Retrospective or Requiem? Well, that just Depends. Pt. IV

In the course of discovering compassion, I was overcome by my recognition of how much suffering I saw everywhere I looked, yet my compassion for those who would aspire to torture me now enabled me to step away from their ability to inflict their pain onto me.

Now, my bitterness was replaced by Loving-Kindness first for myself, which allowed me to discover my ability to truly feel it for others.

I felt a euphoria previously unknown to me, but in the process, I began to become complacent and filled with a sort of false pride until I was forced once again to face my Edge…that point in all of our lives where we are presented with situations or people that challenge our ability to remain non-reactive, or unaffected by the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” that suddenly threaten our spiritual arrogance.

Once again, I found myself in a tailspin; a flat spiral that threatened to screw me into the ground before I could pull out of it.

Many of us who have pursued meditation or Buddhism probably believed that somehow, eventually we would discover the Peace, Love and Happiness that is so ubiquitously absent from our society, but it is only when we face our emotional edge that we are presented with real opportunities to do the work necessary to gain enlightenment.

As I continued to struggle to extricate myself from the panic caused by my perceived fall from grace, I was blessed by a calamity that distracted me from my narcissistic self-pity long enough to be given the opportunity to begin a long and arduous process that is enabling me to overcome one of my greatest afflictions.

My parents grew up during the depression, and the effect of it was that I grew up in a household dominated by hoarding, although in fairness, despite the fact that I grew up waist-deep in clutter, the house was always scrupulously clean and free of trash or garbage, unlike the norm of most hoarders as characterized on television.

Almost everything fascinates me, and there are few things I can’t just pick up and operate on some level or another, and I have a predilection for rescuing and fixing things (and sometimes people).

If it is possible to be cursed by imagination and intelligence, I fit the paradigm to an extent that has been my undoing most of my life.

When we were forced to downsize from a spacious four-three to my simple “Cabin in the woods,” my treasures…an extensive firearms collection, a world-wide amateur radio station, my fishing tackle and camping gear, almost every book I had ever read or owned, the remnants of a recording studio I had once built, guitars, amplifiers and over a ton of automotive, electrical, electronic, and woodworking tools now filled every room of my tiny home literally to the ceiling until a neighbor offered to let me use a storage area larger than I could have afforded to rent.

Although it seemed to be at least a temporary fix, it just enabled my ability to keep things I seemed unable to organize or even use effectively.

Several months ago, my friend and neighbor suffered a stroke and went to the west coast to live with family and I was now forced to face my demons again.

I ended up building a workshop and storage shed large enough to allow me to shelter my tools, but small enough to force me to make decisions I had been avoiding for most of my entire life, and in order to do so, I had to organize, utilize or give away many things to a friend who is a junk dealer and even more afflicted than I.

We are both much happier now.

The sheer amount of objects that had languished so long seemed overwhelming, but due to circumstances beyond my control, they are now an integral part of my life again.

I was, however forced to recognize that the sheer maintenance of many of my possessions. as well as the pursuits they supported demanded more time than I could devote to all of them.

I am now involved in an ongoing process of deciding what I really want and giving up some things, rather than fail at all of them.

It has been said that desire is followed by suffering, but I would maintain that all life itself is followed by suffering, as well as joy.

Desire unfulfilled is its own suffering, so there is no escape.

Time and again, I find myself forced to re-invent and improve my existence, and by facing the Gestalt of it I have found a richness and sense of belonging that had been lost for so long that I had forgotten that it even existed at all.

Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei…

Sayonara Y’all….



Chazz Vincent


2 Responses to “Retrospective or Requiem? Well, that just Depends. Pt. IV”

  1. I have been confronted recently with my own compassionability (and lack thereof); there are situations in which my bleeding heart reaches out unerringly for others, and there are times when my hardened cold heart has nothing soft or warm to give.

    Due to an unforseen meeting of individuals whose circumstances forced me – rather accidentally – to re-examine my assumptive prejudices has been eye-opening. I can’t say I completely understand what I “see,” but the fact that my angle of vision has been tilted is recognizable and worth examining further.

    I absolutely believe that every individual must own their choices and I hold people responsible on a personal level for ‘ending up where they are’ —

    And yet.


    It complicates things, yes?

    But the idea that uncomplicated = simple, and that simple = easy, is a falsity.

    So I am trying to take this unasked-for perspective-complication in stride. (Though here I am reminded of Yoda. Do or Do Not. There is no “try.”)

    • You know that you were the only one to ask if I was ok during that time.
      I apologize for not responding, but as the posts indicated, it has been a real shit storm for longer than I care to recall.
      Every epiphany has its price, but fortunately for me, every dog has its day, and mine is still coming.
      Re-discovering the rest of my life other than working and writing has been a very long and hard lesson, as the writing has suffered in order to fundamentally change some very dysfunctional aspects of my life for the better.
      Although I don’t have a clue about your own personal issues in regards to your previous comment, I agree with what you said; compassion is vital for spiritual growth and is an indication of sentience, but we all bear the burden of personal responsibility.
      Sometimes it is difficult to recognize when we are enabling those we can only help so far, and difficult to separate ourselves from their dysfunction.
      I hope it goes well for you.
      If you contact me off-line, this time I can promise to reply in a timely manner.
      And thank you.

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