Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Excerpts from a dirtbagging vagabond's diary ...

The public discourse of my personal thoughts and feelings are on display here: I seek to share openly about the raw emotion that I experienced at one point in my life not too long ago. It is within this primary space that my life is defining still - with swirls, lateral shifts, and ventures into the heights and depths of living. Please tread lightly, knowing that an emotional beast slumbers in all of us. 

I pause off the side of the highway; lulled into a longing stare with the approaching sunrise. Through my side view mirror the early light bleeds freedom, beauty, simplicity! Off in the distance a train horn sounds as a tractor trailer comes boldly down the highway; headed west, like I.

A high white wisp of cloud simmers above a lone star: an uncaptured prisoner in the loving, non-violent war between dark and dawn. My hands grow colder with the early morning chill and my pen strokes increase, attempting to capture the portrait of beauty ahead of me. More light, more colors, more beauty. Is there any reason not to smile? Even the steady, yet sparse flow of traffic in the predawn maze of color fails to disgruntle me.

The flat vastness of the Midwest seems nothing to lament about, though, possibly unlike other visitors to this region, I am most appreciative of the sunrise and sunsets blessing this land from wide right to wide left. A state policeman pulls-up to my stopped vehicle, sitting dormant on the side of the interstate. He kindly informs me to not be stopped unless I am in an emergency. Reluctantly, though glad for what I saw, I move on - Westward!


I take a few fleeting moments to record the sunset; after a sunrise this morning, I feel complete in some fashion. The vivid blue way up in the ionosphere and the bright burning yellow of the sun's refraction; the pink-purply hue of clouds proximal to the sun's last occupancy on the horizon round out the evening portrait. Such beauty! If only it could be without these tractor trailers and cars rolling by; and, perhaps shared with another curious soul as well.

Anyways, onward to the Colorado border; there's still light skyward!

Sitting here, desiring to reflect a bit on my reintegration to Colorado ... again I find it comforting to recall the peacefulness I experienced on that long drive. It wasn't necessarily a kind [of peacefulness] that was inspired externally - as in a beautiful nature scene of waterfalls and sunshine - but rather an internal sense of peace. This is something I've been striving to obtain since my time outside on the [Appalachian Trail]. I imagine the freedom I was and am feeling in that flowing free mentality right now in life. I believe this is something that holistically contributed to my extended sense of calm.

Arriving near the NE Colorado border with Nebraska, I was treated to a final display of evening colors. I had taken 5 or 10 minutes, as the sunny orb descended below the horizon a short time before, to drink it all in; to try and lovingly capture, in words, the scene before me. The crazy colors, pastel in spectrum, seemed quite unique - almost too subtle to describe in generality. Even though my camera captured some of the image electro-mechanically, the sight my whole being witnessed far surpassed anything the camera ever could. Perhaps my heart and mind - sitting as one peacefully - permitted a patient and positive view on what I was witnessing. Perhaps the entire cycle of sunlight - from watching sunrise to sunset - contributed a completed sense of appreciation...hmmmm; hard to know exactly. And that, I feel, is what makes it so simply beautiful.

I don't need to think much about the details; I only need acknowledge and appreciate it.

Feeling negative and bitter right now. Perhaps I'm at my limit. The Unforgiven came on my iPod's shuffle... embitterment shines through right now. My light, what level is it at?

I've given and been given - specifically care and places to stay, shower, and sleep, but still I crave a different way to lighten my life. Journaling seems a good way to express - especially since I don't desire to burden others with my temporary issues.

Perhaps I'm at the threshold of time I can spend flowing freely in my life. [I have] been without work for a while, but what intrigues my curiosity is the continual time spent living in other's spaces: one and a half months and counting. This existence is freeing but I desire a base, a place to call home that isn't my car per se.

I observe the idea to take off the necklace I've made to hold Hannah's bracelet, but in reaching to grasp and take it off, I hesitate and retreat. Sounds like the over-arching notion that has been my emotional journey. What would I truly gain by removing it? The idea that I can be free of it if I choose? Seems a minute point. It'll remain as a token of Love's patience - despite the turmoil I've temporarily created for myself.

Days of the week matter little to me. If anything, the weekend signals increased availability of friends who work weekdays; and certain limitations on business hours: as weekends cause workday shifts, etc.

Sitting here, listening to music, writing thoughts and feelings - thinking about poor me, who only has his car as his home. What a sorry fuck! I haven't been this low in so long. I wonder if I'll be able to shine through to Ben and Agi tonight; or, if I'll disguise my disillusionment with what is truly good in my life right now?

I'm so much more awake and aware in life now, but I also witness the cross-talk of emotion resulting. Treading time to heart and love ... in souljahing on. Gotta!

Sitting on the couch in Rumors Coffee House in [Crested Butte]. The other room was quite loud and this space serves better for reflection and reading - which I intend to do this afternoon/evening.

I'd like to address this past Saturday (12/1/12), a day in which I bleakly saw the world and my immediate future. In such positive force for the last month and half, it seemed quite an unfortunate contrast for me to be so inherently negative. I was bitter. I resolved - even after a beautiful hike to Signal Peak (in Gunnison) - to complain and escape into a cloak of negativity. I acknowledge the necessity - perhaps - of this contrast, but after experiencing such positive flow and vibe for so long, it seemed odd to be in a negative space.

So, here and now - feeling positive and purposeful - I scratch slowly to make sense of the muddy water's surface that was my day past. I look forward to the unknowns. Life is lining me into a necessary space. I appreciate this. Ahhh, breathing...thank you!

Writing for the sake of just that. Still waking up; the sun is bright, and I think of last eve up near Kebler Pass - skate skiing with Ben, Mike, and Josh.

In any direction skyward nothing screamed for more attention than the white crystal holes punched in the black canvas. With my headlamp off the stars shone brilliant and bright; the Milky Way even demonstrating its dusty dance across the sky. What a sight to see; what a sight to feel! Surely this is one of the reasons I came back out West.


A moving break from my conscious thought in this exact space brings new information to my cerebrum: the level of comfort I've grown to accept as normal in the last 6 months has helped me grow, surely. For example, using public restrooms for my bodily business; sleeping on floors, often a different one every night - without exact knowledge where I'll sleep the next night, nor worry either. 

This feels freeing - knowing that I am opening to opportunities as they call, instead of halting to think about them. The later perhaps seeking a place of comfort - which seems to have been redefined in my life. 

As I prepare for the winter season, and my time living and renting with the Halliwell Brothers in Edwards, I wonder towards the progress of what has been my life till now. 

I look forward to writing. To pouring over my thoughts - especially my written accounts of thoughts, feelings, and situations - as I prepare to write, to bring forth the creative potential within: sharing the loving flower of freedom with those who seek to hear. This will be a beautiful process. 

I take this final space of white-lined page to thank and appreciate this journey. Much to be grateful for! Thank you to you in my life. 


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Change and Transformation

I do not know what to write, how to express what has been my week since my last post. A lot of emotional downs, with ups coming in the subsequent wake of the passing storm. In this, I am thankful for a few individuals, who in their wonderfulness have shared their love, advice and journey with me. Yes, I, too, desire the words and love of a mentoring soul. I am thankful for these wise women who shed light on my darkness and brightness on my life, actively and passively!

A number of things could be surmised in the following words, but I seek to keep it in brevity; please enjoy two separate entries below as you intermix the thoughts and feelings of change and transformation:

The Journey of Transformation

But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.

— from The Journey by Mary Oliver

I had been contemplating “transformation” and what it means to me when I came across this Mary Oliver poem. I’d been thinking about how change and transformation are obviously closely related, but transformation just feels more deeply personal and life-altering to me. Personal, in the sense that, though change is inevitable, transformation feels more like a conscious change that, once chosen, becomes undeniable. Life-altering, in the sense that conscious change feels to me like a courageous step toward growth and expansion.

Without change, transformation is simply not possible, but change is always occurring with or without a transformative result. The difference lies within us. I know, for myself, that I can quickly center myself into the present moment, but until I really meet myself there I never fully arrive. It’s when I come in direct contact with the moment that I can feel the transformation already beginning. It’s the ability to look around and really see what’s going on while allowing myself to feel the effects inside of me, whether they are physical, mental, emotional—or all of the above. 

Allowing a natural expansion

I find that when I really let myself feel from within, there is a natural expansion outward that occurs without me having to coax or force it. Perhaps that expansion is actually the recognition of the presence of something greater in life that can at that moment, if allowed, guide us toward transformation.

Change suggests an outward shift and transformation suggests an inner shift. There are times we can choose change and, more often, there are times when change just happens, but transformation is always, always a conscious choice. It takes real courage to go “deeper and deeper into the world,” but when each step can bring you closer to the person you know you are and toward the life you want to live, why not????

How does transformation fit into your life experience right now? I invite you to contemplate this inspiring theme and how it affects you as you look ahead and embrace this wonderful new blessing of a year. May we all remember our connection to each other and to something greater that is beyond words, and may we all embrace and enjoy the journey!


Want the Change
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Be inspired by the flame where everything shines as it disappears. The artist, when sketching, loves nothing so much as the curves of the body as it turns away.

What locks itself in sameness has congealed.

Pour yourself out like a fountain.
Flow into the knowledge that what you are seeking
finishes often at the start, and with ending, begins.

Every happiness is the child of a separation
it did not think it could survive.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

In the Country - music from the soul

Music calls to be listened to, everyday it seems. This flowing rhythm with rhyme for all to partake in. Almost as if that medium, and how effortlessly it can enter our presence, was inherently part of life. So much music exists out there - some good, many not-so-good, in my opinion. My roommate Ryan and I were taking a lazy afternoon a few days ago and we both came to rest on the thought of soul in music. How, without soul, music just doesn't ring quite as true to our beings, our insides! It's as if my or your soul acknowledges, without interruption of conscious thought, what the artist is displaying outwardly from within. Beautiful! 

I can't explain why I choose this song to listen to this morning, but after hearing it and desiring to understand what they are saying - through listening and feeling - I feel renewed in my day! I thank my father for this musical influence in my life. I wonder if he has taken the time to let this song, and its message, sink into his being? I bet there was a time and place that he did; reconnect Dad! I love you. 

In the Country by Chicago on Grooveshark 
or follow this link: (http://grooveshark.com/s/In+The+Country/3oapbF?src=5)

Oh my reasons
And my ways
Keep on changing
From day to day
As I grow
It becomes so clear
Why I'm here

It's all here
for you and me (thank you for this!)
The beauty of life
Someday you'll see
And then you'll join in
And sing along
And you'll understand why I sing this song
Let me tell you now

I do love you
I do love you (yes, you, that person sitting here listening)
I do love you

Well I'm talkin' bout life
And livin' (uh-huh)
And the beautiful earth (oh lordy!)
And givin' (we could all do this more, eh?)
Talkin 'bout the natural things we've had since birth (how fortunate!!)
That's lovin'
Well I'm talkin' 'bout a walk in the country
'Bout an angel's sweet charm
The smell of her perfume
And they both comin' on
Let me tell you now

I do love you
I do love you 
I do love you (because livin' is lovin'!)

Well it's a beautiful day (certainly is!)
And I'm on my way
Oooh, thank you lord, for the country

Well my thoughts
Are like ripples in a stream (poetic!)
I see myself so free
My eyes and spirit say hello
My soul goes dancing by, oh hello (how do you see yourself?)

The clean fresh air (what a treat!)
Goes jumping through my head
The sun is smilin' down
If you have ever lived out here
Then you know why I say...

I do love you 
I do love you 
I do love you 
(all of you, even those I do not know!)

So come on let's move
Out to the country (or at least appreciate what is naturally outside)
Yeah, let's go live out there
Let's get funky (Uhhh!)
Come on people
Come on people
Yeah, let's be free
We got to be free (Why not?!)
In the country
You and me

Come on people
Come on people
Better have a good time 
We'll have a good time
We got to be free...come on now

Striving in LOVE for others and self,

"When you are in tune with the unknown, the known is peaceful." 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Travels to The Source, and back again

Once again I ventured up into the hills near my shared apartment. Led by some voice, a whisper, an uncertain push/pull to sojourn back into the woods; the scrubby bushes, the Aspens, the wild. Crossing the highway, that final barrier between human and nature - true uninterrupted nature, that is - and stepping, plunging rather, into the knee deep snow of the steep hill's northern facing flank.

Reaching the first of many tablelands, humble in their square footage of sage brush, I paused to catch my breath and to scout the unfolding landscape ahead of me. With sunshine, that glorious perfection striving towards the Earth, in my eye I moved back and away around a nearby bush, using it as a shield in which to see the nature scene up and to my forefront. Out of the corner of my eye motion led to conscious acknowledgment of a small herd of animals starring at me. Two large bucks and 3 does. One buck more easily detected amongst the herd than the other, presenting themselves - antlers large and outlined by the Colorado blue sky above and beyond. Smiling, as the breathy vapor of winter escaped my lips, I starred back in happiness that non-human creatures existed in this shared space with me. After a short while, the deer, in their darkened brown coats of winter, departed up the hill further, away from the intended direction of my solo travel.

Continuing on, across the largest of the earthen tables I'd cross this day, I paused and turned to take in the scenery of the Eagle River Valley. Remarking out loud to myself of the grandeur and beauty that the mountains far across the valley to the north revealed with each step up, into a new and higher perspective: where the reaches of humans only visit; devoid of our lavish interpretations of habitation and homes.

A short while earlier, before leaving the apartment, I gathered the few necessary items not already on my person: water, sunglasses, and a warm layer for this quarter-day journey up and back. In my preparations I once again heard the voice of truthfulness. Not my truth but a created, established one that softly discloses subtle words, guidance - only seeming to register within when I am truly listening. Or was it me creating thoughts within my consciousness? No...

This soft, gentle whisper just below my conscious thought stuck with me. Knowing there flowed water from the earth where I'd be going today, I doubted, at first, the guidance, the truth shared with me. Only after I had finished filling my bottle with water from the tap did I recognize and accept this thought not to be mine. Coming to a sudden space of harmony with my ambiguous thoughts, reassured in what I had witnessed silently slipping into my realized consciousness, I poured the water out of my bottle into another bottle that would remain here, in the human world.


Ascending, ambulating foot in front of foot, up another vertically venturing hill of the northern flank of this mountain, I suspended in mid-stride to take in a set of animal tracks. These were not the tracks of deer, a social animal known to amass in groups, but, rather, the tracks of a loner: a hunter. 

The size of the paw print in the snow occupied almost the entire space of my own human palm. The distinct pads of one print in particular contrasting the snowy purchase around which it had been placed. I half witnessed within me an acute pang of fear in the unknown before reason fortunately told that these tracks were old by a few days or more. Speculating such based on the amount of snow covering some of the less visible tracks and their relative lack of distinction. Thinking of the wilderness space I was in - out of my element - recalling the story I had just read about mountain lions from a book my sister gifted to me for Christmas called The Animal Dialogues, by Craig Childs. Shaking my head at the momentary facade of fear, I flashed another smile and kept on up the hill; spurred by a thirst for the liquid medium that flowed somewhere up yonder. 


I truly enjoy the snow; this frozen interpretation of water, cast upon the Earth's surface for a duration of months known as winter. In selfish admittance this is one reason I chose to come back West again - to experience winter to its possible fullest. The way the typically dry snow of Colorado piles upon itself, coalescing over the nearly imperceptible granules of its brothers and sisters. Shining bright, brighter with each step. Sunlight caressing the snowy particles in their movement of forced exile from the space created by my booted feet. Momentarily captivating a simple acknowledgement within me of a greater, more complex sense of creation that is not of human form or doing. 

Transitioning in my movement and affirmation of the beauty of nature around me, I trended up, leading myself by memory and the channeling landmarks of the gulch towards the source that flows - even in the cold, frozen reality of winter time. In my growing excitement and proximity to the source, I again paused, shielded by an ample-sized Aspen tree from the direct stare of the sun. Registering the refracting rays in my bodily stillness as they spit off the tree, glancing onto the other off-whites of Aspens immersed in this snowy landscape nearby. I closed my eyes; allowing, willing, attenuating my sight so that my other senses could be. 

Attempting; gaining a short peaceful space; failing. Distracted by my own human-created thought. Eyes opened: renewed was my spirit in its realization of the treasured sight of what lay around me - enveloping me; accepting me.

another source; pure and as nature intended! 
I've been coined as a spastic person before; this certainly seemed true on this day as I sloppily ambled, spurred yet again by that draw for liquid, up and over downed snow-covered trees. Easily creating a scene typical of human forms in my not-so-graceful movements of bizarre entertainment to any creatures that watched. Once past the downed logs, seeming to guard entrance to the source, I collected myself as I proceeded just a bit further, step by snowy step, to a small rivulet, unfrozen and flowing: the source! Well, one source of flowing water, at least, in this wintry landscape. 

Finding a spot that would accept my bottle, attempting to not be disruptive nor rude to the other creatures that shared this necessary source of daily life, I filled my bottle with enough for one short draw. The taste: teeming with fullness of nothing, no flavor; except the flavor of everything, realized existence! Registering this blissful emotion led me to fill my bottle again - this time collecting the gravity-fed flow of water to the top of my bottle. Smiling. Again, that display of emotion that creeps out of everywhere and anywhere within me when I truly venture outside, into the wilds. Acknowledging that once again I had the unique bestowment of a blessing in my life. Simple and quick as this taste was, it had been since the Appalachian Trail, this past June to October, that I had tasted water in its natural, unadulterated, unfiltered-except-for-Mother-Nature's-natural-strainers, form. What a simple thing to easily appreciate.

Satisfied, striped with happiness, beaming! with brightness. Temporarily forgetting the cold of this winter landscape, I moved off, away from the source; following curiosity towards an area of Aspens I had yet to explore. Once out of the gulch and up the other side, I reached a spot preserved with the damp cold of the dark night prior. Though I could see the rays of sunlight in areas nearby, the cold penetrated me. Standing as a silent barrier to we in our meek human forms: unsuited naturally for habitation in these unique spots of nature.

Wishing to have my beard back, I put on my extra layer - a light down jacket - interjecting warmth in my cold reverie. Being struck with thought about this specific spot, wide and long as a baseball diamond; never seeing, experiencing, feeling sunlight in the short day of winter's time. Perhaps that is why even the animal tracks in this area are sparse. Distracted from this struck thought, nudged by the cold chill, I, in my satisfaction of a nature's steep to my spirit, turned and proceeded downhill.

Back to that human society from which I hail. Back down into the overly-tracked and under-spaced conglomeration of shared existence. Back past the lavish interpretations of homes lining the mountains. Sickening structures of a different kind of grandeur, easily costing millions of dollars, produced for the sake of semi-selfish enjoyment and pleasure. Back across that final barrier, the highway, with small bits of trash littered along its unloved flanks. Back, to the human world with water from taps - purified with chemicals for your health and safety. Back. Baaaack.

*Deep breaths...*

Till I smile with you again, may swirls of beauty find you, interrupting your day;
may intuition, that soft voice set-to-speak when our thoughts become less loud share with you;
may LOVE fill you, like water fills a bottle.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Ever Really Wanted?

And if you ever really wanted, someone to call your own.
And if you ever really needed, while you were all alone.
And time and trouble did you ever think that you would be with your back against the wall?
But now your older, so much wiser now, the one who wants to make the call. 
A little bolder now, cause while you're all alone, don't really know why you be holding on, to what was wrong. 
And if you ever really thought that you would be the one with your back against the wall. 
But now you rolling through like you never knew what it was to lose it all.

And if you hear what the other man say, you better stop and see.
And if you see what the other man see you know we must agree.
And if you do what the other man do, oh lord, we cannot be, the way that we wanted, the way that you need for the one that should be.

Have you ever really wanted someone to call your own? Someone, something, some place, sometime!
We shove along, and live the life, when you need someone, someone to call your own,
My brotha, my sista, its good to have a place for home.

The lost and isolated, picking up the phone, but all I gets a ringtone.
I've got myself, but its always good to have a confident and a helping hand, cause we need each other, don't you understand well!

Hear what the other man say, you better stop and see.
And if you see what the other man see, you know we must agree.
And if you do what t he other man do, oh lord, we cannot be, the way that we wanted the way the you need for the one that should be.

We can hope for better skies and we don't see why others lie all day and night you can't deny these things we've seen through others eyes,
The long and windey road, is the road that's been less traveled on, 
I said the long and windey road, is the road you take while moving on.

And if you hear what the other man say, you better stop and see.
And if you see what the other man see you know we must agree.
And if you do what the other man do, oh lord, we cannot be, the way that we wanted, the way that you need for the one that should be.

Love fully; help another up! Life is this one, beautifully drawn-out chance.

The next time I return, it won't be the same, and that is how it is to be: living in fullness in the wonderful moments of life!