Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hope Restored

Hello everyone. Happy Thanksgiving. The actual weekend was somewhat long, lonely and dull for me. When you can't get around and you're single, that happens quite a bit. Due to the busy schedules of family members, we're having our Thanksgiving dinner this evening. I did go out for dinner with my parents on monday evening. Dad's back from his Golf trip which apparently went quite well. It'll be good to catch up with everyone tonight.

Last night was yet another unexpectedly empty evening staring me in the face. There seems to be nothing else I can do to somehow start connecting more regularly and deeply with people around me beyond family. Despite a great deal of effort over the past half-year focussed on building more of a life offline, there just doesn't seem to be a way to punch through from casual acquaintance to more actual friendship. People know who I am here in the building but don't seem interested in anything beyond passing encounters. Everyone is so confounded busy. You'd think there would be somewhere I could volunteer or a lady out there who would value a patient, compassionate easygoing guy enough to show some interest beyond emails. As it gets colder out, I'll be less eager to head out for walks outdoors. Those walks and church are pretty much my only opportunities for socialisation that isn't digital. Unless you're engaged in some common purpose, nobody seems to have time to just get together let alone anything more. There are times when I feel like I might as well be on another planet.

People think that a life on social assistance is so easy. It's true in many ways. I have time that most people my age would kill for. I can sleep in, spend a day reading, put off chores, etc. However, I grew up with the idea that there would be a job, marriage, some way I could contribute to the community around me and be rewarded with companionship among other things. What I've learned over the years is that money talks and nothing else seems to count for much beyond best wishes. Virtues like honesty, patience, compassion, being able to appreciate more than one side of a story; Those things just don't seem to count. The days and weeks pass by and you can feel the weight pile up of what that time could have contained had the right people come along or the right opportunities presented themselves. You do everything you can withing reason to contribute positively and it just flat out gets you nowhere. It eats away at what I think of as the best of me. To add to that, I heard a very angry man yelling at a woman who i presume was a girlfriend. He yelled so loudly and with such fury that I heard him clearly from within the apartment despite music and my computer making noise at the same time. He sounded ready to rip her head off or smash her to bits. Stepping out onto my porch, I could hear the fear in the young woman's voice but not whatever she said. I grabbed my cellphone with the thought of calling 911 if I heard things get obviously violent. At least a couple of other residents were on their balconies also. One of them yelled down that she would call the cops. The woman seemed to move off while the man stayed there and yelled after her. He was there for quite a while cursing up a storm. I presume he was on a cellphone and not just fuming to himself. This incident was the very first intense encounter I've heard since I moved in here. It made my lack of female companionship feel all the more ludicrous. As my marriage fell apart, there were times when I was certainly angry with Rebecca but she never had to worry about her safety. I handled the separation and divorce with as much generocity and fairness as was humanly possible to the point where my parents felt I wasn't looking out for my own future interests. When Janene devastated me on the Easter monday before the last one, she was so relaxed that she even tried to joke with me. I don't think she had any sense at all of how my world had come apart so incredibly unfarely due to her sudden desire after all my patience as she completed her degree just to be free. People just don't seem to have any sense of consequence, of human capital being utterly squandered by their whims.

Yesterday was going to be busier. I had my mobility lesson in the morning. Harpal is always very patient and pleasant to work with. I'm getting closer to masterring the route to my church. It's getting cooler out there. I doubt I'll actually use the route to get to church until next spring. It's utterly impossible once there's snow on the ground and even excessive wind would make trying to get there or back very uncertain. Too many places to go off course in such circumstances. There's also a mid-block crossing with a stopsign that doesn't have any landmarks leading to it. I'd be relying completely on my Trekker Breeze which frankly isn't always so reliable. Later on, I was supposed to go for a church men's group. However, that had to be put off until likely next week.

The rest of the day and evening passed pleasantly enough but I had reached the point where there was litterally nothing else to do but turn in. I decided to check Twitter one last time first. Heather, a friend I knew back in secondary school, tweeted that the first miner was coming up. I had lost track of that whole situation and didn't know that a rescue was at all imminent. Thanks to Heather's announcement, I was able to tune into CP24 in time to hear the first miner be freed. Hearing that happen was nothing short of incredible. I stayed up late to hear the first few get pulled out. It's not like I'm paid to be up on time. One of the perks of my situation is that one has time to take things in as they happen. What a fantastic moment for the world. Proof positive of what good people are capable of when God lends a hand and their hearts are in the right place. I'm not ashamed to say that it moved me to tears. The world needs such moments of inspiration. I had been reflecting a lot on how disconnected and fragmented we were all becoming; wondering if there was really any hope for me finding a jenuine life partner at all, starting to doubt whether my projects would ultimately do anything other than pass lonely time and make me feel productive. The latest episode of Spark on CBC had gotten me thinking on how little people seem to watch in common other than perhaps sports. We all seem to be on our own little islands. And then, Twitter plus a friend I'll likely never physically meet again got me on the same page as the world. At times like that, you keenly feel the absence of someone to hold. The couch stretches out empty on either side. Thinking of those poor men, what they went through and the small capsule they're riding out of the shaft in even now, I was profoundly conscious of the space in my apartment around me. Such an incredible epic story made all the more remarkable because it's real.

Hearing the rescue was just what I needed to put things in perspective. For a while, at least, it has restored and recharged my sense of patience and hope. Those miners believed that God and people on Earth would come through for them despite tremendous obstacles and what had to be an excruciatingly long time even more devoid of markers of its progression than what I experience. It reminds me yet again that things could be a whole lot worse than they are. The fact that people were able to get together and pull this rescue off does a great deal to balance all the crap going on in the world lately. It shouldn't. God knows how many people die from starvation, cureable ilness, poverty and outright stupidity every hour. I guess just knowing that everyone was as glued to their screens as I was to my computer speakers while events unfolded tells me that there's still some connection. It's enough to keep me going and to restore my hope for a more included future. That's the power of Twitter and a really positive news story. I'll never be able to think of Twitter with quite the same sense of derrision as I've been known to in the past. Through it, I was profoundly moved yesterday and caught a moment of history as it happened rather than after the fact.

1 comment:

Heather said...

I'm glad I was able to alert you to the event - and glad, too, that you got to share in it. I've been discovering that Twitter is a pretty powerful tool for connections, even though they may seem random at first.