It is easier than people think for you to have an opinion when people are listening; contrary to the modern proverb “You can’t even have an opinion anymore.”
I know this because I wanted to be heard for years.
I had been glossed over. I had been forgotten. I had been passed over.
For about 5 or so recent years though I was performing live very regular as performing artist/ musician and in what could be considered a pendulum between a new entertainment extroversion to never before experienced levels and on the flip side semi extreme hermitism.
Then in comes the pandemic and I assume the role of a stay at home dad, the multimillion dollar company that used to pump posts about the show I leaded was no longer boosting my content with consistent and gratuitous amounts of ad revenue and that even in cahoots with some of my personal accounts.
The connection of my activity to Facebook translated mysteriously into my person seemingly having value to said algorithm (even if I wasn’t by any means even close to making the type of money the company I worked for was). To all possible intellectualization I could make out however, that the algorithm believed I was famous whether I was much at all. I was noticed somewhat. I was heard. I wasn’t so passed over.
Let me give you one lesson though. Facebook is not censoring you because they do not like you. Facebook just isn’t ‘boosting you’ because you aren’t making them money. At that time I was but now the algorithm believes I am noone, caput, basically a nobody.
This is the sad value testimony of human value in our crapitalist society. Nothing is usually popular in the way it was in ancient Athens.. back when intellectual values, philosophy of ideas and metaphysics were valuable of their own accord and merely for the fact of having mused upon them and nursed them into schools of thought. Now even that value is worthless unless it’s ready to pay the piper. I wonder how much money Facebook wastes not investing in these ideas. But I guess every time a toilet flushes at Walmart a tax deduction angel gets its wings!
So I’m settling in to a more long lasting version of my hermitage but I would be lying if I said that my depression has been totally at bay.
And yet still I’m doing something that some in the medicine/ science only crowd might think muddies the waters into dangerous hippy sentimentalist territory. I’m taking alot of walks in nature, exercising, taking my cbd, eating better, avoiding excessive alcohol or cussing at puppies and of course writing my blog as one part of my weekly healing process.
And you know what .. it helps; because sometimes even after a good helping of protein rich organic peanut butter pancakes.. on a rainy day, when your mind is racing and the sleep disorder demons have clocked out, they need someone to pick up a shift and of course the depression demons are ready and rearing to go. Even so when I write it out it has been transmitted from the realm of thoughts to the realm of words and in my subjective pseudoscientific opinion it seems to help.
I always knew I was an ‘ideas person’. I was always desperate to be stuck in a college academia library studying theology, philosophy, science, physics, social theory (EVERYTHING)!
I have always been mad that whatever secret branch of the government that hires for think tanks hasn’t broke their silence and reached out to me yet. But patience is a virtue after all! Le-sigh.
Re-sign. That’s my miraculous auto predict shake out of writers block! And that’s precisely what I’m getting to now.
The first step to embracing and truly enjoying solitude is getting past the loneliness and just because I’m married doesn’t mean I don’t get lonely when it’s just me and my daughter during the day. Yes.. even with my daughter there I get lonely sometimes and that’s ok even if her just being there really really helps!
You see loneliness is no respecter of persons. And yet perhaps its more helpful and comfortable to be all St. Francis like and call her Sister Loneliness.
Loneliness is like engaging a Jericho wall and sometimes you just got to blast a trumpet in your heart and shake yourself up a little to get past the false barriers it suggests and remember somehow, right now, life is still being lived.
You also must be humble if your’e more the type to be desirous of the hermit lifestyle because whether Pentupium Introvert 5.0 or not you just have to face the music that people aren’t always terrible and in many ways many of them are much better than you… and that’s ok! After all you have your own strengths and weaknesses too!
Most saints probably don’t mantra on that word too much or at the least they think it means something different than most people think it means.
So also a healthy hermit has to be humble and it is as intriguingly intricate as this idiomatic tongue twister.
The healthy hermit is the balance of ones needs and “the Others” needs.. whichever other or Other that may be.
