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it’s the sound of wetness

November 3, 2008

hmmm – i seem to be back into a habit of doing things recently.  i’ve been relishing the repetition of my recent life to a degree.  when i say this, i don’t mean the predictability of my life currently – my previous post atests to my dislike of these patterns.  no, i like the repetition – the repeating of certain ritual acts that lend comfort to my day.

i’ve been waking up an hour earlier than i normally do during the week and spending time being awake in my flat.  i do the dishes, i eat breakfast, i watch democracy now, i do the laundry.  i’ve found this a form of meditation as i prepare myself for the day.  i have – for so long – thrown off the covers and rushed to work.  this left me feeling unhealthy so, by and large, i’ve given it up when i can.  maybe it’s the repetition of the movements i make in the dish sink or maybe it’s the anticipation of the sun rising over the eastern mountains that i see from my window – each day until the solstice, i count the shortening minutes of the day as the sun takes longer and longer to creep into the still, cold air of the valley, much like my truck groans as i turn it over in the morning.

and i’ve taken to writing letters – real letters – every sunday to someone new.  so far there have been two sent and i hope that many more will follow in their wake.  letters care about people – emails don’t.  so i’m trying to show that i care.  i love a cup of coffee, a table with the view of the street, and a piece of paper heading to someone i care about.

with all of his admiration of my repetition nature, i’ve been trying to do something that i wouldn’t typically do at least once a day – just to “do something that doesn’t compute,” as wendell berry would say.  it has been as simple as getting ready for bed only to stay up and make grape jelly or turning off on to a road i’ve never driven before and attempting to get to where i need to be by a route i’ve never experienced.  the juxtaposition is amazing.

it’s still raining – more water than i’ve seen in a long time has been dripping from the grey sky and that feeling of wetness has returned to my feet and has brought its brother the chill to my fingers and hands.  but it’s great to see a dry landscape drink so much and then swell to accept more.  where i live is a vibrant experience and i will miss it if i ever leave.

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the signs of a time

November 2, 2008

it’s raining again in san francisco and i’ve found myself struggling with wet emotions that i haven’t seen in my neck of the woods for a long time.  i found that, at times, i have a desire to disappear – not because i am unhappy, but rather because i would like to look at things from a more detached perspective.  perhaps from there, i would be able to see things more clearly than i see them now.

i’m good and that’s good.  work is fine, though i find myself wanting to be less settled in routine and the predictability of my current working life.  i am due to be finished at the end of this month, but there is a chance that i’ll stay and take on a new role.  i don’t know if i will – right now i don’t know anything about where i’m headed for the next year.  the new job would be great and i would learn a lot/move forward with a lot of potential for new experiences.  but i fear the milk has soured and i need something different.  i’ve been plagued by restlessness and thoughts of the adventures that i’ve withheld because of my seriousness and my sense of commitment to those other than myself.  this has been my perpetual burden my entire life and i’m not sure how to shake it.  perhaps acknowledging it and challenging it is all that i can do.

my hair is long and i thought about the tips the other day.  they are the hair that i had when i still lived in indiana.  i thought about how hair is a history of your life that you carry with you.  i think about cutting it sometimes, but i’ve committed to make a life change when i do so.  for now, i have to contemplate what change would signal the need for chopped hair.

ashley and i are good – navigating the uncertain seas of our lives.  she is unhappy in her job and has committed to quit as of next spring.  with my job uncertainty and her departure from the current gig, we are even less certain about how we’ll ever live so that we don’t have to coordinate weekend drives for visits.  nothing is certain, but we’re enjoying the time as we have it.

more and more, i miss people in my life but i’m not sure who they are.  i guess i miss a connection that i never really had.  is it possible to miss a figment of your imagination, of friendships that you never really had.  i guess i miss deep connection with people that get me.  i don’t know if i have that after a couple disappointing interactions with people that i saw as close friends.  not so much those people being bad friends, but rather me realizing that they don’t really know anything about me and – perhaps – don’t really care.  i’ve found that i provide a caretaker role for a lot of my relationships and rarely is someone interested in how i am.  i have a few people that truly seek this understanding and i appreciate this; unfortunately, they make me aware of how many people don’t embody this compassion and push me further and further away.  i’m sure that i perpetuate this in my behavior and i hope that i can end this was soon as i am able.

no apologies on this post – i’m feeling a bit isolated but it will pass.  perhaps it’s the rain – perhaps i should just open the window and let it fall, knowing it has its purpose and it will pass in time.

