It can be lonely and a bit frightening growing up. Going it alone is not for everyone, and may not do the job for anyone


As a socially inept grade school kid, I dreamed of being a modern-day Henry Thoreau, fishing, and walking the forests alone. That dream lasted until Mr. Theodore; a wise high school teacher explained:

 Running towards your goals is rewarding. Running away from your fears is escapism. You run but the horrors remain

 A small squib pertaining to a hermit and horror appeared in Time Magazine: A lonely man in the Arizona desert, the magazine reported, sat on a keg of dynamite and before lighting the fuse wrote on a plank of wood, his final testimonial on earth. At the end of his not-so-long life, he wrote a very brief summary of his existence. As you read what he wrote, what grade would you give him for content and take-home value? The plank of wood read:    


That was it. Dynamite Powder Guy must have been a man of few words and little faith. What else could you say for him? You might give him an “A” for spelling, grammar, and brevity. I say he could have done better than a question mark. Yes, it was refreshingly concise but sadly lacking in inventiveness or inspiration.

I relate to a hermit’s biographic efforts but distilling life down to a single Zen-like “?” lacks something.Brevity is commendable but he is so concise that he becomes trivial. We are left with no conclusion. He is saying “I discovered that there was no “There’ here.” No resolution, no point of view, no feelings. You cannot exist without passion. Nobody goes through life without anger, maybe a bit of love along the way, and surely some crying out in pain and disappointment. He sat out on the cactus grove for years, shivering at night and sweating each day and all he got was that damn “?”. Powder keg Guy, you could have done better: In fact, I think you blew it.We all pick up some lessons, discoveries, and principles to live by.  We all have question marks but many of us learn that humility, humor, and gratitude are damn big. Interpersonal relationships are even bigger and add to the pungency of our lives.  Powder-keg Guy chose to live as a recluse and may have died because of a broken heart, or from cash losses in Vegas or maybe he was a nut job. Maybe he was running away from fears and never got the relationship with Mr. Ted Test that did so much for me.

Categories: Humor

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