Subject: “Stop, hey, what’s that sound, everybody look what’s going down.” ~ Buffalo Springfield
Date: Sunday 10/8/06 5:19:00 AM
Music: For What It’s Worth-Buffalo Springfield
As I get rid of things in my life, these material possesions which while some may hold sentimental value are, by and large, totally worthless…I prepare myself to live the life that I’ve always wanted to.
The only thing I’ve wanted in life is happiness and love and to be true to who and what I am and to be a part of the Tikun Olam since I learned what it was and while money makes things easier, the cold hard fact is that it can never bring someone back (believe me if it could, Lyn, Ben and TJ would be here with me now) and it can postpone, but never prevent death and it can never buy happiness because if you think it can buy happiness than you don’t really know what happiness is.
People keep asking me “but what if you move there and you find you don’t like it?”
And I just shake my head because I’m stunned that it hasn’t occured to them, what I’d do if I wasn’t happy:
If I’m not happy, I put on my backpack, say my goodbyes and I move to another part of the globe. Who knows where I’ll land, maybe I’ll flip a coin.
Bali, Ireland, Mexico, Africa, Korea, Brazil, Rome, London…
I’m 22 and the world is laid out at my feet, all my doors and windows are open and I won’t allow myself to become the man who has a house, a mortage, with a white picket fence having meaningless dinner conversations at meaningless dinner parties with meaningless shallow people, being the token gay couple calling each other honey and baby, having some bland sex and in bed by nine and at the office in twelve hours for another bland, pointless, meaningless day.
I won’t lie, I was profoundly effected by Fight Club.
And people say “but you’re Gay, it’s dangerous to travel”
I could be shot just as easily for being Gay in numerous states (both North and South, East and West) as I can halfway around the globe. And the frat boys whom I’ve met (in more than one frat) and the straight guys who I’ve hung out with, and my former coworkers, and a few marines who weren’t cool with Gays at all, had something amazing happen: they met one who had no fear, never backed down from a challenge, said exactly what he thought, took no bullshit, held no prisoners and made his reputation by being a ballbuster and now when their kid, yet unborn, comes out to one of them, one day in the future…they’re gunna go “no, it’s okay…let me tell you about this guy I met once” and that means I did my job.
Xenophobia is a transgression in the Jewish Faith.
The world’s a dangerous place to live, you tell me – congratulations…you haven’t discovered anything new.
THE WORLD HAS NEVER BEEN A SAFE PLACE TO LIVE: GET OVER IT.
Adam and Eve had a snake, my people were slaves in Egypt, the Greeks had bloody wars, and then came the crusades and then the ciivl war which was disgusting and bloody and the World Wars and countless more that go unmentioned here (and, sometimes, in the history books too)- here’s a wakeup call:
The worlds been a crazy place since it’s inception, we’ve only just had this myth of the ‘world used to be a kinder, gentler, more innocent place a generation ago’ thrust on us by the media and the older generation who fears change.
If a four year old child is brave enough to struggle to survive in a war torn country then I’m brave enough to visit that child, to put on a tool belt and say let us work together and rebuild, as I learn how to speak with that childs people and they learn to speak with me, and we learn to speak each others tongues than we learn to work together and I’m paid in a language and maybe a meal or a ride to the next village instead of money. And what money I make I send home to get some interest as I keep moving.
Life is about building houses, tearing down walls and remembering what it really means to be alive.
And then comes the follow up question “what if you meet someone?”
Well what if I do? If I meet someone so godly, so good, so beautiful, loving and attractive than I’ll go where my heart takes me. I can’t answer for the future, but if I finally find someone that I’m so enamored with them than I’ll take it as a sign from the divine that I’ve found my home.
