Reflections on the Epiphany, January 2015   Leave a comment

(Epiphany Sunday, January 4, 2015. Bach’s “Air for the G String”, and my Debut Performance on Clarinet.)

2014, for me, was absolutely brutal.

Well.. That’s not entirely fair; it’s more like half true; still, at this point in my life, I’m about $40,000 in debt, many of my creditors have not been paid in nearly a year and at the moment I’ve little means of paying them. I’m in this situation having squandered the remainder my inheritance (a little under $65,000) and going into that debt, putting my life on hold throughout 2012 reaching out with loyalty, love and compassion  — with limpid sincerity, Gentle Readers, that’s what I thought I was doing — reaching out… to a worthless inebriate, who was contemptuous of me and had no time for me.

In effect I have squandered over $100,000 for her sake. Thank The Goddess for inflation, so that it isn’t quite as bad as it sounds.

Alas, sometimes your judgement, in order to be accurate, must necessarily be harsh, and your course of action, commensurate. Also, the Moral Authoritarians of the world notwithstanding, you must suit and serve your own needs first. Over 2012 – 2013, I did not do this.

Last quarter of 2013, I thought I had a ready way out of the mess, buying, repairing and selling vintage saxophones and other woodwinds on Suckerbay… Didn’t quite work that way, but even Boromirnow, seems to me my purposed rescue plan, should have worked. Gotta think about this, and what to do about it…

By February 2014 I was dimly aware I was in serious trouble, by March 2014 I could see I was, in fact, in financial freefall. End of April 2014 I hit my nadir, having finally grasped far too late to save the mort of my inheritance, that based on events of 2011 – 2013, I meant about as much to the remains of my family, their heirs and assigns, as a wad of gum on the sole of their collective shoe. So much for love, loyalty and compassion. In the words of Boromir, Captain of Gondor: “I am sorry. I have paid.”

Two applications for social assistance — in both instances the Neocons running British Columbia told me to take a hike — and an intensive job search later, July 2014 I started working for an organization whom I will identify no more clearly than to say they have a preferential hiring policy towards former members of the military and police forces. During training for that fortuitous employment to my astonishment I learned I qualify as a Veteran and thus received some support from The Royal Canadian Legion’s “Poppy Fund”; they paid my rent and bills and bought me groceries for a month. That’s how bad 2014 was.

And a sad word of warning to anyone with income difficulties in British Columbia: If you’re in dire need, do not look to our “social safety net”: It’s vapourware. They will not help you.

“Half” true? Nah… 2014 was horrible. I was reduced to food banks and church charities, and if it weren’t for the interventions of Medea, and Idril,  I might be dead now; at the least, very likely homeless. Over two years, living in La-la Land, running on autopilot, thinking things were “this way” because we’re taught they’re supposed to be “this way” when in fact, they emphatically were not; thinking I was self-employed but in fact was kidding myself: In a lazy half-awake trance, I’ve managed to dig myself into a financial pit, that’s going to take years to dig myself back out of again. And I can’t declare bankruptcy because I own the humble pile I live in… not going to sell it to satisfy my creditors tho’…

On the plus side however: Financially speaking, although like the USS Voyager, I remain stuck in the Delta Quadrant, 70,000 light years from home, the impulse engines at least, are now back on-line. I have my health; I don’t have cancer (had a cancer scare October-December on top of everything else).  I have a full head of hair and I can still (usually) get it up. Not only that, I have someone for whom this wee factoid is of import… A lot of bald fat guys my age would sell their soul for these things… and come to think of it, I’m only a bit overweight — as opposed to grossly obese. I not only still sport all my own teeth, I even have three crowns in there. Wow. Finally, I have a car I can count on.

Still… 55 years old, going on 56. At this point I imagine I’ll never be a Dad, I’ve never had any kind of career or, far as I’m concerned, meaningful employment. Forget a church mouse, I’m as poor as a synagogue mouse, the car I can count on is a ‘92 Toyota Tercel… evidently Toyota stopped making the Tercel because it was too damned reliable… hunh… about the same age as my fantasy girlfriend…  The house I live in is a ramshackle single-wide in desperate need of renovations; the money I squandered for the sake of Charabdis (and come to think of it, Scylla) was meant to have gone towards those renovations, a new-to-me car and a nest egg for a purported retirement which at this point I can’t afford to take.

And I want, and why shouldn’t I have, a damned sight better than this. How do I do it?

February 2012 under the aegis of Chris Guillebeau (The Art of Non-Conformity) I started doing this blog, with no real aim, pretty much because Mr. Guillebeau said it would be a good thing to do, as part of his ad-hoc, do-it-yourself Master’s Degree program — and with some reservations, because posting stuff to the Internet can be a very dangerous business. Now, finally, 3 years later almost, this blog has a purpose, as I document my efforts to pull myself up by my bootstraps out of the muck, and late in the day, make something of myself, and my life; above all to Wake Up…

And hopefully in the process, provide an inspiration to someone out there  — also getting past it and in a hopeless mess — to do something similar. Like to come along for the ride?

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Posted January 11, 2015 by Capt. Roy Harkness in Uncategorized

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