The Unemployed Samurai’s primary motivation is love. Otherwise it would just be a job. I mean, why would anybody do this line of work, if one wasn’t driven by the most primordial impulse to be. And to really be, means doing what one loves to door perishing in the attempt. The material gains are just not sufficient in this line of work to justify the danger, the frustration, the daily slaughter. There has to be some higher principal at work.
I’ve always felt that I live in two worlds simultaneously. That there is the world of responsibility and interactions; the things you have to do, the people you have to deal, the external rules of existance and survival. This world never felt like the real world to me of course, and my job never felt like a real job. Even as a student I had an alternative course of study; somehow, I just couldn’t do things in a systematic way or resist going down different rabbit holes to explore territory that wasn’t prescribed. This is both a weakness and a strength and is bound to get one in trouble — but, at the same time, it is a good way to learn.
Of course, I don’t mean to say that I am not grateful for whatever employment or schooling I have had, especially the kind that gave me free time here and there for my ‘other world’. One has have a job unfortunately, or he or she gets eaten by a chaos dragon pretty quickly. A job in itself is nothing bad, if only because it gives one the symbolic building blocks to maintain a life, in the form of economic resources.
However, in my secret world I‘ve been busy building spiritual bombs of one sort of another: songs, poems, essays, little stories—the real job for me is these little labours of love. I’ve somehow managed to economize time so that I could work on them, which is a small miracle in itself. But if you are an Unemployed Samurai, you find a way.
How did I become an Unemployed Samurai? In terms of my foray into writing seriously and daily, it began with an hour long commute to work each morning. On the suburb train from my home in Versailles though Paris to my job in Ivry, I wrote in intuitive mode, with a very bare stucture or plan. Time flew by and became nothing, the burden of existence and of transportation was lifted. I could almost say the the words came without my bidding. Of course, I’d been writing for years, but this was different. I was hearing, not a string of words formed into sentences composed of paragraphs, but a voice.
I managed to write a whole book that way (unpublished of course), with a full time job, a family, and a dog to take care of. Of course, I cringe at many of the things I wrote then; however, it felt like the beginning of something. My point is here, that if you are one fire with the holy spirit, you find a way. And whatever faults there are in these writings — and there are many — comes from not listening, and from not paying attention to that ‘quiet still voice’—or the thunderous one, for that matter.
For most of the minutes and hours of the day the Unemployed Samurai’s does just that: listen and wait. He waits like a cat in front of a mouse hole, for that delicious and bone crushing meal of inspiration. He does it for the love of the mouse.