I've never thought of myself as technically minded, even though I learned electronics in the air force, and continued those studies after my discharge. I learned on the old Commodore 64, which was just a few steps up from the abacus. Even though my hands were attempting the electro-mechanical projects before me, my head was floating in the creative cloudscape above. I worked in the technical field for over a decade, before opting for a job doing custom picture framing, and then onto bookstore work, where I still am today.
I've been rambling about this earth for over fifty years now, and I've never felt comfortable in the society where I reside. Since my early days in high school, I've wanted to escape this social reality and make my way in the natural world; the last vestiges of wilderness. It seems though, that I have the type of personality that would rather squander its years in a sort of self-induced suffering.
Say what you will about "The Bridges of Madison County", but there was a line in the film script that still resonates with me. While reading their mother's journal, the children come upon the line:
". . . but as one gets older, one’s fears subside. What becomes more and more important is to be known -- known for all that you were during this brief stay."
As I've gotten older, I have become less fearful of being myself. I've accepted aspects of my personality that I always fought against in the past. I have acquiesced to the fact that I will always battle the dark nemesis known as depression. I do my best to avoid the ruts and ditches along this route, and even when I slip a little, I use mindfulness and yesca to stay calm. I don't pray. I don't hang out with Jack Daniels.
A few nights ago, I asked my wife how she was feeling about Us. She replied: "Well, there's a feeling of disconnect, but that's been there for a while." I have written in the past about my father commenting that he and I had "never clicked." I'm not in contact with my siblings, and I can count the number of trusted friends I have on one hand . . . a hand without fingers. I suppose that at some point I will probably have to take some responsibility for these distances between others and myself. I always point to a lack of understanding on their part; they just don't get me. But then I realize that I don't get me either!
I want to be known and accepted, but I still avoid myself when I see me coming around the corner. I step into a spare doorway, so that I don't have to confront myself and the more ugly aspects of my persona. I'd rather walk along, trying to console myself with the fact that it's all an illusion. The colors. The sounds. The sense of touch. All illusions created by our own brain, which is what forms our sense of self in the first place. We must be comfortable with our illusions, or life becomes a rocky ride.