Tuesday, December 15, 2009
In The Beginning
In the beginning I started this blog to document the story that is unfolding in my taxi cab, as I drive it three nights a week. I’ve been a hack for six years, and a freelance music and religion journalist of some kind for the past fifteen. I work as a freelance writer the other four days, and am nearly finished with my first complete book, “Jesus Rocks The Church” or “Discovering Contemporary Christian Music”, for Greenwood. Rather than just recording my taxi cab stories in my journal I decided to make them public.
I chose “The Transcendent Taxicab” as the title back in the summer of 2004, when I first started driving a cab. The reason that I did so was because I thought that maybe I could write a book, since I was a writer, about driving a taxi from my perspective on life. Having always been interested in religion, I became an ordained minister during the 1970’s, and studied theology and everything related to it, and tested my findings by using my life. So why not record the events that occur in this new context? I saw my job as a spiritual adventure, using the gospel of Matthew, chapter 22, where Jesus tells the parable of “The Wedding Feast”. In it the king tells his servants to go out into the highways and byways and gather up both good and evil to fill the prepared hall of the wedding feast, which is an analogy for God’s kingdom.
I did have a taxicab blog in 2008 on www.wittenburgdoor.com for the now defunct religious satire magazine that I was a contributing editor and staff photographer for since 1998. However, they were tightly edited stories based on my taxi cab experiences. This blog will be raw information of what happens, as I interpret it through my spiritual perspective.
I often equate driving a taxi to gambling on a slot machine. You never know what is going to come up. You may hit the jackpot or you may go bust. You may pick up a $100.00 fare with a $20.00 tip, or you may pick up someone who runs out of the cab without paying you. Over the past six years two of my fellow taxi cab drivers have died of heart attacks in their cabs, another was shot in the head, but survived, along with another who didn’t.
The city that I drive a taxicab in, is Salem, Oregon, the same one that “One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest” was filmed in. It’s the state capitol, has half a dozen prisons and the state mental institution for the criminally insane. At the same time it’s located in the center of the Willamette Valley between the Pacific coast range and the Cascade Mountains. I drive for Salem/Keizer Yellow Cab, and will make entry’s on this blog as I am inspired to do so, and my driver number is “25”.