My workbench

My workbench

Monday, April 25, 2011

Headed west

I had a wonderful time back east, visiting family and friend.  The seder was a raucus afair, where a good time was had by all.  Some relaxation at my parents' home, a day trip to walk around Boston, and apartment-sitting for my friend Leigh round out the summary of my time. 

On my way back to Reno, I got the change to stay overnight in Chicago with the Gorski's.  Rose is shooting straight verticle while I thuoght about Drew's bar-mitzvah in 2012.  Mom's merieung cookies were a hit (though a bit crashed from the journey), while we broke Pesach with pizza, some pie, some cake, cookies, and Drew enjoyed an anything bagel.  There was much bounching on the trampoline out back, which seems to have embued both Rose and Drew with nearly limitless amounts of energy, while I felt old.  Michele and I had an excellent lunch at a sandwich shop in Chicago, and then I parted her company to board a train in the rain.  Naturally, it was stopped as I got inside.  Presently I am speeding across the plains of Iowa.  You can understand why I'm on my laptop...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Over-extended

So I think I went overboard with my plans, not quite realizing what I would be undertaking.  I am going to go ahead and make my way back to Reno, and MAY try to hitch from there to the Kick-off.  I realized that, aside from meeting some friends, there is no reason for me to go there, so I may delay that by a bit, and simply meet up with friends later.

That being said, I am currently hanging out in the Garage.  I probably won't spend the night in Mass, instead taking a cheap bus or hitching back to NYC.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I meet awesome people every day

Sadly, that doesn't mean that everyone I meet is awesome.  Take this message, from a girl I met in Portland...

"

he world never fails to be a fascinating place, full of marvels.

My attention, however, does waver.

I wonder how you've been. (The previous sentences were little more than a tangential philosophical preamble.) I think of you, living free, immensely capable, and opinionated. It makes me smile, this thought: jumble, that it is, of semi-formed logical threads parsed with moving pictures. Always your smile--such a nice smile. You smile when you're happy, of course, but also after you've said something (I typically deem) dumb, and you seemingly believe or hope clever--or, at least, entertaining. The last is a sudden smile, like shining it on. This trait endears you to me, though I hope saying so has not hurt your pride.

When asked, by Jordan, (innocently enough), why I'd taken a liking to you, I mentioned your smile and its complexities. I think on what you've said to me--perhaps I am naive to trust--and wonder at the mystery of the machine propelling the smile. Perhaps, as Yeats wrote,

She is playing like a child
And penance is the play,
Fantastical and wild
Because the end of day
Shows her that some one soon
Will come from the house, and say
Though play is but half done
"Come in and leave the play.'

So I mentioned this smile of yours, blindingly bright but occasionally dumb; a smile to make me smile, and wonder. And, I thought, and spoke, just as strongly, that I liked you being a person I can and wish to support and enjoy with my entire being.

I like almost every way in which you oppose me, every way but one. The oppositions push me to new planes, stimulate me to shed the old dead layers of a self no longer lived or useful or desired. The one way I do not like, the place where your life's logic has taken you, the place where your only compass in the waste is your will, and your defiance, where you have these destructive tendencies and they bend inward.

I cannot help this: I am a meddling healer. I see a man-made wasteland, and I wanna help plant a damn garden there. Not just a meager plot: I want to see terraced hills, olive groves, wildflower meadows, Italian vineyards, the hanging goddamn gardens of Babylon.

And though I see and hear you drive to grasp and make much of your life--such a precious, wonderful drive--I see still a need for the art I know, and I see a challenge.

A challenge to help you, I suppose, remember the many faces of eternity, of immortality, of your connection to love and community that span beyond the scope of your vision now. I've always liked these lyrics from a Cocorosie song, hokey as they are:

"In the these times of evil spirits
Of material thugs and mischief
Fearing Saint Noni's wisdom
And his love for rainbow spirits
Jealous of their faithful heart-bond
And their dancing and their laughing
Made at last a league against them
To molest them and destroy them
Saint Noni wise and heart-strong
Often said to Rainbowarrior
"O my brother do not leave me!
Lest the evil spirits harm you!"
Rainbowarrior of two spirits
Gentle hand and lion hearted
He laughed and then he answered
Like a child he softy whispered
We are rainbowarriors
Evil come not near
Rainbow path awaits us
With hearts of love and tears

He's dead our sweetest mother
Loving father and our teacher
He's gone from us forever
He has moved a little nearer
To the master of all laughter
To the master of all song
O my brother, O my brother
Crystal brother of two spirits
Then we gathered in a circle
Stood around the rainbow fire
Burning embers hearts united
We remembered mystical beauty
If you look hard you can find a
Rainbow trail its deep inside ya
Fear not you're a rainbow warrior
Golden light on every thing gleaming"

So, this is how I think of you, and wonder how you are. And I miss you, and wonder if you think of me--and, if so, whether with fondness, and curiosity.

