Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Response to SMILE, A--HOLE!

Hi G--, Thanks for the e-mail. I like your reports about just being. A lot of us are having mood swings. It's a tough time. While we can muse and answer the ills of the world, even something small like the possible demise or even "reorganization" of our work organization freaks us out. One of my friends, a pilot collegue, is so freaked out that he's sounding just like George Bailey in "It's a Wonderful Life;" he's actually contemplated jumping off a bridge. He thinks he'll be worth more to his family dead. That's serious. That's depression, isn't it? What a crock that the almighty buck can have such an effect on an otherwise sane and steady man. I told him to watch the movie. So people still show up at the Kraz. I'm surprised. Is it a good deal or just a traditional meeting spot that hasn't gone out of style? I remember that episode very well. We all contain heavens and hells. It's all in us. We can intend toward the light, but then sometimes run up against the "wiring" left us by our ancestors. You might know you're destined to win the Indy 500, but if you're driving a Pinto you might have quite a challenge; you might have to re-motor that little sucker. How many people never consider the limitations of the vehicle we're "driving." It's like I've said before, sometimes the impulses felt by more intelligent, sensitive or creative people are so powerful that it threatens to burn out the mind's circuits. Knowing this, being aware, goes a long way toward teaching us how to govern ourselves; how to "red-line" without "over-revving" into a possible destructive failure. Good for you! You recognize the value of certain traditions. I don't understand that pilots have some of the biggest egos on earth but voluntarily chuck seventy five years old traditions that set them apart. On the MCO tram the other day, I overheard a young teenager ask one of our flight attendants if "that is the pilot?" The kid was referring to me. I was wearing the hat. I've noticed that the pilots without hats are disappearing into the background (this goes hand-in-hand with the P/A's that say, "From the flight deck." Whose a flight deck? Whatever happened to "This is the captain speaking" or "This is Captain Jones" ... more personal, more dignified ... just more. "From the flight deck" is a nothing ... it's the disembodied voice of an automaton). Pilots are increasingly looking like everybody else; TSA, agents, f/a's ... and that's exactly what the corporate monster wants. "Look like everybody else, be 'ordinary' and we will pay you like everybody else." And that rate is $7.50 an hour. "Sinking tides lower all boats." ((Anwyay, thank the aviation gods for folks like the Captain...)) I agree. Thank God for the traditions which tell us from where we come. I hope your S.O. rolls his eyes when his ... and everybody else's ... paycheck is minimum wage (less insurance and hospitalization costs). I'm in a little of lull. There's no major drama, my boy has just started his college freshman year, my daughter's getting ready to graduate at the end of the next semester, I'm getting set to sell my townhouse and I'm just trying to find a little peace in the middle of the storm. I'm actually considering buying a boat with the funds from the townhouse and essentially moving aboard. I haven't quite figured where I'll sleep when I'm visiting my son here in Charlottesville, but I am getting ready to make an offer on a vessel I looked at under Katrina's clouds in Bradenton the other day. I'll be homeless but that'll promote some kind of movement. I can't put the numbers together that'll let me maintain my estranged wife "in the style to which she has become accustomed" and keep my townhouse, too, in the face of a "United type of contract." But do you know what? It'll work out! Nobody is going to starve or be in the cold. We have to keep the intention of creating our own reality. The more I learn about mysticism and physics, the more I believe that we do, at some level and with some unknown collaboration, create our own reality. Have you ever studied A Course in Miracles? I've got it but haven't given it more than a cursory look. I do know that some writers I respect think highly of it. Stay well, my friend. By the way, if the boat does show up, you are going to be one of her first crewmembers. Thanks for your unflagging devotion to staying in touch. It means a lot to me. Russ

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