©2019 Marc Prospero
A few quotes
Richard Branson: “Anyone who has had an interesting life owes it to the world to write it down and share it.”
Ivan Otter, Senior Foreman, Hwange Power Station construction site, Zimbabwe, mid 1980’s: “I know you’ll succeed because your attitude is right.” He was right, but it took a long time, for reasons you’ll come to understand as you read this blog.
Simon Bowman, Resident Engineer at Hwange on the day I leave for South Africa at the end of six months in Zimbabwe: “You’re the best.”
“Do you mean the best civil engineer?”
“No… Just the best.”
Even now I’m not quite sure what he meant… but it was a compliment so I’ll happily accept it.
Vakisai Amaposo, my concreting gang boss: “I will never forget you, Mr Prospero .”
“Thank you, Vakisai. Nor will I forget you.”
Feeling like Sanders of the River, I get in the car and head back down the long dusty road to South Africa.
Ian C: “This man has lived.”
L. Kovaz: “You have a gift for making people laugh. Don’t ever lose it.”
Caitlin: “I think you should write a book.”
A Life Abnormal
To date, I can’t say that any spell of my life has been ‘normal’. Well, thank goodness for that. But the era I’m presenting here is arguably the most radical, dramatic, exciting and enriching part of my life to date.
Ages 25 to 39
This blog is loosely chronological and covers my life between the ages of 25 and 39. It’s about my battle with mental illness and the changes that came over me following the day I jettisoned the ‘old man of the sea’ known as atheism. This was partly due to an out of body experience like none I’ve ever read about – and I’ve done a fair amount of research.
The whole series of incredible events, some life-enhancing, others nearly fatal, started with a ‘peppercorn trail’ of little mental blips leading up to a ‘Big Bang’ moment when near-disaster struck.
Back in Jo’burg I found a place to live in a prosperous outer suburb. For twelve months, when not at work or sleeping, I’d be sitting under the sun by the swimming pool armed with paper and pen, focusing my mind on one thing: determining my destiny.
A World-Saving Superbeing?
In doing so, I unwittingly started a process of increasingly ambitious and irrational self-delusion. This culminated in my transformation (in my own mind) into a sort of world-saving Superbeing. If you buy a Superman costume for your son, you’ll see a note of warning: ‘Wearing this suit does not allow you to fly.’ I had no such warning, when at times one would have helped greatly.
In and out of this frame of mind for the next seven years, there have been ten (plus) occasions when I could – some would say should – have died.
“Why am I not dead?” is a question I have asked.
“What am I here to do?” is another.
My answer to the first question was that some force greater than me was looking after me, even though my belief system at the time was that God had been invented by homo sapiens to make him feel better about death.
Strange rollicking adventures
This blog and the book that will ultimately be released are intended to share the story of my searches for an answer to the second question. It is full of strange rollicking adventures which seem to be part of me and who I am.
I ask you to bear in mind as you surf through this Half-Life that some of these happenings are so weird that I didn’t understand them for years. In reliving them in order to retell them, I stand amazed that… Well, I just stand amazed.
NB: For anyone who has a breakdown
One day you might find yourself thrown around by the pounding grey storms of mental breakdown. I sincerely hope not. But if you do, I hope you’ll recall this blog and realise that you are not alone: many “mad” men and women have charted these waters before you, reached the shore and recovered to live full, rich and rewarding lives.
Half-Life of the YoYo Man Post 1 ends here. I hope you decide to drop in again. To say the least, it’s an unusual story.
Best regards, Marc