Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Idiot

Alison Krauss

The Russian novelist Fodyouer Dosteesky wrote "The Idiot".  I have a suspicion that the title translates a little oddly from Russian.  Whatever!

I discovered the book a few days ago.  It's not a tome one reads quickly.  But the overview is Fodyouer at one point in his life faced a firing squad for political dissent.  He was reprieved at the last minute.  Russian existentialists believed one can only appreciate the value of life if one has faced imminent death, as in a failed suicide attempt.  I think ole' Fodyouer's firing squad experience qualifies. Dosteesky wrote the novel about a man who survives imminent death and spends the rest of his days seeing the good in life, life's possibilities and the spiritual value of nature.

I get it.

I am aware that there exists a predisposition for optimism vs pessimism.  I am lucky to have been pre disposed to the former. I've always been able to find a positive path forward, always.  Now there have been dark times in my life, some of them quite dark, and long.  But even in the darkness, I knew I would find the light again.

I'm under doctor's orders, as I write, to stay home and rest. I have mild bronchitis. I'd like to ignore the doctor's orders about staying in and resting and go meet my friend Cindy, who is visiting Bangkok from the Philippines.  But I don't want to get her sick.  My daughter Keri and old friend Eileen told me to behave.  Okay ladies, I'll do as advised.  But with not much to do, I'll be ranting on social media and writing blogs, you know, old guy stuff.  But what to write about? Not much angst about. Hence my thoughts about "The Idiot".

Not my favorite title, but it fits me.

Fifteen years ago I was not killed at the World Trade Center.  Given my job in the fire department, I got lucky.  One of the dark times I just wrote about followed.  But I found forgiveness, and now, like Dosteesky's Idiot,  I am grateful for the gifts in my life, optimistic and happy.

In life, Dosteesky was depressed.  But I'm not a Russian existentialist, I'm The Idiot, or better still, I'm the Lucky One.