Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘A Typical Day

The Most Glorious Year: A Modern Hermit (May 14, 2009)

I wrote in my diary a couple of days ago the following:

“It is the most glorious year in my life since I started publishing on in mid September of 2008.  This year is associated with the most abject financial condition I ever experienced.”

As I stated in my post “Beyond why we write”:

My reading purpose has undergone a qualitative shift:  I read for themes that excite my personal reflection.  There are days I vow not to write anything but my diary.  Then, as I read a chapter in a book or a report in a magazine” I am noting down a theme in my “article file” with a catchy title.

Regardless of the analysis or style of the theme in the chapter that I am reading, my article is fundamentally different and bears my signature style and opinions.

This year is glorious because I learned to live with the bare necessities that permit me to read, write, and publish.

My old car is no longer that necessary and is barely salvageable.  I don’t have to ride any farther than three kilometers to the public library.

I spend wonderful mornings amid new book arrivals and the available internet for posting what I have edited yesterday.  (You may read my post “The Maitre Phares’ Library“).

I go to bed early, no later than 10 p.m., and get up early to the chants of birds.

I managed to nail down a productive and enjoyable routine since I removed from my worry the nasty and ridiculous process of applying for ridiculous jobs and be interviewed by non interesting specimen.

Around 8 a.m. I exercise for 45 minutes, leisurely and happily, and then I work in the garden and gather what I sawed, leisurely and happily; a kind of silent prayer.

I make sure to take siesta or a nap and value all the dreams that get attached to sleeping and I am up fresh for another round of eight hours of productive and enjoyable work in my study. (You may read my post “A Typical Day“)

I have been forgotten for years as if I live in Mars.

I don’t receive visitors since I am not in any business of selling and buying.  I refused to return to cellular phones or anything that may keep beeping: I cannot afford monthly payments for anything anyway.  Thus, I don’t need to deal with banks that always find excuses to penalize me and extort money as I willingly deposited with them for “safe keep!”

(Banks re-invest your safely net money in secured government bonds with outrageous interest loans, extended to other customers who patronize the same bank.  Banks are the perfect financial sawing machine to extract whatever benefit it can rob you clean, with other people’s money. Banks are such icons that governments feel obligated to save banks, even investment banks from bankruptcy, by shamelessly propagating the myth of a most ridiculous excuse:  Banks are the “ideal oil” or lubricating medium to keeping society functioning for the capitalist system!)

I didn’t earn money this year but I was not robbed or had to shed blood for any blood suckers.  I have no money and I am no longer at the mercy of anyone to be lured into temptations for investment in far-fetched business ventures or keeping abreast of new gizmos.

It is a new experience that is teaching me that what is necessary for survival keeps saving me from sickness, and bad moods. My money is stashed in the safest boxes of all: my health and positive hope are intact for another glorious fresh morning.

It is a new experience that teaches you that what is superfluous consumes your nervous energy and your precious time: it ends up reminding you that financial success is all vanity, that power generated from money is the worst of vanities.  Many died this year in my hometown and in varying ages and they are practically forgotten.

I reverted to a childhood condition with a mind that can read, write, and re-appreciate the moments of happiness for the little gifts and grace that I receive.  As a modern hermit I don’t miss occasions when I am invited for an outing of trekking or visiting a remote area that I am not familiar with, or sharing an occasional “surprise party”.

“Surprise parties” for birthdays and other excuses are becoming countless among youth, and wages vanish on gifts and going to movies and preparing for the party in decorations and purchasing the cakes and buying new outfits.

I try hard not to be lured by modern facilities to vanquish nature: seasons have rights that I respect. Day cycle has rights that I respect.  In winter I keep warm and dress accordingly; I avoid unnecessary trips under a thunderstorm rainy days.  I avoid long distance trips just to pay my respect to an immigrant visiting his homeland.

In April and early May I dust off my suits and wear them everyday with a flower fastened in my lapel hole, “a movable feast” for the eyes and my morale.  In summer, I am very casual, in shorts, jeans, and occasionally I dress Hawaiian.  I thus kept the recurring flu at bay this year, even the pork/pig flu so far.

It is the most glorious year because I effectively worked the hardest with the best time investment on my mental and physical capabilities, with no money transactions involved.

This is the year I felt the most powerful: master of my time, my well-being, and acquiring genuine compassion for my neighbors and relatives.

If conditions change, I’ll change and adapt.

I will refrain from altering in any drastic way this great experience.

A Typical Day (May 2, 2009)

Note:  I have been writing my diary since July 12, 2006, the day Israel preempted a devastating war on Lebanon.   Israel  failed in its strategic goal of taming the Lebanese resistance led by Hezbollah.  I decided to post a sample of a typical day with a few explanations; sort of a “Reality TV” show with no direct picture.

