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2004-01-27

IMPORTANT NEW NOTES FROM JUSTIN:

Wow, I sure have been traveling for a long time. As I post today's installment I looked at my calendar and saw that I've been out here for 169 days! This is the longest I've ever traveled, and by far the most challenging trip I've ever taken. Sometimes I think about calling it quits and heading home—some days I'm just tired of never sleeping in the same bed, some days I'm tired of wondering what happens when the money runs out. I miss my friends and family.

Yet, there is something that compels me to continue. I know I have something great to find out here. And, I know I have something great to give out here. And, I'll know when it's time to go home. But, until then, you'll find me somewhere out there. I'm the one in the red car with the driver's side window that doesn't work anymore, the one with the rust spots all over it that speeds past you. I'm the one taking the pictures of the graffiti, the statue, the strange food.

I am still looking for nice, fun people who can put me up for a few nights and really host me. This would involve me staying at your house for a few days, showing me a good time, feeding me from time to time, and leading me into whatever general mischief we can get into. I'll get to learn about your life and write about our times together! I am meeting with people I've never met before and living some life with them. That could be you! If you think it might be fun to host me for a day or two or three, email me at justingrace AT mac DOT com.

Please make sure to include your address and phone number in your email to me so I can be in touch!

I am especially looking for places to stay in the southeast USA and everywhere on the East Coast. I will be traveling all over the USA, though, so email me no matter where you are because I will probably come visit! Here are the places I will be in the next few months that I am still looking for a place to stay at:

• North/South Carolina
• Georgia
• Tennessee
• Virginia/West Virginia

Please contact me ASAP if you want to hang out!

If you believe in what I am doing and want to help support me, please do so! You can donate money to me using PayPal. Email me for more information! Or, check out my photo sales page! Buying photos from me feeds me and keeps me on the road!



US Tour Day 135: Seed Time

Jennifer Baldwin and I visited CK again last night at the Liquor store so I could give him a copy of my CD and show him photographs from the Ferrari show.

It's hard to get a word in edgewise with him. He's more of a talker than a listener. But, this works well for him in the same way that a fountain is more of a water giver than a water taker. CK is like a fountain of wisdom, hidden in a liquor store in Orlando, Florida.

He smiled and called out my name with excitement. Digging behind the bar, he presented two single servings of rum on the counter for Jennifer and I as gifts. We both blushed. I gave him my CD and told him how happy I was to share it with him.

"I will listen to it today. Today, I tell you! Thank you!"

I started to tell him some about my weekend but it seemed that he had more important things to share with me.

"Look above the door of the store. Do you see what is there?"

It was too far away for me to make out what it was, but it appeared to be an Indian religious icon—a god.

"That is the laughing god, Justin. Now look to the left of the door on the large bottle in the window. Do you see what is there?"

There was another icon taped to the back of a huge display bottle of vodka—the sort of bottles that liquor stores display in their front windows.

"God is also there, Justin, on the back of that bottle—watching you and me! When you first walked into this store do you know where you were? See! [Points to the laughing god above the doors.] You were under god! And, that first time you came in I prayed to the you that is the Justin. And god told me to meet with you and talk with you. [Points to the swinging glass doors of the liquor store.] I pray to every person who comes in through those doors. They don't know that I do this, but their soul knows. And god knows. And, when I am meeting them here I meet them with god."

He pointed to me and said, "I have a big question for you, Justin. Your body is the physical you. It is Justin. But, inside there is not Justin. Do you know what is inside of Justin?"

He didn't pause long enough for an answer. I wouldn't have given him one anyways. I was far more interested in what he had to teach me than in scrambling for intelligent answers. "Inside there is god."

"When you are looking for Justin, people know to come to the thing that is the physical you. That is where they find Justin. Just like when they want to find the person that is me and the advice that I give they will come to see CK. My name is CK. [Points to himself.] Inside there is not CK, though. There is god. The name of this store we are in is Liquor Store. If people want wine or beer or liquor they will come here. Your physical self—the Justin—is very important! It is what is human, it lives your life.

"So, for this reason you must sit with yourself and see your physical self. Sit with yourself each day for fifteen minutes looking into the mirror. Then, say very lovingly `Hello Justin'. Say hello to your physical self, this self that is Justin. Approach yourself with a kind heart and ask yourself, `Hello, how are you, Justin?' And listen to the Justin in the mirror. What does Justin answer back to you? Look at how his face moves to meet your eyes. And have kindness and love and respect for Justin in that mirror. Then, you must question the Justin about what you should do with life. Pay attention, because he is your best teacher! He knows what is best for your life!

"Justin has the answers for you, so you must ask him every day. If we do not do this then we are like humans trying to live an animal's life. But, we are not animals. We have a responsibility to live the human life and be much more. So, approach yourself every day, sit with yourself, look at your self, and ask what life it is you will live, this is your responsibility."

He continued, "God has put us here on Earth to help others. So, I live my life to help others. People often come to me and ask me questions or tell me problems, they are looking for my help. Let's say Jennifer [Puts his index fingertip on her hand to show that he means her.] came to me and said, `CK, I need many oranges'. [Makes the shape of the fruit with his hands.] I would tell her to take one seed of the fruit and put it in a cup with soil. [Motions to show him pushing a seed into soil.] I tell her to water it each day until it springs out of the cup. I tell her then she must take it out from the cup and put it into the ground. I tell her she must water it each day and take care of it in every season. She must cover it when it is cold and protect it and make sure it is tended to so it will live.

"The tree will grow larger and larger. Then, two or three years later she will have a large tree [Spreads out arms to show how large] and in Spring there will come maybe two–hundred pounds of oranges!"

"Do you understand what I am telling you, Justin?"

I nodded.

He paused and breathed deeply, then raised his voice, "Justin, I promise you that this is the seed time for you! I challenge you! I challenge you! Talk to the Justin every day for fifteen minutes! And pray one minute every day before your day begins—pray to the earth, to the air, to the sun, to the water. I challenge you to see what you will be in a few years! You will only go up and up and up like that orange tree! If you say that you want this town then I promise you that you will hold that town in your very hand! I challenge you!"

Speechless, I thanked him and he shook my hand many times with the excitement of a father or the most hopeful teacher on his face. I bowed my head to him and repeated, "This is the seed time!"

With great enthusiasm he shouted, "Yes! I challenge you!" And I walked out through the doors, passing once again under the laughing god.

I said the words over and over to myself many times throughout the night, this is the seed time for me, this is the seed time for me.


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