Rambling Jack or Traveling Jack or you don’t know Jack

As I mention about once a week or more frequently I am not real sure what this Blog wants to be. Yes, I gave the Blog the power. I said “Blog, what do you want to be when you grow up” and then it rolled it’s eyes at me, gave me the finger and repeated words that made me blush.

But considering that at the ripe old/young age of 35 I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up it makes sense. I am a restless soul with many interests and ability in many areas, hence the “Jack-of-all-trades Master of None Bit.”

Sometimes I find this to be tedious, it might be nice to be focused and intense in just one area and then my restless nature says that would be so dull. In truth I am happy, just a little frustrated. In my search to find the one thing that makes me happy I haven’t found it, at least from a career standpoint.

In my life I have been a teacher, youth director, writer/editor, salesman, marketing executive and man about town. So here is what I know. I like people, I like talking with them, watching them and sharing experiences. I like people who love what they do, who suck the life out of their career, but in a positive way. I suppose that a better way is to say that I like passion.

I am a passionate guy, I feel things in my gut. They resonate inside and the experiences that touch me live forever inside my cluttered skull. Every now and then they hold a parade inside my head where I watch the past float by like some ethereal Rose Parade. The good news about that is it makes the clean up really simple, you should see what the horses leave behind, it is not pretty and I received an education so I wouldn’t have to shovel shit, just sling it.

That is not to say that I live in the past, I live in the now, but I am sentimental. I enjoy looking back at things. And the things that give me pleasure diverse, I have been very fortunate to have had many different experiences and if you ask me what the best were my answers will change dependent upon the day and my mood. Some will always stay the same.

The birth of my children. If you are not a parent you won’t get it, don’t try. That is not nice and I know that it is pretentious, but I am being honest. Your relationship with your cat/fish/dog doesn’t compare. This is one of those things that you never really get until you do it. I thought that I knew what I was going on and that people like me were just obnxious.

I found out that I was wrong. It sucked admitting that I was wrong and obnoxious. Fortunately I only had to share it with myself. Don’t tell anyone that I admitted that I was wrong, you’ll ruin my reputation and that would truly be tragic.

Other moments that strike me:

Listening to Eicha while overlooking the Old City during the Summer of ’85. Walking through Mea Shearim on my way to Shabbos dinner in June of ’98. Moments before I had been talking to Jeff Sidell about friends in common and then I was transported in time. My Zaide would have felt at home. Of course he gave it up to come to America, but that is a different story. And might I add that it had to be superior to being chased by the Cossacks.

Davening Mincha in Joseph Caro’s shul in Tzfat in ’85 and ’95. There was a strange symmetry. Hiking Yosemite Falls in ’84, San Francisco in the Summer of ’76, going through Hezekiah’s tunnel in ’85 after we blew the hated Celtics away in the finals.

So many memories at Ramah, I couldn’t even list them all. Quiet moments with friends are juxtaposed with their funerals. How do I know so many people who have died from cancer, I am too young.

Inner tubing down the Banyas, canoeing down the Russian River, Niagra Falls in 2002, driving across the US in ’88 and ’90. Zuma Beach the Summer of ’82, ’83 and ’84. Hawaii in ’85 and ’96.

Quiet moments watching my children sleep, speaking with my son and holding my daughter. Has any father taken more pleasure in watching their children. My son is so fast, when did he get to be so fast. I play basketball 2-3 times a week and yet when those little legs move he flies. I can still run him down, but I see a time in the future when that will change. And now a new post strikes my fancy.

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1 Comment

  1. Esther Kustanowitz September 11, 2004 at 7:18 pm

    Random thoughts most certainly do have meaning, maybe because they are random, and spring forth from our heads spontaneously, they are true indicators of what we think.

    Which Ramah did you go to? I’m a Berkshires gal myself. So sorry that your memories of Ramah are interspersed with sadness.

    Here’s hoping for more happy memories, fewer sad ones.


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