Sunday, 24 February 2008

Full circle.....where now?

Playing croquet in the park, life goes round full circle; or so it seems! The way I felt on Wednesday, made it seem so. Did I really think I'd come so far in the last seven months? Cai's birth date made it all too clear, the depth of devastation will not go away; it sits there, awaiting the next chance to rear it's ugly head. Let it flow, don't resist, it's good for you! In all honesty, being totally overcome by grief in no way feels good. Frightening, desperate, inconsolable, yes! Not good; though indisputably, it helps in the long run. How bloody long? That's all I'd like to know!

Maybe the rain and cold detract from my return, maybe my addiction to vitamin D is too acute to deal with life in temperate zones. Isn't a lack of it supposed make us susceptable to depression? Isn't is peculiar, so much shit and my mind ponders whether I'm happier in the sun. I guess distraction serves it purpose! The more important questions have no answers, they depend on my head space once home. Strange, I've never been the sort of guy to get hung up on the boring and mundane! So what makes me feel ready to deal with it now? Bugger all really, home represents friends and family. Decisions have been based on dealing with the emotions and memories associated with being at home, there ain't any desires to tackle life full on again. Give me a way to survive without giving myself over to everyday existence, I'll be your willing participant. I don't want to wear myself out in the pursuit of financing my life, of paying for a house devoid of emotional reward.

I still wish I could curl up in a corner and ignore everything! What a pity I'm not made that way, it would certainly take away the pressure. I can run, but I can't hide; 16000 miles and seven months on the road have proved that. Did I really expect to miraculously shrug off my loss and regain normality? If I did I'm a fool! That wasn't the case though, my only thoughts suggested a life time of turmoil. "Normal" never really described my lifestyle, why should it be now? Without arguement, this will change my life forever. Does it need to change my philosophy on life too? Of course, now I should become the devoted worker, the grateful employee; pleased when gratified, overwhelmed at promotion! Cai would be appalled with me, as I would myself!

Here in Ojai the kids have a weeks holiday, family life, normality! I'm numb, can't imagine feeling free enough to participate fully in such things. Now the determination to keep travelling has gone, I've not found anything to replace this preoccupation. I'm in limbo, neither here nor there, and I don't expect a return home to instantly change this. I've accepted life must go on, but I have no enthusiasm for it! Determination doesn't come into it, it's more like resignation; gone are the feelings of purpose! Its nothing new though, as I progressed through Central America I settled into a dogged refusal to give up. The wonders I beheld were experienced with an empty heart, without the awe I'd been filled with through the Rockies. Despite the sun and gorgeous beaches I lost my momentum, my drive. In the Rockies the natural wonder of my surroundings was awesome, it moved me to such heights. Somewhere between Guatemala and Panama my drive diminished, my sense of purpose shifted. I began to question my blinkered view of this trip, mind you I questioned everything. I had no answers to any questions, the more I thought the more confused I became! My mental faculties were incapable of confronting the onslaught, I needed to deal with my emotions, not a barrage of conflicting thoughts. Barriers have gently, subtly engulfed me, cushioning me emotionally. There is a gentle, caring side to us all, mine has been busy tending to it's own needs. Thankfully!

Life, love and emotions don't just stop; how nice it would be if they did. To step off the edge of the world and succumb to the void, is that giving up and selling yourself short. I remember being so afraid of the eternal void that filled views of the future, am I now welcoming it, waiting to throw myself over the precipice? To find something to give new meaning to life would be great, not that it could so simple. A shame that! so, empty, devoid of emotion I return home. There is a lot to do, even if there's little I wish to bother with. Maybe, somewhere down the line something will initiate a new sense of purpose; I hope so! Life will be what we make of it, or so I'm told; but it isn't only up to ourselves. Much is dependant on those we interact with, unless we care not! However much I might wish to continue with no regard to others, this is not my approach to life. I may wish to remain self obsessed; actually no I don't! I wish I could find new meanings in life, I hope I can be open to the opportunities presented by life. If I wilt and droop kick me up the arse, don't let me become a person who would cause concern for my son. Don't let me give up, I deserve better than that!


Anonymous said...


I don't think for one moment that you will give up. To have gone this far shows that you're a 'stubborn old bugger'. As for opportunities, they come and go, some we see and some we miss. Something will present its self in time.

If you seem to be losing your way don't worry there are enough of us around to give a swift kick up the arse!

Take care,


Anonymous said...

Your story is both difficult and compelling to read. I can not even think or imagine what you feel. I have a son (same age as yours) who I ride with; he is bright and wild and can out ride me even on my best days. I will now (even more than before) treasure every moment he rides by, laughing at his much slower dad. Thanks are not what you want to hear...... but thanks anyway..... Brian

Anonymous said...

kick up the arse....if you even think of giving up it will be black and blue, there will be no need to worry about your all over tan then..... x sandra x

Anonymous said...

Hey Les,
I've been wondering how to get a hold of you since I found out what happened back in July. Now I have a chance and I'm not sure what to say - how rubbish is that?

I only knew your son for the better part of a college year, and we were never close friends, but it was enough time for him to make a huge impression.

The many times sitting about in a group debating this and that, having him rape the rest of us doing pullups on scaffolding that was up for a few weeks in college, the day he lost his keys (they were in the ignition), hippie dancing in my living room, that intense laugh of his...

The one thing I will never forget him saying - 'Yes it is hedonistic and utilitarian, but that's what I believe!' That was the last drunken debate I ever heard him take part in, and that line still makes me laugh.

All this might be old hat to you, but I've got nothing more valid to say than another confirmation that the experiences around Cai were worth every minute. I'd probably say nothing more if I'd known him since I was a toddler.

You know what a fucking significant being your son was, you don't need me to tell you that. I only wish to say that what your son achieved while he was around was as much a testament to you as a father as it was to him as an individual. I hope you acknowledge that.

I don't pretend to be able to empathise with the mind-boggling grief you feel, but I hope this ramble of mine might make you feel a little bit better, if only for a second.

Take care,
Stuart (IB 2006-2008)