"

I might have created the title with a hint of sarcasm.

Audacious plans

I just posted something on Facebook, and due to the inherent nature of the Internet, it shall now come true.

I am heading to Boston on Thursday/Friday to meet up with some friends.  From there, I'll take the train BACK to New York, where I will round out my gear and then head to Chicago.  From the Windy City, (after taking a break, if family is available) I head to Tucson, AZ to visit Jim.  From there, I head West, to the PCT kick-off.  I'm not hiking this year, I just want to see some friends and possibly reconnect with a few fellow adventurers.

From the kick-off, i will hitch BACK to Reno, pick up my van, and continue my travels where they left off last Thursday.  This should bring me to ~May 4th or so, at which time I will begin hiking.  Serious Hiking.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Reno and the ride home

So for those whom don't know already, I am with my family.  Yes, my real Family.  I left Reno on Thursday, arriving in New York Sunday evening and surprising everyone on Monday.  I will hang out for a few days, hopefully heading up to Boston to visit friends for a day or two, and then back here to ship out.  An overnight (maybe on the weekend?) in Chicago to see some other cousins, and I'll be headed back west.

Reno itself was pretty cool...Instead of hiking, as I had planned, I spent prettymuch the entire time hanging out with random folks I met in the park or at a coffee shop.  By the end of the month I'll be returnin there, to base out of the area until BBCRC but intending to hike around the area.


Well that's all for now.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Travel and Friendship

I've been fortunate enough to have this conversation twice recently, with one of my best friends, and a nearly complete stranger (another traveler); it has gotten me thinking.

When you travel, living on the road for a protracted period, the 'traditional' idea of friendship becomes blurred.  Friendships are made in the blink of an eye, significant bonds created over similar experiences and perhaps a beer or two.  A day later, communication ceases, as people go their separate ways, only to reconvene months or years later.  At that time, as if none had passed, the friendship is picked up and resumed, sharing stories, experiences, and knowledge openly.

It is not uncommon for me to make a friend, perhaps in the hills of northern Thailand, sharing beers, gear, stories and advice, only to see him depart later for destinations unknown.  Months later, as I travel through southern Australia, I put in a call to that very same friend, hoping to meet up, if for nothing else than to reminisce on the good days in Thailand.  It may be years until we see eachother again, but at that time, as if no time has changed at all, I would welcome him into my house (or camp, van, squat, motel room, whatever) as my friend, and we would begin again sharing, reminiscing, and planning.

I don't get the chance to see many of my "old" friends nearly as much as I would like to, as my travels take me to far-off destinations, and rarely land me in, say, Rochester.  At the same time, when I do, I feel like no time has passed.  It's a bit different for them, especially given how I have changed over the past few years...I wonder what it must be like from their POV?

I'd like to write more, but I've got SERIOUS writers block.  I've written this post four times, in different ways, and it still doesn't look correct.  I'm just finished writing for now...  Holed up in Reno, recovering from a small cold, then headed out to the great beyond!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Happy Birthday to Polona.  Welcome to getting old.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Arcata

So I've spent the past few days in Arcata, CA, staying on the couch of Hilary and Katie.  These lovely couchsurfers welcomed me into their home, and have entertained me in ways which I was sorely missing in my travels.  It's nice to just sit and talk...travel, the world, philosophy, whatever.  Sometimes it is the little thing that really make big impressions.

I'll be headed out towards Reno in a day or two, to hike around the Tahoe area.  From there I head to Yosemite, to chill in the valley and enjoy a well-needed break from humanity for a short while.

Life is, as always, pretty incredible.  I've met some really super cool people, had some good times, and so far the biggest problems I've had involved a dead battery or a frozen water bottle.  Here's to hoping my luck holds out...