The disappearance of John

It’s been a while, eh?

In terms of writing and this blog, I’m in a funny place. I know a lot of people who are sick, injured, or feeling the pain of life beating them down. I say “a lot,” but it’s not… exactly. Everything’s relative, right? But whether we’re talking raw numbers or just percentages, I’d like to be a voice of reassurance. I’d like to be strong, spouting words of inspiration capable of changing lives.

Aim a bit high much?

When other folks are down I don’t want to hitch my car to the train. I don’t want to be a “me too” every time someone faces adversity. Mostly, I don’t think I deserve the same attention. I don’t think my problems rise to the same level. I don’t want to devalue other people’s suffering with my little problems. I don’t want to be the little boy who cried woe.

However, it occurs to me tonight – as I’m not sleeping – I’m doing neither. I’m not whining or inspiring. I start posts with a couple sentences and stop cold, my heart miles from my words. The Facebook app on my phone becomes an icon of guilt… the feed reader app a convenient victim of forgetfulness. Instead of talking or writing I’m disappearing. This can’t be healthy.

So, what gives? This year has been a series of little things piling up and weighing me down, creating a little snowball in my mind that not only gets bigger but makes use of every berm or rut on its way downhill to avoid all obstacles. These little things shouldn’t amount to much, even taken together.

A change at work.
The almost inevitable distance that grows between former coworkers.
A dislocated thumb.
Unflattering stories in the news involving my employer.
Cheryl taking a second job so necessaries don’t have to join discretionary spending.
A political climate that mistakes anything resembling compassion for a compromise of “American Values.”
A pesky problem with my neck.

This stuff is so mundane I’d be bored if I were you.

If Cheryl was awake she’d tell you the word pesky does not apply if I’m seeing a neurosurgeon later this morning, but I like the word. Pesky. Maybe it’s just the repressed Red Sox fan in me (Go Rays!).

Whatever the reason friends, please forgive my absences. All evidence to the contrary, you’re rarely far from my thoughts.


  1. Hey John-o:

    Since the first time I read a blog post of yours, I knew you for a terrific human being. As Stephen says, we’re separated by miles, but not by feelings of friendship. We’re only a few keystrokes away.

    Please give my best to Cheryl.


  2. I think that since we’re all so geographically separated (nowadays most of my friends are people I’ve never met) we have no choice but to communicate via social media, and therefore no choice but to share our troubles there as well, if we’re going to share them at all. And I think we should share them; you don’t want to add “loneliness” to that pesky list of yours.

    That’s what I think.

Give the gift of words.