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Shaving off my corners …

When I wasn’t the Test Dummy, I was The Chronicler.

Can people change? Do they? I believe they can. I also believe that the vast majority don’t, at least not without serious motivation and effort.

Once upon a time I was known as The Test Dummy.

It’s not that I had no fear, but rather that fear never stopped me from pushing my limits. I was not exactly reckless. I fully understood consequences. I just did not let the possibility of negative consequences stop me from trying something. I knew my limits. I also knew when those limits could be extended. I would stop only when possibility became probability. In other words, if a bad outcome was the ONLY possible outcome, I would (probably) show restraint.

Why do I bring this up?

Since my physical journey stalled, I have slipped into a state of limbo. I am existing instead of living. I recently had a regular check up with my doctor, and discussed this with her a little. She (rightly) sees this as depression, and recommended I seek counseling. In our discussion, she said to me that sometimes people have to be willing to jump off a cliff. That made me laugh internally. I am The Test Dummy after all. But it also made me think.

Have I actually changed that much?

I don’t think I have. But I do recognize that the weight of experience in an unkind world has siphoned my energy level enough that what I once did without thought I now need to convince myself to do. THIS I am not so happy about. Have I started let the insidious siren song called FEAR actually influence me?

I don’t know that counseling is the answer for me. One cannot fit a square block in a round hole without altering either the block or the hole. In my mind, counseling is just trying to reshape the block to fit in the hole, when the problem may actually be the hole itself. I am no fan of society as we know it. For me to actually fit in it would require society to change an awful lot. It’s not that I feel somehow superior to others, but rather that the shape society has taken has not been defined by what is best for humanity as a whole, but rather by those who would mold things to conform to their own selfish needs.

Some might call this a midlife crisis. In my mind, neither my attitudes nor my desires have changed since my youth. I just understand them better. Ironically this does not help clarify a very uncertain future any more than when I was younger. What I lack most is purpose, something I seemed to find much easier when I was younger. So where do I go from here? That is really the question that needs to be answered, and that is precisely the answer that I do not have. The only certainty I have is that simply existing is not going to cut it.

Time to start living again.

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!

 

This time I took a left

It has now been over a year since I began this … you know, I am not quite sure what to call it anymore.

Hmmmm

It started off as an adventure. Gradually it morphed in walk-about. Then it shifted into a whole new realm … maybe the world of dreams. But as a I ramble about this, I am clarifying for myself. What I am doing is simply LIVING LIFE.

Finally.

That said, part of the lack of posting about life recently is being too busy living it, part of it is living said life in the woods far from any communications capabilities other than smoke signals. Fortunately, I am momentarily pretending to be civilized, so time for a bit of an update. Team Idiot finally escaped the dangerous jungles of suburban Cleveland, managing to make it all the way to the safety of the Spiritual Way Station known as Damascus, VA. Unfortunately, the spiritual world is both of light AND shadow. It seems this past winter shadow seeped in deep, and instead of the bright greeting we were hoping to find, we were instead met with the worst of the human spirit. Apparently free and happy spirits are not welcome to the spiteful spirits that actually try to dominate this otherwise beautiful haven.

But I digress. Back in part of the heart of Appalachia, the team intends to hang here until the Bacchanalian Fest known as Trail Days is over, then decide where to wander to next. Gonna find a place to sit down, do artsy stuff, sell said artsy stuff, hopefully rendering financial issues less of a P.I.T.A.  I will personally try to actually finish one or three of the ever growing number of projects I keep creating.

That was an awful lot of words to get to my ultimate point, that I have gone and started yet ANOTHER blog, kind of spin-off from this blog. Our newest member of Team Idiot is Brown Dog, who has left the city for the first time to explore the wonders of nature. It’s a work in project, but check out …

THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF BROWN DOG.

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The Tale Goes On … #1000Speak

How do legends become legends? What makes deeds great enough that they need to be shared across the land? Is it the actions that make the hero? Or is being a character of legend something we are born with? I suppose it pays to have a good advertising team. It’s all about spin.

I would love to share the tale of a legendary character here. I would love to give the exciting details of his journey, a journey like no other. Yes I would love to share such an exciting tale, but sadly I can only work with what I have. THIS particular story is just about lil ole me. Or more specifically, some recent adventures of mine.

