This afternoon I planned on stopping by the Nashawannuk Gallery to drop off the rest of my rent for the new apartment. (by the way, my bathroom is just above the sign that says "ART" that sadly is no longer there.) They had closed a little early, so I ran upstairs for a second to just look around and think how I was going to arrange the place. While I was fooling around, it hit me that I might have mail.
I ran downstairs and sure enough there was a letter sticking out of my mailbox with four stamps on it. I love getting envelopes with a ton of stamps on them. Since there are only a couple of people that know my new address, I had an idea who wrote it.
Pulling it out of the box, I saw the return address and it confirmed my suspicions. I walked back upstairs and opened it. Inside I noticed the back of what was unmistakably a check. I figured it was $20 or so to get a little something for the new apartment. The check dropped out on the counter and I began reading the letter. The tone of the letter was such that after the first couple of sentences I flipped the check over to look at it.
Take the amount that you would think would be too much to accept, then multiply that by a factor of ten.
I just sat on the floor. I didn't know what else to do.
So I read the letter through three or four times... sitting on the kitchen floor of my new, empty apartment.
I am sending you this check to help you find some peace in this 'Summer of Joe'...
That's how it began. It went on to list a few stipulations: Not to tell anyone the origin of the money, to include special things for the kids.
It was too much. It was more than too much.
You need to refocus and dig deep for those things which you deem most important in life...
And after a while I realized I had to accept it. Because with the money came a mandate. This money is an investment in me. By accepting it, I'm taking on a responsibility to do something good with it; actually to do many good things with it. Because every dollar I spend, I must spend consciously. It will only be used to bring joy or laughter to my life, to someone else that I love, or further my goal of being a writer.
So on the way home, I stopped and bought a brand new Moleskine. With it, I will record every expenditure, both as a ledger of the balance, and the circumstances under which the money was dispensed.
The Summer of Joe has a budget and an investor.