Been thinking a lot about apologies and what they are and how they work and why they are so important for personal growth and why they are so hazardous to self-preservation. I want to apologize, I want to really feel it, like the Spanish translation, lo siento. But I have never been able to do so effectively. 

What is it called when your apology makes the situation worse, and is there an award for this damnable talent?

But I am sorry, all these years later, I am so, so very sorry.

Mostly unrelated, and this isn't especially original, but I am grateful to cancer. I was having my weekly meeting with some of my staff, and a few of them were talking about a co-worker we recently lost, someone who passed away after a year-long fight with COVID. One of them said, "It's terrible, but I would have preferred to have that year with my dad. He died ALLOFASUDDENOUTOFTHEBLUE and was healthy." He didn't say, "And I could have used that time to get some things out in the open and clear the air and make peace, etc." But it was well understood. And not one but two more of the guys said, MY DAD DIED LIKE THAT TOO. 

I'm lucky I had that chance. It was a lesson I am still trying to learn. And I daydream about the chance to clear the skies of that great blue norther, to feed the starving manatees of my shallow seas, to breathe in mile high air and breathe out warm plaza nights.

* * *


I am not sure about the mechanics of this anymore, I cannot find my password to my web site, and this post came up as a draft, but it's a post from a long time ago. I'm not quite sure what's going to happen when I press the publish button. I'm not really sure of lots of things lately. 

Here goes.

Something from a while back.

Breaking my leg was the most exciting thing that happened to me this summer. And now I am bored with life and only have one other leg to bust up, and things are never as thrilling the second time around, in any case. Over the weekend I saw three bighorn sheep, went kayaking, found a few chanterelles and got an unfulfilled summons for jury duty. The time ticks by faster when there's nothing in your life save a dull routine. It seems like decades have passed since the fire set to smolder.
You have one more adventure in you, I say to myself. But it's not true, you can tell these sorts of things. I am preparing to say farewell to my 30s and surrender to the soft routine of career insecurity. Politics should anger me more. Current events should fill me with despair. The urge to march on anything should fester. But this is your planet, people. I was here for awhile and watched in curiosity, but your kind is anything but. Who am I to keep anyone from willful personal disregard.
Now that that's off my chest, I feel remorseful and disappointed. Resignation is not an expected life stage. Self-pity is no rite of passage.

On Sunday I got up to 13 miles, which is good for a lame duck, but it hurt and how I will ever hit 20 is a matter of sorcery as much as science. Then it was Halloween, and I fought with my post-betrothed and we both said things we regret but even more regretfully we both wrote those things down in red permanent marker for some strange reason and in the morning there it was, unerasable and solemn and bizarre.

It is too painfully embarrassing to even tell my diary what it was I wrote and whereupon it was writ. Maybe that is why it was so brilliant. Fool behavior should never come with positive reinforcement.
This week, I am summoned for jury duty. As of yet, fruitlessly. My voice hurts from a week of talking. I'm hoping to aggrieve my ears similarly.


Dave2 said…
In all honesty, I felt the exact same way as I left my 30's behind. I thought that surely my best years were behind me and life would deteriorate bit by bit until one day I woke up and realized that the downward spiral through my 40's was where the end began.

And then, as if to defy such a scenario, I started intentionally taking on new challenges and ideas (like creating a new magazine!). Each new project just fed the addiction until now, as I'm half-way through my 40's, I realize that I wasted more of my life in my 20's and 30's than I ever knew. Only now do I realize that it was THEN (despite all evidence to the contrary) that I was the most complacent and routine, and it's NOW that I'm making an effort at really living.

Because knowing that it's all going to end one day is an excellent motivator.

So please understand that I'm only trying to help when I say that you're going to die soon. There's no time for self-pity. There's too much adventure left to be had.
Brandon said…
you're right on the mark with the motivation. i think my big problem is knowing when to separate mortality as a motivator for recklessness from mortality as a motivator for fulfillment. i'm hoping that distinction gets clearer in my 5th decade.
eclectic said…
There's something symmetrical yet alarming about gallows/lawyer humor. You are brilliant. Also, come skiing/snowshoeing/snowboarding at Mission Ridge this year. If you do, I bet Dave will promise to make time to hangout while you're here.* And leg-breaking is strictly optional.

*Don't make me cry, Dave.
Brandon said…
If I can make my target weight following Thanksgiving, then I am happy to leave my DNA upon the slopes of Mission Ridge.
matt said…
'i think my big problem is knowing when to separate mortality as a motivator for recklessness from mortality as a motivator for fulfillment.' it's strangely comforting to know i may well be looking at another decade of this, as if the not-knowing was somehow more reassuring than the thought of maybe someday knowing.

in other words: hi, brandon. (also: i'm impressed you're back up to 13 already.)
I'm running a half-marathon in Nags Head this weekend and have only up to now done a single 10-miler. I was happy with the time and felt good at the end, so I feel foolishly confident that I'll have another 3.1 left in the tank when the time comes. Of course, I could also end up crumpled in a heap and yelling for my mother at the 10.5 mile marker. In any case, I've heard that the goody bag is spectacular.

I've found that certain kinds of fulfilment require recklessness and that it's impossible to separate the ways in which death motivates. Death started motivating me young, though, so maybe ended up with a different relationship with the reaper. In any case, jury duty is time that you can never get back and that's just a pisser.
Brandon said…
matt, 13 miles was easy compared to that painfully short descent to the trailhead.

sir, good luck on the run!
Jake said…
Thanks for the time travel.
brando said…
It's weird, I was writing quite a few posts back in 2011, and they are all showing up as drafts in blogger. i am hoping there is some value in re-reading them. it definitely feels like time travel.

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