From the Author
This story was never intended to be autobiographical, but I believe it is human nature to infuse our experiences, memories, and personality into the things we create. My own story began on a cold winter night in New York City and I was born on a crisp fall evening later that year. It was 1965 and my parents were deeply involved in the New York art scene and studying the Gurdjieff Work an eastern philosophy of self-awareness and achieving a heightened state of consciousness. I don't have a memory of those early years in New York City; I have the pictures, the art gallery posters and the stories, but my memories start later after my parents left the city for the farmland and foothills of northern New Jersey.
Embracing an entrepreneurial spirit, they purchased and cleared land located at the Eastern base of the Kittatinny Mountains in the small northern New Jersey town of Sussex. Rebuilding an old mountain home they started an herb & spice business and a Gurdjieff school. My earliest childhood memories and experiences inhabit this special place and traverse the spectrum from warm and comforting to disconcerting and unnerving. It seemed my experiences were only limited by my imagination and there were very few boundaries on that. I can't begin to explain most of the strange things that happened in those early days, but I am not so arrogant as to think that makes them untrue. There are things in this world that defy logical explanation or stretch the limitsof our adult belief system; however, these are our limitations not theirs. I don't remember a time in my childhood when there weren't a number of students "studying" with my parents, sometimes as many as thirty to forty people.Young full of ideas and questions that I absorbed and pondered from a child's perspective. Self-sufficiency and imagination became early survival skills. As is all too often an unfortunate byproduct of success, my parent's marriage did not last, and so began a journey across this great country as my mother sought a place of refuge and new beginnings. Ultimately she landed in rural South Carolina and set up a new school and base of business at an old indigo plantation, it was 1981, I was fifteen and out of place.
It is the experiences of those years in South Carolina and later as an adult in central Florida that form the basis for many of the characters and the questions that this book and our main character, Jake struggles with: generational prejudice, illegal immigration, and in the end the questions Jake and maybe most of us must answer: Is a man destined to tread the paths of his forefathers? Is he constrained by the indoctrination of his youth? Can he overcome his past, his mistakes, his missed opportunities? And is it ever too late to forge a new existence that embraces the life that could one have been living?