Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Continuing education

Worst Nightmare: “How am I to spend the next 24 years?’

A friend confided in me. We talked for an hour. I re-structured his haphazard story to make sense. He said:

“My father is 89 and my mother is 86. My father health has been deteriorating fast since last year.

In this winter season, he barely uses the walker for his morning shit. By noon, he rather not get up from bed, on the ground that he feels too weak and too cold to step out of his cozy bed.

Mother is in a worse case in matter of aches and pains, but she is functional and make sure that she washes father in the morning and bring him food in bed. Not to mention changing the bed sheets every morning and all dad’s wet cloths.

The problem for mother is that father insists on not leaving his bed after 1 pm on account that he feels too cold and out of power to walk to close-by toilet for his frequent pissing sessions.

Mother has this daunting task of changing father every morning and doing at least 2 washes for the wet bed and father’s cloths, every morning, and she suffers from back pain, arthritis, and you name it. And dad plays the child game for constant attention and waking up mother at night for no valid reasons.

Mother considers that putting in 8 straight hours of work in the morning, without any break to rest, her daily job. And everyone in the household must share with her non-stop chores. Even when she feels sick and unable to work, until she faints and drop.

Occasionally, mother sleeps in the sitting room because father makes it a point to wake her up frequently, just out of boredom and restlessness.  Eventually, she returns to sleep in dad’s (obviously separate beds) room, out of compassion and duty.

Father has had no jobs for the last 40 years. What he did when he could drive was give ride to his 6 grandchildren to school and bring them back home, and doing a few gardening…

And he was a heavy smoker since he was 14 of age, mainly smoking in the sitting room, and polluting this room, while enjoying a few glasses of whisky.

Until he started to fall down after finishing drinking. He quit drinking every day, but resumed smoking, out of total boredom and dense worries from the fast dwindling of pecuniary resources.

No government facilities to rescue the elderly people, not even in health insurance, or a small remittance every month... The elderly people are in the care of the children, relatives… supposedly in the care of the community that no longer exists.

Dad has plenty of time now to dream of the time he was still able, but I guess he can focus on how to stay alive: He keeps touching the Saint icons.  For a soft departure or for exhausting mother to death?

Do you think his deep wish is to see mother passing away before he does? A senile revenge of people who revert to childhood?

Funny, every now and then father creates a tantrum to remind mother that he is the head of the family and that what he wishes must be obeyed, and bangs his walker to confirm his statement: “I want you to wrap me up now (7afdineh) for the remainder of the day and night” and this tragic bout of energy surges at the time mother is taking a short nap from a back ache.

And when mother tells him: “I am tired. wait till I rest…” father responds: “You do it now or I’ll piss in bed...”  These kinds of reactions…

He goes: “Ya wallao? are you sleeping? Get up now…”

He does not exhibit all his pent up anger and desperation when I am around: He knows that my reactions can be worse than his, and we do have the same bad genes

At least father managed to construct a building of 3 floors, one for each one of his children who all graduated from universities and are married with children. Except one child: I never married and have no children that I know of. And I now live with my elderly parents for the last 14 years.

I don’t recall ever having a chat with dad, and now he is almost deaf and he refuses to babble. And mother’s chatting are of the most boring and regurgitation of the same worries that I cannot help with and suggestions that are too late to reverse and act upon.

Mother never cared to handle money in her life and never wrote a check. Currently, she has to handle the few cash that she receives every now and then from her children and relative and make sure that she can buy her medicine, father’s couches, the gas canisters for cooking, bread and biscuits for dad… Nothing fancy at all.

And she declines invitations because she will have to bring a gift as custom demands, and she has to cook a few sweet dishes for the occasions… and keeps cleaning the house in the event anyone remembers suddenly to pay her visit…

I wish the visits are not set in advance by “appointment”: Mother will start cleaning and cooking a week in advance of the visit, and ends up working overtime.

I aid mother in most of her chores: assistant cook, washing dishes, vacuuming, lifting “heavy” stuff that she can no longer perform, changing bed sheets, gardening, gathering vegetables and fruits, tending to the few chickens, going on errands…

I find time to read, write, post articles on my blog, watch documentaries and non-violent good movies on cables after every one in the household is supposed to be sleeping…

Tell me. Am I talking abstract so far?

