Posts Tagged ‘wandering’

i feel that this time i have done it – the days are a blur – that life i wished to avoid has come back and slapped me in the face – and maybe it was that i wished to avoid it so much, that the energies and ties lingered there and here it is and this time i do not see a way out and its glories and romance are not what they once were – something that i have known for a long time – but now i can no longer pretend. I sit in safeway now using wifi – not plugged in – not knowing about tomorrow or the day after and while it is so true that we never truly know – at least we imagine – and give our lives the illusion of order. But i have known this life before, and from the moment i camped at kaloch in the fall of ’07 i knew it was not for me – yes i love a few nights in nature but then i want to return home, and maybe that is it i have spend so long searching for home that i never stopped to make one – but the truth be told i do not know how and have not been able to do it on my own. And what we want to avoid often comes back – like in eugene – my posting for a place – quiet, no heavy drinking or drug use around, no games and by not making a move that is what i surrounded myself with. And now i dont feel like i have anything left, that i have blown it all away, and this is no longer a game, if it ever was. the last months seem like a dream, an illusion, a haze to me – can i remember the journeys i took? And my sense of self – how much it has changed in just the past two days. and more feelings that i thought were gone return to me – can i rise above – for i dont feel part of what is around, on the margins looking on. to gather the strength, make the walk back, tomorrow another day, without purpose, to go on and on and on. how did i let myself fall back here?

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I am back on the oregon coast and i wonder what i have done – eugene seems a million years and miles ago, and the wandering life of the past has come and shone or slapped me in the face. I sit in a cafe in Florence, beneath the bridge where i was a mere three days ago but it feels like a life has passed by.

 And i ask myself what the hell am i doing here. Yes i have had some deep nights sleep in fresh air and quiet – 12 hours or more, but i have felt the hardness of the ground beneath my bones, my hips press hard into the dirt, and my body begins to feel hard and worn once again. I looked in the mirror in this cafe when i first got out here and realize how i was looking younger once again – but now i feel like i have aged again, forgot how hard this life can be, and when i got here how a month of stability wiped many of the years from my face. Though with this camping trip i stay clean, the free hot showers in oregon state parks.

But the walk into town today – three miles up the highway seemed long and lonely, though easier than yesterday when i was carrying my pack – feeling like my back was about to give, but both times feeling more disconnected from society at large. regaining the looks of a drifter, even when the big back is left behind, a look i never truly lost, but one that seemed more subtle for a while. And the novelty of walks on the road, the adventure is gone, is it because i have been here before, or is it that feelings return. I grocery shop with my backpack thrown into and filling the cart, and people look on. though people here are kind – oregon is overall a kind friendly state – the workers in the parks, the bus drivers, the old man who talked to me when i got off the bus, the few i have talked to when drinking coffee – but i feel tired. And another zone entered.

i spend my first two nights up the road – at carl g. washburn state park – on a lonely stretch of road – a huge fairly empty hiker-biker camp in the trees – hear the ocean and the wind blow through the trees – sleep and sleep – walk a bit the day i spent – eat portable picnic food – bagels, peanut butter, string cheese, apples, carrots, odwalla bars – the diet of old. I appreciate the beauty, the calm, the earth and trees and sea and sky and air mingling, but as with previous times out on the coast, and camping in general, i ask what am i doing. yes, i need it as a break, but as a life?, and what is next?. what did i leave behind, what did i not see or appreciate and am i doing the same thing again. but that gnawing has come at me before.

I hitched up from the end of town, a lift from a guy who drove an extra few miles for me. once there, what am i doing, where to next, i don’t want to travel, why the coast again – yachats and newport came to mind, or really a city a town in which to live, to join in, missing working, a routine, a purpose, feeling confident and belonging again, not really to the place, for it was the feeling of being unwanted, the contempt and disdain that once treated me with that led me to flee, that feeling that has always put me out on the road.

And i think back to the time in eugene, did i play it out well – no i did not but yes i did – still i left feeling alone and sad, though i know i did a good job – and the cords still bind – could i have pushed on for more – then i think of the band coming in, the noise outside my door, the looking for cute young things to work for him knowing i could be given the kick at any time, the disregard for me – and while i gave my best, how much did the negativity that arose in me feed the cycle, i kept it to myself, but thought forms went out – as i felt them come in. and just as i felt used and not seen as a whole person, how many people who passed through did i not really see, did not really acknowledge. and as i felt judged, did i judge others, and as i began to have that feeling of place and confidence and a role return, did i become to big inside – and forget that i had nothing else. and when he was away, and the heaviness of my nice but martyrish roommate left, i began to feel lighter, and i hated the instability that was there, never knowing when shift would change, when i would get a new person in my room, but all i have now is greater instability. but to learn and not to cling. But i wonder how i could have ended up back here – and once again i feel like i fucked up though i know i gave.

and now…. the wind blows strong along the coast – and the mountains cut it off from the inside. i appreciate what is here, but i long for a life, a life i need to create, at the same time i feel more cut off. the wind blows from the north, i left washburn, was going to hitch up north, knowing yes a return to where i have been before, the towns came to mind as a stop gap and bus service exists up there, was about 15 minutes on the road, hating standing there, decided not to fight the winds, so i crossed the road and came south again. a 70something year old woman picked me up and told me about her life – so sweet – not always who you will expect to stop.