I got up at 5:15 a.m. and had a cup of Nescafe and a smoke in the enclosed balcony facing north.

I stepped down to my study and locked the main door behind me. I realized that I forgot my keys inside. I ascended two floors to my sister’s Raymonde to borrow the key to my study on the ground floor.

Victor (my brother-in-law) opened and he was going down to retrieve a notebook from his car; he opened for me the door.  Victor asked me to carry up the repaired sewing machine for Raymonde

In other days, I may be asked to carry bags of vegetables to mother; bags that were left in the car trunk when he arrives late after 9 p.m.  (Last week, we had the last rain of the season and the thunderstorm burned our new TV and my computer monitor.  From now on we will have to suffer 7 months of dry season).

I read, edited two articles and resumed my diary. I filtered a Jeri-can of 4 gallons of tap water (yes, our tap water cannot be consumed unfiltered).  My nephew William was in charge of the filtering before he rented a small apartment in the coastal city of Jounieh.

For the filtering process, I devised two steps to go up at sink level in order to raise the Jeri-can almost safely into the recipient; it is a dangerous exercise that I worry about every time.

I went up home around 7:30 a.m.  Dad is having his Turkish coffee at the kitchen table and mother is sitting beside him in pain: mother has sort of arthritis but never desists working hard.

Dad will shave and wash his head with soap; he refuses to wear any kinds of head cover in any season.  Mother will work hard all morning to let pain and aches forget her.

I exercised for 45 minutes and then worked in the garden; I gathered greens for salad, plowed a little, and watered my patches with the little water that we get from this stupid government.

This work is followed by the frustrating jeremiads of mother claiming that we are short on water. We have plenty of water in Lebanon but it does not reach home:  the best this government could do is turns on the quasi potable water three times a week for six hours each time.

I shaved and dressed up in a suit (I dress up in April because it is the only month that sustains a suit; it is an occasion for me to dust off my wardrobe).

I spent my morning at the Maitre Phares Library; this private library is now managed by the Saint Joseph University, the Law Department.  I return books and magazines and borrow others (read my post on Maitre Phares library).

I published three posts on and replied to comments and emails. I returned the “Courrier International” and the Arabic book “Ain Wardeh” and borrowed the French book “A World Adrift” by Amine Maaluf and the Arabic/Lebanese “State of Cities” by Mai Ghoussoub.

I took pictures of Layal Kanaan who is flying to Orleans (France) to submit her dissertation on French linguistics among the Lebanese; Layal spent a month patronizing the library to write in a peaceful and quiet environment.

I left the library early around noon because I had to attend a play by my niece Chelsea at Saint Joseph school. I bought hair spray from Storiom for mother.  I joined my parents for lunch; mother had cut her hair by herself, as usual, and dyed it. I removed to my study.

Raymonde picked me up at 1:30; mother was tired and could not join us. The play writer and actor George Khabbaz was the guest of honor and he came late; the play was re-played for Khabbaz.  Chelsea was excellent in acting and in dancing and represented the cynical and malevolent student girl who abhors clowns.  Chelsea played her role very well and exhibited the worst inclinations that she could dream of being.

William and Hanane arrived late but they watched part of the re-run and took pictures; they were in a hurry and returned to Jounieh.

I had an hour nap till 4 p.m.  I overheard in my bed that the 4 Lebanese highest military officers will be released this afternoon after the International Court found them innocents of participating in the assassination of late Rafic Hariri P.M.

There will be strong pressures for four judges to resign because they covered up information and detained the officers for 44 months without any kinds of indictments; it was detention for political reasons.  Many heads should fall and the government is in hot water, especially Seniora PM, Saad Hariri, Walid Jumblat, Sameer Geaja, and Marwan Hamadeh. The last person created the false witnesses.

I removed to my study and wrote a new article on minorities in the processes of disappearance in Iraq. It is 6:30 p.m. and the public electrical utility went out around 6 p.m.

The Lebanese citizens have been harassed for lack of public electricity for over thirty years; we barely receive 10 hours of utility per day and we rely on private providers with generators at exorbitant prices.  Yes, we pay twice a month for electricity.

I visited with George Tannous (our neighbor) who was released late from the hospital around 2 p.m. because the surgeon was late to arrive and sign the release form.  Aunt Montaha was there and then her daughter Joelle came in from work to pick up Montaha.

I resumed reading at Raymonde’s around 7:30 p.m. and watched some news. Raymonde gave Adrea ride to Vanessa; Adrea wanted to go to a theater play in Chateau Trianon but the 20,000 LL fees were not available.

Chelsea’s friend Maribelle is sleeping over:  tomorrow is holiday because of the Workers’ Day on May 1st.  Chelsea and her friend are waiting for Victor’s to return from work with the laptop: they have a project to do and need to surf the net.

I had supper at home and got in bed by 9:15 and had many dreams.




December 2022

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