Captain Fanstastic


i was going to title this entry 'rebirth' but that's too extreme a description of how i feel now. i feel like i've jumped through a few hoops and when i came out the other end, i had an epiphany that i no longer want to work in the circus. i just went through a spell of being incommunicado with most of my loved ones. if anything, i've really needed people to relate to in the last few weeks, but as i often do, that's exactly when i curled up into my own head and sat around waiting.

i'm in austin now. i'm not attending university (still). i teach private piano lessons and i might have enough students soon to sustain myself financially, which would kick ass because it doesn't take too many hours out of my week, i work at home for the most part, there's almost no prep work in between, and i engage with my passions (and others'). i live with 3 other bachelors and 2 colombian girls who don't speak english in a modest two bedroom / one bathroom house. kiko pays the rent, which is quite modest even for one person, and the 2 girls are his cousins. i'm glad they're here because now i don't have any excuses to hold off learning spanish. plus they're cute and 19, but i'm not holding out for them.

right now everyone is away, though, for x-mas, except for erez and me. erez is my boy from back home (yonkers). i know him from camp and i tossed out the idea of moving down here together before the summer, and our lives and ambitions slowly became intertwined over the many months it took us to actually get up and go. we only left in late october, when my original plan was to leave as soon as camp was over in august. we went through a lot of experiences together, side by side for many months. our relationship was strained sometimes but it made us grow stronger. we had a lot of fun together (like A LOT), but now that's all over.... dun dun DUN!

over the last few weeks i have become totally disenchanted with erez. i felt that he betrayed my trust as a friend, as a roommate, and as a person. i'm not sure that it's important to detail the entire process because i don't think i'll be interested to read the details later anyway, plus it'll all be one-sided, and what's important now are my feelings. essentially, the balance at home was not perfect (not in a dramatic way but in a perfectly normal adjusting-to-a-new-home kind of way) and erez decided he needed some personal time, stat! that doesn't always work in a communal setting, especially if you don't even communicate that you need some space. none of this seems bad in itself and it isn't, but it started this process where all of the assumptions i had about our friendship were called into doubt. i couldn't even talk to erez about what was happening without him being defensive and dismissive in my opinion and him accusing me of trying to be his dad and calling my criticisms judgment. we had a long talk about it (finally) yesterday. it wasn't pretty but it was constructive. we both agree that we're not angry about what has transpired in the past few weeks and we're ready to move on without a grudge. but i made it clear to erez that i'm starting from zero with him. i'm not relying on him emotionally, socially, financially, etc. i'm gonna start taking personal time of my own and de-twine my ambitions and interests from his for now. knowing me, i could be over this in a week. however, i've never felt this level of disconnection and disenchantment from a loved one before and something underlying still seems stuck.

in other news, oren is coming tomorrow from ny and eugenio is coming a few days later. i'm really psyched for their arrival. it's been below freezing the past few days but it's supposed to be around 70 for at least the next week and sometimes up to 81!

my love life has been non-active but non-desperate either. i have a few prospects, some that i'm more interested in than others. a lot of small cues have helped me feel like i'm ready to be on the prowl again. one student of mine is 20 and she's exceedingly beautiful and interesting and fun and smart (i have a little crush). i also got a love letter (or love email) the other day from a former ladyfriend, which i feel ready to respond to today. it made me feel tingly and warm inside.

i also feel revived in the passions department. i've felt so empty for so long without that intrinsic internal motivation that we call passion. i've felt too 'heady' in my decision making but i'm reconnected in a whole new way. i've been practicing piano and reawakening my fingers to their potential. we also jam out at home at least 3 or 4 nights a week, which is probably my favorite times nowadays. we have a bunch of instruments and plenty of experimenters (not quite musicians!) around and we jam. my creativity is flowing out. there are a lot of very talented people around me who inspire me. everyone has their baggage too, for sure, but if you just listen to people you'll learn so much about them and about yourself in the process. i had 3 separate long conversations with omid the other day and i feel like i've reconnected to him in a way i haven't felt since i was here in austin last spring. and erez is a creative writer, which has excited me to find joy in writing again. and jon is a really amazing writer too. he's the only reason i've even kept checking lj.

even though i'm critical of how erez stays in touch with people, i still see a lot of good in it and i plan to reach out more in the next few weeks... ESPECIALLY to people i haven't talked to in a long time.

so that's it for this most recent installment in my unfolding life. peace and happy decemberween / festivus!
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Captain Fanstastic

(no subject)


Every being in the universe
is an expression of the Tao.
It springs into existence,
unconscious, perfect, free,
takes on a physical body,
lets circumstances complete it.
That is why every being
spontaneously honors the Tao.

The Tao gives birth to all beings,
nourishes them, maintains them,
cares for them, comforts them, protects them,
takes them back to itself,
creating without possessing,
acting without expecting,
guiding without interfering.
That is why love of the Tao
is in the very nature of things.
Captain Fanstastic

(no subject)


The Master gives himself up
to whatever the moment brings.
He knows that he is going to die,
and he has nothing left to hold on to:
no illusions in his mind,
no resistances in his body.
He doesn't think about his actions;
they flow from the core of his being.
He holds nothing back from life;
therefore he is ready for death,
as a man is ready for sleep
after a good day's work.
Captain Fanstastic

(no subject)


The Master has no mind of her own.
She works with the mind of the people.

