‘What is there to do in Roswell?’
That’s what was on Jacob Will’s mind as he pulled into town. There was no shortage of signs, businesses, museums, and teams commemorating the aliens’ place in local culture. Short of boarding the next saucer out, it really wasn’t that different from other towns. Besides, he’d seen weirder things at the advertising agency he’d worked at.
So, not necessarily a believer in things UFOs, extra-terrestrial and such, he still wanted something to remember his visit and a crappy baseball cap wouldn’t do. His solution was as alien to him as those portrayed all over town. But what did that have to do with his eleven little deaths?
Outside of Amarillo, Texas, on Route 66, are ten wildly painted Cadillacs, buried nose down in the ground. That was exactly one less than the eleven little deaths Jacob Will had to commit. Would there be one more planted in the soil if he was successful?
He would have been hard-pressed to figure out what they meant to him in a cosmic sense. But like some automotive Stonehenge, he was drawn to them. Created by modern-day Druids, the Ant Farm, back in the ’70’s, the installation has lasted longer than the cars’ useful life. How does that comport with Jacob’s quest?
Amidst his travels in attempting eleven little deaths of his own (really himself), Jacob Will visited a fortune teller. Not because he thought he’d find any answers, but strictly for entertainment. He was not entertained.
Nor was he when he tried his luck with the machine version. There was an unanimity of opinions. But would he heed their advice?
Trying to find one’s self is about as confounding as choosing which highway or exit to use when there’s no specific locale in mind. There are so many choices. For better or worse, each decision will have it’s own consequence. You could find yourself in line at a Taco Bell (nothing wrong with that) or at a linen-covered table at the Ritz-Carlton (certainly nothing wrong with that either). Either way, it’s your move.
It’s been said the journey is far more interesting that reaching the final destination. Jacob Will might argue that point. Patience has never been a strong suit of his and it will be tested in his quest for his eleven little deaths. Until he truly understands what’s at stake, he won’t realize what’s he’s been missing.
Joseph Campbell (The Power of Myth) has spoken about the transformation of the consciousness and it’s effect on life. It’s now time for Jacob’s transformation to begin. #elevenlittledeaths
A hero was not how Jacob Will would ever describe himself. Growing up, he didn’t have the heroes young boys normally had. Since sports were not a thing he was interested in, it didn’t matter what records were set by athletes, they held no attraction. Likewise movie stars, though he did, as most boys at a certain age, fantasize about the unattainable females he saw on the screen.
Though, embarking on his journey of middle-aged, self-discovery, he was in one way a hero – though not in the mythic realm. But more in the sense of Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey, that of an adventure: enduring, maybe prevailing, but coming back changed – transformed.
Unlike Homer’s Odyssey, there were no Sirens nor Scylla and Charybdis to contend with. But he would have to experience life, his own rocks and hard places, as he hadn’t yet. Would he survive? Only his Eleven Little Deaths will determine that.
To a lot of people, the idea of leaving the greater NYC area would be anathema. Why? That’s a good question.
But if the only way to find your way home, or in life, is to leave, then that’s not such a difficult decision. And if it’s true, that wherever you go your issues are still with you, what must you do in order to answer that questions?
For Jacob Will, it’s simple – Eleven Little Deaths, all his. All he has to do is hit the road and pray it doesn’t hit back.
It has been a very long time since I posted on this page. Too many days (years, really) have gone by to account for my absence. Needless to say, it’s good to talk with all of you again.
Beyond my wildest dreams, (and sorrow), Arn? Narn. sold out its print run and is only available on a secondary market. Check out Amazon for used copies. But to bring you quickly up-to-date, the book has found its way into several prestigious photo libraries. Some of the work is now on display in Newfoundland at the Sealers Memorial in Elliston, Newfoundland. I am honored by their request for the pieces featured. Unfortunately for me, I’ve not been able to come up and see for myself the exhibition. But knowing it’s up there, warms my heart. Hopefully, before too long, I’ll return to Newfoundland, visit some old friends up, meet some new ones, and visit the Sealers Memorial.
In the meantime, I’ve been writing fiction as this website indicates. My new book is Eleven Little Deaths, and while it does not take place in Newfoundland, some of the travels in it by the protagonist, have been informed by mine on the Rock. I’ll hopefully have more info on it before too long.
Until the, take care and may the wind aways blow in your back.