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a long time gone

December 17, 2007

well it’s been over four months since i’ve posted anything on this blog. in those months, i found myself spending more time deleting spam comment than actually contemplating what i would write about. i dropped off the map – the radar went dead. in a way, i was happy – the blog was a link to something that i’ve been growing increasingly more tired of: technology.

this tiredness is only due to the essence of technology itself. perhaps equally to blame is the fact that i exist in a partially computer dependent workplace.  this is especially so as we move into the colder and wetter winter months when the garden and farm are sleeping.  so i spend my time in my office doing random bits – typically on the computer.  so when i lock the door behind me, i rarely want to sit down and express myself via keyboard.

however, what is more is that i am content doing other things that push writing a post to the bottom of the free time to-do list.  i’ve been jumping head first into reading my permaculture design manual, spending time with ashley, making cakes, working on my truck, scheming a pottery wheel, designing a home climbing wall, actually securing a home (so now you can all come visit), planning a chicken coop, applying for the mendocino master gardener program, making necklaces from found natural objects, planning the gardens, spending time with my most lovely interns, and generally living a personal life that incorporates more “doing” and less “describing.”  i know that a balance is possible – but at the moment i prefer to lean more toward the former than the latter.

so this is my  apology for being less available in any major sense – blog-wise, phone-wise, e-mail-wise, and letter-wise.  i’m making a new effort with the final weeks of the new year.  this will be easy with all my free time that i’ll have in the next two weeks.  i’m at home in noblesville until the 30th, so don’t be a stranger.

until next time (hopefully not another four months)….

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motorcycle

August 9, 2007

well it has been a while since i’ve done something really stupid.  not stupid as in locking keys in the car or putting my foot in my mouth – those are considered regular occurances.  nope, i needed something that my brain couldn’t rationalize at all.  today it learning to ride a motorcycle. 

my friend christina is around to help with some natural building and she rode her motorcycle/dirt bike/whatever it is.  i immediately wanted to ride despite being taught that motorcyles are very, very dangerous and promising that i would never get one one.  i can definatively say that the first statement is true and that i broke the second statement.

the first ride around was simple enough – it was just like a 4-wheeler.  so i rode and felt pretty bad ass.  but then i decided to keep going and immediately went down.  nothing major – some scrapes and bruises for both myself and the bike.  also my left ankle is pretty sore but i can walk so i think it’s fine – maybe a little sprained.  but it was fun.  i got right back on the bike (well christina told me to get back on) and rode around with a good deal more respect for the machine that was between my legs.  i think it was good because i now know that i have very little interest in riding a motorcyle all the time.  they are cool and all, but i think that the pros don’t outweigh the cons.  namely, the cons are that you can easily die at any given time and i have known people who have died in freak accidents that weren’t that serious.  so lesson learned – and i have a cool set of cuts to tell people about!

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so here’s something strange…

August 6, 2007

it seems like everyone that i have been romantically involved with in the past, save one or two people, is married or in the process of getting married.  just this last two weeks, i have found out that two past partners are getting hitched.  i haven’t had that many romances [around six over the last nine years], but of those that i have had four are either engaged or married.  i’m not bummed out or anything like that – they are all amazing women and the fellas they are marrying are certainly just as amazing.  it’s just one of those “getting older” things – people are at that age where getting married make sense.

and i suppose that it’s strange because of where i am right now – namely, being very, very far away from anything close to marriage.  it has been about three and a half years since my last long-long term relationship – one that approached the topic of serious long-term commitment.  a relationship is so foreign to me right now that i can’t truly appreciate someone getting married.  i’ve been focused on my happiness for so long that i have to work at thinking about someone else being part of it for the rest of my life.  not that i’m pessimistic, it’s just very foreign.  i’m definitely at a point where a relationship would be awesome and i feel like i’ve been out riding fences for too long.

it’s funny to think about the people that you love intensely for a time in your life and then lose touch with.  i was doing the dishes several days ago and i thought about all those moments when i was with someone – lying in bed and thinking about how long i would know this person in this context.  it always seemed like it would last forever.  love and romance is really amazing.

