A Turn of Events


Our lives are filled with joy and sadness tailored to our past growth inductions. This is just one such induction woven among goings on known and unknown. In my life, Life shoved me onto a path which involved job changes, learning in three institutions of higher learning and the martial arts. Of course, these were added to family dynamics labelled dysfunctional, as many of us live without knowledge.


Be that as they may, this strand was recalled in conversation with third cousin by marriage the day prior to my mother’s 88th birthday celebration preparation. We were comparing sad turn of events in lives affected by self-medication of varying substances, and my recollection was of a bygone era, the mid-seventies where Life was intermingled with benefits and deficits. This recollected scenario involved a woman who assisted me on various unexpected occasions, chain of events synchronized by unseen methods.


I was in the final year of undergrad studies in Fine Arts, competing/instructing a martial arts and engaged in part-time employment. A uncertain future lay ahead of me, one for which I was incapable of making plans save using my acquired degree to gain suitable employment. It was at this juncture I was asked about said plans to which I replied, “Find a job using my degree as basis.” This person made an interesting suggestion, one I would have never considered. He suggested I go into education, given my upcoming qualification and skill set in teaching martial arts, no more – no less.


A conversation with a friend from a previous university revealed a relative of his who was willing to shed light on this option. Thus began what was to be a series of exchanges with this person. Armed with less than basic information, unaware of what to ask, I shelved the possibility overshadowed by my many life activities.
The following year, after graduating amidst my instructing/competing and part-time jobs, it occurred to me it was worth applying for teachers college rather than continuing my usual habit of working multiple part-time jobs. My application was accepted, and one of my teacher-trainers was the same person who offered to inform me years earlier. In fact, during the following three years we crossed paths while occasional-teaching and initial contract-teaching.


This was a kindly/selfless woman, unbeknownst to me, in an influential position to hire me on contract in my early teaching years. Her intimate challenges took hold of her and I was unaware I could interpret and inquire into what appeared slightly off to me. I believed people would be forthcoming with their sadness, instead of subsuming and subsequently victimized by them.


Time passed, we drifted apart as I got further into education, while I continued with my martial arts journey and other sundry of involvements. In the middle of my career in education I was to learn she fell on hard times with her colleagues watching her downward spiral, people closer to her than I. Exercising caution in contacting her from a distance, I was in my own maelstrom of activities while she hit rock bottom, literally.


Years after the fact, details of her downward spiral resulting in her accidental demise, subject to her substance-of-choice, was revealed to me. I was dismayed reflecting on faded our relationship as the years passed, and was downhearted by its outcome. How we let each other down, using the many conditions in Life to excuse/explain the business that claimed our attention, is deplorable in spite of their popularity. Still, we’re culpable even by omission, which many also deny.


We are within the flow regardless of our perceptions, and I wonder still as I grow towards the inevitable, what’s on your mind?                 25.1.17         ~        02:43hrs




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