Time at safeway, drinking coffee, buying food, then a 3.5 mile walk south – no longer up for this. a nice hiker-biker area – treed, spacious, the only woman once again, one other “hiker” – both by foot and thumb, talked from the carolina’s, talk of newport, of travel, and nice to bond. So here i am – feel a blur of the past 4 months since i have been back – the San Francisco, Seattle, other places were forgotten about, returned to me – this voyage seems like a big blur. and now i am lost, on a stop gap action, appreciate the days, the blue skies, the sun on the trees in the evening, the sound of the wind in the trees, the clean air, the kindness of people, but again, as so many times before i feel the call for a town, not one where the highways runs through and is the town as with so many places on the coast, but one where i may build, and i feel like i had maybe been given a chance but i did not see, and i know i cannot go back there – and was not a place to stay for the winter (as i have learned i cannot handle the gloomy northwest winter skies), but as i felt when out in the country, i want to connect and join in the dance.

and the wind blows and the fog begins to roll in and this is where i am and the time is now. and the sun still shines. And to join in where i am and not yearn for what is not, step towards the light and create a life. i believe i will leave the coast soon and it is time to stop the wandering, but to be with what is and to decide how to move beyond yet as the saying goes “be here now” and be grateful for what is.

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Sun shines today. A circle of bright blue over the city center surrounded by clouds. They are heavy and dark. Despite the strong wind that blows through, they do not seem to have moved. The threaten, but have not opened up, yet.

I awake in the morning and see the blue sky. rejoice and hurry up to get out and meet the day, no lingering inside for me. The air is cold, the wind has a bite. I look up there, see the gloom, and wonder how temporary this reprieve will be. For rain is what the weather predictions all say. I grab a coffee and sit in the parkette, a brief patch of sun before the storm blows in. I wish to walk out to the place where the plants do grow and people really live, but the clouds are heaviest over there and i fear that i will get caught in the rain. I turn back, pace around,

i walk out again along the water front. Water is choppy today with white caps on small bumpy waves. The plants are smaller, not protected from the wind, or the salt in the sea air. A huge cruise ship is in the port, larger than most of the buildings that surround. On its way to Alaska, but that no longer appeals to me. Ferries go back and forth, and the Victoria Clipper pulls in. I stare at the snow-capped mountains to the north, and realize i have lost all interest in returning there. I feel the breeze and remember the chill. Though i have been thinking of alaska since i came back to this country, i believe that it, and all that lay north, is a part of my life to be left behind. A feeling that has come back so many times, though when i came up here it was still in the back of my mind. I walk past the huge grain elevator and out down to the shipyard full of commercial ships to transport goods and to catch and process the fish.

This park is cut off from the city above, and even the buildings down below, by the impassable railroad tracks and the tall fence. The park is a strip of green, with a few benches to pause and a path to cycle and jog or walk along. I am in another place where people pass through, at one end the cruise ship and ferry terminals, and at the other, the ship yard. Neighbourhoods lay above, on top of hills with steep rocky sides. I must cross an inlet to reach one, on a long busy bridge in the wind. And i do not see a road going up the other that lay on this side of the bridge, only fast avenue that circles around the base. I sit for a minute in the bright sun, though the wind that blows fast hurries me along.

I am in a port, where all come and go, a place that people and goods journey from and return back to, passing through. I did not go to the place where people invest their lives, and i am disappointed that i find myself wandering here. Stuck between the zones once again, no longer desiring to sail away and look at why i found myself here. I turn back along the shore, do not continue on the path through industrial zone, and find myself in the center of town, that dark place i do not wish to be. The sun still shines overhead, and the clouds still loom around. I am tired now from my walk along the shore, but still wander the center more, loosing track of what is important, revisiting that dark zone, walking up and down shadow covered streets. Losing the light i had on the path and feeling to exhausted to walk out the other way. I sit inside and the sun does shine. I never made it to the other places i wished to go (though i later heard it rained there)

