While the rest of my team happily sleeps away until morning, I have insanely elected to stay up and work. Now please understand that I am absolutely insane for keeping such long hours these past few weeks, luckily I have no car so nobody is the worse for my blend of creative insomnia and micro-sleeps. Now would be a really great time to pick up Infinite Jest and give it another try. What I am doing is not healthy and I really should stop, but I am being goaded on like a wolf on blood. What exactly is goading me is quite elusive. (Oh My G-d, lack of sleep has turned me Victorian!) Scratch that–I don’t know what’s making me stay up…the prize of working a tobacco field in the North Carolina summer? Oh no that’s right, playing a slave that cooks…..Or perhaps is it having awkward silence with one’s family’s former owners? Burns, cuts, scratches, mosquito bites, poisonous snakes and people I will not agree with on anything except for how barbecue should taste–and maybe not even that? WHY AM I UP!!!!!??? These things are not rewards!
You know you’re up too late and not really focusing when the Kevin Trudeau infomercial almost sounds interesting and believable. My good friend and closest ally, known by his alias and alternate identity, Joseph Ricardo Beauregard Jefferson Jackson Wyndello (the Third….as he signs all his letters..) reminds me all the time that when the pain of not creating becomes greater than the pain of not creating–you are in the zone. I have almost hit that point where what this project would mean to other people totally outweighs my own personal dreams. Creating community gardens in food deserts or sharing my heirloom seeds or helping people who share my bloodlines reconnect with their African origins or bringing people of different backgrounds together over quality, hearth-prepared traditional and healthy food—maybe that’s why I’m doing this. Maybe somebody will do something to help the victims of tornadoes or hurricanes….or feed someone who is hungry…something small and phenomenal–just to make this worth it. I will confess to you that right now I do feel the kind of chill that only 4 o’clock in the morning can deliver and its lonely—even the dogs have left my side—and I’m scared to death of every possible outcome—I’m scared this will all plotz….I’m scared nobody will hear about this thing…I’m also scared it will just be blah or meh or whatever or any number of slacker words…On the other hand my good angel knows that good things are right around the corner and I’m buffering my soul and getting ready and maturing so that I can take on the blessings a deep part of me knows are on the way.
I do hope that things change. We launch tomorrow, about midday on Indiegogo. I’m absolutely terrified. I cannot sleep. I am working my mind into a hurricane, and my fingers are just about sick of this keyboard. I am praying people get involved in this project and don’t just wish me good luck….I need farmers, fishermen, chefs, restaurant owners, genealogists, elders, geneticists–and I don’t know where they are going to come from to save this project–and I need donors–people who will part for 5-500 bucks to see this pipe dream come true. But, when I think about it–when I get really scared of life I shut down. I’m not shutting down.. I’m staying on…That must be a good sign. Everyday this project loves me back in such a way that I can’t help but love it and that love grows and swells in me like pride. I’m staring my life’s dream in the face—and I know it will all work out–and we will reach our goals and everything will be swell. Deep down I know that…Now, however, I have the kind of excitement that only a kid can have the night before a big trip—with every late night and every sun rise a part of me sees me one step closer to putting on my shoes and getting on the road. I feel like my veins are coursing with lightning. Every time I rummage through a milk crate or file cabinet I find another piece of this journey to come buried in my past–a family narrative, a bit of research, a map, an old book I just had to have but didn’t know why. In bits and pieces, it all starting to make sense. I’m at the crossroads of all the arrows pointed to this annoying, sleepless moment In a few hours the dawn is coming, so I have to be ready. “Ten thousand biscuits in mah hand, I’m gwine to sop my way to the Promised Land.”