The Story Of My Fucking Life

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Posted by ilbebe on May 18, 2010

There come times, as times will come. This sounds either profound or trivial, depending on yr overall worldview and current demeanor, taking into account how willing y are to even consider such vague statements.

In July of 2006 I was on a train from Seattle to Portland, and the movie was the one where Twelfth Night is recast into a teen comedy about a girl playing soccer disguised as a boy. I didn’t have earphones to get sound, and anyways it was only afterwards that I found out that the movie was some goofy spin on Shakespeare, so I had little interest in the movie. I was reading The Know It All by A.J. Jacobs, his account of a year in his life where he read the entire Encyclopedia Britannica. The narrative did an excellent job, I felt, of serving as both a reportage of what a challenge he faced completing the task, and as an inquisition into the purpose and meaning of gathering knowledge.

While on the train, I read the passage where Jacobs reads the passage on 1,001 Arabian Nights. One of his favorite stories, which struck a chord with me as well, dealt with a sultan who commissioned the smartest men in his kingdom to compile all human knowledge into a single collection. After years of work, they come back with oh, let’s say, three hundred volumes of knowledge. The king says “Too long” and tells them to condense the knowledge, they come back with a hundred volumes, the king still says “Too long”, this happens several more times before the scholars come back with a single volume. The king still says “Too long.” The scholars come back a final time with the knowledge of the universe condensed into a single phrase:

This too shall pass.

Between the previous sentence and this one, thirteen months of letting things pass through me occurred. There was a lengthy dead time in 2009 where I felt like an observer to my own life, always one step behind myself.This period was followed, as always, by a series of up-and-back down movements towards feeling good and balanced again, and I believe my return culminated when I was able to tell my Mom a week before Mother’s Day that I felt very present.

Thus chapters 25-50 finally pass into printed form.


1:36PM, May 13, 2010, SF, CA


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