Adam Piggott

Gentleman adventurer

Stop making sense.

This will most probably be a rambling and at times incoherent post as the last few days for me have been of a similar nature. A few personal crises that have chosen to emerge at the same time, as these sorts of things always do. I let the stress get the better of me and it impacted my professional endeavors which is a personal disappointment, but I will deal with it. The nature of the issues are not important; what interests me is the mechanisms we use to continue to function in the midst of unwelcome events.

In my first book I wrote a line that went something like this: nothing makes much sense when you’re in the middle of doing it.

Sometimes nothing makes much sense for well after the fact as well.

It’s a strange old game this life thing. The awareness we have of living, of a journey, and eventually of our own impending mortality. My cat calmly toys with a fly that will end in the insect being consumed. The cat has no awareness of this. If a larger predator returned the favor to my cat in kind it would end its existence in fear, pain, and terror. But the lack of awareness means it can function at will, right up until that fateful moment.

We get to do the same but with the understanding that goes with it. That’s some kind of pressure, although in all honesty in some of the places around the world in which I have lived I’m not sure that all humans have this same awareness. Being close to becoming an animal is losing this capacity for the predisposition of events. Or maybe returning to be an animal, I don’t know. I’ve always said that children are little barbarians waiting to be civilized.

I don’t even know if the word predisposition is correct in that context. And that’s after looking it up. Like I said, a little incoherent tonight.

The things that I value in life are inevitably the things that I can lose. Personal traits and talents, relationships, even some material things. I’ve been running on empty for such a long time now that finally when we get everything all sorted out, that’s when the crap chooses to rise to the surface in an unwelcome murk. When you’re surviving you push away and avoid dealing with your shit; but eventually everything has to be dealt with and the longer that you put it off then the worse the calling card will be.

Churchill used to get the black dog. I don’t suffer from that same ailment, I just run out of steam. The kettle has been dry for some time now, which makes my output on this blog all the more fascinating for me. Sometimes I encounter an old article that I have written and it is like reading it for the first time. If it wasn’t my name at the top of the page then I wouldn’t know that I was behind it. The thoughts are mine but the words seem to come from someone else. Although to be honest, some of the thoughts seem strangely alien as well. Not in that I disagree with them but I have trouble believing that I was able to come up with something of that nature.

I feel that these last couple of years of running on empty is the reason why I have stalled on my third book. But already in the acknowledgement of my own personal reality I have inklings of green shoots as regards to new ideas for how it should proceed.

We all go through phases. I stopped raft guiding around the world after several years of only seeing the summer months. I missed the cold and darkness of winter. Something about that time of year means a recharging of the batteries inside of us. I think that time is very important and maybe something of a similar nature is occurring to me in a personal way now.

Like I said, not making much sense tonight. We’re not robots, after all.

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9 Comments

  1. Dan F

    Great post Adam. We all have dark times, but many do not have the balls to say it. I have no doubt that you’ll be back to your usual self in no time.

  2. earl

    ‘Churchill used to get the black dog.’

    That’s what my dad would call it.

    For me it was the black cloud…however that happens less often now that I take the time to go to Eucharistic adoration for prayer. My father eventually found that out too.

  3. Behind Enemy Lines

    Hang in there, mate. You’re a powerful force for plain-spoken common sense, in a time when that’s a brave stand and a truly valuable example. In doing that, you’ve built up a lot of goodwill, and a small army of invisible friends. It’s true that your readers are scattered around the world, rather than down the street where we can collar you and take you out to the pub or kick around a footy or just make cruel, obscene and unfair jokes about your fashion sense. But you are not alone. When I run into the wall, or find myself going in circles, I think back to what I loved doing when I was a boy, and then I go do some of that. Fishing. Walking in the country. Running. Seeing a (classic) movie, or a decent footie match. Meanwhile, the bastards will always be with us, and we’ll always have to fight them, but there’s nothing wrong with taking a break from it. Meanwhile, if there’s anything useful any of us can do, be sure to sing out. And thanks for writing.

  4. What following your blog and podcast has helped me to see is that at the core of man’s agency is a struggle for a meaningful life, a struggle to tell the truth to self and others and a struggle to build things and to be self-dependent.

    As a fallen soul, I struggle to make sense of my many sins, real and imaginary, life-changing and passing and still stand and strive for integrity. I struggle to connect with a God who is always willing.

    You did a podcast about compulsive lying that was extraordinary and, amongst other things, showed me that the journey you are on is one any man with determination can take.

    Two days ago I attended a course on how to use Social Media in my company. I was struck by just how much they know about me. Where I live, work, who I am married to, my daughter, what presents, books, and websites I and they visit.

    In fact “they” know more about me than probably anyone other than God. And no doubt when they choose to it will all be put to nefarious uses against me and mine.

    And yet I am more than my digital footprint. Just occasionally I see a different way of living, congruent, meaningful, confessional, creative.

    Adam, best wishes to you and yours.

  5. Post Alley Crackpot

    My take is a bit different: “While you’re in the middle of Hell, all exits from it look like Heaven, even if they are only gateways to other Hells.”

    Making your life better involves knowing where the good exits are.

    Until then, it’s often better to know where you are, even if that happens to be in the middle of Hell, because that makes you want to find the good exits and to make your way toward at least one of them.

  6. Dalo

    More words of gold from AP. Even though the black dog is calling, you’re throwing out some gems. Like B E Lines said earlier, there’s an invisible army of crew out there that are with ya and feeling shit that comes with not being a beta schmuck.

    Ride the rough rapid to calmer waters my friend.

  7. This may sound a bit strange; but, you need to learn to embrace the most difficult personal experiences in your life. Going through the pain, figuring out the solutions, making the mistakes and learning from them…is all about the personal growth experience. If you look back at whom you understood Adam Piggot to be- mentally and spiritually- prior to some major personal crisis, and then look at who you became, some time after that crisis, when you resolved it. I would bet that if you could choose, you’d choose to be the man who went through the crisis, learned from the crisis and became the better man for having experienced it.

  8. Robert Wood

    Another insightful post, Adam! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
    At times we all need to take stock and force ourselves to stop and recharge, otherwise we hit the stops and something breaks. I suppose that was a benefit for people that lived in areas that experienced heavy snow in winter – it actually forced them to stop and rest indoors to conserve energy, and by doing so allowed them to recharge their batteries so that they could start afresh in the Spring.
    At least you’ve identified that you’re running on empty and require a reset – many people are unable (or unwilling) to make that diagnosis on themselves. Take stock, concentrate on the important things in your life, and you’ll be back on your game again with a fresh outlook!
    Take care, mate!

  9. Thank you all for the words of encouragement.

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