“Fear can be controlled. To live in fear, is to be out of control.” JSM
When I first began this journey of self discovery, I had no clue where it would take me, what I’d find along the way, or where it might eventually lead. To this day, I still don’t know where it’s going and I’m more than fine with that. I can’t believe in destiny or fate. Nothing is ever written in stone. I can’t foresee the future nor will I attempt to try. All I have to work with is the present, and because of this fact, I soldier on and continue the journey regardless of where it may possibly go.
My life philosophies are mine and mine alone and as far as I’m concerned, easy: Do the right thing. Mind my own business. Be there for those who have been there for me. Listen to those I respect. Respect opinions. Do good towards others and perhaps good will come back full circle. Try to project a positive attitude. Ignore the hate and seek the light. You know… all that mushy gushy stuff. That karma stuff. Despite the horrors of the world and humanity’s hate, I try to abide by a decent moral code of conduct, and thus far, it’s seemed to work well in my favor; albeit in increments and spurts. If nothing else, it’s made the journey easier to travel. I’ve had my moments aplenty of lashing out at the beginning, but over time, my inner light seemed to push away the dark. I’d like to think through adapting these seemingly simple personal philosophies, the positive events happening around my universe today are a direct result of my actions.
I was consumed with spite and malice at the genesis of the New Life. I couldn’t see beyond the darkness behind my own eyelids. Each and every waking moment was a new struggle to find something that resembled normalcy.
Nothing was normal and my life had been a lie. Everything was askew and off balance and I hated everyone and everything around me. Well… almost everything and everyone.
Everyone but my kids, my immediate family, the mutt, and the few friends I knew I could count on. That was it. The rest of the world could rot in the abyss for all I cared.
I despised those who managed to find fortune and glory by barely lifting a finger. I hated others I knew who attained success by trampling on the backs of others. I screamed in my mind at those who found life easy. I loathed the ones who hurt me and laughed about my pain like cackling witches circled around a steaming cauldron. I lived in a shroud of darkness.
I may not be perfect, far from it, I’ll never claim to be, but I’ve always considered myself one of the good guys. I hated the transformation from good to evil. The feelings of unfairness and the reasons why bad things always seem to happen to the good ones. Why? It doesn’t make sense!! Why are the decent folks always punished?!
Too many why’s. Always more questions than answers. The answers were always there, but I was oblivious to the clues, and at the time the path was so splintered I couldn’t see the right trail to follow. Therefore, in the darkness I remained. I had no choice at the time. I had to undergo incredible pain in order to eventually understand my situation.
Sometimes pain is a bittersweet reality.
My pain has always been self induced. I’ll admit that. I’d place a flashing neon sign in front of me and advertise “plenty of vacancy” for the ones I despised, for the sole purpose of allowing them to live rent free in my head so I could dwell and fester in their presence. I enjoyed placing blame on others to distract myself, from myself. However, it was the lack of control of my emotions that pushed me over the edge. I couldn’t control the situation, therefore my hate took precedence. I hated what I didn’t understand. I didn’t understand anything, therefore out came the hate.
When my hate had reached a point of no return, family reared back on the reigns and provided safe harbor. My mind was broken. My spirit seemingly shattered beyond repair. Life seemed pointless and the burden too heavy too carry. I tried for the longest time to lift it, but found myself falling to my knees, gasping for air under the crushing weight.
Unbeknownst to me, my family had gone behind my back and set me up with a place to reside, until the day came when I could manage life on my own. I had a small space to set up shop. Both of my children had a bed to sleep upon, and my family went out of their way to transform their home into a place to accommodate me and my broken life. They rearranged their entire existence for mine. To this day, there is nothing I can do to repay that debt. Nothing.
In essence… they probably saved my sanity and my life.
We don’t talk about those days. Those moments are unspoken between us.
The kids still attended their schools, though the drive was much further than I was accustomed. My family worked their forty hour grind, and I still worked from home. Despite having a place to hang my hat for the time, I was alone each and every day until the late afternoon and evening hours. Associating with others was still very much a problem, so I continued to abide by a hermit mentality.
When not actively working at my desk for my jobby job, I found my mind wandering aimlessly and staring blankly at the white walls. I still had more questions than answers.I had no clue how I was going to adapt to the new paradigm or where I was heading. Life still didn’t make an ounce of sense. Just another brand new prison for my fractured mind. Island 2.0.
