What is true, what is pretense, what is…



it feels like everything that came before has been a pretense, a false start. as I grasps for my reality this morning my serenity is devolving into a massive heap on the floor, like scattered dirty laundry, colorful but smelling of being worn to long. The endless weeks of being weakened by a cold, has left my plans and projects sitting collecting dust. Has caused loneliness and emptiness to seep into the fabric of my being. i have missed events I wished to attend to photograph and be part of. Willing to spend my last few dollars to do so.

Is this illness, this cold, the flu, the true culprit or the endless dreams and visions which seem to energize my being for short periods of time, that keep drifting off like a mirage, wafts of smoke from a conjurors magic spell? Am I truly lost, have a just been spinning narratives in my mind. Have I truly failed at my life’s purpose?

How do I keep going, when my dreams and visions don’t seem to fit into a world that no longer cares for magic for healing, for beautiful?

shadowed wall/closed window.
shadowed wall/closed window.

I surrender now, I let go. Right now I am fighting the demons of illness. My center has been blasted out of me! It is debris, it is trash. Is there still worthy pieces, can they be upcycled, reinvented? Do I just burn them all and scatter the ashes in the ground hoping natures has use for them?

Waking up, feeling like you have not slept, body sore, chest heavy, the head in urgent need of coffee. Coffee cold but drunk, like an achlie’s long needed fix to face the day.

Stark blank screen endlessly fills with words, streaming out some thoughtful, many just flowing from one place to the next.

Coffees fresh and hot now. or was when I started. Nothing changed since I sat down to write, or has it?

There is no blame, there is no what if’s, should haves, there is knowing that it is within me, to show up. I showed up, this is the present. Is the future I wish to have? Not at all!

Illness, attracts ego playing mind games, playing tricks, making fun. Well it is not fun. Ego, get out-of-the-way, we have better things to do that lay about feeling sorry for ourselves. Is one step at a time, one activity at a time.

Breaking through
Breaking through

Let the little glimmers of light break through. The world is created within the steps, moving forward while sometimes going around or over.


23 thoughts on “What is true, what is pretense, what is…”

  1. Jeff, your depression is a normal response to the frustration of sickness holding you on the sidelines. You just happen to be one who instinctively thinks about it a lot. I am that way too with certain things. But be rest assured you will be over it, and will soon get to all the business you have lined up. I am sorry you have had this lousy stretch though. Think positive! 🙂

    1. Yes Sam, I am aware of that process. The fact is that I sat down to blog/write first thing is a positive action. I accomplished more today than I have in a few days.
      Thank you so much for your encouragement and support!

  2. I have days like this, too. In fact I had quite a few this week. Lots of times I go through a whole period that seems like a big waste, like I just can’t be productive in even the simplest ways. But then all of a sudden one day, everything comes together and there is a streak of very easy productivity that just pours forth! I have no idea how all this works. All I know is just keep showing up, and whenever possible, do what you love doing. Big hugs!

    1. John,

      Wow! Thank you so much for you comments! Yes it seems to be as you say. It is just the stopping and starting doesn’t seem very productive at times.
      Thank you again!

  3. I’m so sorry that you are feeling ill Reluctant but I am so glad you are because you wouldn’t have wrote such a splendid piece of work together with those atmospheric photos .
    I always find my best work is written when I have Issues – I think we need the drama to bring out the best in us.
    I love the bit about the scattered laundry colourful but smelly from being worn too long …that’s how a cold makes us feel in a nutshell.
    I do hope you’re feeling better soon.

    1. Cherry,

      I am still not through this ‘illness’ yet I am through the ‘poor me’ path, I hope.
      You words make me smile, I am very grateful for them. Knowing I reached a place that atmosphere was created. Thank goodness I didn’t have a photo of dirty laundry! LOL

      Thank you,

  4. “spinning narratives in my mind” – love that line. Seems to be something we like to do, don’t we? That old thinking problem we have. I know that when I get caught up in that, I tend to go a bit pear shaped, and that manifests in all sorts of things, but namely self-pity. But as you mentioned in one of your comments, this post was a positive action to shine the light on it, to drag it onto the table for examination, to allow it shrink. I know my self-pity doesn’t like the glare of examination…it would rather pitter-patter in the background 🙂

    Yes ego – out of the way! Get me out of the way so I can hit that sunlight of the spirit!

    Great post, evocative words, my friend 🙂

    Hope you feel better soon

    1. Paul,

      When I first saw your “like” and no response I was a bit disappointed. I let that go. Well here you now. Yes the crazy self talk, the not “good enoughs” etc needed to be exposed to the light like vampires to be vanquished in the beam of Sunshine.

      Thank you my friend. I am feeling much better.


      1. Oh no! Sometimes I do a “drive by” like and then come back to respond properly. Posts like yours deserve a little time to digest 🙂

        Glad you’re feeling better!


  5. Laurie,

    I see you found your way! As I have pulled back the curtains ! Time for a new show! I am not sure why you are not getting notice that I have posted? I will check on things.

  6. I have been trying to write since this morning, roughly 10 hours ago. I hit the ground running, then grinded to a halt.
    I hope you feel better soon. I gained a lot from reading this, if you can believe it.
    Mostly, I am inspired because of that door. I am curious what is behind it.

    1. Rose Red,

      Thank you for coming over to the reluctant bloger.
      I never struggle with writing, if I can not write I do not write. There are moments, mornings when all is flowing, the writing happens. I am touched that you found something within my words! Truly.
      Photography has been my true passion for sometime now, a photo speaks in it silence. Behind the door is whatever story you wish to create from there.

  7. So sorry you haven’t been feeling well, Jeff. “Spinning narratives in my mind.” I love that phrase, too, because finding a story seems to be an automatic reflex, to start looking for a reason behind an illness or difficult situation. May the glimmers of light breaking through keep renewing your spirit!

  8. From Why The Ash Has Black Buds by William Fiennes –

    The trees have always had some idea of what happens to them when they die. In forests they saw their neighbours toppled by wind or age and rot into earth, and their roots sent up descriptions of peat and coal in vast beds and seams. Later, when humans came along, trees saw the stockades, the carts pulled by horses, the chairs and tables set out in gardens, and quickly put two and two together. Trees growing beside rivers saw themselves in the hulls and masts of boats, and trees in orchards understood that the ladders propped against them had once been trees, and when men approached with axes to fell them, the trees recognized the handles.

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