Archive For: Humor

The digital journey continues

It seems the more I want to explore the world on foot, the more I find myself  sitting in front of a computer screen. Or maybe I want to explore more on foot precisely BECAUSE I am always in front of a computer screen. Some day this blog about my worldly walkabout will once again include walking about. But in the mean time I pursue my endeavors to document and save the world, and hopefully make a few bucks doing it.

So far, it is mostly none of the above.

The photo site is bursting with photos, with many more to add. There are two issues there. 1) There are about as man people who visit THAT blog as visit THIS one. And that person isn’t all that interested in buying photos. B) The software that allowed me to actually SELL my photos randomly stopped working. Good thing my fan doesn’t want to buy anything!

My Don Quixote complex is running strong. It doesn’t help matters that I actually made a good call recently, not only giving PAX Nation the illusion of exposure, but gaining a few new members, no doubt as crazy as I am. This has encouraged me to push harder, to the point that PAX Nation has now become my main focus. I still want to wander the world. I just might be tilting with all the windmills I encounter along the way.

I also continue to not write my books. By the time I write The Tao of Picnic, my memory of events might border on fiction … which may actually improve said events. Ironically, much of it is already written, since a lot of it will come directly from this blog. I just need to catch that disease called discipline. Unfortunately to catch something one needs to be exposed to it, and my social circle (which essentially includes me and Brown Dog), is severely lacking of infected folk.

I am not sure if I should be proud or ashamed that I managed to make an update for any interested in this blog into a commercial for some of my OTHER blogs. I may not be infected by discipline, but apparently the advertising bug has gotten into my system. Until the next time folks! Maybe I will have something more interesting to share!

Brown Dog teaches …

“Not yet Brown Dog! It’s too early! Go back to bed!”

This is my equivalent to hitting the snooze button on an alarm clock. Every morning Brown Dog enthusiastically and urgently prances about, essentially saying “Gottagogottagogotaago!!,” while her mean and unfeeling companion hasn’t the energy to crawl out of bed yet. This has become part of the routine. On some levels, there is resentment in these actions: I went on this grand adventure, and all I have to show for it is a dog I did not ask for. Yeah me!

Don’t get me wrong. I love Brown Dog. Precisely because of that, she is often the target of my frustrations with life in general … and with myself. She has an exuberant energy that drives me crazy … mostly because I envy it. The irony being that my NOT having it is essentially my own fault. And any resentment is really just my inherent allergy to responsibility. Truth be told … once I actually get the walkies project started … it usually turns into a moment of peace (if often slightly agitated peace thanks to B. D.), reflection, and … believe it or not … learning. I take these moments to appreciate: appreciate what is around me; appreciate what I DO have and what I don’t; appreciate the simple fact of living. These moments are also good for letting the mind wander in nomadic bliss. My thoughts are often random, but I will explore that randomness to its very edges.

SQUIRREL!!!!

SQUIRREL!!!!

This morning, as I admired the early morning light on the autumn colors, the chill, brisk air instilled some nifty thoughts in my head. One that I may actually pursue (let my inner inventor run for a change) is the concept of a treadmill for dogs. As seems to be the norm for this time of year, Brown Dog’s focus was torn between the desperate need to GO NOW!!, the finicky need to GO HERE!!, and the distracting need to  CHASE SQUIRREL!! Basically a typical morning’s walk. Nearing the end of the walk, our slightly frayed, “ghetto” rope of a leash once again burned my fingers as B. D. once again decided THAT squirrel was Public Enemy Number One. So I said to her: “They are everywhere, girl. If you chase them all, we’ll never get anywhere.”

With an eye awakening smack, the cold air put its fingers to my cheek and I suddenly GOT IT!

I was talking about squirrels to a dog, but there was a profound lesson in what I had just said for myself (and maybe others). This simple statement so well applies to many other things … but most applicably in MY life to dreams and … causes. Dreams are everywhere. So are battles to be fought. One of the temptations an Idealistic Thinker faces is the need to follow ALL the dreams; the need to fight ALL the battles.

THAT way lays eternal frustration.

