august 5the whole world becomes rife with signs when you're considering your true path - svante's signature:
a clean heart
a few weeks ago at the laundromat, "adeline cleaners," we were finally doing our first load of laundry after a month's living - sheets, towels, underwear, socks, assorted raiment,
i was stooped by lower door of the industrial dryer and a stocky fiftysomething black gent in glasses asked me how i was doing
i expressed enthusiasm for some finally clean clothes, and perhaps i marvelled at the heat
he shared my enthusiasm for the cleaners, and perhaps he too remarked on the weather
and then he said, without provocation
i have computer troubles,
at the adeline cleaners, two clothes dryers,
i have a macintosh but people have been telling me to switch to pc
(why does he think to tell me this?)
and i have email, man, i got the internet but i can't figure out how to use it
and since i got my job at zdtv, and that's all so exciting and glamorous, i've been feeling like i need to extend my skills to some folks closer to home here in west oakland, some people who aren't on the cutting edge.
i was so glad to make contact with him! that i lost the ATM slip with his phone number on it. but then august 1, saturday driving with eve to buy yet another wineskin for renfair, he pulled up in a car next to us, signalled to me to lower radek's tape of jane's addiction, and said, "i thought you were going to help me fix my computer!"
so today i spent around two hours at john's apartment
he's got some heart troubles ("it's just too big the doctor says") which keep him unfortunately unemployed,
which is good for having lots of time to make the computer a hobby
if it does mean that he buys a $20 scanner at a flea market without software or manuals
so there's a good bit of setup to do, but he already has an internet account and he even can send me email now
and i think he can figure out clarisworks if he gets a book for that
we spoke about the neighborhood and the mugging. he's christ-filled and himself works with jailbirds and drug addicts ("guys hiding uzis under their coats - because who needs coats these days?" - it's been over 100 degrees in oakland these days, hot like last summer) - he walks armed with faith in the protection of the lord.
some folks who live in his building made off with $10k worth of stuff when he returned to louisiana with his wife one time, (stole even wash powder and toilet paper) "they practically moved me out" - and he blessed them (not cursed them) to their face.
that's the attitude to have - if you lost stuff, it's because god wanted to make room for new stuff.
as for staying in west oakland, "it's a nice place to live" - he extolls its geographic virtues (near the city, near jack london). god didn't put you here by accident. and anyways, you can't move away from that theft and violence, it's everywhere.
but what about being afraid late at night coming home etc? fear makes people act crazy. don't be afraid. have faith. protection by god. worst they can do is destroy your body.
he advises me to read psalm 139, and psalm 91 out loud 3 times a day for 5 days
i think of being original and defying convention - like all my family sez "you're gonna get killed living there," and just having faith that i'll be taken care of if i'm doing my thing, and in fact my potential for doing good things is higher when i am challenged by my surroundings and where is there a place where my energy and openness is needed more than a place where people would steal from each other with guns?
then i recall jennifer roberts comforting me the day after it happened, saying i needed to live in a place where i am free to think and exist without worrying about being stuck up or shot at or people wanting to prey on me. because i'm too open, she said, too shiny almost. like i walk around in howard rheingold clothes six feet tall laptop on my back - too much of a target
isn't it best to aspire to live without fear? that comes in any neighborhood, not from running, but by standing tall.
anyways, the deal to move from west oakland to the diamond district is near done, talking to john about west oakland is then mostly a reconciliation more than a potential agreement to stay. i think it will be nice to live in a place where i can walk, not drive, to get my groceries and rent a video. a more balanced neighborhood. if god called me into west oakland, i'm thinking i have served this time here and now i am being called somewhere else. but i'll come back to visit john
i described it like this to brian in email,
me i just want to live and jesus have a nice place to be. so i'm moving out of my nice home into a nicer neighborhood.
/Svanteand meanwhile i've got that kind of cough that yeilds dramatic flem each time i breathe in deep it's like a respiratory scrape. i'm tired, but i can't tell if it's the cough or the crazy heat. i know it's not the bo diddley!
/// Be true to your self
and you will never fall /// BB ///
i found the dholblasters,"bhangratulations" after 4 years of searching. john alderman played it back at hotwired and i loved it and finally found it at an indian music/video store in berkeley. it's got a good groove from another place played by some missionary brothers.
and early bo diddley - smokes, like pure rock spirit. can't do without it one time in your life and you will be infected!