To Future Settlers Of Whatever Remains (first letter)

The first story is about connecting the dots.  The room seems to shake and vibrate with motion.  We’ve taken, ah, made significant investments into, ah, preventative measures, particularly involving family violence measures on reserves and elsewhere.  Anyway to make a long story short, I went back to a formal group session in huts last night –  this time the brew was prepared fresh and presented with full ceremony.  It started before I was born.  My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption.  She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife.  Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl.  So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking:  “We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?”  They said:  “Of course.”  My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school.  She refused to sign the final adoption papers.  She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.  It is accordingly years now since Spaniards began arriving in numbers in this part of the world.  They first settled the large and fertile island of Hispaniola, which boasts six hundred leagues of coastline and is surrounded by a great many other large islands, all of them, as I saw for myself, with as high a native population as anywhere on earth.  God made all the peoples of this area, many and varied as they are, as open and as innocent as can be imagined.
The blood and substance of many races, Negro, Polynesian, Mountain Mongol, Desert Nomad, Polyglot Near East, Indian–new races as yet unconceived and unborn, combinations not yet realized passes through your body.  Um, it, it isn’t really high on our radar, to be honest.  You know, our ministers will continue to dialogue, ah, with ah, those who are concerned about this.  They’re studying it.  Saw a shooting star -Aerolith – before going in, and full moon, and he served me up first – then lay down expecting God knows what other pleasant vision  and then I began to get high – and then the whole fucking Cosmos broke loose around me,  I think the strongest and worst I’ve ever had it nearly.  The simplest people in the world – unassuming, long-suffering, unassertive, and submissive – they are without malice or guile, and are utterly faithful and obedient both to their own native lords and to the Spaniards in whose service they now find themselves.  Never quarrelsome or belligerent or boisterous, they harbour no grudges and do not seek to settle old scores; indeed, the notions of revenge, rancour, and hatred are quite foreign to them.  At the same time, they are among the least robust of human beings: their delicate constitutions make them unable to withstand hard work or suffering and render them liable to succumb to almost any illness, no matter how mild.  Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.  So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.  You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.  This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.  But we have an awful lot of studies and information on the phenomenon and an awful good ah indication of what the record is in terms of investigation and prevention of these sorts of things.  I really think the important thing – you know, we can spend literally as we have in the past on some of these royal commissions or inquiries, we can spend hundreds of millions of dollars to get the same report for the 41st or 42nd time, or we can actually take action.  And that’s what we’re trying to do.  We’ve, as you know, taken strong laws to prevent and to punish, ah, criminal activity – which a lot of this is.
My second story is about love and loss:  Migrations, incredible journeys through deserts and jungles and mountains (stasis and death in closed mountain valleys where plants sprout out of your cock and vast crustaceans hatch inside and breath the shell of the body) across the Pacific in an outrigger canoe to Easter Island.  We’ve done things to try and enhance the legal and social status of women in aboriginal communities and reserves.  You know, things like, basic things, like having protections under the Human Rights Act, matrimonial property rights, these kinds of things that were not done in the past.  First I began to realize my worry about the mosquitoes or vomiting was silly as there was the great stake of life and Death – I felt faced by Death, my skull in my beard on pallet on porch rolling back and forth and settling finally as if in reproduction of the last physical move I make before settling into real death – got  nauseous, rushed out and began vomiting, all covered with snakes, like a Snake Seraph,  colored serpents in aureole all around my body, I felt like a snake vomiting out the universe – or a Jivaro in head-dress with fangs vomiting up in realization of the Murder of  the Universe – my death to come – everyone’s death to come – all unready – I unready – all  around me in the trees the noise of these spectral animals the other drinkers vomiting  in the night in their awful solitude in the universe –  vomiting up their will to live, be preserved in this body, almost – Went back and lay down.  I’m pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn’t been fired.  It was awful-tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it.  Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.  I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did.  You’ve got to find what you love.  And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers.  Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work.  And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.  If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking.  Don’t settle.  As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.  And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.  So keep looking until you find it.  Don’t settle.  Even the common people are no tougher than princes or than other Europeans born with a silver spoon in their mouths and who spend their lives shielded from the rigours of the outside world.  They are also among the poorest people on the face of the earth; they own next to nothing and have no urge to acquire material possessions.  As a result they are neither ambitious nor greedy, and are totally uninterested in worldly power.  Their diet is every bit as poor and as monotonous, in quantity and in kind, as that enjoyed by the Desert Fathers.  Most of them go naked, save for a loincloth to cover their modesty; at best they may wrap themselves in a piece of cotton material a yard or two square.
My third story is about death:  The Composite City where all human potentials are spread out in a vast silent market.  So there’s still more work to be done but I would – I would rather spend my time focusing on what actions we can take to improve, ah, these situations, prevent these situations than, than have more multimillion dollar inquiries.  Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.  Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important.  Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.  You are already naked.  I was frightened and simply lay there with wave after wave of death-fear, fright, rolling over me till I could hardly stand it, didn’t want to take refuge in rejecting it as illusion, for it was too real and too familiar – especially as if in rehearsal of Last Minute Death my head rolling back and forth on the blanket and  finally settling in last position of stillness and hopeless resignation to God knows what  Fate – for my being – felt completely lost strayed soul – outside of contact with some Thing that seemed present – finally had a sense that I might face the Question there and then, and choose to die and understand – and leave my body to be found in the morning – afraid  to die yet then and so never took the Chance, (if there was a Chance, perhaps somehow  there was) – also as if everybody in session in central radiotelepathic contact with the  same problem – the Great Being within ourselves – Coming back from vomit saw a man  knees to chest I thought I saw as X ray his skull I realized he was crouched there as in  shroud (with towel mosquito protection wrapped round his face) suffering the same trial  and separation – thought of people, saw their images clearly, you – mysterious apparently  know more than I do now and why don’t you communicate, or can’t you, or have I  ignored it?  It was upon these gentle lambs, imbued by the Creator with all the qualities we have mentioned, that from the very first day they clapped eyes on them the Spanish fell like ravening wolves upon the fold, or like tigers and savage lions who have not eaten meat for days.  The pattern established at the outset has remained unchanged to this day, and the Spaniards still do nothing save tear the natives to shreds, murder them and inflict upon them untold misery, suffering and distress, tormenting, harrying and persecuting them mercilessly.  We shall in due course describe some of the many ingenious methods of torture they have invented and refined for this purpose, but one can get some idea of the effectiveness of their methods from the figures alone.  When the Spanish first journeyed there, the indigenous population of the island of Hispaniola stood at some three million; today only two hundred survive.
No one wants to die.  Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there.  And yet death is the destination we all share.  No one has ever escaped it.  And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life.  It is life’s change agent.  It clears out the old to make way for the new.  Right now the new is you, but some day not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away.  Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.  This almost schizophrenic alteration of consciousness is fearful – and also the sense of not knowing who, personally, around me to open up to.  I’m lost myself, and afraid of giving a nightmare I can’t stop to others.   I don’t know how all this sounds to you but you must know me reasonably well so write to the past please, fast.  Everything is OK, I suppose, in case this all worries you unnecessarily…  I’ll be all right — won’t I?
(integrating, and in a few instances slightly modifying, passages from the writing and/or transcribed speech of William S. Burroughs, Bartolomé de las Casas, Allen Ginsberg, Stephen Harper and Steve Jobs)