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Date: Tue, 25 Jun 2002 01:40:20
Subject: I'm Back
From: jackdmonk@enteract.com
To: berto_alto@tank20.com


Back from Thailand.

I was in the countryside in time for Khoa Phansa and did the Rains Retreat until the full moon observance, Kathina.

Learned a great deal during my three months with the monks.

And also unlearned a great deal.

Spent much time thinking of silence, meditating, chanting.

I saw a man levitate three inches from the ground.

I had the strangest waking dreams.

A snake swallowing its own tail.

A battle between a chicken and a colony of ants.

A blinding snowstorm that went from violence to serenity.

Owl's eyes staring.

Weeping orchids.

You can see many things thinking nothing.

I'm no longer used to thinking in English.

This is strange.

I'm now so used to a different interface.

My fingers are having a hard time getting accustomed again to typing.

And this screen feels so distant from me now, so alien, when just six months ago I was writing and coding in it all day.

For three months these were the "do nots":

  1. Do not take a life.
  2. Do not take what is not given.
  3. Do not be unchaste.
  4. Do not lie or deceive.
  5. Do not ingest intoxicants.
  6. Do not eat after noon and eat moderately.
  7. Do not dance or sing.
  8. Do not wear ornaments.
  9. Do not lie down on wide or high beds.
  10. Do not accept silver or gold.

You come back from something like this and you get back to your little apartment in Logan Square to pull boxes covered in dust from storage and you say how did I acquire all of this insignificant shit?! and what made me think that it was so important to have so much of it?

Six pairs of shoes, eight pairs of jeans, forty-five T-shirts.

And I'm done collecting toys. I'm putting the whole Planet of the Apes collection on eBay and ridding myself of it.


Anyway good to be back.  

                 Planning to recover from chastity and sobriety over the hot

                Chicago summer. So if you ever feel Bacchanalian let's do some such.


  Light a candle

 close your eyes

 count to ten,


 concentrate on breathing until you forget that



wherever you may be




hope this email is still your email and all your limbs are intact etc.

     Saw some Pine Top Perkins this weekend at Rosa's.

                       Amazingly alive 89-year-old bluesman tearing up the piano.

                Which reminds me you loaned me some Bukowski,

           Play the Piano Drunk Until My Fingers Bleed a Bit

  or something like that.  It was at the top of a box I opened this morning.

 Meant to give it back to you before I left.

So anyway, if you didn't leave town on some amazing transatlantic transpacific adventure and weren't befallen by some catastrophe of consequence pong back my ping.

Talk soon,