When failure resurrects as a smile


I spent the morning overseeing the tagging and storage of documents of the company I’ve had to close down. These archives will be destroyed in 10 years time and that will signal the final expiry of a twitching corpse.

Laid to rest

This is the last thing I’ll have done for the company, lawyers will organize the burial but I won’t attend. Now I’m having a coffee in the Starbucks at Geneva airport but instead of feeling light and free, which is my factual state of life, I feel the tremendous weight of failure and loss.

Dead weight

The stress of endless board meetings when I defended a failing organization from collapse, fighting with delegates from different constituencies, each with their own valid positions.

Failure too, is teamwork

There is the pain of dismissing one employee after another. Each one tells his or her own tale of sacrifice and disappointment. The ensuing physical and emotional stress has floored more than a few of them.

Lingering pain

The empty feeling of terminating partnership agreements with the stroke of a pen under a three paragraph letter. Years of political wrangling and negotiation undone in seconds.

Annihilation of effort

Somewhere under that mess, I’m trying to move a limb. The corporate collapse is in the past and even the mess has been cleared. So why am I the white faced hunchback that goes around dragging a corpse through the dark alleys of the soul?

It is all in the mind

Taking the proverbial helicopter view, everything looks quite good. The wonderful achievements before this last job are sources of inspiration, even to me. But in truth, it is no good remembering our youthful looks.

Mirrors are awfully honest

Somebody offered me a partnership in an exciting new development. I said yes, of course, and try to give it all, but in truth, every time there is a small setback, that corpse twitches and reminds me of the disaster zone just behind me.

We are haunted

Never mind. I’m not really worried about the future, as in the past the future always worked out somehow. Knowing this, is possibly the greatest benefit of age.


It is curious how our past can weigh us down to the point of paralysis. Eckhard Tolle would smile at that statement. He would be right to do so and when I ask myself that provocative Zen question: What, at this precise instant, is missing?


I’m enjoying a coffee in Starbucks. A young woman just borrowed a chair in return for a friendly smile.

I smile

And just like that, with an inaudible zap, the weight of the world collapses into nothingness like the image on an old black & white TV when the power is cut.

There is no past

What will I do with this precious moment? Stripped from the past and not needing a future, I walk my tray with an empty mug to the lady who’s cleaning up. Another smile.

I smile


One thought on “When failure resurrects as a smile

Your turn

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s