Sunday, July 27, 2008

You've Got a Story Coming

Okay, I just returned from my third trip to Peru in the last three months and I am freaking exhausted. I could not have had better guests, a better crew--I am the luckiest guy to have a team like I have, no fooling--or better anything except a slightly better Peter Gorman living in my skin. But forget that. For now, at least.
And I'm way too tired and jet lagged and have nasty spider eggs in one leg that are feeling like they'll soon open up and need some flesh to devour on the way out into open space and are really beginning to itch like mad to go into things tonight. But in the interest of fairness should anyone be reading, one of you wrote me today saying they were concerned that I'd had that little heart attack a month or so ago and then had gone to Peru and had not written anything on the blog in nearly a month. So if anyone else out there had the same thought, then thank you for your concern. But no, it was just me being selfish and not wanting to face email from home while I was in Peru. It's so hard to cut myself in two that way. I hardly even call home anymore when I'm gone, just a message on the phone now and then. Not because I don't love my kids and Chepa's new kids and so forth, but it's hard--and I've written this before so I won't bore you--to try to be the dad when I'm about to get on a boat and head out two hundred miles into the Amazon. I'm still a dad, I just can't do anything about the latest crisis. Anyway, same reason I don't go on the blog. I'm there, not here. So it's not like I've forgotten you, just that I'm busy doing other things. And if I were cooler I would know better how to integrate both sides of this life, but I ain't so have nearly quit trying.
But I think I'll have a story or two to tell in the next few days, so for those of you who remain patient, I'll try to get out something interesting. How's that for a deal?
I will say one thing, a personal thing, here. I think I got all the love any kid could get when I was a kid. But somehow, nonetheless, I still manage to hate and abuse myself a good deal of the time. My fault. And today I came home to several hundred emails, and among them was a request to marry two friends of mine next month in Colorado, someone simply saying they'd dreamt of me; someone wondering how the last couple of years had gone and so forth. And at some point, reading those letters, I just broke down and cried. And cried. And if somehow I could understand and integrate the fact that the work I do--and I do not mean that arrogantly at all, okay--but that my investigative reporting, or my occasional public speaking, or my work with people in the jungle, really has a positive effect on people, well, then I would be more well rounded and maybe abuse myself less. Because while there was all this love coming my way, I read the letters and felt unworthy. And then I got one letter from someone whom I've never even met, someone who wrote me for some advice a couple of years ago, and they said my general advice hadn't fixed their lives (I promise I never said it would) and so I was part of a scam to keep them down. And that letter, written by someone I hope gets what he/she needs/wants, but accusing me of something I had absolutely nothing to do with, somehow took up more space in me than all the letters saying the work had helped them. And I was later at Walmart, trying to fill the fridge that was pretty bare, when I wondered why the heck I'd given that person so much space and the people who meant me well so little?
I've been working on that one for years. I thought I had it but I don't. Time to keep working, eh?

1 comment:

phoenix said...

and remember, the universe will always ask you "are you sure" when trying to reprogram yourself i.e. are you sure you don't wont to give more space to the negative comments vs the positive comments which are more? It especially will surface every time you start to turn it around and give yourself a break.