My worst nightmare is “How am I to spend the next 24 years, if no haphazard calamity suddenly ends my life?”

I have no job, have no money, receives no stipend from anyone, no government, no syndicate ( I failed to pay the yearly dues for lack of money), no health insurance, no car (could no longer afford the maintenance, the gas and endless taxes on a rickety car), no public transportation…

I receives no monthly or weekly of any little financial aid from anyone. Actually, the community, relatives and close parents who can afford it, are expressly punishing me from Not Working for Pay after I reached 62.

It is not that I don’t care to work for pay on a job that I like… I am not employable for doing anything. My CV has so many gaps to fill (the time schedule) that my imagination would run out of ideas. And I am more knowledgeable (higher education and continuing education) than any employer and was exposed to far more trades and small jobs than any fat employer.

And I have no talent for any hobby to kill the time and express any kinds of passions…

Tell me: “How can I survive my next 24 years, as I become as old as my dad?”

I keep myself fit, do exercise, walk a lot, garden, eat moderately, drink a little on “free” occasions… have not a pound of fat and I cut down to half a pat of cigarette a day, with filter added to reduce the level of tar in my lungs…

Am I talking abstract?

I don’t care to live much longer, what for?

I wrote what I had to say, published my autobiography, I am helping when I can.

I wish an institution will accept me to die of thirst: Hunger takes much longer to do the job.

I saw this on a friends timeline yesterday and just had to share :)</p><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
<p>It's rather beautiful
I kind of systematically cornered myself in a tight spot: Even with a surge of energy to get out of this prison, I have denied myself much room to navigate away.
I must have had many “second chances” to survive that long. Though, I don’t feel that I ever had a second chance. I think that I learned from my mistakes.
Currently, what I can do is update my Day Dreaming Projects and create other projects that will enable “cornered people” to fly away.
As long as I’m healthy and functional, I cannot loose hope that Providence will come to the rescue and set me free.
It doesn’t pay to feel negative and drop hope for a better situation.

Note: What is irritating in feeling desperate is its evidence, its documentation, its accurate reporting.

Hope expresses its generosity in the false sense of optimism, its refusal of facing the situation, an aberration, a fiction.

It is in the aberration of feeling hope that resides life, this fiction that feeds on it.

The French text of Cioran:

Ce qui irrite dans le désespoir, c’est son bien-fondé, son évidence, sa “documentation” : c’est du reportage.

Examinez, au contraire, l’espoir, sa générosité dans le faux, sa manie d’affabuler, son refus de l’événement : une aberration, une fiction.

Et c’est dans cette aberration que réside la vie, et de cette fiction qu’elle s’alimente. » Cioran

Do you think you suffer from depression? Do you know someone who might? Here are the signs #TEDxLAUSalon #OnMentalHealth

Is death necessary? (Mar. 19, 2010)

            Up to now, there are no satisfactory biological explanations of why people have to die.  There are evidences that for tens of thousands of years, mankind has not changed genetically and biologically.  I think that the brain might have undergone some changes to accommodate increased influx of visual and auditory signals and sensations and the ever development in technological innovations that forced qualitative levels of life styles.  Technological development did not decrease the daily worries and needs for survival: as soon as an innovation is appropriate to release mankind from hard chores then society complicates its routine to adding various tasks and regulations to the fill the void in time spent on daily chores, physically, emotionally, and mentally; it seems that society wants people to staying actives even if need be to creating chimerical wants and needs.

            Even during the Sumerian Empire period (over 4,000 years BC) there are texts explicitly stating “there is no youth anymore”; this means that there is no time to play as kids and enjoy quality time. In this century, there are people who lived long enough to witness electricity, trains, telephone, aviation, and even computer!  How can any single person keep up with that kind of evolution and not give up when youth fresh brain feels comfortable in that environment like fish in water?

            The brain is sending all kinds of haphazard messages to the rest of the organs.  The organs respond “Ok, you sweet brain is obviously tired and tiring us with incoherent orders. Are you insinuating that we need to start the shutting down procedure?” It is the brain that decelerates rapidly and sets a morose attitude of a universe going too fast to catch up with.  May be it is the brain that is sending signals to the biological system to shut down.  It is the brain telling people that new generations of fresh brains are ready to resume the struggle for human survival; it is time to let go. It is basically a cultural reality, as old as man’s cerebral development, and not a genetic fact, that is defining death and its necessity.