Maybe part of the reason I feel so adrift these days is because I have CAST myself adrift. If I keep chasing everything that catches my attention, my own personal squirrels, I will never get anywhere. To reinforce this message, B. D. suddenly got another scent, and started towing me at the cost of her own breathing … again. This time I said, “Stop choking yourself chasing after something you will never catch!!”

The cold air slapped me in the face again as soon as I said this.

Yep. Brown Dog is one fine teacher!

 

What comes after the summit?

Hey guys! It has been far too long since I last updated the masses (all 6 of you) on the status of my journey. By now 4 or 5 of you have had a brief moment (no more than a passing thought) wondering if I have ended up in a ditch somewhere, then immediately went on with the more important things in life such as finishing cleaning the toilet. But I will type away, keeping my delusions that SOMEONE might be a bit curious.

Before I set foot on the Appalachian Trail, it was pretty clear that there would be a lot of climbing involved … clear to anyone who has ever seen a mountain. It was less clear to the middle-aged couch potato who still thought of himself as 18 how STRENUOUS and painful some of that climbing would be. But without fail, reaching the summit always carried a sense of achievement; frequently a sense of awe; and all too often a sense of severe pain and hunger. Yet we continued on, sometimes because we really had no choice if we wanted continued survival, but usually simply because that is what we do. But as I have no doubt mentioned many times before, my life is governed by irony. Little did I know that the pains and rewards of that first part of my current journey … a mere hiking a few hundred miles through varying terrain with a house on my back … PALED in comparison to what came next.

logo-546e4da8_site_iconWithout getting into TOO much detail (after all that is what my best-selling yet to be book is about), suffice to say that the emotional and spiritual part of this journey that has defined the last couple of months is to the hike like The Incredible Hulk is to the kid that always got stuffed into the locker. If you want a less S.A.T.-ish metaphor, or better yet clear speech, it was downright HARD! I reached the depths of despair … not even being able to envision continuing another moment … yet still continued. I found moments of pure nirvanic bliss, so content that if my life stopped at THAT moment, I would know the Question to the Ultimate Answer … yet still continued. I did manly battle with inner demons galore, with many a scar … yet still continued.

And here I am, at the proverbial peak … wondering what is next.

Now I can finally start this blog post. Since I spent so much time in prepping you, I’ll shorten things up a bit. What is next is to continue climbing. No more path to WALK on? Guess I am going to have to fly now. So my new life plan in one long-winded set of words: yet another website (which is also a business) up and running; one old website in the process of being revamped and also turned into a business; two more websites to be upgraded to join the team; all to fall under one shell that also will require a website; three books to finish writing; going to massage school to round off the plan; all this with no steady place to live and no active income yet.

I think I got it all.

Stay tuned folks, it is really starting to get interesting now!!

Walk a mile in my shoes … or better yet in my mind

It is odd how a journey that was supposed to be of the feet has recently entered the realm of the metaphysical. This is part of the reason I have not shared much recently. My physical walk-about has temporarily stalled in Ohio (still not quite sure how I ended up here), but my mental … or rather spiritual walk-about has entered realms that I never even imagined before. This adventure has gone so far from my original image to something out of the realm of dreams … including nightmares.

If I didn’t believe it before, I sure do now. What we NEED and what we WANT are rarely the same thing. Maybe true understanding will come when they are.

I have learned so much in recent weeks, ironically much of it in the last few days. I expected to face physical and mental challenges on this adventure … what I did NOT expect is to come face to face with my deepest fears; to stare despair directly in the face. I recently posted this in the Social Media world:

Achieving the heights means looking deeply into the depths, and going the other way. A true test of character – how we deal with despair.

This particular lesson I learned in a very direct and painful way. I have had a VERY rough few days. Anyone who actually bothers to follow me online in any way may have noticed a trend in my recent status updates … this was all part of my new lesson. Without getting repetitive, I will just list a few things that I have most recently learned (or re-learned yet again). Maybe others will take something out of it … maybe no one will even see the list. Either way, putting it in words ensures the lessons, taking it from the realm of ephemeral to the solid state. Maybe I will actually benefit this time?