Healthy solitude is a gift for a heart that is healing. It is the opposite of the crusted bitterness of undealt with trauma. The deep irony for he, she or they that seek solitude is this.. one can only seek solitude well as they find a supporting cast.
If 2020(all flowery philosophical and faith based sentimentality put aside)..
was an easy year for you then you might be a masochist or if you were not at all stretched by this year you might just already be perfect.
This is not to say one is a masochist if one has legitimately experienced new life blessings this year (We received our first baby girl into the world this year).
It is also not to say that faith based sentimentality is not often anchored in solid reasoning beyond mere emotion and thus… ‘a wash’.
What it does boil down to is a confession that the ‘perfect man’ sleeps through the storm and the imperfect man cries out in terror “Lord, we perish!”
There is a type of restful contented waiting that weighs heavier than any storm. They say that the “little ones” have the kingdom of God and I believe I have proof. This year I got to witness that contentment and peace first hand or rather ‘hand in hand’.
I named my daughter Eliza to be a female version of Elijah the prophet.
Well in her first year of life not only has she gone through the Coronavirus Pandemic and global economic upheaval but as of recent time, here on the Alabama, Gulf Coast she has gone through hurricane Sally (The most contrivedly and ill undermeasured Cat3 I’ve ever been through in my opinion).
Interestingly enough my wife and mother in law who are both from Venezuela had never been through a hurricane so while we sheltered at my parents home I had plenty of snuggles with my wife that easily matched that of a couple watching a horror film. My wife was a little spooked by the whole ordeal obviously.
Now on the other hand our daughter Eliza was definitely a little preacher by her actions. She like Elijah lived through the whirlwind and like Jesus slept through the storm! Thats right she slept through ALL of the worst hours of the storm where all the damage happened!
I know this amazed my wife but it personally deeply inspired me. Our little prophet weathered and slept through the storm and all throughout this year has never ceased to be the little chonk of joy she was.
So for the title of this blog post I want to explain it a little more because it was another little precious way my daughter deeply inspired me just by being her and that was by one of my favorite little encounters with her.
In the age of smart phones alot of us become dummies from time to time. I think my baby intuitively knows this and she returns my wife and I back to the human. Yes sometimes in the hodrum of everyday life and exhaustion even we can veg out on our phone. My baby on the other hand as a fresh human straight out of the oven won’t have it! If we are on a phone in her presence she will protest..she will return us to the now. The most precious example of that is if I am feeding her with bottle and putting her to sleep. If I have a phone she will get frustrated.
Just like God my baby innocently and purely demands my total attention.
When I feed her it’s all or nothing. It’s daddy and daughter time. It’s ‘contigo’. But the funny thing is though she demands that I look right at her little face and just be present with her she also demands that she can play with my hand while I feed her. She wants to hold my hand but she doesn’t always do so with consistency.
Sometimes she has a death grip and other times I feel like a goldfish is slapping me! But I have learned a very deep 2020 lesson from this encounter of love and relationship with our precious daughter. In these moments of connection and relationship building I have learned something splendidly transcendant!
I have learned that sometimes we might be inclined to impugn guilt on God for seemingly sleeping through our often stormy lives. I have learned it is easy to be jealous of those for whom storms seem to not shake their easy restfulness of spirit but with a shift of perspective one can be inspired by it! I have learned that God demands our attention with crystaline and 2020 vision (hindsight is 2020 and all that..) and I have learned that it is the connection that matters the most and that it is better to hold God’s hand even if like a little child He ‘holds our hand badly.’
(James Dillon Broxson born and raised in Alabama likes dark bold letters because why not? But seriously they really are much better right?! James is a father of one beautiful baby girl named Eliza born in 2020 and married to an amazing lady from Venezuela named Carolina.)
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I love what I do and I do what I love but for This Picture Frame Conversationalist I’s gotta pay them bills y’all! If you like what you see feel free to give a like and a subscribe but also remember that for 12$ a year ( 1$ a month) you can be enrolled as a premium subscriber and have first access to previews of my content whether comics, art, books music or merch as well as half off any of my releases. For a one time donation I offer a bandcamp music download of my music as a thank you.
