December 12, 2001
Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
9am Slide show at Morna Heights School.
11am Slide show at Brown's Flat School.
3pm I picked up a hitch-hiker. The entire ride he talked about his passion for movies, and how he watched one after another last night without sleep. He wants to be an actor, but thinks getting a character part in a film would be too hard. "Too much competition," he said. I think he'd be a great actor. He certainly had character, and no trouble speaking his mind. The problem is self defeat-- failing only for lack of faith in himself.
In the Gypsy Camp, swinging and spinning through the forest, I enter an altered state-- very dizzy, almost as if drunk, then I stop, but the world kept whirling. Everything is moving around me all the time; this just makes it more apparent. I'm paralyzed due to lack of balance-- forced to just sit and try to make sense of the blur. We can get stuck in a frame of mind, boxed-in by beliefs about how our world works. It's fun to shake it up and discover a different perspective.
On the play ground, the kids knew all about turning their world upside down. They are fearless revolutionaries. Standing before these troopers in training, I arm them with encouragement. They rush me with pencils and scrap paper, asking for an autograph. I say, "I'm a kid just like you," and write, "Believe in yourself!"
Sitting on this mountain top, I think about where I want to go and what I want to do, and I smile, cuz I know that today's events confirmed that I was on the right path.
4pm Yesterday, Tom read aloud passages from It's Here Now (Are You?), the memoir of Bhagavan Das, which I loaned to him, but have not read thoroughly myself. A Yale student named Nick gave it to me on the Greyhound returning home from Mexico. He wrote behind the front cover, "Enjoy this book. Remember the answers are inside. Act from a place of love and you will be successful." The stories Bhagavan shares about his travels are magical and carefree-- meeting people with inspiring insight, feasting with them, and experiencing the pleasure and torture in the company of beautiful women. It seemed surreal-- like fantastic fairy tale. Then I thought of my own journey, and how my show must look to other people. It is a dream come true.
Later, Tom read aloud journals from my web site. It was weird to hear someone else read them-- with a different voice and attitude. My words sounded gay. I didn't like it. I imagined other people reading them, and became concerned about the image of me they were forming in their heads. "God, what am I doing?!!" I questioned my publishing without editing. Tom assured me that he thought my work was cool, and email I receive says I'm doing something right, but it's a challenge not to be overly conscientious. Folks might think I'm vain taking pictures of myself, but I find it interesting to see how I am changing day to day, inside and out. And in the future, I may not have lots of hair or teeth, or limb might be missing, and I'll look back at these pictures and smile thinking about when I was youthful and healthy. There is no stress out there, nothing to fear; it is created between my ears. I must quiet my mind, absorb beauty and be at peace.