"The world does not reward honesty and independence, it rewards obedience and service. It’s a world of concentrated power, and those who have power are not going to reward people who question that power."-Chomsky

"The trouble with self-delusion, either in a person or a society, is that reality doesn't care what anybody believes, or what story they put out. Reality doesn't "spin." Reality does not have a self-image problem. Reality does not yield its workings to self-esteem management." -J.H. Kunstler

"You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows."-Dylan

Monday, June 2, 2008

5/30- 6/2/08: An Interlude

June 2
Santa Fe, NM

I woke up on Chris’s couch at about 1:30 Friday quite hungover. It’s not that I drank THAT much, but obviously have next to no tolerance; a good thing. I stumbled around for awhile, then after Chris woke up we just lounged around for an hour or so then walked to Dazbog’s and Barracuda’s so he could drop off the rest of the tip for our waitress from the night before. Who DOES that? Friar Chris does.

He had a meeting to get to, and I had 330 miles to drive, so I left his place and walked to the car, drove back to his place to pick up the pack and hit the road. I finally left Denver at about 5:00.

The drive was nice. It was about a perfect day, and even the 5:00 traffic seemed to cooperate as I headed down I-25. I hadn’t really thought about it, but having the time to reflect on the last 10 days alone in the car was nice. I realized I hadn’t really accomplished much, relatively speaking, but it was an important step. I now have some confidence, and know more about where I want to be or, maybe even more importantly, where I DON’T want to be.

I reflected back on my mindset before I’d left and realized that I had definitely felt ALIVE for the last week and a half; something I mostly hadn’t felt since last summer when we moved to New Mexico. The beauty of the Front Range was intoxicating too, especially in that state of mind. I love Colorado; never gotten sick of being there.

I turned off I-25 at my familiar spot in Walsenburg, and started down US 160 just north of the Spanish Peaks and headed toward La Veta pass and eventually Ft. Garland where I head south toward Taos and home. The sun was setting, and even if I could create a day, I wouldn’t change anything. Warm, blue skies, and the setting sun shining hues of red onto the mountain sides.

I of course was questioning the wisdom of heading home so quickly, but whenever I’d think about that I have to credit myself with the fact that I WOULD have taken any ride headed toward California! I broke camp with Fresno as my goal, but as is seeming to be the case more often than not, my plans never seem to be realized. Improvisation is the method of choice, and since I got a ride to Denver I could now return the car to New Mexico so my girlfriend wouldn’t have to gather it later on. That really is significant, although it wasn’t part of my thinking when I left Rawlins!

I got to Santa Fe at about 11pm, and was glad to be out of the car! Saturday was pretty uneventful, although I must confess it was nice to relax. I also realized that one of the Santa Fe Library branches is staffed by hippie-Nazis! When I left the library, there was a bright, shiny object sitting stationary in the southeast sky. A funny looking thing that seemed to have a glimmer to it; obviously inside the atmosphere but NOT moving from its position. It also appeared to have a dark spot in its center. Nothing like it do I remember ever seeing. Of course, we all know what the explanation was that night on the news. Weather balloon!

Sunday was another lazy day in a sense, but I did begin to process more experience v. the philosophy. I wrote a whole diatribe that I was going to publish here, but decided against it. Instead, I'll just post a fraction of it, and save the rest for later on. I also noticed myself getting a bit comfortable here; the same as I did in Glenwood Springs. I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that I may need to set one rule when this continues this week: the Two Day Rule. I think that's plenty of time anywhere, and after that I begin to adapt too well to my surroundings. We'll see how that goes!

I've decided to leave again either Tuesday or Weds. I've not 100% decided which direction to go yet, but am edging toward I-40 going west. I'm a bit intrigued by Okalahoma, and keep eyeballing the Chama river north of here toward Colorado, but I think I've spent enough time up there.

Things here have been nice for the last few days, and have noticed a sense of calm about myself; a sense of calm that NEVER lasts! I'm soaking up the atmosphere, and beginning to gear up mentally to leave again. I'll let you know how that goes!

Thoughts over the past few days:

Rules and expectations are a funny thing. Especially other people’s.

I resolved to have no rules; be beholden to no one’s expectations but my own. Did I expect to be back in Santa Fe after 11 days? Of course not, but if there are no expectations other than living and experiencing the freedom of the road; riding with fate; why question it? It would be easy to compare other people’s experiences and judge my actions accordingly, but I’m not trying to re-live anything or emulate anyone.

I’ve heard the ‘Into the Wild’ comparison a lot, and there are some similarities there when it comes to an innate disgust of a corporatist society, yet I’m not nearly as rigid in my personal expectations and methodology. I’ve been asked, ‘What are you running from?’ several million times and the answer is...expectation, servitude, and someone elses ‘program’. I want to find my own answers to life and where I see it going rather than simply accept the ‘answers’ I’ve been given. Indoctrinated with. I believe these ‘answers’ are bullshit, and I want to find the truth.

There is more to life than economic servitude. Working to attain material status. Produce, consume, repeat. That’s the point: escape from this Matrix of Materialism in search of the truth of existence. Pretty heady stuff, and I’m not kidding myself in believing I’ll ever find all of these answers. The truth of one’s existence has been sought after since Joe Caveman stumbled onto fire. Enter religion.

