It’s been quiet lately. Partly due to holidays I’m sure, but it seems more magnified by solitude. I’ve got no shortage of friends to call or people to see, but this is deeper I think. This is waking up and wondering if life is in motion or is it standing still. It’s the silence of asking yourself “what next?” and not having an answer ready.

It’s been a long year for me, and for most everyone I know. Personally I feel worn out, even physically heavy from all the effort and uncertainty. Taking this week off is a double-edged sword: as necessity and yet a self-limiting activity that keeps some of the anxiety going until the New Year begins.

I have to admit having an irrational level of hope that 2011 is better, as everyone hopes. But even as a stubborn optimist I can’t help feeling tightness in the chest when I look at what it will take to dig out. It’s not much and yet there seems a never-ending slide from beneath the feet. It could be, and has been, far worse, I know. But that doesn’t spare me the low feelings.

The metaphor lately is summed up by my now tortuous radio in the van. At first it seemed frustrating that it stopped working. Then it seemed inevitable that it would work in Tape mode without any tapes to play. Now it’s just teasing me… it plays for 10-20 seconds when I first turn the ignition, then back to silent Tape mode again. It’s highly uncool, but so it is.

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About the Author

  • Joe Bright
    Joe Bright is a graduate of Iolani School and went on to study art at The Cooper Union School of Art in New York City, and later Chinese medicine at The American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco. Joe currently runs a small acupuncture clinic, Kama’aina Acupuncture in Kapahulu as the first dedicated low-cost “community acupuncture” clinic in Honolulu. Joe has a varied background that has included working as a bicycle mechanic, freelance artist, teaching calligraphy and Tai Chi, a nanny, and even a CEO of a small entrepreneurial company. He continues to create art, even having work recently appear at the Honolulu Academy of Arts as well the Bishop Museum. He also continues with entrepreneurial projects when possible and serves on the Board of Directors for a local Buddhist meditation organization, Vipassana Hawai’i.