The last few weeks have been a ton of calm contemplative, at times excited, at times hopeful, at times full of despair moments. The freedom that I feel, at the same time well used and squandered, is much more complicated than being overall good or bad.  I am grateful that this space has been a safe place for me.

I see the things I do when I’m confident and the things I am afraid of doing when I have no confidence in myself.  I am content in this place, and I wonder if I am ultimately afraid of traveling again, or that I am only contented because there is a ticking clock in even my most immediate circumstances. 

If a society was a ground that holds everyone up, then, in this one, the cracks run deep and people fall through all the time.  People grow up in cracks, people throw others into cracks, and some just have the ground fall out from under them.  Those who choose to vacate their spot, then amidst all of what else there is, still stand by with a bucket of cement, I wish more of those kinds of people were in office, or that everyone just listened to more.

An ex of mine always referred to hitting rock bottom.  I think that I may have always been offended by that term, because to me, rock bottom is death.  I think financial rock bottom was what was intended, but I think that that’s become a farce, because I have been more enriched by my life  since I’ve had little to no money.  I support myself because there are a lot of kind people, and there are a few who have resources that they use for purely selfish reasons to the detriment of the future of everyone. I support myself by the support of everyone I’ve met, not just my employer or my family.

I’ve learned ways in which to support myself beyond even the need to be supported by having a corporate government supported retirement (insert retirement numbers here).  It’s as simple as breaking ground.  But isn’t merely supporting myself just another selfish reason.

In good fiction, you never make the subtext, text. If you do, it’s only to let go of it, because your story has moved on.  I am making this struggle text so that I can absolve myself of the difficulties that I’ve had in writing. Resolving to do things is hard, and making resolutions not to do things feels easier, but is impossible.  Unless restraints are put on you.  Those who speak of ultimate freedom are not trusted until their experience proves their word, and sometimes that proof is attained at the cost of others. This has been the sway of history, and intentions both bad and good are a matter of influence.

Now that the information age is just starting, or coming to a close, depending upon your perspective, it will never go away, and its remnants have made a permanent mark on this planet.  What we do now may even change the course, and perhaps may wipe away signs that this planet had such a singular experience that is our life. In the great ages of humanity, among them the Stone, Bronze and infamous Nuclear age, it is what defines you and me that I am the product of all of those generations.

I am hopeful for the future of myself, everyone and the planet.  I affirm just about everything I’ve said in this blog so far, because it is the history of me, sparse and emotional and really boring sometimes.  With maybe a good poem here or there.  Of course reaffirmation is boring, but if I have to do the third thing, then will definitely tell you about it blogosphere.

I am typing in the sunshine again while staring at a pile of old and weathered things.  There is a tv satt. dish on it’s metal tripod its cords a clump of spaghetti hovering above the ground. A bike somewhere the color between lavender and smoke, with blocky treads. Dust crowded into its crevices. Stone lamps that look like urns with thick ropes as decoration. a wooden chair inverted leaning against a lazy looking bookcase that just lounges against a flattened television box that advertises a game system and online entertainment. But the real support is offered by the dresser or desk if a metaphor can be made of that. And hiding behind even more stuff is an exercise machine, I know that it’s an exercise machine because of the black padding and sturdy metal bars bent into strange shapes, but I am not sure what exactly it’s meant to workout.  None of these things seems to be broken, perhaps replaced, or unused.  It makes me wonder about their value.

If everyone has a value, then there is a natural hierarchy of values that will develop because of my observations.  But people are not things, so considering their value is not the right way to think about it.

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As 2015 opens, I’m getting the impression that this is gonna be more of a year of rage than the last one. Here’s a quick stream of conciousness post that may be pretty incomprehensible, you probably just want to skip be low it, here, I’ll turn it bold so it’s easier to dismiss.

