I turned 21,915 this summer.
On day 21,963 I had a near miss with a speeding vehicle as I was a pedestrian in a crosswalk. Changed my outlook. I feel like I got a mulligan.
It’s part of why I number my days now, not my years. This way, I get to have more to consider. I get to have more moments to express gratitude. And I like the way that feels.
On Day 19,896, I began the process of bankruptcy.
On Day 20,582, Late Wife passed. She was allotted 21,923 days. No more. No less.
On Day 21,722, I was cleared of the burden of bankruptcy. I could start over.
On Day 21,128, The Portico was officially born as a business.
On Day 22,025, Season 4 of The Portico was complete. Over 100 tables set.
And on Day 22,033, I sit in a sidewalk pub with a Guinness and reflect on the days I have numbered.
There’s been a lot of life lived in this short span and I don’t want to miss out or take anything for granted.
I went to the doctor today. Annual wellness check. Everything looks good.
On Day 17,280, Late Wife did the same thing with her doctor. The diagnosis changed our lives. Three days later, she’s in surgery. Two more days, we got the devastating news.
So what’s the point of all this? Am I depressed and in despair?
Far from it.
The ancient psalmist encouraged:
I don’t know how many I have been allocated. But thanks to a handy online calculator, I only know the number of days I have lived as of right now. It does no good to worry about something I can’t know or control in the future.
It’s quite possible for me to carefully craft doomsday scenarios, and never live long enough to see them fulfilled. This was especially true after sitting in bankruptcy court having to face witnesses that are filing a complaint before the judge. It was one of the most humiliating feelings ever. I thought for certain that I would never recover.
But I did recover. I recovered financially. I recovered meaningful work. I recovered my health. I recovered my creativity. And in the process, I recovered my faith.
This is why I am so intent on writing as honestly as possible about the dark places. Everyone eventually finds themselves there, but not everyone has the courage or the companion who can sit quietly while the lights are out and bring comfort, often times without words.
Your eyes may work perfectly and have 20/20 vision. But keen eyesight is moot when it’s pitch black with no candle and you’re not sure where the door is, or if the room even has a door.
This off-season, I plan on exploring this work more formally with people who are in need of a guide through their dark places. I call it Clarity Counsel. My goal isn’t to solve your problem, because like me, there may be consequences that need to be suffered. instead, I hope to shed a little insight that brings clarity and hope so you can see what you’re dealing with, and give it a name. I will write more about this in the future.
I’m taking a break from cooking for a few weeks. I plan to return to more writing and restoring my creativity.
Thanks for reading.