so, i've a friend in australia. i have known him for quite 
some time now. he writes beautiful, amazing things. my
birthday this summer past, he sent me the following e-mail, 
which i asked to place here, for you all. my head, that day
it was so full of racing thought and confusion. bits of
sadness but, then there was text, so much wonderful text.
thank you, joel'y.
--*- teXt -*--

Shall we begin in the traditional manner? Or is it already too late?

Yo, um, Dear Janny,

Hi Babe. Here is the fucking letter I've been meaning to compose for you all my goddam life. Sorry it took so fucking long, but hey, what are you going to do -- Punch me in the head? You just come over here and TRY IT! Besides, kid, I've got loads of EXCUSES. No really, just wait till you hear them.

Like, work has been just *eating* my time. I highly recommend you apply some diligent efforts in the webbery direction or you'll pretty soon find yourself in the same kind of low pay wage slavery that I am currently, uh, enjoying. Please, God, don't let this happen to you too. (See also idjit.)

Also, I've been busy reading A LOT, A LOT. I've HAD to. I'm addicted to TEXT, OK? Goddness, so much text.

But, the excuse I like best is that: I've been wanting to write you EVERYTHING. Irrationally, I'd been putting off writing until I had sufficient time to recount meticulously every moment that had passed since I left my regular IRC post. I've finally realised (finally) that, through no one's fault at all, the peculiarities of our Universe make such an attempt IMPOSSIBLE. (Similar to the impossibility of constructing a map of the Universe on a scale of 1 to 1, courtesy of Umberto Eco). So, at last, be damned, said I, fuck it. And, lo, I came to commence this document, for you, the gentle text lover at the other end. It's finite, and far far far, infinitely far from being the comprehensive description and sketch piece on ALL that I had been foolishly delaying for, but it is, at least, at last, SOMETHING.

Finally, here, at last, for you, today, at this very moment, RIGHT WHERE YOU ARE SITTING NOW, is your letter. It contains substantially less information than the complete description of ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING I was naively dreaming of producing for you, BUT IT'S THE BEST I'M GOING TO BE ABLE TO DO (for now).

I like how you live on completely the other side of the world. It makes me think of the BIGNESS (compared to us puny monkeys) of our little splodge of planet. Can you feel its spherical enormity? I picture us, peering out-up, on other sides of Spaceship Earth, and pondering occasionally the notion too often forgotten (and yet, HOW HYPNOTISED MUST WE BE THAT WE COULD EVER FORGET): Here we monkeys are, for no RIGOROUSLY PROVABLE reason (sorry religion), LIVING ORGANISMS (not merely straightforward, inexpensive, simple, low-maintenance inanimate MATTER), on this squirming, teeming, diverse, chaotic, insanely beautiful planet, crammed together in all our richly lovable uniqueness, our madness and eccentricity, chattering away to each other, looking out at the gorgeous starry surrounds that form the backdrop through Spaceship Earth's INEXPLICABLE HURTLE THROUGH SPACE AND TIME. It's weird, and wow.

I often have cause to think of you, of things that you have written, or dumb things you said on your Mp3s. We stopped the sharing of IRC text so suddenly, yet my dialogue with you went on unstemmed. I've accumulated this massive back log of internal text to dump on you, so vast and comprehensive, crushing me with its mass and impossibility, and silencing me completely. Why has it taken me so long to even consider just scratching a few measly words to you, unworthy and insignificant and so far from the true comprehensive description of my perceptions, just to offer anything up from my inner life for you?

God but I have wanted to write lately. It's an itch I can not scratch. For a good reason, at least: There's too much to write. I want to write everything. I'll conceive of a life time's worth of projects I could pour my text into everyday and I'll start precisely NONE of them because there are just so damned many, WHICH SHOULD I WORK AT? I'm nit picking at my existence, trying to fine tune it so I can enjoy more time on the infinitude of stuff that fascinates me, all the arts and outlets that my lifes calling is to immerse myself in, musics, scribbles, pomes, prose posies, letters...

I've been reading a LOT. Constantly. All the time. So so so much. I have acquired from my workplace a very pile of tomes that towers at least to my nipples and threatens to surpass my head when all my global orders finally come in.

Hmmm... the Tarot I have been studying, not as a divinatory tool (I don't want to know about the future, perhaps :) but as a story, a lesson, a poem, a prayer, a record of WoMan, as individual and as a species, feelings Hir way through the continuum. The images are potent.

The Fourth Way, Ouspensky, Russian mathematician/mystic keeps trying to explain to me that Mankind is asleep and that we need to "remember to remember" (a book title of Henry Miller's, me thinks), and to actually WORK at being conscious if we are to get out of the prison of our own sleep and unhappiness. (We are having nightmares, and all we need do is wake ourselves, but no one can do it for us).

Through good human C.G. Jung I am studying psychology and the unconscious, in the definitive collection "The Portable Jung". He and his work hold great appeal to me, a "ring of truth", a resonance. He writes, for example, on synchronicity and coincidence, and mentions that the study of synchronicity tends to induce synchronicity. I mentioned to a co-worker that I was reading some of his writings on synchronicity, and, within minutes a customer entered the store asking if we had in stock the autobiography of C.G. Jung. Which, uh, to say the least, isn't asked for every day.

Titles I might especially recommend to you for their humour, or intelligence, or humaness are: One Hundred Years of Solitude (Marquez) (staggeringly beautiful, with such strange rich images, a ship in the desert, lined with purple flowers, flying carpets, gypsies with miraculous ice, iguana fetuses). Catch-22 (Heller) because it is just so damn funny and RIGHT about so many things.

Life is weird. I try to meditate every morning, and I'm working at this conscious self remembering / consciousness raising / attention / attention / attention / attention. I want to write more, code more, Linux and Emacs more. But often I am content. I work too much, and do too well at work. I'm worth far more than they pay me. I feel I will not remain there too long. I make my influence though, pushing Linux and GNU, recommending texts, inducing laughter. Getting by. I have no idea where it will all lead. Sometimes I am excited about the adventure of life. Other times I am just tired.

I keep meaning to node from work, in the sense that I might dwell upon nodeworthy subject matter, but I always forget. I drink a good deal of coffee, enjoy hot dogs when the mood takes me (my preferred vendor recently initiated a buy three get one free card system, which I explained could well be the greatest thing that had ever happened to me).

Blessed with chances lately to appreciate the sudden startling beauty of a place or scene or person or setting, trick of the light or arrangement of objects, the little moments of poetry in space and time that one can sit silently within to behold kindly the unfoldment of the Universe.

I don't know. It's all very strange and beautiful. So much to do, to experience and communicate.

Happy freaking birthday, potato head. =)

love,

Jo3l'ly

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