I’m listening to Of monsters and men, AWOLnation, and The tallest man of earth

the time is now 11:01 pm

and I sit here in this tiny cell of a house which is comfortable to me if it has become a prison for my friends. it’s like seeing two terrifyingly beautiful birds in a cage of purpose and necessity. they are happy, and annoyed, frustrated, and sarcastic, and have had to believe in things that not many of us do, though we believe in things that are stupid and pointless and dumb and don’t make sense to them, and that is not a criticism, though I feel it, but I don’t ever want to criticize them, I don’t want to criticize their actions while I observe their reaction but I also want to be criticized more because they can do that between themselves and it’s a tiny thought that enters my head a tiny mote of paranoia that I feel with everyone that meet and have had learned to surf like a wave or like the internet

i know that they are kind and loving with the games they make for each other the play and the reaffirmations of the irony of most of their life in the terms of endearment that their words for behavior that they have for each other and are willing to explain carefully to me an inside joke that I know always will belong to them as sacred as sacred can be in the world because nothing can affect the way that they do things and if it does it is a reflection of what we can truly do to one another even with the best of intentions

the time is now 11:11

wow, that was weird, I guess I desire attention through criticism, so what? I can get defensive? It’s like this whole thing about muslims needing to claim responsibility and apologize for the actions of a few insane people. Let’s kill people who want to kill us, let’s kill people who think differently than we do.

Hey, here’s a dark thought, I believe humanity needs a good die-off because it appears that we have surpassed the means of this planet to sustain us and much of the life that exists.  I don’t like this idea but it’s one that seems to be proving itself more and more, double-but that doesn’t make it all right nor all right.

Of course it should be up to us on what that will look like, and currently it seems like we are best at fighting each other to those ends.  There is also the environmental collapse that we are living through right now that can get us if we don’t war ourselves to death. I am so angry at everyone right now that I am realizing that I’ve always hated the world as it is. I do not like to hate, but it is the defining characteristic of love for without it, we would be more connected to each other and peaceful and also ominously detached. 

I remember observing my father, who has not been confrontational on any issues that I’ve seen except through sacrifice, or outbursts of anger. The most unique to me is one where he quietly, under his breath, rages at the world. I wonder if he does that anymore. If he does, I would encourage that he do it over his breath at least as a beginning or if he doesn’t then he’s lived enough to be detached if he wants to be. Sometimes I wonder, with all the attachments we are born with, if life is ultimately a quest to give up those things because we ultimately with have to.  with that typed, I still have the urge to make more friends, be better at the things I do, and perhaps the world would be a better place.

Okay, so I began these travels with the need to break the patterns plaguing my life. Then it coalesced into the desire to find, have, or figure out the idea that will be for the survival of humanity.  I don’t claim to have a hard line opinion of what ideas are right, or what humanity is, or if survival is an accurate term or the highest ideal but there are a few things that I’ve learned in my travels that I always knew but never had the courage to express with as deep passion as I am typing them now.

1. Without this planet, we can survive, but we must come to grips that our home is not forever, and that humanity will eventially be homeless, if we survive.

2. The opposite of destruction, can only be placed on a spectrum between that of creation and preservation.

3. Peace is the only power than cannot be used unjustly.

4. Peace, at its worst is ineffective, or changes everything. At its best, prevents the violation of another life.

5. Global warming is real, the climate is changing, temperatures around the world once again are on an upward trend. ( This may be an observation and not an idea, but the caveat is that it should be taken into account for everything that we do. )

6. There is no such thing as renewable usable energy. Nothing tangible is limitless. 

7. Meaning is everything, it’s understanding the difference between the existence of an event and the spin. (or interpretation )

Hmm, seven is a good number right?

I might have been going for ten, or overshot five but it’s cool that I’ve landed on seven.

So this is where I’m at at the beginning of the new year.  A little older, a little wiser, a little more incomprehensible, and full of myself. Hopefully this year I’ll be able to do better at my resolutions 4 of 7 years running.

i’ll put these in bold so you can easily skip passed them if you want to.

1.  find, have or figure out the idea that will be for the survival of humanity

2. speak well in front of a large group of people

3. quit smoking

4. lose weight (be healthier)

5. write a letter to my mom

6. write a letter to my dad

(this next one is actually a new one)

7. write more letters that mean something in general

8. write (express and create and preserve) more

The weather while I’ve been writing this has gone from cloudy and cool to darker and chilly to “partly sunny” to cloudy and warm.  Sarah is working on a project as is Garth, with the patience of a thousand breezes. The neighbors walk and drive by on the dirt and gravel road. They get into their trucks and cars. The sounds of the highway and construction bleed through the music of my fancy new noise cancelation headphones but I am still thankful for being aware.

