Back on here and waking up.

Alright, I am back on track again. At least for the time being. Like I pointed out many times before in these posts: once I stopped keeping the tight schedule of publishing one of these installments every week, the productivity started slipping. Routine and discipline are my friends. I believe I already wrote that very sentence in an earlier post.

So, anyway. Things are moving forward. I am just now sending out this story to publishers to see if anybody wants to do the book version of this story. We’ll see. If not, I am self-publishing. Keep your fingers crossed.

As this life story certainly has made me brutally aware of mortality and the limited time we have here on earth, I am now experiencing that yet again as a close relative are having health issues. It is not so much the sadness of it happening, as witnessing up close the way we all will go. This once so powerful and vital person is now aging and losing their abilities to take care of themselves. That transformation is natural when I talk theoretically about it or hear about somebody else’s relative going through it. But with somebody close, the change is bizarre and shocking.

Nothing stops this train that we are all on. There are no stations to get off and take a break. All there is to do is to make the most of what we have. Is the ride a speedy white-knuckled chase, or a peaceful meandering through a beautiful and exciting landscape? While everyone goes home and thinks about that…

This part of the story is waking up after that severe surgery. I was blown away by how fast and easy it all went. I was nervous, rolling into the operation room. But I could not believe when I woke up what seemed like seconds later, and a nurse whispered, “you’re done” in my ear. In reality, eight or nine hours had passed.

I hope you’re all doing ok in these Covid-19 times. Stay healthy and sane!

Big hugs,
Stefan

Under the knife

We’re actually up at the moment of which it seems to be the point of this story. However, looking at the whole, it is of course about so many other things than the actual surgery. It would be correct to say that the operation spurred a whole slew of other things: Other obstacles, gains, wins, growths, pits of despair, frustrations, moments of happiness. I will stop before I start sounding like a cheesy self-help book (of which I have read plenty.)

MORTALITY
I have several friends or acquaintances who, either have been through or are dealing with, serious health issues. My experiences have put me in touch with what that can mean, and I feel a special kinship with these people. Mortality is a hard, new reality to run up against and to honestly realize that our time is limited. At a certain point, no bargaining can change that. I always felt like any situation was negotiable in one way or the other. There was always a way to either negotiate with somebody to still get to do/experience/have whatever was at stake. You take some losses, but still get to play. You find a new route to it.


With mortality, there is not yet any negotiating. It does not matter what I pull out of my hat, how many losses I am willing to take, how much a promise. It’s a fucking end wall. To me, that is one depressing thought. And when I have thoughts like that, I have to find a way out.

ALIEN’S EYE VIEW
I just started following NASA, and some Space X related accounts on Instagram about a week ago. They popped up as suggestions, and I do think that stuff is fascinating. I figured it’d be an easy way to follow what is happening in that space (sorry for that unintended pun.) The other day there was a picture from one of the windows on Space X, showing a gorgeous view of Earth. Big fat clouds were swirling around it. It was the kind of back-out-from-my-personal-life that I find restful to look at when stressful thoughts close in too much on me. Back up, up, up. Get a bird’s perspective and see how small I am. How little we all are. How everything I do here, stress about here, is so tiny when compared to the big whole. Of course, you can tip over to the other end of the spectrum and, for the same reason, feel like nothing that you do indeed matter. Luckily I don’t have that problem. But if you do, I wish you the best of luck and advice you to talk about it with your friends. Or see a therapist if those thoughts get too overwhelming.

THEN WHAT?
We don’t yet know what happens after we die either, so that is a whole world to explore in itself. It would be a great kicker to find out that the real party is happening on the other side of that fearful passageway. Similar to life, when you struggle to avoid something that seems scary or wrong. Only to discover that even if that something was as bad as you had imagined it, it got you to a better place afterward. A place you would never have gotten to had you not gone through the terrible experience you were just forced through. I guess I can’t stop sounding like a self-help person, no matter how hard I try. Maybe I’ll start a sect of some sort.

Anyway, thank you for coming here and reading this.
Big hugs,

Stefan

Check in time…

Howdy folks,

This week contains the 300th frame of this comic (the one pictured below). Pretty crazy, and it feels good to have produced so much work.

We are finally coming up to the time of the actual main surgery. I had no idea it’d take this long to get here telling this story, and going back reading previous episodes I feel like I was rushing through in some places. I  look forward to editing this whole story for the making of the book. The process of making certain parts more clear and add frames here and there.

0300_iLeftMy checkinOn another note, I currently read a book called “Monty Python Speaks.” It’s a book where they are asking questions to all the members of the group on different subject matters throughout their career. I get the impression that the answers were collected individually and at different times. I am a big fan, so it’s exciting for me to read about their creative process, the making of their TV shows and movies, how they developed together, and how they eventually grew apart. I love reading about other artists’ processes, their ups, and downs. Two things that I am always very interested in learning about are

1. How do you finance your work on your projects: do you work a bill paying job? If not, from where did you get money?

2. How do you find the time?

Needless to say, those are two of my ongoing challenges. If you work a job, it’s harder to find the time when you have the energy to work on your projects, and it’s not getting any easier as you get older – trust me! If you also have a family, to find the actual time can get very tricky too. I also realize that if I am being very determined about doing the hours and sit down or, in the case of music, go out to my garage studio, I feel guilty towards the kids! “Oh man, I should spend quality time with them instead.” I guess something has to give and one has to find a right balance and the process of that can get frustrating, to say the least.

Anyway, enough of my bitching.  Again, thanks for stopping by and reading this. I very much appreciate it!

 

 

Family closeness…

This week talks about family closeness and more time in temp housing. Somebody had to be with me at all times to make sure everything was ok. I was lucky to have my mom come over to the US to help out. Christine had to be home with the kids for most of the time, but, thanks to all the unbelievable help from her parents, was able to come down so we could be together here and there.

I can’t imagine how overwhelming it must have been for Christine and my mom. Christine had to hold up the fort at home, deal with the kids and take care of all the communication and practicalities. My mom who was 69 at the time and had trekked over here on her own. She had to deal with the crisis situation in a foreign country, in a second language, and drive me back and forth to the hospital, to the pharmacy or wherever I needed to go.

0236_iLeftMy family closeness

Staying in the same room, 24/7, for close to three weeks offered some precious quality time. We talked about our family, old adventures, growing up, my mom’s life history (which is interesting to say the least) and a bunch of other random things. Needless to say that kind of extended time together never happens anymore. With anybody. At the same time, it also awakened the good ol’ parent-kid relationship full force and there a few big blow-outs, sometimes with yelling and tears. It all ended well though and I am certainly lucky to have the families I have around me.

Thanks all for stopping by and reading.