She is good to people who are good.
She is also good to people who aren't good.
This is true goodness.

She trusts people who are trustworthy.
She also trusts people who aren't trustworthy.
This is true trust.

The Master's mind is like space.
People don't understand her.
They look to her and wait.
She treats them like her own children.
Captain Fanstastic

large boner

lag ba'omer (large boner) was rock solid! i gotta say that sasa was representing like mofo's (what what). for real, sha-har, le-el, and iz-ak (sharon forgot and stan had a wedding) were incredible. i didn't feel like they needed to be babysat and i never asked older hadracha to watch them or "guide" them. everyone was on an equal footing and we needed it because it was 10 hadracha to 45 kids and some hadracha were always unavailable, either working in the kitchen or preparing the next peula... ein hashofet really came through, too. dave, zack, bina, solomon, and me... i'm so glad you made it. i'm so glad you made it. you gotta gimme some a lovin', gimme gimme some love.

the kids were crazy. honestly, our camp absorbs all of the weirdos of society. i was thinking how amazing it is that we take the wildest kids and not only deal with them and show them a good time but really open them up and change them for life. i mean, we rock. elissa and aaron were key, too.

i'm really psyched for this summer. this weekend was perfect (including the weather). we got off to a bumpy start. the kids were aimless, the hadracha was aimless, the first station of zman mosh on saturday was totally awkward for every chulia, but after that, everything became awesome. in fact, it was more perfect because we went through a transition. it means we were active and conscious in how we handled things. once we got into the flow, the hadracha was always chillin with the kids during free time and playing some sports, izak's ADD majorly cooled down, i stopped having to chase hadracha to tell them things, there were always some hadracha helping in the kitchen. man, it was smooth by the end, and that made the parade a breeze. it was probably the best salute to israel parade i've ever been to.

shit was off the heezy. ya heard?
Captain Fanstastic


i dreamt last night. i decided that i would before i went to sleep. i decided i would lucid dream too and i did. i spent a lot of time making decisions in some of my dreams. i wonder what it could reflect. i don't like to draw stories from my dreams because the interpretations are more about my belief system during my waking state than any "true" symbolism during sleep. if something stands out to me then it is my truth, but not if i dig in to find meaning.

the same is true for life. indeed, life is but a strange dream.
Captain Fanstastic

(no subject)


In pursuit of knowledge,
every day something is added.
In the practice of the Tao,
every day something is dropped.
Less and less do you need to force things,
until finally you arrive at non-action.
When nothing is done,
nothing is left undone.

True mastery can be gained
by letting things go their own way.
It can't be gained by interfering.
Captain Fanstastic

i'm trippin

the last leg of the trip is the hardest. it's friday afternoon. i have the whole weekend ahead of me and then a few more key days. i'll have time to see most people and do a number of things i wanna accomplish. so much to do. i don't have any money, so that limits my options. i don't wanna waste the coming days. i leave to ny on wed morning. it's gonna be a long day.

i've been chilling hard core here in austin. it's been incredibly relaxing and rewarding. i probably won't even understand the repurcussions for a while. when i come back, it'll be to a typical ny cluster fuck. i wanna work full time at columbia u. and as much part time at kaplan as i can get. i'll also be at the lishka preparing for the summer as much as possible. most weekends i'll either be at camp or at a seminar preparing for camp. and then there's my bday and those of my two brothers. i wanna have a string of parties. i suppose i can get a lot of free socializing out of that. plus there will be the FAME Media parties. we'll see if stav's purported success is what it's cracked up to be. so much to do.

but now i can relax. all i have to focus on is how to maximize my last few days here. i could have gone with omid to houston. he's a great guy. we would have night surfed and then yesterday i could have spent the day at museum's for free. i didn't feel like it. so really, i don't regret it, but i wanna start feeling like it. something's moving within me. it feels like truth wrapped in illusion. i need to peel off some layers to get to the heart of it.

get to the heart of this!
Captain Fanstastic

(no subject)


Without opening your door,
you can open your heart to the world.
Without looking out your window,
you can see the essence of the Tao.

The more you know,
the less you understand.

The Master arrives without leaving,
sees the light without looking,
achieves without doing a thing.
Captain Fanstastic

from the Daily Tao (

There was a beginning of all things
which may be called Mother of All.

When the Mother is known,
her sons may be understood.
Knowing the sons,
still keep to the Mother,
and your life shall be free of all danger.

Close the mouth,
shut the doors -
and all your life be free from toil.
Open the mouth,
meddle in affairs -
and all your life be without hope.

Seeing the small is enlightenment.
Keeping to the soft is strength.

Use the light,
return to enlightenment -
and therefore be free of danger.
This is practicing the eternal.
-- Laozi