Because I can also hear the babbling choir of desert sparrows. Watch the cobblestone clouds sweep over the mountains. The rounded cacti scattered like pebbles in the sand between the many brooms of abrasive shrubs and trees. This hard, more tan, and less red earth; where puddles are preserved and allowed to evaporate away rather than soaking in.  Where it is obvious that the sun has the most power of all here, it can change everything in moments.

Greetings greetings everyone from San Jose. Everyone is happy and hopeful since the rains have revitalized the soil, and brought a respite from the drought conditions of the past years.  The sun is bright, and the library I’m writing from has lots of college students studying for winter finals.

Here’s a poem

I’ll die alone in a lighthouse

The weather wasn’t any better.
In the collection I was always meant to be.
May I be in heaven with only ugly people,
Because my weakness is easy to see.

The tempest was the wisest,
Of course it would be to me.
And sunshine was the shiniest,
I was truly free to break free.

But the snowfall has come and gone.
With another all too soon to be.
And now it’s a fog,
And I’m as blind as blind can be.

Wading through the weather,
Drifting on a wetter sea.
In the distance, they light fire,
But it’s not meant for me.

Without the weather,
We were meant to be together.
But to be, is to be weather.
Where for the worst or for any better.

for the last few weeks I’ve been in a bit of limbo. It feels like this entire year has been limbo. a journey alone is filled with many introspective pitfalls. gaining confidence is like climbing a sand dune. You can’t stand still because you’ll just slide down, there doesn’t seem to be any level ground so you always have to work hard to sometimes just to maintain your balance..  and then when you do meet people, they can easily knock you down the slope. the only thing that feels like justice, is that they may also fall down. But really, it is an unsatisfying form of justice.

I am longing to travel to the desert and meet up with my friends. But I have made new friends that have many a varied talent that I am struggling to pull away. But since I’ve started to sit off on my own, from these new friends, since I’ve started to watch long youtube videos about videogames, I wonder if there is a set level of human interaction that I’ve reached.

today, just by staring at my new friend, I was able to piss him off to the point with which he wanted to throw me out.  It didn’t take long, just a couple of seconds. In the hesitation I have when I focus on something unintentionally, then have to switch to try communicating my thoughts at the time, he flipped out and shouted, “Get the fuck out. I don’t want someone making me uncomfortable in my [mom’s] house.”  It wasn’t a challenge that I was issuing though, just observation and questions to myself.  can insecurity pass through the air because of a watchful eye? Is surveillance just a need for control because the more information we have the better the ability we have to make a choice? Observation affects the choices we make, so when does it become overbearing? Would you rather have your friends stare when you know? would you rather have a stranger stare and judge with no context? Or someone that is still optimistic about you?

He was so furious, and I was still groggy and confused. why would he think that I had some kind of problem? was there some kind of guilt that surfaced under my gaze? He went and described loudly the situation to his partner. a beautiful wonderful and balancing woman who speaks maybe three languages, and has a nifty accent. she calmed him and he admitted his overreaction.

I think my preference is friends that will openly talk.  where we can have conflict openly without the fear of barbs that hurt. confidently converse knowing that what is said is honest without being ambiguous and furthers the conversation to a conclusion that is higher on the sandy hill.

I sometimes think of the world that’s full of sand. The heat during the day is so much that the sand starts to melt. this molten glass running through the hottest parts of the desert in scorching rivers that flow fierce in temperature, but slow an viscous pooling into lakes that harden when the cold night comes. I can see my reflection by the moonlight in a glass lake. I see the world full of sand and mirrors.

It’s like staring at your reflection in between two mirrors. and  the reflection of the reflections show a pair of people staring at each other.  the line of these pairs stratching off and away into a line of selves analyzing themselves.  I am a reflection of others as much as they reflect me. I want to try my best to help pull up those that can be pulled up, and it’s easier to walk up glass than it is sand.  and it’s all the better if there are others, in case someone slips.