Imagine that you were just getting things settled. You had your challenges and you had your pages well written. You weren’t perfect but life was by no means even close to bad. Things were going pretty well.
Yet somewhere lingering in the back of your mind was your desire to make a career change, to stand up for yourself.
You wondered when might life give you “a break”.
You do things a certain way all the time and the rythm of what you do is rythmic like praying on prayer beads or speaking in tongues. Even the things you loathe that pay the bills are the things that ironically give you time to connect to and to protect that same heart.
Then right when you are gearing towards having your first child with your wife you waited 31 years of your life to find and are beginning to find stablilizing routines, a Global Pandemic strikes.
You aren’t ‘entirely unhealthy’ but youv’e almost died of 2 viruses at once, had spinal meningitis, presently have various stomach and digestive maladies, and have had sinusitus since youth.
Youv’e underwent years of anxiety, depression and OCD. You had the secret wonder that maybe you were on the autistic spectrum for many years.
You recently found out why you were so cripplingly tired all the time and that you have narcolepsy and sleep apnea..with it’s happy symptom of insomnia.. Cherry on top ‘amirite’?
Youv’e been prepared for this test for it was the very first one.
Time to be a man. Time to survive whatever comes. You don’t complain for food shortages at the bum rushed super market…your fight or flight is too strong for that. Neither do you have a reductionistic view of surviving crises periods of history that only thinks about the obvious, trying to save money, trying to make more money.
You realise if push came to shove you can’t eat money.
You buy seeds along with your normal grocery. You save every seed from the refuse. You begin to compost and trial and error on learning to grow from seed.
You don’t think about comfort first. You are essentially reverted to your caveman effigy and your title is if you win war with the Mastodon.
However the Mastodon in this scenario is smaller than the angel dancing on a needle tip.
You wanted to learn coding for years and work from home for years and you also have immunocompromised possibilities, a new baby with similar, or some of the same, narcolepsy in one hand, anxiety coming from too much stimulation in the other leave you to figure out balance along with the false attributions you put on yourself out of false masculinity “You’re not a man if your staying at home with the baby right now!”. “Your were forced to be on unemployment right ..why isn’t that blog thing making money yet?!”
Time takes time from you with dividends. And for whatever you earn off of time the taxman likes to knock on the door.
Yes I don’t want a stranger watching my brand new baby during a global pandemic thank you very much and yes I am going to do everything I can to put life first.
If a rich man with a corporation has a bottom line so do I.
If a poor man can inherit the kingdom of God well so can I.
If the poor are close to God and the Kingdom of God is within the poor in spirit it seems pretty obvious that in the poor exists riches beyond comprehension.. hence the royalty and riches of a “kingdom” of the incomprehensibly glorious “God”.
Life keeps going and I keep on ‘recalcitrantly surviving’ in defiant joyful spite of if some think my life is expendable.
I do not ask them.
If they question me I can submit their questions to THE MANAGEMENT.
I am working on my project and I will succeed. Every once in a blue moon a memorandum should be made.
Every once in a while the Magna Carta written up, the ‘Terms and Conditions’ renewed.
They may change at any time mind you. Its a two way street this communication thing.
I am trying to keep motivated. I am going to make these dreams come true. And really I don’t know how to do any different. The subconscious is sandboxing. The Wiki is leaked. I am not afraid anymore.
I am tired but I have lost my edge. I am tired but I am not tired anymore.
I am growing. I am a warrior. I am motivated.
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I love what I do and I do what I love but for This Picture Frame Conversationalist I's gotta pay them bills y'all! If you like what you see feel free to give a like and a subscribe but also remember that for 12$ a year ( 1$ a month) you can be enrolled as a premium subscriber and have first access to previews of my content whether comics, art, books music or merch as well as half off any of my releases. For a one time donation I offer a bandcamp music download of my music as a thank you.