Letter to a young man

From the files, written by Jack in May 2005:

Hi again, Mike:

I’ve been thinking more about your dreams about work, thinking about places a young man might go to get away from things, ways a man might spend some time and be glad later that he did.  Places he might discover young while he has good knees instead of waiting until he’s abused his body so badly as to cause his joy of discovery to be mitigated by the pain of doing it.

Not all these are outright mystical, but in a sense they might be if you keep your ear to the ground for the mystical.

First off, the first time I discovered Yucatan, I recall having the passionate wish that I’d gone there at a younger time.  A person can probably still take a plane to Merida, rent a vehicle and run the entire road through the jungle east to west, or take a bus if you have the heart for it.  Get off at Chichen Itza, climb the pyramids, meander around in the ruins, look at the black sinkhole, sacrificial alter with the blood gutters, consider all those thousands of people who had the living hearts yanked out of their bodies there by priests covered with matted blood and do some serious backtracking on your thinking about how reality is for you.  When you return you won’t be dreaming about your job.  It’s a certainty.

You might take a plane ride across the Atlantic and wander around Wales a couple of weeks, climbing around abandoned castles, thinking about what they mean, what they say about us, about all the wars they represent, all the humans who knew they needed such places to have any hope of filling out their obligation to live until they died of something besides a spear or battle axe.

Spend a few days in the British Museum looking at all the relics the generations of Englishmen stole from their conquered countries and carried home with them to educate and edify unborn generations of carping, persnickety other Englishmen after they got runned home from their empire.  Wander around in Hampton Court and take a look at all the antlers old Henry VIII had the time to take when he wasn’t lopping the heads off his wifeys.

Take a long look at the Crusader Museum in Winchester, at Stonehenge, at Salsbury Cathedral.  Consider the guy who spent eleven years under there in a diving suit digging out the wooden foundations and replacing them with concrete.  All the men in armor buried under the floor.  Scratch your head over a crop circle, or three.  Get into the lines of Englishmen grumbling at one another as they stare with vacant eyes at the Roman ruins at Bath.

Or, you could spend a week or two in a Zen Monastary or Silva Mind Control course.  Or, say, at the Monroe Institute.

Any or all of which will leave you with a complete void of dreams about your job.

Think on it, amigo.  Life’s entirely too short to spend the nights dreaming about any job.



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