Oregon seems to be a nice little vortex in which I can spend a lot of time.  For instance I’ve been taking part in a group called NEST where we search for signs of Red Tree Voles in various timber sales and proposed timber sales.  So, I’ve been in the woods again for the past month and a half, and it’s been great and a little harrowing.
So, eventually I’ll catch you all up but until then here is a new poem.

Bondage knot

I had a dream last night
About an unconnected thread.
It was tied in a knot
Thrown over a tree,
Then crimped and cringed,
Rubbed and roughed,
Eventually unknotted then knotted again.

And then it was pulled and pulled and pulled.
Our live are like these lines
We keep repeating to each other.
A thread unbroken,
Lies in the words unspoken.

If we are but a thread
In a tapestry of humanity,
The present crawling through the holes of instant.
When one is so distant.
Not weaved nor knotted nor braided,
Not hitched nor threaded nor stitched,
But frayed or cut and jaded.

It could be a web (of community instead),
Or even less complicated,
If only that’ls what I willed it to be.
I understand the entropy at the end.
Dissolution is where the earned pattern
Must ultimately be rend.
And in disrepair we will try to mend.
To prevent the tear,
To defend or extend the expectancy of the end.

Idealism is not a good cure for monotony.
A thread once broken is hard to see passed its faults.
And the reason to be,
Must never come free.
Or else we would soil
Where it is we must toil.
And then our lines would coil,
Make what was uncertain
Become certain.
And what was meant not to be,
To be.

So weave the broken with the unbroken.
Speak the speech once thought, unspoken.
Sneak away to the dark and
See the way to the spark.

I am so so very blocked. It is unlike any other block that I’ve encountered before. So this is what I am doing, I am going to just type through it.

I’d like to think that my words mean something, but I know that they only mean as much as the reader takes from them in the end. Of course since I am the first reader of these words, they will always mean something to me, so long as I understand them.  The distinction is that I am the writer and it becomes a sort of masturbation to be the only one who takes meaning from the words that I put to the keyboard.

So, then to validate the things that I write, others must read it, and also understand the ideas that I am trying to convey.  But, is that the only validation that I should shoot for? To be humble, for sure that is all I should expect, but to become better, I desire discussion.  To become better, I need feedback and to continue to be on the correct course of rationality and intelligence, I need to know when I am mistaken.  Over time, it is possible to figure out my mistakes with thought and observation, but there always seems to be the ticking clock.

The midwest in the summer feels very much like doldrums.  I have walked quite a lot, and realized how easy the passed several months have been on me, and how little I have to show for it. And I really don’t know what I’m worrying so much about, because I did have some experiences that I will remember for a long time. I’ve made new friends, and I have visited some unique places.  Why is it that I want more?

I’ve been ruminating on reputation for the past couple days. I’ve been worried about the places that I’ve returned to, and the groups that I’ve worked with, and if they will be warm in welcoming me back, or as tepid as some of the others.  I feel like I’ve done great things, for great people, in great places, but that they are all mutually exclusive.  It is foolish of me to believe that there is an ideal, because all of these things have their respective challenges that they face, but is it foolish for me to believe that I can create, or fit into something to make it ideal?

For some reason, it feels like things should seem easier as I gain skill in tackling the issues.  However, my observation has shown that the opposite occurs.  Maybe it has something to do with entropy, but walking miles and miles is so so hard.  Even moreso in this, the heat of the summer.  Flagging down a ride feels like it’s taking longer and longer, or my attention span to do so is becoming less and less.

Perhaps, though, it is because this is the first time that I’ve travelled so steadily in the summer.  Perhaps, the general temperament of the people are so wildly different because of the area, or time of year, or the shifting societal conciousness has become more apathetic, or angry.  One of my dear friends has started spouting out deeply uncompassionate thought, he’s also gained belly and just generally seems fixated on his lover. Who deserves the attention because she just seems awesome, but is it possible for a great person to not be good for someone?

Loneliness is rough.  It builds self-sufficiency while bolstering self-centeredness. The feeling of freedom without the checks and balances of objective observation, and yet paradoxically there isn’t motivation of agreement in ethics.  When you are alone, you are free to do anything, but not as free if you were to have a partner-in-crime.

