Things happen in life along our inner fault lines, and only we know where ours are. The boy who loves writing and reading after growing up drawing prodigiously goes to college, finds his life's work, writes well, and then, who knows why, takes longer and longer reading and writing. He gets a bad grade finally, simply for being late, and no feedback on the paper he spent so long figuring out the answer he knows somehow is there. He grows cynical. The problem is exacerbated. The feed into the world of New York writing fades, and it takes him a long time just to get back into any meaningful form of writing.
Eventually he follows his brother, older, down to Washington, DC. Knowing a good deal about Lincoln and Kennedy, speeches and history, maybe he'll be a speechwriter one day, except the Hill never happens for him, distracted as he is. He ends up working in the restaurant business, so, at least he tells himself, he can write, freed from an unhappy clerkship in an HMO attached to a local university, and no energy left to use any school benefit therein.
Sad, one fault line meets another, meets another. The girl he liked in college and spoke well with and understood was also part kryptonite for him, And so is his chosen profession, being a barman, part good, part bad, all across the line.
I guess it was Hemingway who wrote that we all are cracked, in a way. And thus we are brave, holding ourselves together, even as cracks meet other cracks, as they do. Lucky us, so on and so on.
The effects of our inner fault lines link up, accounting for our great worldly failures, employment, personal, financial, etc., etc., etc. And, I suppose, likewise with our successes, though it might well take the most mature of Buddhas to see the moral claim of them. And even so with the body's own wisdom within, the joy of a late evening happy juice and musical creativity being a low feeling the next day.
Years go by, a status quo, the dungeon of an odd job... And the highest wisdom, one wonders, is no help, perhaps a hindrance to the action and choices necessary to living life, selflessness not being at all practical, the world of people demanding that you stand up for yourself, look out as you must for number one.
I am a poet. Use the platform...
But there is no way around putting in the years. There is a lesson in it. There is self-knowledge gained, the only way you can do it. The years are a mistake in themselves, but, maybe they can serve some purpose, where someone learns the err of his ways. You were taken advantage of, yes, but you do learn something, and perhaps that edges up upon the moral element.
After more than twenty five years, I realize I hardly belong here, in this town. Wasn't cut out for it. A country boy wandering in urban roughs. Mainly my good impulses and education thwarted, leaving me the life of a slave.
Funny thing, to wake up, after a trip visiting out there away from the city, regular America, visiting with my elderly mom who lives alone up by the shores of Lake Ontario where she retired from a late career in education, conversations with the maintenance man about Fireman's Field Day grilled chicken and fishing stories. Regular people, people not cold, not looking at me with some form of contempt. The city, the attitude, and I don't belong in it.