This is a repost of a repost, concentric bubbles of introspection. The first iteration was published in early 2005, shortly after Hurricane Ivan having devastated the Cayman Islands, a slow national recovery had left our dive operation at idle and my resolve weakened. I had island fever. This blog would be born from the cesarean-like departure that followed, and would mature slowly as I healed in Vancouver.

The second was published in May of 2010, while I struggled to make it through a few months of a ridiculously unfitting job as a staff supervisor for the Empire State Building’s Observatory, my first U.S. employer. I lasted a summer and the system ejected me, cursing and bitching, outraged by the power and insolence of a union that fostered the laziest people I had ever worked with. There was much free time then, and a great many travels, and writing was easy, words flowing like amber maple syrup unto a perfectly golden pancake.

And here I am now, posting a third echo, eleven years after the first, as a universe with a dark sense of humor has seen fit to bring me back to the very building I once left in defeat, pride hurt and ethics shaken.

This is 2016. So much water has flowed under so many bridges. Many striking victories past, the struggle remains. And coming upon this old two-part post, I had to wonder. Do we always struggle? Do we maybe seek difficulty out of a habit, out of not knowing how to be simply fulfilled? Or is it that life is inherently a beach, and then you dive.

It was late 2005. A great many dark hours were upon me. The wind of change was blowing unsteadily into my life and slowly but surely setting me adrift on a sea of doubts, away from Little Cayman and back to the real world, be gone depth and beaches and boats and sun, welcome back to the New World, to reality incarnated in a set of bills, in traffic jams and strip malls. I wrote:

“It comes just before dawn, so long after the light once disappeared it seems as if darkness will never end. The air is cold and brisk and hard. My eyes are unseeing and I walk like a blind man, arms extended, probing the night. Tiny obstacles make me stumble and often manage to throw me to the ground. I fumble and hesitate. Sleep is elusive and agitated. Dreams get populated with monsters and my heart weakens.

Where do I seek the light?
What if sunrise never came?
It’s the darkest hour.”

(Written in 2005)

I’ve come a long way since then. I have met soul sister, love and feline custody. But now and again, life reminds me, before things get better they have to get a helluvalot worse. You gain where it matters but seem to lose on every other field.

It’s a game of patience. How could a simple job be so overwhelmingly important? It’s the darkest hour.

(Written in 2010 – RIP dear feline)

Writing is painful these days, agonizingly difficult and grainy, sentences bursting out unsteadily like the hiccups of a water hose partially filled with air. Once on the screen, my thoughts feel as harsh as sand in eye, and it takes the tears of re-write, spellcheck and multiple draft layers an eternity to wash that irritation away, and roughly polish a text, just enough to send it into the world, immature and shaky.

It seems I am become deaf, a destroyer of words.

But I still like puns.