Rod Bull was born and raised in London, England. From a young age he resisted the confines of traditional expectations and fled to far and foreign regions to broaden his horizon as a coming of age. After he hitched hiked his way through Europe, the Middle East and India he “settled” down in Australia to indulge in the common culture he so earlier rejected taking on odd jobs as a sugar cane cutter, oil seaman and a mental health orderly and the not so mundane pursuits of deep sea diving and ski instructing. Years later he came back to London to pursue a career in photography where he worked as a freelancer for Mobil oil then later published his first book Time Stands Still, a pictorial on the stone circles of the United Kingdom and France. As his photography career grew so did his spiritual quest which led him to the teachings of Gurdjieff and Tibetan Buddhism. During his later London years he started a family and eventually moved to upstate New York where currently resides.
"What was happening? Everything I tried was going wrong. I needed to start again, get my life back. Would it be possible to change the events of my life, was there some basic flaw in me? 'There was a veiled past which I could not see...."
"What was happening? Everything I tried was going wrong. I needed to start again, get my life back. Would it be possible to change the events of my life, was there some basic flaw in me? 'There was a veiled past which I could not see, there was a door to which I had not key.' How would it be possible?" We've all been there: An impasse, a crossroads, an unmarked door—or some asymmetry in the weave of life that leaves us stuck at worst, though at best in question. So too begins Rod Bull’s ribald, funny, drunken, irreverent memoir of a seemingly accidental spiritual life, with a constant refrain to “dirty work”—shoveling manure in a stable or bilge water in the belly of a ship, or cutting cane and viciously cut, the only cure to which is to urinate on yourself… Bull’s is a life of pratfalls, comic encounters (with an angry Jim Brown, the running back, in London, with sundry Tibetan Tulkus or with the tutelary heads of the Gurdjieff-Ouspensky Work) and hard won insights. What is of particular note is that here you read the story of no man soaring from height to golden height but an honest recounting and recollecting, blemishes and all, of a life of the spirit via serious hard traveling. Dirty Work: A Chump’s Search for Meaning is a memoir of crazy wisdom.