Thy sea, O God, so great,
My boat so small.
It cannot be that any happy fate
Will me befall
~Winfred Ernest Garrison
Tuesday 23 December 2014
Here I sit, 4am, digging for some unfathomable thing, some inspirational truth that will carry me through the day after a night pressing back against a siren’s song of infernal pain that longs to tumble me onto its rocky shore. Maybe it is time, again, for opiates. Maybe it is time, but not now. Not this morning. If I fight hard enough, maybe even not today.
I have lived a fast and furious life. Now, I hobble on crutches. Things are no longer easy-peasy. But so what? Somebody once told me that if I was looking for sympathy, I should look in the dictionary between shit and syphilis. So—maybe that is all there is to it. Mind over matter. I don’t mind, and it don’t matter. But since I do not want this to be the subject of my letter, it is time to move onward, and like the progressive midget—upward.
It is joy to the world time. Maybe that can be my subject. Time once again to max out credit cards, some still carrying part of last year’s joy. We fill our gut on Thursday, then, on Black Friday, Black Frigging Friday, camp out on the sidewalk so we can climb over a human pig-pile and snatch the last Crotchety Cricket off a store shelf because some shill on TV says our five-year-old will cease to exist without it. I mean after all, it walks and talks and shits into disposable diapers—sold separately. I scoff, but there is nobody to hear me.
I live most of my present life in the Philippines. There, my community is small. Less than a thousand souls. It is an austere place. Money is earned through farming corn, rice and tobacco. Many families earn less than one-hundred dollars a year. Nothing is mechanized. All work is done by hand. It is grueling. Many are physically ruined before they turn forty. There is no safety net, so when they can no longer work they depend on the younger generation for their keep. For the most part, that is all life has for them.
It is there I started my adventure in writing. An adventure I still pursue. It has become a tangible way for me to study my life, a life marred by lies and false starts, but one that has changed in remarkable ways over the past thirty years. In part those changes have come from the people who surround me, though they do not know it. It is through their simplicity that I have found mine. I wish I could break bread with them over the holidays, but because of my new daughter, I am committed to stay in California a while and sit through this bloody insanity we call Christmas. Well, so be it. I will stay on the sideline in my little bungalow by the sea in the company of my dear wife Grecy, and my wonderful daughter Samantha, and just watch the world as it goes by. My comfort will be found in their love. I will return it measure for measure, and indeed, pass it out to all those I know. I give it in the hope they will find enough peace in all the hurly-burly of the season to have a blessed Christmas and a joyful and prosperous New Year. I say that in all sincerity, even being the Grinch that I am.
See ya’ll on the flip side,
To read more of Sigurd’s letters and thoughts, click here!