Archive for September, 2016

Now that his wife is gone for good, man is left with memories and love

by David McElroy

sunset-sept-25-2016-920px

The man startled me at first, because I was standing in the middle of a cemetery and I didn’t see or hear a car. But the dead never bother me when I come to this particular hill for sunset pictures — and Alan didn’t bother me, either.

He stood silently just a little above me on the hill as I shot pictures of the sunset. I rarely see people there this late in the day, although it’s happened before. Most people seem to leave long before the sun starts sinking toward the horizon. Most don’t seem fond of cemeteries at night.

But Alan stood there watching quietly, seemingly absorbed in his own thoughts.

After I took a few more pictures, I looked over my shoulder and greeted him. It seemed uncomfortable to be so close in such an unusual place without at least acknowledging the presence of a living person.

We introduced ourselves and remarked idly about the beautiful sunset we were watching. Then he mentioned having been in the same spot this morning at sunrise — and I couldn’t help but ask more.

Alan’s wife died about a month ago. Her body is buried just down the hill from where we stood.

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Intense emotions let me feel alive
— but hurt comes along with joy

by David McElroy

feelings

A friend was telling me Wednesday afternoon about some terrible pain she’s going through. A long-term relationship ended for her not long ago and she’s hurting.

She knows the relationship needed to end, but she’s still devastated and hurt. It’s hard to adjust to the change. Everything feels wrong. She feels empty and alone. And she fears she might always be alone.

As I considered the hurt she was experiencing, I found myself thinking — not for the first time — that human life would be so much easier if we didn’t experience emotions.

Things would feel so much better for her — at least for right now — if she didn’t have to feel anything. If emotions just didn’t exist. She could live her normal life. She could feel better about her future. She could see herself as I see her — as a smart and beautiful woman with whatever future she wants to have.

But, instead, she is in the depths of despair.

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If you vote, you’re my real enemy — no matter who gets your vote

by David McElroy

politicians

If you don’t vote for the Crips, that just gives the Bloods more power. So you must vote for the Crips.

If you’re part of a gang, other gangs are your enemy. If you’re a Crip, the Bloods are the enemy. And vice versa. You can’t understand that all gangs are the enemies of peaceful people.

If you’re part of a crime family, the competing crime families are your enemy. You don’t understand that all criminals are the real enemy of decent people.

If you’re emotionally committed to being a Republican, you see Democrats as the enemy. For Democrats, it’s the other way around. You might see faults in the politicians on your side — mostly because they don’t agree with you about everything — but you believe they’re infinitely better than the politicians on the other side.

So if you’re on either side of that political divide — hating Team Red or hating Team Blue — you can’t understand that the entire political system, which is based on deciding which politicians get to control organized violence in order to rule everyone — is the enemy of all people who wish to be free.

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Words of appreciation can have power to connect us and heal us

by David McElroy

power-of-words

Never doubt the power of the right words to make someone’s life more pleasant and more bearable.

I’m in a pretty lousy mood tonight because I have an unexpected problem on my hands that I have to solve. After dealing with a series of one problem after another for more years than I like to remember, it’s been a relatively minor thing tonight that pushed me over the edge toward the pit of depression and irrational anger, a place I don’t want to go.

In the long term, I’m still on track to fix the problems in my life that started six or eight years ago after I withdrew from politics, so I know this is just one more minor hurdle to overcome. The issue wouldn’t even be that big a deal for most people, but it was the proverbial straw to break this camel’s emotional back.

I found myself feeling bitter, angry, frustrated and defeated — as well as empty and alone.

But in the midst of feeling these horrible emotions tonight, I’ve gotten messages from two people which honestly help.

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Can love last? Couple holding hands as her death approaches give hope

by David McElroy

older-couple

It’s easy to be cynical about love today. It’s easy to conclude that love can’t last. And then something comes along that makes you think maybe love can last — connection can last — until the very end. Just maybe.

Nine days ago, a woman posted this picture on Reddit. Her simple caption said, “My Grandma, 96, with my Grandpa, 100, hours before her death this weekend. 77 years of marriage.”

I don’t know where they lived or what their names are. I’m not sure that even matters. The story is universal. The desire to be loved is universal. The desire to have someone to hold onto — in honest connection — is universal.

Most marriages I see are pretty terrible. Most relationships I see are just as bad. Most people don’t know themselves and they don’t know each other. They marry the wrong person. They live entirely different lives that are connected only by children, if at all. And most of them refuse to do anything meaningful to end their misery and learn how to make better choices.

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Start over here

When this site launched in 2011, it was intended as a way to find others who were sick of partisan politics and wanted to connect with like-minded people who were ready to go beyond politics and find ways of escaping. It has shifted focus in ways that reflect my own shifting thinking. I’m less interested in politics and more interested in looking at the things that make life worth living, such as love, creation, self-understanding and connecting with others. Every article I have posted since 2011 is still in my archives, but everything I write is a reflection of my current thinking. Sometimes I’m wrong — and that’s fine with me — and I don’t always end up agreeing with what I wrote five years ago. For now, you can still read what I wrote about the site’s purpose in 2011, but I should rewrite this. Read more.

Contact David

David likes email, but can’t reply to every message. I get a surprisingly large number of requests for relationship advice — seriously — but I rarely have the time to respond. (Sorry.) Besides, with my own romantic track record, maybe my advice isn’t worth taking. I’d like to find a wife one of these days, so maybe I should add an “application.”

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