I simply believe it’s the one thing that each person should seek out independent of doctrine, ‘social norms’ and the expectations of the “Ministry of Standards & Practices”: family, friends, education, institution, and especially the media and it’s golden image of ‘success’ that’s portrayed in every single frame of every single broadcast.

Styx’s ‘Grand Illusion’: “They show you photographs of how your life should be-that’s just someone else's fantasy...”

Think about it next time you watch something. Your told what you should look like, how you should talk, and what & how much ‘stuff’ you should have to be ‘happy’, ‘comfortable’, and ‘successful’!

Who defines happy? Comfortable? Especially ‘successful’? What the hell IS 'Normal'? And who benefits when these are defined FOR you? Surely not the investment banker with four boats, a huge house, and an emptiness in his soul the size of Montana that he can’t fill with his Capitalist Achievement Badges.

I’ve also been fighting a battle with self-doubt, ego and my own self-perceived arrogance for a while now. Quite a potpourri of traits! It’s sometimes hard for me to accept that I’m actually RIGHT, and the personal responsibility that comes with it. I have a tendency to seek out people who seem smarter, and are more accomplished and ‘educated’ than me in an effort to actually prove myself wrong.

Yet, with almost NO exception, these people always disappoint. I have to take them right back off that pedestal and every time it happens, it reinforces the conclusions I’ve already come to and I’m quite straightforward in saying so. If that makes me arrogant, so be it. I’ll be the first to let you know when someone enlightens me! Friar Chris tends to think I have a low opinion of myself, believe it or not, and thus battle arrogance AND self- doubt at the same time. Talk about duality!

I’ve come to the conclusion that’s because we’ve been engineered to believe that we ‘ordinary’ people are incapable of accomplishing anything of substance; that greatness is only attainable by the truly ‘great’. Those who have been deified by the culture as flawless: those who have been “Santa Clausified”! We’re led to believe that if you’re not perfect, you should just give up because we’re unable to change or offer anything, or to live an ideal.

Martin Luther King is a perfect example, and one I use a lot. Here’s a guy who probably accomplished more in the 20th Century than any other American, yet he was besieged by self-doubt and was a flawed human being! He cheated on his wife regularly! He wasn’t a saint in any sense of the word, but he progressed his people and offered hope and inspiration in a way that no one else could. It just astounds me that MLK was plagued with self- doubt and depression! How could he doubt his cause?

Lincoln: depressive. Jean Jacques Rousseau, an architect of the French Revolution: manic depressive. I can relate to this, and understand, to a degree, where it’s coming from. It’s that inner sense that ‘something’s wrong’ and either being unable to decipher what it is, and/or change it. An inner- struggle for singularity of mind and body: bringing the vision to reality.

I’m convinced that there are literally millions out there that just know instinctively that something’s amiss, but can’t explain it. They just ‘feel’ inner turmoil and the wounds of that battle manifest themselves in depression. These people may the truly ‘blessed’ ones because they are part of the evolution. Oftentimes, but not always, they are scorned as alcoholics, addicts, derelicts who refuse to conform for, apparently, no reason. Their minds receive a frequency that they can’t quite tune in and it causes a disquiet: White Noise of the Mind.

They’re all over.

They simply have this ‘feeling’ that they’re afraid to talk about. That ‘something’s coming’. Something devastating, but natural and inevitable. I’ve had that since I was a tiny kid, and I meet random people who after a brief conversation, their eyes light up in understanding when I mention it. It’s like “YES! I’m NOT crazy??

I’ve heard a lot of mention of the year 2012, and the Mayan calendar. The Theocratic/ Fundamentalists in Christian society will poo poo the notion as utter foolishness; blasphemy!: that nature could POSSIBLY correct ITSELF! Yet, these same people clutch desperately to the idea that there’s an All- Powerful Manlike God, sitting on his throne in the sky, watching everything we do; keeping score so that he’ll know who’s ‘good enough’ to live in ‘Paradise’! Seems a bit shortsighted to me, and borderline hypocritical.

It seems to me that nature has a funny way of righting itself when things become unbalanced. If you doubt there’s a lack of balance in the world today try to find a clean river to drink from, or a spot that’s not been polluted either with chemicals or someone’s inconvenient trash.

It seems that with all the technological ‘progress’ we’ve lost many of the skills and most of the knowledge our ancestors had. And forgotten how to relate to each other. With every technological dependency comes a loss of skill. Try calling a friend without your cell- phone in tow. Grow some food. Build your own shelter. Could you even build a little fire if the bundle of firewood wasn’t provided to you? We’re pretty much at the mercy of technology. Without it: prey.

A lot of thoughts and reflection this weekend. As I told Dennis on the ride to Glenwood Springs, I believe that all the answers begin within. It’s a cliche’, but a good one. Once you begin to listen to and BE HONEST with YOURSELF about who you are, what you think, and what you want, the answers will slowly begin to present themselves. It’s a mother being honest with yourself, because there’s no one there to challenge your clever, witty little rationalizations; YOU have to do it! Yet the only way out is brutal honesty: truth. If Gandhi swore by it, it’s good enough for me!

Yet, even trying it is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. But alas, waiting for Pink Floyd's 'someone or something to show you the way’ is an exercise in futility. No one has your answers but you; trust yourself.

Wayyyy too much idle time this weekend?!?!?!