Hello! My name is Jake Knight. I stand six feet tall (1.82m) when standing straight and wearing thick-soled shoes; and weigh, 165 pounds (74.8 kg), more or less. I am male, white, and gay. Single. My hair is brown and, increasingly, gray. I have completed more than fifty years on this spinning globe and plan on about fifty more.
Intellectually, I am a believer in science, history, self, others, causality, relationality, oneness, quantum physics (as far as I understand it), and the Bible. Also, that there are many creeds, and that not one has, or could have, the whole picture of All That Is.
Mostly, I am a believer in and of Life.
Philosophically, I am a Jesian, spiritual, and pragmatic. Extremely pragmatic, at times. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator has me as an E/INFP which, by my reckoning, is pretty much spot on. I know I am imperfect, and perfect, too. History, the sweep of events, finding and creating meaning, the relationship of thought, action, and things: these and other topics capture my interest and help keep me alive.
My formal studies have included:
8.5 formative years in the Montessori method;
6 at prep schools, the first co-ed and the second all-boys, both experiences also formative;
and at the University of Virginia, formative indeed.
I find myself in continual formation.
At UVa, that school in Charlottesville, I received a B.S. in Commerce and a minor in Religious Studies; almost, but not quite, got into a graduate level creative writing course but did get an A in an intermediate undergraduate one; was honored to be Chairperson of the Guide Service and live on the Lawn. A lot lot has happened since those early days, most of it obviously good. Suffice it to say that I have not changed so much as I have become more me.
I am a big fan of Star Wars, Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Marvel Cinematic Universe, Battlestar Galactica, Stargate, Babylon 5, Dune.
Places I have lived and called home:
San Francisco, CA (18 years)
Bowie, MD (14)
Baltimore, MD (4)
Charlottesville, VA (3)
New York, NY (3)
Worthington Valley, MD (3)
Palm Springs, CA (2)
Newbury Park, CA (2)
West Tisbury, MA (1)
Myrtle Beach, SC (.67)
Los Angeles, CA (.5)
Currently, my home is in good old Rocklin, CA (2.5)
The numbers are cumulative and approximate.
more, if you want
I have been fortunate to have traveled outside the United States some, more to Greece, Italy, and Canada than elsewhere. Have also had brief, US-sized visits (that is, short visits) to Switzerland, France, Spain, England, Croatia (when it was part of the former Yugoslavia), Austria (where I received amazing hospitality, not that I have not elsewhere because I have), the Bahamas (sailing off the Out Islands of the Abacos), Bermuda, and Australia.
I have been to enough places both within and outside the United States to know that there are many different ways to live. Many good ways to live.
For one year, near the beginning of my time in San Francisco, I did not leave the city's seven-by-seven square mile boundaries once.
I have also had serious time working on the inside. My inside. This has included reparative therapy to try and not be gay (by my own choice, not successful, and I do not recommend); and cognitive therapy (which I also chose for myself and found greatly useful and good).
I have been a good friend, a not-so-good friend, seen people pass into and from my life. Some folks, I suspect, I shall never see again. Been befriended by a few who are super rich and have received incredible generosity from those with little to their name. One woman in particular from the latter group comes to mind: a kind lady in LA, but not from LA, who paid my fifty-cent bus fare when I had no money. She subsequently invited me to a simple lunch hosted in her studio apartment home.
One time, I remember standing, in the wee hours of the morning, on a desolate street corner in San Francisco. Feeling quite alone.
For years, I drank too much.
I have had the enormous fortune, at different times, to have had plenty and traveled; to have been in the day-by-day grind of those who work for a living, who are, or feel they are, just getting by; and being, essentially, homeless, with very little materially (though spiritually, for me, it was a boon). Paying work has included retail, shepherding prep school kids, being a camp counselor, shifting boxes, serving as a mechanic's helper, writing an employment agreement in human resources, representing an art school, working in laundromats, selling expensive items and dreams, managing people, serving briefly as a regional manager for an international luxury goods company, cashiering at a big box store, driving people around, being unsuccessful at making deli sandwiches, and promoting soda. I have been the lowest person in the pecking order, wrestled with the politics of being in the middle, and been closer to the top.
Other stuff has happened, too. I had a childhood bone disease which put me in a full-legs cast for six months and crutches for nine; ran head-on into a drunk driver when he crossed a median stip going ninety in his car to meet me and my brother going sixty in mine, made unconscious for a day and had some facial surgery; was hospitalized for a month in a mental hospital for mania as I struggled with being gay as a young man; was accused of and stood trial for a serious crime which I did not commit seven years after that; have had since then a kidney stone. Et cetera. I have learned that life goes on until it does not. Thank you, Yogi Berra.
I write of these events/ life experiences to indicate that I have had times of joy and ease; and difficulty; and boredom. Good, bad, and mediocre times; and sometimes days and years of them, it seems.
Probably, so have you.
Overall, I say "Life is good." When I say "Life is good," I do not say it lightly; I mean Life is good. I am a part of Life, you are a part of Life. We are a part of that good.
In my experience and opinion, life is not, nor best lived as, always easy. Sometimes, I have found life to be quite hard. Still, I have found/ learned to make/ see the good in life, of Life, even when it was hard. Not always perfectly, mind you, nor every day; but usually.
In hindsight, I can now recognize that even my difficult times have brought me rewards. Brought me to greater Life.
To you, dear reader, I present LukeyoutheU. I hope you find it helpful, useful, and good.
books, movies, television, videos, and podcasts that have influenced me
this I know
a philosophy of life
I took this photo one winter's day outside the big box retailer where I worked in Rocklin, CA. It was during one of those times (there have been more than a few) that I wondered about who I am and what I am about.
The vibrancy of the oranges and flares of yellow, the power of the gray, astound me still.