was also a once I could see but I could not walk. There were hard lessons a plenty I had to learn with no teacher to teach me. What to know when you must know it is what I now know. Yet although I know it how do I really know that I know it with there being a distinct possibility I do not know what I know. What I know is not known as ever having been known.

Now in my dwindling years where my mind goes noticeably absent in the present time, I turn to the wisdom or words of mine own or those of others I knew from my past and those from an even more distant past to resuscitate me. In our transitions and my transitions within me or outside me, there never was an entourage to save or guide me and or us. There will be no Mr. Miyagi (actor Pat Morita) miraculously appearing out of nowhere when is needed the most. To make the most of what is you need to remember what was. What was then may very well be a reimagined now.

“But you can travel on for ten thousand miles, and still stay where you are.”

_WOLD, Harry Chapin

As we haplessly twisted tumbled and turned through the time tunnels of transitions it was not hard to get easily lost. In my moments of quiet solitude, I find myself confined to recounting mistakes shuddering to think of all that meant so much is gone forever. There are the lights I now look into that radiates joy into me. The limbs that work the eyes that see the ears that hear the organs that function a brain that knows the body it lives in are all blessings bestowed upon me.

To my fellow philosophical philosopher friend Paula Goodman let me thank you for you. Our daily good-natured jousts with words has infused me with renewed enthusiasm to write again.


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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    • Noemi, Thank yoi! Your comments are both touching and powerful. I write what I feel. If I touch, people along the way that is all I could ever hope for. Meeting people like you has made this journey even more incredible. Thank you for reading my sometimes rambling comments about your articles.. I love the way you write.

  1. Thank you for sharing your remarkable experience Joel and your “story” was captivating and uplifting.

    Amazing – the Miracle of life entering this world of ours, witnessed and experienced. Memories created, life being lived, and babies have a way of bringing magic and miracles into our lives. The joyful loving presence of children reminds us of the good things in the world. Their very primal communication reminds us that sometimes life is actually simple. They teach us how to be present and live in the moment.

    Many times when I need a miracle, I look into the eyes of a child and realize I already have one. Thank you once again Joel.

    • Jonathan, I LOVE YOUR COMMENT AND THANK YOU FOR IT! When you make mention of seeing miracles in children’s eyes you echo my sentiments. When you make mention of children I get further entranced. Thank you, Jonathan, for posting this terrific comment. It really meant a lot to me.

    • I truly love your style of presenting simple but profound stories, stories that we all can relate to and be inspired. I look forward to reading and being blessed by your meaningful posts. Thank you again.

    • Jonathan, Thank you your very kind and generous words. Without people like you to read Mr articles there would be no reason to write.

    • Thank you, Jonathan , Thank you yet again. Rest assured I will continue to write with the hope people will enjoy what I am writing about and that at least in a small way they will relate or feel something.

    • Thank you, Jonathan for all the kindness you have shown me. Many blessings to you as well. All my best to uou.

    • Helen, Thank you for joining me on journey back and forth and back again . Perhaps I do know more than I give myself for knowing bit I can never be sure. Thank you again, Helen. I am buoyed by your kind words

  2. Thank you for opening your heart and mind, Joel, in this story that reminds me of riding a roller coaster into a dark tunnel, onto a freight train, into a rabbit hole-the neuro-network pathways that tumble all of us around, upside down, inside out, and topsy turvy. Our lives move through many experiences that sometimes become difficult to make sense of or ever really understand. Some of these experiences may remain mysteries forever, things that we won’t ever know that we know that we really don’t ever know. And I feel, therefore, I love.

    • Laura, you picked up on the feelings I was trying to create by going back and forth. Your comments were so refreshing to read. Thank you so very much.

    • Joe, thank you for reading and commenting on my article. I appreciate all of those who take the time to read my articles.

  3. Joel – You captured the wonder of living – twists, turns, the expected, the unexpected, joy, heartache, loneliness, comfort – and you remind us that as we slowly journey to the end of life here on Earth, we become the person we were meant to be. Well written, my friend.

    • Thank you, Len. My opinion of you is well documented. I am anxiously looking forward to seeing more articles from you.

  4. It is so heart-warming that through the transitions that you thoughtfully write of that you have found a kindred spark to ignite you through the now of your life. My best wishes to you Joel as you move forward with renewal and hope! Your story speaks to me in so many ways.

    • Maureen, thank you for reading my article. Thank you for YOUR heart-warming comments. Thank you as well for the warm wishes you extended to me. I am never sure if what I have written is any good.

    • This was such GREAT work, Joel – keep believing in those stories that are meant to be shared with others that will keep bubbling to the surface. I believe there is much more to come for you. I have had a huge writer’s block lately and something in your words and courage has made me tap into myself more fully to find those answers of what really what I want to write about. What has meaning. My best to you, Joel. Thank you for you stepping forward – inspiring.

    • Maureen, I am sorry I did not see this comment the other day. Until the other day, I had a very bad case of writer’s block. Usually, articles just pop into my head. Paula Goodman was a tremendous source of inspiration. For me, music is a big help but there are times when it isn’t there so I just step away. Somebody who can write such tender and beautiful comments will get it back. If I can provide any help to you please let me know. I love to help others.

    • You already have helped, Joel. Thank you dearly. The beauty of the Universe continuing the chain of goodness with each other.

    • Thank you, Maureen, for this tremendous gift you just gave me. This means so much knowing. I have helped you even though I didn’t do anything in my mind. You will be great. Everything will be fine. I am here for you if you should ever need whatever I can do.

  5. My dear Joel! Oh to read your words is not just seeing them but feeling them too! I am so humbled and elated at the fact that you do indeed find a perk from me! It is a gift beyond no other and of priceless value when someone lets you know that you have made a difference for the better in someone else’s path. I can truly justify to myself I have meaning. All that I try to tell others is that we all have value! No matter what. Thank you so very. Much for this incredible gift. I value you immensely. It’s not always easy to understand the way we talk…but it is u derstandable to just say thank you from my heart!

    And for your story here…so eloquently written, the path of your life journey. I feel that in a few short paragraphs ov lived there with you. Connections grow with this sharing too!
    “Keep using your pen and nodding your head, let the come out and be happy instead.” #opism
    love and warm regards, respect and dignity! PaulaG.

  6. Joel my friend you describe the puzzle of life we live everyday. When we are young we devour knowledge and learning, then we feel we don’t need to know everything and in the twilight years their is much we would like to forget to save room for the cherished memories. Thank you for sharing my drear friend.

    • Larry, you always know the right words to say that touch somebody like me. memories make up a large part fo my life. From where I was to where I am with all the stops in between it has been quite a ride.