Miami, July 4, 2005
It is incredible but true that despite my excellent qualifications and my persistent efforts over the last ten months to find gainful employment, I remain unemployed and am on the verge of destitution and indigence. I am going bust while Miami is booming.
How absurd! I don't smoke, drink or use other drugs, and I am relatively sane: how can I get along on the mean streets? What can I do, if anything, to save myself from the horrible stigma of homelessness in the United States?
Confucius preferred to sleep beside the road with the crook of his arm for a pillow when his services were unwanted, but that sort of retirement is not what I have in mind.
A consultation with the I Ching returns Still Mountain (52) for the present, and Providing Nourishment (27) for the future reference. It is therefore best to be quiet, assess the present situation, and then calmly proceed in the right way.
And what is the right way according to the Way? The Open Mouth is the image of Providing Nourishment. I am advised to fill my own mouth and the mouths of others with good nourishment - junk food will not do. If we are what we eat, then we should eat well; that will give us sustenance to feed others as well.
In sum, I should focus on providing superior nourishment to mind, body, and spirit. And then I can provide something useful to others.
The first line of the hexagram of Providing Nourishment advises me to keep my Magic Tortoise. That is, I should live on spirit and not envy the material wealth of others.
Perhaps I can ride the Magic Tortoise to the Summit, asking for no favors except in exchange for nourishing others along the way. I may find helpers on the ascent, including a leader who provides some counsel. Once at the summit my burden will not be lighter but heavier: at the summit I am bound to nourish everyone below. Well, I must learn more about the Magic Turtle.