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letting heart strings grow long

July 30, 2007

today i found myself doing the backstroke in the pond.  i closed my eyes, felt my body float in the top, warm layer of the water, and watched the light of the setting sun fill my world with light.  i thought about my life.

in a little over a month, i’ll be 25 – a quarter of a century – and, now that i think about it, i’m excited for the next year.  i guess that i’m excited about what all will happen in my life.  there was a time that i didn’t have a whole lot of faith that i was getting to where i needed to be – there are times that i still feel that way.  but mostly, my life has move in the direction of damn-near overwhelming for everything that is to come.  i think about the moment in american beauty (sorry, another movie quote – deal with it) where ricky is talking about the plastic bag video:

“it was one of those days when it’s a minute away from snowing and there’s this electricity in the air, you can almost hear it. and this bag was, like, dancing with me. like a little kid begging me to play with it. for fifteen minutes. and that’s the day i knew there was this entire life behind things, and… this incredibly benevolent force, that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever. video’s a poor excuse, i know. but it helps me remember… and i need to remember… sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world i feel like i can’t take it, like my heart’s going to cave in.”

that’s how i feel – like there is so much and my body can barely contain it.  there is so much out there and i can relax about wanting it all right now – it will all come right when it’s suppose to.  this 24th year has been very interesting.  i’ve mostly come to appreciate the randomness and the perfection in life.  i thought about the beginning of my relationships and where they are presently while i felt my toes dip below the thermocline of the pond.  i had no idea that the people  i love (if you’re reading this, most likely this includes you) would be what they are today when i first met them.  there are those that i loved, lost, and learned to love again.  there are those that i’ve always loved.  there are those that i’ve let to learn to love.  then i thought about where it would go from here and smiled as the flowers from the trees along the ponds blew in to the water and floated quietly past me.

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blackberries, burning man, south pole frustrations, and sadness

July 25, 2007

blackberries

yesterday i did something that i haven’t done for a long time.  i walked the railroad tracks.  with each step i remembered how much i love abandoned rail lines and thought about building a handcar again – if only the plans weren’t $75.  besides the presence of beautiful flowers that are slowly breaking down the construction of man and the dry creek bed filled with amazing rocks, the tracks are lined with some of the most thick patches of blackberries.  and they are perfect this time of year.  so as i walked to the pub to read my book, i took about 15 minutes to sit quietly and eat berries until my hands were stained purple and my legs were bleeding from the thorns.  each time i thought i’d found the best berry, i’d see one just a bit further back.  as i felt the thorns cut my leg, i had to weigh how delicious i thought that berry would be versus how much pain i was willing to tolerate.  like i said, my hands were stained purple.

burning man

well, i think i’m going (august 24th/my birthday – september 2nd) for work.  so i get paid but don’t have to do that much.  i’m kind of excited to celebrate my quarter century birthday in the desert with a bunch of strange friends and friendly strangers.  you should come too – it’ll be fun. 

south pole frustrations

so with each day, i’m feeling less interested in going to antarctica.  this is mostly because i really like where i am now.  it truly is a once in a lifetime experience to have this job and live where i live.  antartica (despite the hangups that i’ve mentioned in previous posts) will be hiring the same number of people next year and i’ll be more qualified to do something that i actually enjoy doing/helps me learn.  but my growing disinterest is related to all the bullshit that they make you do in order to go.  peeing in cups, filling out lots of forms, taking online courses on information security, having to drive two hours round trip to do medical check-ups, and just putting up with pushy people.  right now i’m at about 85% sure i’m not going.  i’ll probably end up jumping through hoops so that i can still have the option to leave here when october comes.  but my life is really great right now – i’m very, very happy.  i guess it’s hard to understand if you’re not here. 

sadness

i had a feeling that it was inevitable – tonight i got a call that one of my guys that lived on my floor when i was an r.a. had died.  i’ve been thinking about it a lot.  another guy from the floor called as i was walking the train tracks again tonight (more berries and more reading at the pub) and told me.  we talked for awhile about all the good things we could remember (listening to boys 2 men, the same ratty t-shirt mike wore all the time, etc.) and i thought about people dying.  i realized that it’s only going to become more frequent as we get older – people die and that’s how it is.  i was sad – i still am.  but i realized that not only does the passing of time mean the passing of people, but it also means that you lose all the bad memories that you have of a person.  all i can remember are good things about mike and i hope that i can hang onto that for the rest of my life.  i suppose that is being successful – finding your happiness while leaving positive memories behind.  i thought about the part in waking ned divine where they are having the funeral for ned/michael.  most of it doesn’t apply to the michael i knew – we only knew each other for a couple semesters, but i think it’s still a great part. 

“michael o’sullivan was my great friend. but i don’t ever remember telling him that. the words that are spoken at a funeral are spoken too late for the man who is dead.  what a wonderful thing it would be to visit your own funeral. to sit at the front and hear what was said, maybe say a few things yourself. michael and i grew old together. but at times, when we laughed, we grew young. if he was here now, if he could hear what i say, i’d congratulate him on being a great man, and thank him for being a friend.”