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May 13, 2005

Why You Won't Have Ole David To Kick Around For Awhile


In order to concentrate on getting some tasks accomplished, mainly getting hold of some money, through fundraising or earning it in various possible ways, I have vowed not to work on this website until the following are done with the exception of a possible Shunryu Suzuki lecture and important notices.

Going through a pile of notes I've got and disposing of them or organizing them - especially noting those concerning with fundraising or marketing or publishing or robbing banks.

Going through my archives putting it or them in better order and locating all the stuff I have on and by Marian Mountain to send to a very patient person, finding Bill Powell's ms, and locating the brochure with the first use of Suzuki's sumi circle on it, and noting what needs to be done with all this junk so I have a prioritized to do list to help me to do things in a sensible order and so I can give potential donors an idea of what I'd be doing with donations.

List, name, and describe projects and goals of this work This would include cuke.com, the Cucumber Project (interviewing people about Suzuki etc. and preserving that history), Zen Aluminati (visiting those in need and encouraging others to do so and seeing what their particular needs are). There are some sort of extraneous projects that I see as important like helping the Tibetan Library of Arts and Works. And this includes publishing goals and lots of stuff.

Talk to advisors about fundraising and ways I can make money to support this work without doing other things that won't leave me time to do this stuff.

Have a fundraising plan and a business plan (which would include the possibility of seeking loans).

Write a fundraising letter and send it.

Reorganize cuke.com - give it a new look. Change it into a web log or at least use blogging as an integral part of it. (A number of kind readers have suggested this). It's a little bit too much like an eccentric professor's office now - a big mess that only he understands how to use. A special thanks to Tom Persinger for lengthy communications on the blog issue and also for suggesting ways to market and publish stuff on the Internet. And thanks a lot to John Sumser and John Tarrant for their tireless input.

And I've got to clean up the mess downstairs in the barn.

There are still a number of other tasks that will be in competition with these goals, namely, working outside here at Tarantland on the wall around the water tank and trimming trees and clearing brush and branches in preparation for fire season if it ever stops raining and, gulp, getting the neighbors on one side to clean up a bunch of it, and transforming the garage into a rec-room or whatever - stuff like that. Also, I have to drive carpool and do work at son's school and visit Ananda and Della and others in nursing homes, wheelchairs, casts, and go to driving class and whatnot.

And when all this is done, I'll come back to cuke.com with posts of vital import, entertaining and thought-provoking and life changing.

A few specific items I have in mind for the future:

More on the contest.

More to add to the Niels Holms' interviews. He and his partner O'Niel just visited for a few days. He's now a follower or whatever you say of Ganga-ji whom he says he does not doubt the way he did Suzuki.

A new category called Brief Memories.

A want to put something more on cuke.com about a woman who was raped at Tassajara by a student (see Deep Fool) back in 1969. It's been mentioned on this site before. She's never gotten over this, has spent enormous amounts of money on therapy, is still furious not only at the perpetrator but Zen Center and Suzuki. I had wanted to bring this up in Crooked Cucumber and I knew who she was because I'm the person her boyfriend came to when it happened and I got to know her later and she told me all about it, but I didn't want to disturb her with it. When the book Deep Fool came out I got a copy and read it and was really shocked. I called the woman's ex-husband and he got a copy of the book and read it and was shocked too. After much thought he got a copy to his ex-wife. It upset her a great deal and brought the trauma back up and we've had a good bit of communication about it since then. Not long after she'd received the book, the author came to see me and when he learned that I knew who his victim was he asked if I'd get a letter to her of apology and asking for forgiveness. This all has to go down on the record and her story needs to be heard. [This brief account corrected by DC on 10/17/05 after receiving a clarifying email from Barry Eisenberg.]

I've talked to the president of ZC about this and she's eager to meet with the victim of this rape and has a sincere desire to be open and helpful. I'm sure that some people in Zen Center will not appreciate that it is me who is bringing this out, especially because of my own shameful history involving statutory rape thirty-two years ago which was harmful to a young girl and to the woman she became and which cost ZC a good deal of money in the nineties (with an agreement signed by ZC and the woman wronged which included not to talk about it - but not signed by me). I don't like these events not being in the record. It's not that they are secrets but they're delicate and just bringing them up in this way tends to cause trouble and more harm. But at some point they need to be brought more to the surface.


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