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I walk along and around, something i have been doing more and more of the past two weeks now that i am back in a zone where i can, where people do and where it seems safe. At first it is liberating but then the walking takes over, my legs move back and forth and i go. I walk. Initially it calms the mind and releases held tensions but then it takes on a life of its own. I am no longer connected to what is around, but am in walking zone, a zone of movement without pause, a zone that is not still. Perhaps it is walking on the return, or zoning out into my mind. But it becomes an action onto itself, self-perpetuating, and i keep on moving even when i feel i should stop – do not take the time to look or listen or feel or touch. Finally, when i am tired, or beyond the comfort zone, i rest for a while, but it is not the same as when i focused on the world around or the true spirit within. It is a restless sitting, one that is not still or focused but rather remains alert and on guard.
Still, i like to walk. I feel caged when i am unable to do so, when there seem to be few places to go, or that are safe to be out alone in the world. And i crave the walk, the ability to get up and go, stretch my legs and move. I was frustrated in Central America by the lack of walking, though most people used their legs to get around. Still, it wasn’t safe in many areas to walk alone, or so i was told, and i limited myself both within the towns and cities, and out into the countryside. And how free i felt those times i was in parks or areas where i could walk alone, especially in nature, and how free i felt my first days back here. I had felt caged and constrained, but was it really the danger outside or the lack of walking. And i think of other times in the countryside, working on small organic farms, in areas with few trails, in places where people do not walk, and i also felt contained, or in areas dominated by cars where it is unpleasant or dangerous to walk as the road is not for you. And yes walking represents my freedom.
And i have felt the walking taking over, becoming a life onto itself before – and i think it is not the walking per se, but the wandering, wandering like i am doing now. On other travels, especially in cities, when i walk blocks and blocks and blocks looking for something to eat or something, buzzing in my brain, or even years ago in montreal when i would wander, wander down the streets, not really knowing where i was going but often finding myself back in the same place and space. At times it has become frenetic, when i have felt constrained, and then been given permission to walk and have felt that i must, that i must move my legs – left, right, left, right – and walk for pleasure, although the pleasure was not there.
At other times i have loved the walk, be it on a special trail or along a beach, or to and from work or school, even in the wind and the rain – stretching my legs, greeting the day, unwinding after a long day inside. And it is a movement i love, and i am grateful to be able to do and that i miss dearly when it is not available. Maybe the difference is the times when i am walking with direction or interest or clarity versus those times where i am merely wandering or pacing (though it may be over large distances) Not ambling, because then discoveries are made when you step out or stumble into a new area or street and mind is clear and you are open and aware.
I think i have gone back to wandering, yes that which is in my name And i wish to walk, but forward and around, not pace back and forth in circles. For walking has its own energies that it carries with itself – and the intent is felt and it can intensify the energies within. I sit now, will ride a bus, and then walk.

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I have come back to San Francisco and after its initial wonder, i now feel sad and realize what i was being told when i was away. The place is still beautiful, the weather has been perfect, warm sunny days where all smile and get out to enjoy the parks, the walks, the beach, where dogs smile too, and it is a place where yes i am able to walk on a trail, walk the streets, wander around something i felt i was missing in Central America, and it is an illusionary safety. The place is multicultural, with so many different people, i do not stand out. There are flowers, and trees, and so many restos and coffee houses and more. But now i feel empty. For the truth is i am homeless and broke, and do not have a place here, a way to be here. There is so much of the good life and nice things – even those that are eco friendly etc. which seems empty if it is done alone, and can be empty if it is the focus of life, and there are also so many who so messed up and alone.

And i think of what drove me back “home” – yes i never felt in kilter in central america – i am glad i went but it never felt like ” me” – but i think of those times early on in Costa rica at the beautiful beach of manual antonio or in the cloud forests of monteverde, where i loved the nature and the beauty and felt a bit empty – it reminded me of places here and i wanted to return – and i now realize that beautiful places where god shines are to be cherished, but to just walk them nd wander them alone can be empty – for one needs to give and share and contribute, and just walking trails, while at times essential for me, is in itself, missing something, and i have felt this way in other beautiful places too – that i need to contribute and give. Yes appreciate the beauty but that there is something more.

And it is that quest for something more that has left me empty with nothing to give, and i want to give and join and not just wander. In the colonial towns i fell down emotionally, walking the streets, admiring the architecture, the churches, sit down to eat, but alone, and just wandering, and wandering is emptying.

But now i am back in the usa – where i asked to be, but am separate. days spent wandering once again and i do not know what to do or how to give.  when i focus on the moment i feel ok and can sense gods beauty but when i get to thinking about what i should do i end up in a panic, in tears, eyes and ears cloud over, the feeling that what i am doing is wrong but then not knowing what the answer is and not seeing or hearing opportunities and i become i a sad buzzing energy force – and can only focus on the present to calm myself and be clear. And i have returned to an unhealthy zone, one that makes me ill and how to transcend it. I do not see new options, i can only speak to god when calm and i do not know how to move beyond.

I returned and returned to all that goes with this – lord i want to serve you but do not know how. he sun is shining and not burning as it did to the south, an entity to be cherished instead of hidden from. But as i said elsewhere, i need purpose to my day, purpose to my day, To go out walk, smile try to maintain the light, but what else. I have not been able to plan the future without worry, and that worry blinds me. Lord, i have been wandering for too long, and i do not know how to stop here or anywhere, and this place is expensive i came back to join in but how.

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