Strolling with Linda
Whatever I had
I realize I could never have risked being too vulnerable when training as an artist. My upbringing made no sense. It was as if a black hole was beneath me and I could sink at any minute. There was little peace. So I uplifted myself, unconsciously grabbed some safe achievements and won an art contest and received recognition. For a brief time it offered some importance, covering up a sea of indifference and lack of understanding that I received during my development.
When I realized I needed a foundation in art, and I tried to obtain this, I found out all the training offered was insufficient. Yet I could have tried to make the most of it but from my situation I couldn't. I was not able to give up a sense of specialness. Without this I felt I had nothing. To train and evolve in a certain system would be a letdown, because it could not live up to my expectations. I was stained. So I was not able to fully invest myself into the training. Couldn't risk it or fully stick with it. All I could do was grab a little here and there.
Later, when I lost everything, I became invisible. Not in touch with family, I supported myself anyway I could. I traveled as a man alone and tried to nurture myself without any backup. I waited to see what would emerge.
Then, with whatever training and practice I had garnered from my past, I attempted to make a statement. Some skills from the past were semi-developed, not as much as I would have liked, but I used whatever I had for the final statement of my life.
Each time we awake from a sleep it is as if we see and are aware for the first time. When we are awake during the day and we suddenly become aware of the light of the maker again it is fresh and as if for the first time. No memory carries over. Time and time again as when we are awakened from sleep we are awakened from life.
Final flourishing shortened
A few years ago I had a hernia and to me it marked the beginning of the end. I have learned to live with it, make the best with it and function with it. Aside from having a tooth pulled years ago, this seemed like the first distortion of my body.
These next ten years would seem to be the last years that I would be able to celebrate my body, work on it, delight in it, and take pride in it. Given some spare time thrown its way I could even become proud of it and enjoy it. I was never that sensual when younger. Now I could have finally filled out and felt virile, or at least taste what it’s like to do so. At the very least if I wanted to I could, it was an option.
The hernia is a bulge below my abdomen and it mars by body. All that's mentioned above becomes compromised. My final flourishing was cut short.
Stings still hurt
One would think experience, perspective and smoother edges would shield one from being affected by slights and insults. Not true. If you have to work as an older person in these times you understand what I mean. You might deal with 100 people that are decent enough, but if two are rude and insulting it can really sting. Just ask an older security guard at a gatehouse, or an older salesperson at Macy’s. Unless they have dulled themselves, the slights hurt more than ever. Your patience is thinner, your health is vulnerable, and being insulted and/or demeaned is hard to take. Your dignity is violated. One can try to stay calm, to breathe deeply, protect oneself with a light or meditation or detach yourself from the experience, but no matter what you do, it still hurts. Old wounds don’t heal so easily. A few times when treated so, I was up all night. I knew better. I knew all the right things to tell myself and to do, but chamomile tea and soft candle lights still were no match. The sting just had to heal with time.
Certain strengths come from following a good cause. Then the good cause disappears.
A lesser cause appears. Should the strength be used for this lesser cause or should it be put on hold?
A final effort
So this is it. The final outpouring. The final effort. The final push. I'll be writing about what one needs to know to live. The essentials of existence are dealt with. The present will be looked at including observations that I have made while going through this life. The past will be scrutinized, including things tried, things experienced, and how they appeared to me at the time. Finally, there is today and the future. I will be dealing with where we are at, where we are going, and reaching inside ourselves and outside ourselves to touch another realm.
A lifetime has gone into these writings. No easy steps were taken. What has emerged is what needs to be said. It is the message for the times, a new angle for life today. Why me? Well why not? Most of what we hear is rehash. This isn't. I've put myself out there with no safety nets. What I have to say is authentic and I'm reaching out to others who yearn for the same things.
What your mama made you
I recall having a conversation with a woman named Caroline and saying “You are what your momma made you.” True, that is your substance and the material you have to work with.
Learning and Understanding
Natural and unnatural learning
When younger, if not thwarted, one can enjoy learning. A bright uncle I had said he would go to the library and read all the books in the library, starting at one end of a shelf and finishing at the other end and then again. Later Uncle Albert had stomach troubles, surgery, and afterwards he would arrive at one location during a visit and leave right away for the next. He had become impatient, always ‘on to the next thing.’
Common knowledge says a healthy mind wants to suck up all the knowledge there is. This all takes energy, however, and effort, and time. Later, all this learning can hurt the brain. I recall a man who prided himself on all he knew about auto parts. He worked at an auto part store and the new information kept on piling in. His brain became "fried," as he put it. He literally had hurt his brain by learning too much.
As one ages, it becomes apparent that one has to put the brakes on learning. It is better to know just what you need to know. Too much absorbed knowledge uses up your vitality. If, as a young person, you had learned in a natural, unforced way you probably could still absorb some knowledge without self-damage. If, on the other hand, you were pressured and learned out of fear or ego your brain almost fights the very act. Perhaps Alzheimer exemplifies this in the sense the mind returns to a childlike state and refuses to absorb any more information.
Reasons for this writing
I have to find out if this is all true - my belief in the maker.
I have to find out if my idea, or an idea, that seems correct, can expand despite advancing age, lack of energy and various personal obstacles that existed and still exist.
I also have to find out if an entire life can lead to a point, this point....whether every decision and realization have a culmination in what I am doing...or is this all just a vanity or an illusion.
These are questions I need answers to. Writing is part of this culmination and if successful hints that everything done had a reason.
Steven B. Nussdorf records his lifelong search to find meaning outside of the normal channels. He uses writing, poetry, and drawing to document this effort.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.