Okay, so now I’m going to post this immediately because I’ve actually finished writing it in one sitting.  That is my way.

Wistful in Wisconsin.

I’m finding that my patience with hitchhiking is fading. More often, I just want to walk than wait at the onramp.  Yesterday I walked 5 miles to I-95 from my friend Matt’s house. I then spent three hours just talking to friends on the phone in the parking lot of a gas station.  I was also just unable to decide which direction I wanted to go. No real plans, nothing to do, nothing that’s falling into my lap.

I stood at the onramp going north for a while, maybe an hour, then an hour on the southbound ramp, then I got called by Mary out in Oregon, a really awesome friend. I’m going to head out there, are it seems like there should is lots of stuff I can do, but I wish that there were things on this coast that I can really sink my teeth into.  But I really have to go out and find it. Also, If only I could figure out the best way to balance out my laziness and fear.  My dad hasn’t helped with his pushing for me to settle down and make babies, and even though he’s halfjoking, I still don’t enjoy the weight of it.  I just want to be at a place where I don’t feel like I’m taking advantage of people, but also where I don’t have to earn money.  And yet, the thought of staying in one place feels like a hot breath on the back of my neck.

Mary told me of a couple really interesting projects they’re working on out there, and I really am excited to get out there again, eventually. It feels like it’s going to be harder this time around though, probably because of the heat.  It was easy to find a secure camp spot of to the side of the on-ramp because of all the tree cover. Just as I settled in to sleep. Wil called me and we talked for another twenty minutes or so, he updated me about his business that he’s starting up on his own, and that’s pretty exciting.  He’s always been charismatic enough to make lots of money and I wish him the best, hopefully we’ll keep in contact when he’s all well-off so I can cricket at him from time to time.

Sleep was filled with conflict imagery.

Easy living for the past couple months has turned my body soft, and I feel it. I was only able to really walk ten miles today.  After I woke up, I just started walking down route 40 towards Havre De Grace.  And being in Harrisburg made me feel really depressed, and while I enjoyed my time in Elkton, I also was pretty depressed while there as well.  Harrisburg’s capitol police had shiny new black cruisers, but the Allison Hill area, just had an oppressed feeling about it.  It was even more a squalor than I remember it being, with piles of garbage on the streets and so much gunfire at night.  The place downtown where my friends live, while cleaner, they said that the rate of violent crime has jumped in the past couple years.

Around noon my pocket started buzzing, it was Grace.  Our conversation at least gave me a direction to travel in, hopefully I’ll make it to Ashville in time, I can see slow going around here in Maryland because of the density of population and while that might mean more chances to get a ride, I’ve noticed an increase in mistrust.  Everyone whom I’ve talked to, keeps warning me that there are crazies out there, and I just want to shake them and say, stop that.  Or, if I am feeling snarky, ‘no more crazy than you are’.

Ron, a networking engineer for the military, picked me up in a shiny brown truck.  He was maybe in his mid fifties and wore a red and yellow hawaiin shirt.  He said that he was only going to perrysville, and I ask if he could drop me off a little bit further in Havre De Grace, because the bridges over the river were most definitely not pedestrian friendly, I remembered this from the Occupy the Highway march.  The conversation stiltedly floated from what he does for a living, to my trumpet, to what I do.  I told him about the activist things that I do, and he got real quiet. I asked him what he thought of the issues.  “I think you’re all wasting your time, but you’re young and still idealistic so I say go for it.”

My response could have been, “Well, if things don’t change soon, there won’t be enough fresh water for everyone, and then not enough food.  The climate is heating up, and our way of life as it is will change drastically if we don’t change it ourselves to more sustainable methods.” But that’s just L’ esprit De L’escalier.

What I actually said was, “Fair enough.”

He then went on to warn me about being careful and the crazies, I didn’t shake him nor do I shout at him, just cordially thanked him for the few miles, and walked on to Aberdeen.  I spent some time in the library, charging my tablet, and enjoying the bliss of the air-conditioning because the sun was just nearly unbearable. It was a short visit because the library was closing, so I walked to the fast food joint near the next onramp to the interstate.Now, waiting until I have a full charge, and then I will probably find a camping spot and see if I can’t set out early tomorrow.