I’m 22 and right now and so long as I have enough money to feed myself (or there’s a viable food source near by) and I have shelter (in whatever form I can get it), and enough money in the bank to afford a get out of dodge ticket then I’m happy and I know that no matter how bad things have gotten with my parents (and we’ve had our rocky times) that there’s always a light above my parents house leading me home if I get lost, and I know that the Ark at my temple has an eternal flame in front of it guiding me through the darkest nights no matter where in the world I travel, and when I land in my next destination – wherever it is – I know that I have enough skills (Construction, Paralegal, Pharmacy Tech, Photographer – for 14 years by the way – English Teacher, Linguist, Oranizer) that I know I’ll be able to earn enough cash to get on that next train…and I’ve said this countless times, there’s nothing wrong with flipping burgers or dancing in drag if you need cash – you do what you have to do to get what you want, and everything, no matter how ‘low’ the job is, is opportunity as long as you’ve got a plan.
And if a week after I land in Tel Aviv I manage (through the grace of God) to land a killer job that makes people green with envy, get myself a hot man who actually loves me in the deepest sense of the term than maybe I’ll choose to settle down…maybe I’ll say “eh, I can do better for myself” and maybe I’ll be right or maybe I’ll be wrong: isn’t exciting, not knowing, accepting life as it comes.
But that’s it. I have that choice and thats the wonderful thing about being young and footloose and free.
I’ve made friends everywhere I’ve gone and when I’ve given them the invintation to stay in my house, and when I’ve told them that wherever I have a roof over my head they too have a home, I meant it (and some wonderful people have taken me up on those offers). There’s a mezzuzah on my door for a reason…it’s because it grants safe voyage to those who most need it, and I’m a big fan of returning the favor, ‘passing it on,’ ‘paying it forward’ or whatever you want to call it.
And I know of no synagogue who will turn away a traveler for prayer, and sometimes it’s that prayer that gets you by and reminds you why you walked in that door in the first place.
I don’t plan on writing a great novel. I plan on living it, and letting the novel write itself, because I only write begginings. There’s only one ending and that’s Death. If you’re writing that, then you’ve got too many problems and too much weight on your shoulders…and if you’ve strayed that far from the path or you’re in that much pain or you’re planning to do something that horrible to others and to yourself in the process, then you’re the person I pray for most, hardest because you’ve lost that light inside of you and I’m praying really hard that you’ll find it before you do something you can never take back.
There’s a few things I believe in:
Basic human kindness.
When I was travelling up and down the East Coast and was running out of cash, people would feed me. When I was organizing demonstrations and I needed money, business men who were sympathetic to my cause(s) would fork over some cash so I could make placards. When I was on a bus and I started to cry because I missed one of my friends who died, people had the courtesy not to stare or to whisper and to let me have my privacy.
Yes, it exists. It’s just unfortunate that most people don’t actually know what it is.
Not a day goes by when I don’t see someone stunning, whether in heart or in form and amazingly at times, people who have both…and if some days I’m lacking in seeing someone beautiful, I’ll stand infront of a mirror for a second, nod my head and then I’ve got my fill for the day.
You can live your life in fear…and great, you may not die an ‘unfortunate’ death (though all death is unfortunate, and the one’s who are hurt the most are the one’s left alive)…but then those who are against civil liberties, civil rights, progress, equality and who are for terrorism have won.
Congratulations. You’ve succumbed to fear instead of conquering it.
However, you can make a choice – life is about choices – you can choose to go outside, travel the earth, talk to people and stay in a land until you can speak their tongue, learn something new and just forget everything you’ve been taught in books or schools and join humanity and begin to think for yourself.
And when you’ve found your home, sometimes you’ll look down and you’ll recognize your footprints there from years before, or maybe you’ll return to where you started in the beggining or maybe it’ll be in the last place you stopped and never knew existed…but you’ll never know if you don’t put on your shoes and start to walk.
“Stop, hey, what’s that sound, everybody look what’s going down…” ~ Buffalo Springfield
“All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey…”
But I know what won’t make me happy…and what wont make me happy is standing in a office building or sitting in a graduate class, looking out of the window saying “What if…what could have been…”
It’s better to do things the hard way, it makes them much more meaningful.
People walk in and out of your life, some stay, some cross your path through chance, others through divine intervention, some leave forever by choice or by death, some come back, some come back and then go away again but you’ll never meet them until you leave your apartment, your basement, your house, your city, town, village, state, country and begin to open yourself up to new and amazing and different ways of life.
If you’ve read through all of that, Thank you, and Goodnight.