I suppose that if I didn’t have other people and the Lord prodding me along, I would simply curl up into a cheap cocoon and do nothing but read books, drink beer and write down whatever comes into my head. Without any sense of honor and duty and feeling bound to make good out of my life for my family and those who sacrificed much for me, I would gladly have saved up to buy the cheapest piece of land just close enough to a grocery store, with a small trailer and a shotgun to scare off any would-be intruders. And purchase a cheap used laptop at a garage sale that ran some kind of word processor. My bed would be a blow-up air mattress or a used mattress that wasn’t too stained and fouled up. My clothes would come from Goodwill, and be replaced once every twenty years. I would never cut my hair or beard. Books would come from the public library and free e-books I downloaded to a USB stick from the Internet while at the public library. Money would be spent on food, beer, electricity, and overdue library book fees. I might have a dog, but it would be a scruffy mutt who came and went as it pleased and I wouldn’t cry if it got run over or eaten up by a hawk.
I guess I’m just not built like many other humans who have to know how their sports teams are doing, and must keep current on which films will receive Oscar nominations.
The opposing forces: transform yourself and become someone new and great, find yourself at your core and be you as you were entirely meant to be.
Winds of good fortune, winds of right being, winds that seem to make sense, not necessarily winds of comfort but certainly winds that are not harsh or out to knock me down– I haven’t felt them completely at my back since childhood. Since adolescence began, the right amount of right-fitting winds at my back has never been felt. I’ve always been struggling, going against the winds before me. Sometimes out of folly, sometimes just to catch up with everyone else after a period of folly.
In my interactions with others, the good winds are never at my back. I am always pushing, pushing, trying to keep from being blown over. I relax, take it easy, just be myself, I am blown over. I push against the wind, I have modest movement forward, but never do I make great leaps and bounds.
The world seems designed to do its best to spit me out, to put me into such a state of being and state of thinking that all I want to do is drink, eat and cash out until I inevitably kill myself from too much consumption and sloth.
The man who has the good winds at his back is the one fellow I bullied mercilessly, aside from my little brother, for about a year or so when I came into adolescence. After some karma came along and bit me on the ass but good, I ceased the bullying, but I never completely recovered. I was from that moment forward, destined to be an outcast pushing against the winds that blew in favor of others. Surely I deserved much of the early bad karma, but not the life of standing on the outside looking, pushing inward, wondering why I have never been able to re-align, re-set, re-orient, and begin again someplace, in a community among new friends and connections living happily without the constant sense of existential angst that comes from feeling severed off from that which is good, right and true about humanity.