Monday, January 25, 2010

The Last Day

January 15th was my last day of work.

My former employer, who likes a certain internet anonymity, was a super-efficient industrial supply reseller. We consolidated risk for industrial operators of all kinds by warehousing material that no one needed often but someone always needed daily. And quickly. My job, whatever position I happened to hold any any moment, was to make it easier for good customers to order, accept, and pay for whatever special something they suddenly needed. I learned a lot from the company about effectiveness and efficiency.

For the most part, it was a normal day. I worked almost enough. I took a long lunch. I tried to make my work as effective as possible. After my exit interview, I went back to the data I was gathering and kept it up for another hour. But at 4 o'clock I hit a wall. The sun was still shining, and wouldn't be for long. I couldn't sit at my desk anymore. I gathered up my stuff and thanked my bosses. I walked out of there giddy and emotional, hyper aware of the significance of the moment, unable to do anything about it but drive home. I wanted some ritual, some ceremony, to perform and properly mark the transition, but nothing came to me. Ideally, I might have wanted to sacrifice a small animal.

When I crossed the parking lot for the last time, my feet never once touched the ground. Six months of deciding and affirming and questioning and redeciding picked me up at the door and swept me right into my car, already running and halfway down the street. Traffic was light for a Friday. Even if it hadn't been, I could have floated right over it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Plan

We should get one thing straight. I have no idea what I'm doing.

I'm used to having an authority figure around who can tell me what I'm supposed to be doing, and for the first extended period in my life, I'm living supposed-to free. No job. No school. No alien overlord. I have no externally imposed agenda, and it's freaking me out.

So I guess I have no (one else's) idea what I'm doing. 

Anyway, it means something weird, something kooky, something new for me. Queue the sappy music, folks, I'm following my heart. 

Having had my heart for a while now, I can make an educated guess about its priorities. As I do whatever I want for the next cough squiggle hiccup, I suspect the following themes to present themselves often:
-Family, friends, and personal history.
-Spiritual leaders and the tricks of their trade
-Jews, Judaism, Jewishness, and related Jewjewshion.
I've observed that these things, plus Television, form the bulk of what I care about. I likes me some science and philosophy, too, but that might really just be an expression of bullet the second.

If there were a fourth bullet, which there isn't, 'cause it scares me, it would be
-New experiences. New places, new people, and new perspectives on stuff I think I already know.

We'll come back to this in a moment. I've recently discovered, though, that it's fascinating to hear people talk about subjects I think I understand. I can't tell if I'm way behind or way ahead of the curve on that one.

The first destination on the Yotam's Heart Trail is an ashram in Melbourne, Florida. Ma Jaya, resident Guru, allegedly healed the chronic headaches I suffered in boyhood, brought on by my supernatural perceptual powers. Yes indeed, folks. Supernatural perceptual powers. I've got a third eye like a 6-foot satellite dish, and all those channels hurt mini-Yotam's forebrain. Ma sealed me up to protect me from overwhelmance, and promised to unseal me when I could stay for a while and learn some what's what.

This sounds like a bit much to my conformist, narrow-minded, very well educated rational brain, but I've decided to give it the full benefit of whatever doubt I can muster. Credence is helped, of course, by the allure of supernatural powers. So come mid-February, I'll be opening my Chakras in the Alligator State, hoping for a glimpse of the Universe. Shouldn't take more than a couple of months, right?

I plan to use this space to speculate and ruminate on the validity of whatever I am taught there (and from other spiritual masters), as well as share my own experience. Customer feedback is more than welcome.

I don't really think it's a matter of cheating at poker or seeing the future. But I suspect that Ma will show me modes of understanding that I wasn't well exposed to in college. Understanding often presents itself as perception ("see what I mean?") and, the third-eye metaphor may be apt. Or maybe it is a matter of cheating at poker.

On our way to Florida, my heart-compass and I are gonna take a few detours in pursuit of that scary fourth bullet. Texas (or "The GST") is right on the way between your orange-growing climates, and I have no real idea what goes on there. Texas has 25 million people who vote in my elections, speak my language, and watch my sweet sweet TV, yet they seem to think about it all pretty not like how I do. Meanwhile, Texans get a good dose less sympathy from my peer groups than just about anyone else. I've been making fun of these guys for most of my life, and I want to hear their side of the story. Now, ten days ain't surely long enough to understand the soul of Texas (see what I did there? With "ain't?") but I'd like to make its acquaintance.

MISSION: 3 good conversations with Texans about how they see the world.

I'm hoping for good times on the road before and after, too. N'Orleans should be fun. And after Florida, I've got a few options, but no plan. Regardless, I can assure you even now: Wherever I go, whatever I do, it shall be...