What’s happening, brother?
You know, I still really need to find a job. I’ve been looking for work here in Sacramento for what feels like forever, and I’d really like to convert my unsustainable life into something a lot more thriving. It isn’t that I’ll do just anything; my religious practice — Buddhism — suggests that I steer clear of anything that isn’t “right livelihood,” and there are certain things I’m probably not so great at, like selling people things no matter what. And I don’t have any degrees, advanced or otherwise.
However, on the plus side, I’m very smart, and I’m guessing I’m in the top five percentile when it comes to creativity. Because I’ve learned some pretty good habits, like daily meditation, lovingkindness practice, prayer and forgiveness, I’m most likely a good fit when it comes to getting along with others. In fact, I’ve been out of work for long enough that I’m going to be really grateful for anything that comes my way, so I won’t have any outsized sense of entitlement.
Not that I’m begging or anything; it’s really pretty simple: Either I find a job here so I can stay, or I go elsewhere so I can find a job. I need to work. If I don’t, I starve. If I starve, I probably will die. I don’t want to die. At least, not yet. I still have some things I’d like to do, starting with paying back people and institutions who have either helped me out or I owe money to, and after that, I’d like to rebuild some kind of sustainable life where I can live simply and create — write songs and poetry and fiction and non-fiction, maybe get back into drawing and painting and otherwise making art. The other stuff, like love and fulfillment, I’ve kind of let go of, because on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, I’m still hovering somewhere between “physiological” and “safety.”
As far as sense of place goes, I really like Sacramento. Yeah, I’ve racked up a few broken hearts in this town, but I also got clean and sober here 17 and a half years ago, and I’ve made a lot of friends since. Community really counts for something. And this place is flat enough to ride a bicycle around, which at this point is my only mode of transportation, and lots of stuff grows here. I could live somewhere else, and I will if need be, but given my druthers I’d choose to stick around. But I need to find work in order to do that.
So, well, I’m asking for help. I turn 55 on Sunday, and unfortunately any retirement I have is gone. Unless I write some hit song or a book or some strike some other ephemeral pot of gold, I’m consigned to working until I drop. I’m not resentful of that; I have relatives vacationing in south Asia, and friends going to Hawaii, but that’s another lifetime for this working-class bloke, and as long as I can sit quietly on a meditation cushion every day and pick up a guitar and play a little music, that’s all the vacation I need.
If you hear of anything, please let me know, okay? —Jackson Griffith