My friend Lance shared with me his most recent blog post yesterday, and I will admit part way through reading it, with everything going on in my life over the past 24 months, I feel kind of blessed–shameful as this sounds.
If you haven’t read Lance’s blog or couldn’t find the strength to finish it, be forewarn that it is not a work of fiction; though at times you wish it were. But without spoiling his commentary ( if one can spoil another’s real life experiences) he had me feeling both proud of his brooding adult-character and commiserating the events that have befallen him in the same breath.
When life climbs up on our shoulders, pressing it’s weight down, some of us can manage the extra poundage, surmising it as temporary. But most of the times, some of us can’t negotiate the weight, and by failing to do so, are encumbered with the weight of the added stress and any other issues perplexing them. It’s like adding water to a seed:without water, the seed will not split and grow, but too much water and you’ll kill it.
I’m reminded of this whenever I think of Lance.
He has the weight of Ware, of finding and securing employment in an area some from the East either thinks doesn’t exist or isn’t consistent with the overall plans of the state to reward with more employment opportunities or contracts for the people who live there. Western Massachusetts in my opinion was once a flourishing seed, but the industry, because of taxes, talent-luring, and other reasons, has forced businesses to move closer to Boston or ultimately out of the State. In this move, it has crippled it’s children, and it’s children’s children to compete for meager paying jobs, in a climate of ever increasing costs of living standards or to move out of the area, leaving it populated with the parents and the grand parents who once recalled better times for the slowly churning Western economy.
But, I’m not here to retell a history lesson, nor am I trying to introduce an outcry toward those political and business forces that feel Western Massachusetts is best served as a tourist hub, a farming till: an attraction, rather than a place to build the foundations of sustained business. My mission is to only give thanks. I thank the powers that be that I am not mired in Lance’s predicament; I thank them for granting me the skill or faith downcast to have to never endured his decision-making or pain.
But, my thanks, my gratitude always( always) turns to shame. Shame, for here is a young man, 21 years old, articulating to his father, who lacks capable auscultation, the seriousness of the world around them–the punishment for not acting. I have shame because I labor in silence over my minor issues, while here a young man who rises up, vocal, and digs out avenues to protect himself, his little sister, and father from homelessness, poverty; separation.
He acts; I muse.
He feigns; I submit.
He creates emptiness; I fill mine emptiness with more of it.
..adding water shouldn’t be a requirement, it shouldn’t be looked at as expected–life is about the unexpected, about being prepared for the curve rather than the straight course. Adding water should breath life, not prompt the demons of self-worth; it should procreate love and bonding, not the shackles of selflessness.
I’m shamed because Lance doesn’t deserve this, but then again, at the end of his line, this could be the best thing to happen to him in a long time. Life will tell; time has not run out.