I entered the year a freshly fired dad who was trying to pick up the pieces and failing. I was lucky to have support from friends and family. I sought psychiatric help. I did not find what I was looking for, so I tried something else. I tried to paint, and was moving forward with pieces, some old, some new, but I quickly abandoned the pursuit. Likewise, I abandoned the blog. Depression ate away at me, and I ate away…and gained nearly thirty pounds in about a month. That heaviness was reassuring, an anchor. I was real enough to have trouble putting shoes on.
My kids, meanwhile, were blooming in the blackened and hushed forests of my heart, and shit like that. My older child killed it at school. He just wrapped first grade with an Achievement of Excellence Award for Performance, Conduct and Attendance, a model of excellence. And my other son, silly baby, is hilarious and insatiably curious and playful. Because I was down from 55 hrs a week to 30 hrs a week, I spent loads of time with him I didn’t have before.
My wife was supportive and ready to deal with losing our house and the certainty of regular paychecks. That was not unhelpful.
Injuries kept me from returning to previous running glory for motherland, must train hard to lose weight gained from American processed food products. I fought hard just to get back into a monthly routine after nearly a year of horrible results.
Then spring came, and, weirdly, like the year before I had a very strange powerful emotional event tied with my then current reading of events in research of physics. I love physics.
Then it hit me: I was always trying to write about physics in my stories. I tried to pepper my stories ideas and allegorical structures and palimpsests and puzzles and allusions to puzzles with references to topics in particle physics, QED, weirdness like that. I had to force myself to read fiction. I preferred to engage some mysteries directly, and read constantly about neutrinos, string theory, branes, Fourier waves, resonance, Chladnian nodes, mitochondria, and other crap. I had spent years devoting increasingly more time to it. I once had a cool friendship with a Navy salvage diver who was researching his Alzheimer’s. We blasted through microtubulin quantum-tunneling research. Meanwhile, I’m supposed to be writing about my heart and adventures and whales and weed and shit. I have a book I’m working on. Have, not had. I abandoned it.
I had to choose between going back to school to get a PhD in English, continue working in this ruthless economy with my current tools, living in my paintings, like sigils whose spirits you enumerated by simply absorbing the images, much as one speaks a curse allowed to conjure its power, writing books while…studying physics…enjoying physics…so
So I enrolled in an amazing robotics engineering program through CALU.
So I decided to teach myself drone-based aerial photography so I can capitalize upon my painting and photography interests…and learn how to repair and build flying robots.
So I can learn how to build super-cavitating underwater robots…
So I can have direct relationships with whales and study them. My goal is communication with a higher intelligence. That live here already. If you want some ancient alien hair, try this wig on: aliens slept with apes so people. Okay, old and cray cray. Everyone knows that. But what if the creatures they slept with were aquatic mammals with higher functioning brains? Look who’s ruining the planet. Is it whales or people? Time to get wet!
So, what I am looking for is a sense of deepening mystery, a challenge.
I am going to launch the aerial company this week. I have been working on flying copters and quads. I start school in the fall. I have work, more than I need. My kids are sprouting, my wife is really excited about school, not the drones, nor the running (I did four miles this morning when the birds started singing) and met the dawn quite happy, ready to resume some sort of continuity I imagined I had before. I was an engineer masquerading as a writer.
At least now I can see this. Phoenixes eat bananas.