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Another excerpt from the Tao of Picnic

My newest manuscript is unfolding moment by moment. I ony hope I have the skill to capture those moments and share them. I wrote this in my recent sojourn into Ohio, and it seems to ALMOST touch the reality of that particular moment, so I figured I would share it here. I hope it will help convince the masses that whatever my end product it will be worth the read.

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“At that moment, I realized that I was actually LIVING a Hemingwayish novel. I also realized that I was using my glasses like an old man.”

-Picnic

Picnic looked up. Something had shifted. He felt it in the very center of his being. It was more than the obvious release of tension for everyone in the room, though that was part of it. It was also more than the influence of the salad of mind altering substances he had been exploring lately … though that too was part of it. It was more like he had suddenly left a dark smokey bar to find a brilliant scenic vista from a fantasy world. Blinding at first, but as the eyes adjusted focus became clearer and clearer, and with it both amazement and understanding. The back-up glasses he was now wearing were also playing a role, somehow acting as a filtering lens bringing it all into clarity.

Maybe he was just very stoned. Downright tripping. But he had explored altered consciousness enough throughout his life to sense that … this time … it was so much more than that. He knew without doubt that something significant was about to happen. It was as if his awareness was preparing to step into a whole new level. For the first time a quite a while, Picnic was truly excited for what was to come.

He looked about, taking in the details of the room around him. Sleeping forms, clothing scattered about, a room that was no stranger to the frenzy of high energy people. Dream Girl was a strung bow at full pull … just trying to find her target. The tension this time was far more excitement than stress. Finally! That too was adding to the sense of pending transformation. The Cowboy was coming to get her. Was she ready for him yet? This room, home for the last week, had a definite lived in look, with an atmosphere that was an odd mixture of hope and desperation. Son of Dream Girl and Girlfriend were limb entangled in peaceful slumber, while one of the Lost Boys was deciding what to do with himself for the moment.

Just as it was decided that Picnic, Dream Girl and Lost Boy were going to the store, the peaceful dreamers woke up … and so did the tension again. Healing would be long for this family, but his current level of awareness told Picnic that it WOULD happen. Plans shifted a little, and soon Picnic and Dream Girl were on their way to a little of her favorite stress relief. As soon as they stepped out of the hotel, Picnic’s awareness shifted again, almost splitting. Yet he felt no disorientation this time. The last time he found himself this open eyed he could barely walk a straight line.

I wish I had a way to record all this!” Picnic thought to himself. The writer in him was sure that if he could remember all the details he was now experiencing he could convert a simple few hours into a transcendental novel. The geekier side could totally envision them as an award winning independent movie that would alter lives. However the only truth that really mattered is that for this moment, Picnic had an understanding of What Is that went far beyond words, or even coherent thought. He simply got it. And wished that he cold keep it long enough to even have a remote chance of expressing it with that limited tool called words.

He was creator and observer all at once; the wandering statue; the frozen stream. He was a well flavored stew of emotions, though no specific spice overwhelmed another … all were needed to make it a nutritious meal for the soul. He was here and not here, everywhere and nowhere. Yet he was also simply Picnic, walking along the sparkling path that Dream Girl always left as a wake in her passage. Together they walked the short walk to Target; together they glided through a new doorway to What If.

It’s really going to get interesting now …” Picnic laughed to himself as he picked up his pace to try to catch up to Dream Girl.

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Akron, Ohio

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Akron, Ohio 41.081445, -81.519005 An eye opening moment

 

I should have taken a left at Albuquerque

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Monroe Falls, Ohio

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Monroe Falls, Ohio 41.144501, -81.439834 Monroe Falls, Ohio

This journey has always qualified as exploring the unknown. Even when I was under the delusion that I would leisurely walk 2200 miles with nary a sweat, I truly did not know what to expect. But I have to admit, ending up in Ohio never even entered the realm of far-fetched possibility. It is definitely NOT on any trail map I have encountered.

Yet somehow that is where I am today.

This journey has definitely shifted in ways I could never even imagine, yet it is all the more exciting as a result. I am truly beginning to explore the world as I always wanted to, even if some areas are not on any list of Place to Explore I might have ever made. This just brings to the forefront a very simple reality … there is beauty and ugliness to be found EVERYWHERE. We often all have expectations every time we visit someplace new, whether from information gained through the information storm technological societies face daily, or our own imagination. And most likely our expectations are at least partially wrong.

“Why?”, the more curious might ask, “ARE you in Ohio anyway?”

Well I’ll tell you.

As my journey morphed from a jaunt in the woods into a nomadic wandering, any budget that I even imagined got completely shoved into the realm of poorly written fiction. Sadly, this means some people have been hit harder than others in the capacity of supporter (thank you thank you thank you THANK YOU mom). In an effort to recoup some of the excess, as well as have something to work with to start actually earning funds again, I have come to the land of Kelly (my fellow nomad). Here she will use her skills and connections to earn a few bucks so we can get back to th realm of survival again. So we will be exploring the wilds of Ohio for a couple of weeks.

In the mean time, here are some pictures of the beauty I have already encountered along the way.

Where IS home anyway?

Though I seem to be staying put at the moment, I in a way< I am still travelling far … at least in a spiritual and mental sense. I was talking to a fellow nomad (one also trapped in the vortex), about where HOME is.

A “home” with a view?

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I have yet to find the answer to that question. I think it is a false assumption that home describes a precise place. It is becoming more and more apparent that home is really more of a state of mind. I have lived in many places, some quite comfortable, others barely a comfortable rock on soggy grass. I have occupied the same location for years at a time, or found myself relocating on a daily basis.

Yet I still don’t know where home is.

I have encountered home a few times … usually when I least expect it. But there is no specific defining characteristic that said to me: Yep, THIS is home. For many, home may be conjured into being by a specific location, but I guess for us wandering nomadic types, defining home is not so easy. The platitudes tell us home is where your heart is, but what if your heart keeps moving too?

I guess this is also part of my rebirth … defining home for myself. It has fully obvious to me that it will NOT be a specific location, but a part of myself that I will discover (or create?) that I will carry with me continuously. I am seeking my home.

I am kind of annoyed by the belief that I already have it with me. I am just too blinded by my own choices and over-active ego to SEE it yet. Anyway, if there are still folk out there who are interested in my oddly evolving adventures (even if they are a far cry from what they started as), sometime in the next few days I will be going with my partner in crime (or adventuring) to the wilds of Akron, Ohio. There she will ply her trade as a professional torture artist, while I turn a blind eye and ears to the evident agony and help book her clients, all to recoup some of the money we have been shovelling out in recent weeks. She calls it deep tissue massage, but I am still struggling with my conscience over this. hopefully I will have tales to tell of the flora and fauna of the area, and maybe even find a few notable sentences for the pending book. In the mean time, here are a few more pictures to distract y’all: