Por Favor

If one advances confidently in the direction of one’s dreams and endeavors to live the life one imagines, one will meet with success unexpected in common hours. — Henry David Thoreau

I’m almost two months into this thing (Eternal Return) and so far, so good, I must say. When I began to undertake this project I didn’t really have expectations beyond trying to simply tell a few stories and get the periods and commas in the right place and construct a coherent, hopefully interesting (and true) paragraph or two strung together. One of the things I’ve learned (again) is that one learns as much (or more) from writing as reading. It’s a reciprocal process of give and take.

I want to express my deep, heartfelt thanks and gratitude for all the support and subscriptions; and the feedback, comments, criticisms, and advice have been as invaluable as they are welcomed and appreciated. Of course I am more than grateful and stoked for the support from friends and family alike — and fear perhaps that there was undue pressure to subscribe and support just because of that affiliation. I can only hope that I have returned the favor somehow. I am also extremely humbled, surprised, and thankful for the subscriptions and support from those of you whom I do not know personally. That’s amazing to me. Again, it is my aim and desire (my task) to engage readers in ways at once entertaining and edifying — to be both truthful and authentic, as well as meaningful.

Seeking attention and asking for approval and monetary support isn’t my style. I’ve been pretty low-pro most of my life. Perhaps to a fault. Indeed all of that/this makes me rather uncomfortable and frankly ashamed to be waving my flag, asking for money, etc. I had a good job for years (decades) as a teacher: tenured, salaried, etc. At my stage of the game (52 as I write), I figured that all of that was the way it was going to be until retirement. Turns out I was wrong. So it goes. I accept and embrace my Fate — Amor Fati! And I turned the page, reluctantly and with trepidation; what other choice did/do I have? One never knows what’s around the corner . . . Tomorrow is promised to no one.

Thus I rattle my cup, the proverbial alms bowl, once more. I have to — must — precisely in order to make this thing (Eternal Return) work and survive. It’s that simple. Your support makes a difference — all the difference. Without it, I can’t do this (writing for a living). I’ve said before that I’m not looking for pity or asking for charity or handouts. Not at all. Nor am I interested in just giving away what I scrawl (type) in my own blood. I am offering what I believe to be a fair exchange: Quid Pro Quo. Something for something . . . It’s a Law of the Universe.

At this point, if you’ve been reading (and hopefully thinking), then you know what this stuff is worth, especially if you’ve been paying for it. Mahalo Nui Loa! And even if you haven’t been paying for it (most of the subscriptions so far are “free”) I would encourage you to reflect on the value of what I’m offering you, what, to be perfectly candid, I’ve given you. Most people want to know the value of what they’re getting. Well, now you know. And there’s more — a great deal more — to come.

You pay for being free, I'll tell ya freedom don't come easy,
Free don't always come for free . . . Flight of the seabirds, scattered like lost words, wheel to the storm and fly . . .
John Perry Barlow

It’s kind of like how I survived for part of a summer living in the hills above Santa Cruz (Soquel) back in 1987. I was living in this house with some others (they had “jobs” or at least a source of income) that sat on 14 acres of plum orchards. Just beautiful: hundreds of trees overflowing with the purplest plums just bursting on the vine. I didn’t have a job. No income. I needed money (not much — but how else was I going to buy beer, wax, corndogs, and potatoes?). So figured I’d pick plums, put them in cases, take them down to the Flea Market at Cabrillo Community College on Saturday mornings and try to sell them. It worked.

My method was rather similar to what I’m doing here, in that I would simply give a plum (or two or three) to anyone that passed by and say: “Stoken’ Rad Plums! Five bucks a case! Can’t beat a deal like that!” I also had little paper lunch bags (5 or 6 plums) for a dollar. Dude, it worked. I’d make $60 or $75 in a couple hours, more than enough to get me through the week until the next Saturday — I could even afford a loaf or two of Squaw bread, some yogurt and granola from the Happy Hippie Health Food Store with that kind of money. The point is: something for something . . . Quid Pro Quo.

How has the writing, the stories, the people, the lessons or insights — how has this (and more) impacted you? If it’s edified or dare I say enhanced your experience or understanding of things, then that’s what I’ve been aiming at/for.

Therefore: If you think the writing is worthwhile — valuable in some way — and want more, then please seriously consider the $10 a month paid subscription (or, in the alternative: the $100 annual). Either way, I need and require paid subscriptions to keep doing this; otherwise I’m going to start tree trimming and digging ditches (which I enjoy) or who knows (bartending?). But I can’t write full time and trim trees, dig ditches, and tend bar (and surf, ride, climb, etc.). There’s only so many hours in the day; and my energies are finite.

And spread the word . . .

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Should not the giver be thankful that the receiver received? Is not giving a need? Is not receiving, mercy? — Nietzsche