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When it comes to masters, there always seems to be a collection. I feel we sometimes collect these gurus and say to ourselves, ' ha now, see? I am by association, also too, more learned and spiritual and loving and a better cook, and and and and and.

There comes a time when the ephemeral aspects of life tumble our expectations and this coarse vanity stains though. I don't know; there seems a perfect explanation to it, yet the commitment of time to really dig into it eludes me.

I mended two garments today. One of them I normally wear, a pair of snow pants. I stopped at the store yesterday and now have and entire meter of canvas. I also fixed the pocket of a wool coat. It's a little tight, but, I still look okay in it.

I have been waiting for my work to call, they have my medical papers, but are dragging their feet about my return. It's funny. Just as I was writing this they called. The medical director is against me going back.

So here I am. I wish I was joking, but this is real and I am not making it up.

I work in a blast furnace and it is, at this very moment, experiencing a chill; This a very dangerous, labour intensive way to operate a furnace. It needs ever person it can get.

Now, I work specifically as a Stove Tender, the person who monitors the temperatures and gasses which modulate the firing volume and chemistries of the furnace. Keep in mind, while I monitor them, I am by no mean the final say about anything, I am the first line, not the last.

Since I have been off work, the furnace has gone into a chill. I found this out yesterday, I have no idea how long it has been going on. With the refusal of my return, the state of the furnace, me being put off in the first place, and now with the troubles, layoffs.

Not just a few either, like hundreds of people and counting off work because this furnace cannot produce usable iron. I all feels like it is my fault. Like because I could not control myself for that one minute and I threw that pen.. It seems so silly yet, here were are, undeniable.

I can tell myself, "No, it isn't me. Coincidence. Surely, me being at work or not at a plant of 3000 people has no meaning whatsoever."... and yet. Here we are. Do I dare prescribe meaning to it, in which case, I need to fight this doctor and get back to work to save the entire city.


I stay and home and collect my regular pay. I be a good house husband. I take my medicine. I write these blogs with you. I watch birds do occultishly strange things in my yard...

So you see my dilemma. Stay at home and work on self care and loving my family and being a good soft husband; or go to work, long days in a literal furnace blowing lances and breathing bad air and saving an entire fucking city of people and their employment.

This is the choice. Save the economy of an entire city, or have a good life for just me. The fact my mind pants these sorts of oblique angles and rigid divisions into my path astounds even me.

I'm comfortable at home. My wife is a little jelly, but honestly, her workload has been cut way back, and the doctors are saying no, just stay home with pay.

I also have this voice inside that says if I go back to work this whole furnace is going to turn around and everyone is going to be saved because I'm a fucking rocket and that place needs me.

So the life of refinement, comfort, decadence?

or Toil, brotherhood, and victory?

Is this a choice?

I'll admit I'm torn, but I'm going to lean on that doctor to let me back because legit, I think the balance of fortunes for the future of this entire city rest on my choice to return.

I work in that spot. That was the failure. I have been off. This all makes me feel that despite the resistance, I should just fill my spot like a good gear for the good of the collective.

I should dare not dream of greener days of lighter work or nicer times, the call of iron and steel compel me back into their sulphurous embrace. Why would I want to go back there if they are saying no?! What is the matter with me??

Yet, here we are.

Jesse Bruce
Jesse Bruce
Jan 29

Normally, life teaches us about balance. It throws the opposite side of the pendulum in our faces. We tend to oscillate from one extreme to the other, repeating them over and over, until we get the point.

At pivotal moments within these cycles, life presents us with dichotomies of various forms. We call these, 'initiations'. Life is testing to see which direction you want to go, and through that demonstration, whether or not you have learned from such lessons.

In all honesty, you do just as much for the collective being at home and raising a good family as you would sacrificing yourself and your time with family for the community.

Furthermore, given all the signs around being with your family, I get the sense that that is the peace and freedom that your soul is trying to move you to.

However, I sense that perhaps you fear that path may lead you somewhere that you are avoiding?



We all need to begin somewhere. I like to think that since w...


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