Life lesson time:

  • This is really a reminder that I seem to keep needing … EVERYTHING in life is based on choice. Love, hate, happy, sad, pain, pleasure … EVERYTHING. The image we see in the mirror is perceived ENTIRELY how we CHOOSE to. You don’t like it, change your perception.
  • Ultimately, the only person we can rely on to make our lives what we want is ourselves. Others will come along who will help or hinder, but only WE can make ourselves into the person we want to be. The moment we relinquish this power to another we have basically failed ourselves.
  • A sense of humor may be even more important than a sense of hope.
  • Life is ALWAYS precious. ALL life. Anyone who does not recognize this fact has seriously missed the point.
  • Barring some drastic cosmic event, tomorrow will always be another day. Which means that WHATEVER may have happened today will now be the past. Instead of living life as if today would be our last, maybe we should live it as if today is our first; as if we were just born. Maybe if we choose to experience life with the wonder of discovery instead of in a desperate effort to not miss anything, we would have fewer difficulties.
  • Happiness is not really my ultimate goal. ALL emotions have value. The key is to incorporate them all into the Ideal Me, to own them, not to let them own me. The simple truth is sometimes there really is nothing to be happy about. Pretending it does not make the “bad” things go away. But if we just remember that difficulties are ALWAYS temporary, and do our best to do what we NEED to do, happiness will return.

This list could go on and on. Like I said, I got slammed with a barrage of epiphanies recently. But I guess the rest of the lessons have to wait for the proverbial book. Which is one of the things I need to complete to finally make me the me I wanna be.

Stay tuned. Maybe I will start getting it right this time around.

A morality tale

Once upon a time there was this man who was feeling mighty lost. Unsure how to deal with the hollow feeling that was plaguing him, he locked himself in a nowhere room for a couple of nights … but found the company very lacking. Since hiding from … whatever it was he was hiding from … seemed ineffective, he decided to start walking. He put his bag on his back, left the nowhere room, and walked to the end of the street. Here, something told him to go right. He walked to the end of THAT street, and something told him to go left. He didn’t really know where he was going, just that forward motion was needed.

He walked. And walked. And walked. Then walked some more. As he walked, worlds were created and destroyed. Thoughts paraded in an endless stream, and then were no more. Sadness opened the floodgates, anger beat holes in the walls, and curiosity did its show and tell. And the man continued to walk.

Sometimes the little voice inside the man, the voice of wisdom … the voice of censure … the voice of creativity … the still small voice that should be heard but is so often ignored … spoke to him. It said that maybe he should ask for directions. The man answered his voice, “How can I ask directions when I don’t know where I am going?” The voice then said that there were people wondering where he was … maybe even concerned about him. Again the man flippantly answered, “I’d tell them where I was if I actually knew.”

In the midst of ugliness ... beauty. Or is it the other way around?

In the midst of ugliness … beauty. Or is it the other way around?

The man walked on.

The still small voice, not to be deterred, got wily. It appealed to the one thing the man rarely ignored … his hunger. With this backup, the man decided that he would stop walking … at least for the moment. He found the nearest place to sit and eat (at this point no longer so near), and stopped his feet for a bit. The still small voice took advantage of the pause, and finally got the lost man’s attention.

After eating, the man considered what the voice had been telling him. He also considered maybe actually picking a destination. As these thoughts bounced around the emptiness inside, a couple with a cute young girl came in to order some food. Shortly thereafter, a woman came in with an equally cute and young boy. As far as the man could tell, these people did not know each other.

This did not deter the young girl. She was so excited to see the young boy, that they were immediately friends. For several minutes they interacted on a level of pure joy, giggling and laughing. It was a pure, innocent moment. It made everyone there, including the lost man, smile with the simple love and happiness of the moment. The man thought to himself, “Yes, that’s it.” The still small voice agreed.

Suddenly the persistent shadows; the enemies of innocence, came rushing into the room. It dawned on the man that his enjoyment of the moment would so easily mark him as something not to be trusted in this world gone mad. He was a nameless wanderer; a stranger. If ANYTHING happened to these children in the immediate future he would be the automatic scapegoat, the demon in the room.

The moment was made. The moment was lost.

Shortly after this stark and ugly thought, the little boy left, and the little girl slipped into a screaming tantrum. The man, always alert for lessons to be learned, wondered what the moral of THIS story was.

Even the still small voice has not answered him yet.