Making his way back…

...a new false face... 

(or: An exercise in parentheticals, photographicals 
and confessionals)


He is making his way back.
After a long Hiatus.
(and here I am, speaking
of myself in the third person,
as I said I would not, and 
capriciously capitalizing words
for emphasis, as I never said 
I would not and yet always felt 
that I never would or should).

He has lost two businesses.
(No, I don’t in point of fact 
know where they’ve run
off to, where they might
be hiding, or just how I
lost them…well, actually
I do have an idea or two—
a few certain things that I
in fact do know contributed
to said losing but I was 
speaking more about the 
insubstantiality of what we
mean when we say “business”
as well as the fact that they 
[“businesses”] are in fact
non-corporeal [though often
somehow "corporate"] “things” 
whose true “existence”
can always be questioned.  
[They are not “things,” really,
are they? They cannot be 
truly touched or felt, except
perhaps in the heart and 
sometimes the pocket-book])
He has lost all his hair.  
(No, not like early onset 
[Rather funny, that--calling
it “early onset” as if I was not 
in fact closer to fifty than I am 
to forty!] male pattern baldness 

but like [no, no—not “like” but 
actually "as", actually "in the form 
of", actually "a real-life case of"]
alopecia universalis, as in 
complete, 100%, top-to-bottom, 
front-to-back, all-over [and under,
for that matter--not that you asked] 
bodily hair loss.)  He has lost
ALL his hair. 

(There I go, capitalizing 
for emphasis again.) 

He now looks in 
the mirror and sees a 
“freak” (It’s o.k.. I am
quite comfortable with the
label and the idea and do not
think of “freak” as a bad word
at all, and really—no eyebrows? 
no eyelashes? I really do look 
pretty freaky[at least with my 
glasses off]) and embraces it.
But also (and really, more 
importantly) he sees a man 
who did not in fact have a 
heart attack or an aneurism 
or a stroke or any number 
of other possible stress-
induced maladies or illnesses.  

He only lost all his hair and 
this is a thing that can, 
in fact, be felt or perhaps 
a thing which can be felt 
not to not be there—its ab-
sence is a thing that is felt.

He has been told that 
he wears it well.  (The 
baldness, that is.  And
I would tend to believe 
this was patronizing 
feel-good head-patting 
if it did not come so often 
from veritable strangers
who seem to have no 
vested interest in how 
I look or my feelings 

No, he looks in the mirror 
and is thankful. Grateful, even.   
(Even though I cannot say to 
whom or to what it is I should 
direct said gratitude, said 
thankfulness.) He looks 
like someone who has had
chemo-therapy but he has 
not and so every look in the 
mirror is a reminder—a re-
minder of just how lucky he 
is. How lucky he is to still 
have his family, his wife and 
daughter.  How lucky he is to 
still have any thing at all.  How 
lucky he is in fact to be capable
of still having—of being a po-
ssessor; one who may be said 
to possess things.  How lucky
he is to be capable of considering
whether or not he even believes 
in such things as luck or chance.

He finds himself lucky to
be given this chance 
to be reminded of how
lucky he is every time 
he looks in the mirror,
to be reminded with 
this loss of how much 
he still has, of how much
he has not lost, to be re-
minded (to be minded—
again!) of the value of 
being able to find value.

Not that he in any way 
feels that he possesses
either wife or daughter
or any one or any thing
but more that he is now 
in a position to possess
the knowledge of what
it truly means to possess
and what it means to 
possess the knowledge of
how little we can be said to 
truly possess anything.
Or what it means to lose.
(Or, I think, perhaps the
only things that we can 
truly be said to possess
are intangible things.)
Businesses, hair, sleep.

He has lost all of these
things.  (But now--you
see--now I am losing the 
losing of them as well.)

He now finds himself in
the valuable position of 
being possessed of the 
right kind of knowledge 
to be able to contemplate 
the concept of possession, 
right here, right now, on 
this page.

He is learning to let go.
(Still and always, [in still-
ness and in all ways] I am 
learning how to do this.)

31 thoughts on “Making his way back…

  1. so nice to [truly] meet you [again]; so Good to meet You so much more clearly than before now that so much has been dis-spelled from the portrait[s] {you didn’t mention the [ ]s}; uh, oh; reminds me of the Zen story (a bit bendy this, but stay with the theme:) “Is That So!” with an exclamation mark, not a question mark; [you are] Well Come [in fact you only {somewhat} strayed away]

    Liked by 1 person

    • Not [quite] my original face, but getting closer me thinks, or was that [un]thinks, or perhaps un(thing[k])s!
      “You Don’t Say!”
      I dig bendy. Bendy is what I do, photo-graph-y-wise, that is. Bender from way back. That Lensbaby thing.
      I strayed but never stayed, really, just rolled and rolled and bent a bit….


  2. We can lose many ‘things’ in life, but that is all they are, for they are not memories, moments, laughs, giggles, tears, love, shared with loved ones. If we have these then we are not empty but complete. I love how you have delved, thought and shared.


    • Thanks, Aud–It has taken some getting used to, but now I think I am actually more comfortable in my skin than I ever was before. Missed you too–that other place just ain’t the same. I am weening myself off of it, bit by bit.


    • Thank you Chris. It has been a rough couple of years. I have learned to allow myself to get back to this at my own pace, in my own time. There was no space for it for a while. Now I am breathing into it, expanding it, letting it grow.


  3. Great to see you back! Geez, you’ve been through enough interesting times… I still debate whether such times are gifts or curses. The many I’ve been through certainly provide a great deal of perspective. So mostly I consider them gifts. But never actively seek more. Take care and keep writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like to think of them as gifts, yes. All is a learning experience if we are paying attention. That, I think, is the key. Paying attention. Often the cost is a bit too steep though, no?
      Thanks for stopping by. Looking forward to getting back at it.


  4. Hey Johnny…good to see you back here. Seems I can’t call you “Gravity” any more…doesn’t roll off the key board like it used to. Love the last photo! And “…in stillness and in all ways”
    Prose has bent my brain, Johnny…I’m going out now to look for my poet head. It may take awhile but see you around…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I suppose I am a bit lighter these days. You may call me whatever you like. The wife is fond of “The Hairless Wonder.” That has a certain circus side-show charm to it, I suppose. I have been attempting to bend my brain to prose, as it happens. I am considering attempting to get some poetry legitimately published and so I have to think about what else I may/should put up here besides images.

      As for the poet head, I recommend looking for it on the beach head. Or perhaps it is in The Headland.
      See you ’round in deed.


    • Compared to real danger to a loved one, what I have gone through is but a bump on the road. I appreciate the difference and am glad to know that things are settling down for you.

      Thank you for your kind words.


  5. 🙂 Love the flow to this – very beat feel to it in a way… you still manage to pull me/we/us into your space and push us to see the world as we see it – but through your lens. Almost as if you have been paring down…minimalizing the body, business, and soul in a way?

    Liked by 1 person

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