I needed a clue. A subtle hint. Something from somewhere that didn’t exist primarily in the dream world. Something tangible and real. Any clue would help.
Little did I know, the clue was literal.
I rose from my bed one night after spending too much valuable time sprawled out on the blankets, thinking about the past, and the closet in the corner beckoned me to root around inside. The only area in the home I hadn’t yet explored. I flicked on the light, dropped to my knees and sifted through the contents of the small space.
Stacks of fantasy books covered the floor. Board games piled up on shelves. Piles of linens and folded laundry. Shirts and skirts dangled from metal hangers. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Another waste of time. Nothing more than a closet.
Before I rose from the carpet and slammed the door in anger, a beige wicker basket popped into view, tucked away in the corner concealed behind a clothing hamper. A metal clasp held the box’s lid shut and one handle protruded from it’s sides. It had the uncanny appearance of a picnic basket.
I opened it and glimpsed inside.
A sewing kit sat within. Varieties and sizes of needles and multicolored thread. Small handmade dolls, animals, a pin cushion and random stitchings of fabric. Parts and pieces of old projects never finished. Two blue crochet needles and a thick ball of yarn.
I removed the tightly wound ball of yarn from it’s home and bounced it in my hand.
OK… brief pause. Unfortunately a public disclaimer needs issuance from time to time. My friends, co-workers and family consider me quite sane. I’m your average, ordinary, everyday run-of-the-mill, Joe. I have great honest relationships. I have a job that allows me an opportunity to do good by others and work with those who need help in life. I make a livable wage and am irresponsible with my money. My employment allows me opportunities to be active in my community. My children love me and we have the best relationships(s) with one another, and a woman in my life that has stuck by my side through thick and thin. I like to believe I am as sane as they come. But… regardless, I have to dredge up an old statement. A public declaration. I am not crazy.
The things that have happened over time, the subtle, to straight up madness, have been crazy. A sane guy experiencing the insane, bizarre and unexplained. Bring it on. I love the realm of the unknown. The space of the place between places.
Or, perhaps, I am a little crazy.
But, I like who I am and don’t plan on changing anytime soon, so I suppose it’s acceptable.
The ball of yarn struck a nerve. Something about it didn’t make sense. I didn’t sew. I don’t crochet or have any involvement other than a random button I’ve reattached to a pair of pants or two. I did my stint in Home Economics in High School and had to construct a silly project or three… but I did not sew or practice the art. Nor did I care to learn or give it a try.
The object in my grip fascinated me to no end. I held it as I sat at the foot of my bed and rolled it around in my hands over and over again. Staring at it. Wondering on another, why? Why is this so important right now?
If you remember Close Encounters of the Third Kind, I immediately thought on Richard Dreyfuss.
Both funny and strange simultaneously.
Then out of the blue, I remembered something from the days on the Island. Something I happened across during my little side hobby which I titled at the time, Online Archeology. A snippet of research that happened across my screen one night.
I spent some time during those days researching the ocean, and the provided links eventually led me to sailing vessels. I wanted to learn about pirate ships and the materials used during their construction. No reason at the time for wanting to pursue this knowledge. Just something to do other than staring at the TV and another DVD movie.
As I browsed the information, my mind snapped photos of sections and pages in my online travels.
Sailors, in order to control and hoist the sails of the ships, pulled ropes through a metal hook which was named, a clew. That wasn’t the information I was looking for though. It was the snapshot of words further down the page I happened to scroll on by at the time.
A ball of thread is also called, a clew.
In Greek mythology, Theseus from Athens was given a clew by Ariadne, so he could properly navigate out of the Labyrinth. A labyrinth so confusing, it’s designer and builder was almost trapped inside. The clew allowed Theseus to destroy the Minotaur and escape the labyrinthine prison by following the anchored string back out the door.
Through the evolution of words, and around the 16th century the word became, clue.
Today, a clue is not only considered a fragment of evidence, like something a police officer uses to follow potential leads, but it’s also correlated with an object that leads someone out a trap, or leads a person to a solution. Something to help solve a mystery.
I found my first clue. Eyes wide and jaw dropped, I tossed the clue on my desk and opened the laptop. It was time to dive a bit deeper and pursue further exploration.
I’m not quite certain where the clues will take me, but almost six years have gone by, and I continue to follow.
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