            As long as the brain is functioning adequately in absorbing continuing education demands to keep up with youth’s sponge brain then the brain will demand an extension on life by any means possible and available; this is what I call the zest to struggling for living a while longer.  There are people who die relatively serenely: they can think “Everything is done” and let go. People die in atrocious suffering and pains: they are thinking “Why have you abandoned me?!” People die suddenly in surprise: they still have a second or two to think “Jesus, right now?!”

            I have witnessed that youths, who have lost one of their parents or who had no practical contact with one of them, are the ones who mature earlier than “normal” youths.  I mean by maturing this drive to plan ahead for the future much earlier and to stick to plans the longer.  I am not sure if those killing diseases and cancer types are not consequences of a brain giving up prematurely and generating processes to set a person at rest.

            Taming of death means: I accept being scared of suffering and pains; I accept feeling lack of courage; I agree that I am not that strong.  I am afraid of death but I am waiting very consciously its coming.  All these “yeses” are emanating from deep inside us, a depth that we never had conscious of its existence.

The Blemish (May 8, 2009)

 

            The blemish is this emotional feeling that prevents sleep to visiting you.  It is being illiterate among a literate society.  Illiteracy is the surface fact but the deeper felt blemish is that you lacked the courage to overcome what keeps you miserable and mediocre.  You had the mental and physical capability to learn to read (forget writing), you had facilities that were instituted specifically for you but you failed to taking advantage.  The blemish is that you know that you have no credible excuses for failing to wipe out your degrading attitude that ruined your life and the loved ones around you.

            The German judge and author Bernhard Schlink published “The Reader” of an adolescent who used to read aloud to his older lover Hanna after making love. The lady disappeared and he discovered that she was being indicted for contributing to atrocities in concentration camps during the Nazi regime. Hanna turned down a promotion in the industrial complex she worked in and accepted to be a prison guard.  Hanna decided to confess that she wrote a report on a church burning that contained prisoners and nobody dared to open the doors. Hanna was ready to spend her life in prison instead of confessing that she was illiterate.

            Blemish and the feeling of culpability are different. For example, if you feel guilty that another person was indicted or punished because you failed to confess your responsibility is within the realm of your set of moral values.  There are instances where it is hard to distinguish between blemish and guilt when they relate to character flaws that can be rectified but instead degenerated into blemish for cowing to confront and surmount the difficulty.

            The feeling of blemish does not have to be that drastic.  It is any emotional feeling that pressure you to prefer sleeplessness to cover up temporary cowardly attitude in order to hide facts; facts that are benign most of the time and are due mainly to ignorance and archaic traditions.  Late author Mai Ghoussoub admitted not sleeping one night in Tokyo because she did not know how to take the metro there and refused to ask for guidance; Mai’s blemish was not allowing Japanese to thinking that she is not a cosmopolitan girl.

            The blemish must be more prevalent in our modern society.  Technology is progressing at the speed of a bullet train and many positions require that you keep up-to-date.  Catching up with modern consumers’ good and facilities is daunting and discouraging.  I blamed my inadequacy until I learned to email.  I blamed my incompetence until I was shown how to publish on wordpress.com and that this facility was available for free; I blamed my unfitness for socializing until I realized that I don’t have to and that I rather read, write, and publish because that is what I love to do.

I blamed my impotency for accumulating money because I could not suffer a life long job (just to receive retirement compensation) until I realized that I have a choice of switching one type of humiliation (covert real slavery) to another benign imaginary slavery:  lack of money is mainly a blemish in the mind of society that values greed and financial success over anything else.  My new societal blemish is not handicapping my productivity that suits me better mentally, physically, and emotionally.

At a certain age your range of choices are limited and you have to make the effort, while young, to experiment with the available opportunities to learn varied skills that one of them might turn out to be your consolation prize for living longer than expected. Continuing education is no longer a luxury; it is a new created value that refers to individual and nations with dignity.  Failing to pursue educating your mind and elevating your culture to global problems is becoming a serious blemish to mankind.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

December 2020
M T W T F S S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Blog Stats

  • 1,442,428 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.adonisbouh@gmail.com

Join 784 other followers

%d bloggers like this: