I step out into the parking lot of a wet, autumn Colorado morning, the truck slows with practiced reactionary haste; I look dumbfounded in the direction of the driver, hidden behind their rain-covered windshield.
'Boy, I feel out of place.'
Stepping back, out of the way of the truck's path, I wonder, 'what is this place?' Am I just pretending that this is real?
Back in society - the world of clocks and toilets; I feel skittish around this curiosity. There are so many options, so many opportunities in ones' singular day! Sitting in the corner of the coffee shop, back and side to a wall, with all the people in easy view of me. I feel trusting here - it's not like I'm a giraffe in the human world, it is, rather, I experience heavy dosages of nature - the wild Wilds - seeing fresh bear scat, still warm to the touch, elk bugles in the chilly early morning of the high country, and yipping, playful choruses of coyotes a few hundred yards from my tarp shelter while sleeping at night. That is my existence more and more. In this, I feel I've become the part time, versed-and-committed-to-dirtbagging member of society that I am; though, am I just pretending to belong here?
Sitting in the pilot seat of Freedom's cockpit, the 1991 Toyota van I drive, aged to a fine state of operational quirks, wearing a well-worn pair of jeans that haven't seen the inside of a washer since this past spring, I realize the distances I could travel; the power I have at my finger and foot-tips to transport me to faraway lands in this free country. Though, I feel confused - conflicted on where I should I go with my day. This other part of me, interred inside my loving existence, not confused by all that appears and occurs on and within the outside world, knows. This, the voice of intuition, knows much more than conscious, stream-of-mind me. Pausing, long enough to let my attentive mind settle its expressive metronome of processing, down into my existence, I feel confident in where I should go and do. The pretending seems less a fabrication and more a genuine action; as if there is no facade to keep fabricating. Sensible, graspable completeness.
I think I know, or at least I can understand it from my own perspective, why people struggle or feel conflicted - perhaps even paranoid or unstable - in this commonwealth marvel of gizmos, do-dads, and ingenuity of human achievement. The young college ladies entering the coffee shop on a cool, rainy Wednesday morning seem dressed more suggestively than the weather outside advises; even a few of the working professional women, too. Again, it all makes sense! I understand more and more why the students I work with in Wilderness Therapy have issues - our society is a smorgasbord of inundating conveniences and gratuitous freedoms. Too much so for some; perhaps too much for all of us? Are we all really pretending to be alright with this; and, do we even know what this really is?
I hear the cynic in me, my inner critic - this thought pattern that used to tell me I was not a worthy, lovable person in my darkest times a few years back. I see it in my writing, my reflection. From this darkness, though, I seek to find the silver lining of love embedded. Pretending, the act of portraying something that just not is, seems to be our modus operandi; well, I'll speak for myself - I sometimes pretend. While attending a small venue folk music performance the other night, the singer commented about pretending not to come back out for an encore, and why he was even bothering pretending with us, the audience. I was struck by this: how do I pretend in life? Do I hide behind my chosen dirtbag lifestyle, settling into a comfort zone; and, do I differentiate myself from the status quo - as to alienate myself from a society that seems quirky to me?
I feel honest, open, and forthcoming. The more time I spend back in what is normal to many, the more this whizzing phenomenon known as society illustrates to me its stunning portrayal of human achievement - so much to be proud of! And, in our defined sense to individualize ourselves from the other species of this planet, how can we, too, come to incorporate en masse the natural world? That brimming, complicated, constantly shifting, paradoxical anomaly of simplistic beauty that will supercede and outlast our species, as it has all that have become before us.
Sitting here, tuning into my senses long enough to notice the subtle changing color of the leaves on the trees outside, I am unsure of an answer. And, I don't feel inclined to think of an answer, at least at this time. I suppose when the time is right, it will happen; or will it?
This pretending game makes more sense - I, as a conscious player, am even unaware; deployed and dropped-in to the immediate world around me: sense satiated, finely fed, and largely loved. I am grateful for this and feel resolved in my written expression.
Thank you again.
Striving in Love,