Mr Cummings, who taught me English at school was an almost registered “Odd Man.” You could see even then, and I was about eleven when he taught me, that most of his conversations were with himself, which he engaged you in if you were in his room or class, but they were not quiet conversations. He was always urgent, engaged, non-conformist and anxious not to waste a breath on just getting by….
He made me realize that troubled people are often the bravest and most determined people you will meet. That for them to wake up and live an unexceptional day takes a level of courage and will-power few of us will ever have to demonstrate. He was the kindest and bravest man I met, who fought against demons all his life, and never lost that compassion which suffering gives to us.
Many of us don’t know what we mean to those around us. How our thoughts and routines form part of a pattern that sustains them in their lives, but for Mr Cummings, the whole world was his neighbour, and taking out their trash and passing the time of day with anyone he came across was the simplest expression of humanity. He never married and had no children but those of us who met him feel like orphans at his passing.
Countingducks is one of the two dozen or so blogs on my daily Feedly list. Sometimes I wonder why I am keeping it there as many posts are to my mind boring and kind of blah. BUT, then comes ones like the above that wrench at my soul. If you have ANY time this day I would suggest you read the entire post by clicking on the source above.
In many ways I see Mr. Cummings in me at least to a degree. I seem to have fully grown into the “Odd Man” status the in my retirement years. I just can’t seem to turn my eye away from all those in the country and the world who are struggling to exist. It regularly depresses me to see all the cruelty in the world today. My God tells me our primary task while occupying space in this world is to love him and each other. Because there are so many topics in today’s news about doing the opposite, I often hesitantly open my daily news feeds on the Internet. I try to look at life with a positive attitude but too often struggle at even accomplish that.
Mr Cummings fought his demons. We don’t know what those were but it definitely affected him. Being deaf just naturally causes personal isolation. I have faced it in one form or another and to one degree or another since the thirty years of that affliction. But it seems to grow almost exponentially now. One of the things I have discovered is that I talk to myself frequently now. I don’t often even realize it because I can’t hear my own words. I think I am just thinking but then catch myself mouthing the words of my thought. Yes, I am definitely becoming an almost registered “Odd Man”. But I guess that’s life…..