“Who,” one might reasonably ask, “ARE you?”

I guess that might be a good place to begin.

These are the first words I wrote as I began turning this grand journey I am on into a book. Yesterday was the one year anniversary of me setting on this path, and ironically I was at a loss on how to start this post. But it suddenly dawned on me that particular beginning is a good place to start.

Every morning the story should start that way.

We are all writing the story of our lives. Who we are is key to that story, the very plot of it even. Thus we are the heroes of our own story. But the beauty of every story is they are actually parts of a greater story … the Human Story. Together we are writing the Greatest Story Ever Told, sure to be a Cosmic Best Seller. Each chapter we write of our own lives becomes just another detail in The Ultimate Novel, the Book of Time Itself.

I have spent a year on this particular series of chapters … I have spent a lifetime; maybe even many lifetimes. This is the story I took up as I cried my first cry, and it will be the story that continues as I sigh out my last … for there is no true beginning or end, just new chapters.

Two years ago, paths crossed, and the first idea for new chapters began. One year ago, the ideas became a reality as a first step was taken, and yesterday … TODAY … the story continues from totally unforeseen pastures. I am here in a place I never envisioned, unsure where my next step will take me, totally uncertain as to what future I will write myself now, but absolutely KNOWING I am on the path that I need to be on.

For we always are.

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Where will the next step take me? What will the next chapter read?

This journey has reminded me that I am a minuscule part of an infinite whole, while at the same time encompassing that whole in the universe that is me. Every meeting, every pain and joy, every hardship and ease, every failure and success just makes me a unique part of the whole, and The Story Continues. I have no hope of containing the immensity of this story in one measly book, not even my own infinitely small part of it. Yet I can also be thankful to be part of the whole, a necessary part just as everyone else’s chapters are.

I cannot actually telly you where the next steps of my Walk-about will take me. But I can tell you what will drive them.

Compassion. Hope. Laughter. Healing. Change. Brightness. Beauty.

I look forward to interacting with YOUR chapters. What future will YOU write?

 

Digging out of the snow

With the advancement of technology, the concept of exploring the world has vastly changed. Actually much about how humans interact with the world … and each other … has drastically changed since the pre-internet years. It is debatable (and a personal choice) how good or bad these changes are. I for one find them both exciting and terrifying. Exciting because we all can now directly experience much that was practically legend before, without ever having to get up from our chair. On the other hand, the terrifying part is that we don’t get up from our chair. And we believe digital “truth” too easily.

But, once again thanks to advances in technology, we have plenty of things to fear in this world, so I will conveniently ignore that part and focus on the positive. This whole journey, that started as a digital escape from a cave, became a plan for a couple of dreamers to take over the world (at least THEIR world), and ended up with a slew of unexpected tales that were not in any way expected … is far from over. However as some doors shut and others opened, a maze of choices became apparent. I have been so busy wandering this maze lately that I have neglected actually documenting the journey, which has not only increased my own confusion, but left a few interested parties hanging. In other, less long-winded words … time for an update!

Of the original idiots, THE Idiot is now an artist of note. He has shifted his talent as a writer into equally amazing talent as a painter, and the only thing that really stops his works from becoming invaluable masterpieces is that he is … in fact … still alive and painting. He has evolved from Notable Idiot to a man with a superpower. Shelbygrl has reemerged, doing her best to live a happy life despite the various roadblocks obstacles some trickster deities keep tossing in front of her. My newer hiking companions have all continued on with there lives, though Grey Wolf may be starting the trail fresh. And then there is me, myself, and I.

Ironically, I seem to know the less about where the three of US are going then my companions.

My physical journey with a destination turned into a mental journey with multiple destinations, and now it is a spiritual journey where not only is the destination unclear, but I am not even sure of the path I am ON. I now have THREE manuscripts in the work, NINE pseudo active blogs (and several more I have a hand in), two of them theoretically to earn money, one to consolidate, one to save the world, and the rest to entertain or at least generate a thought or three. I am physically sort of stranded in Ohio at the moment, which was not on ANY path that I envisioned taking.

Despite the multiple projects, lack of direction, occasional battles with dark lords, and horrible diet, I oddly feel I am right where I need to be.

This blog will get a bit of an overhall in the near future, as I have been doing with the others. I am working on pulling all the parts of me into a coherent whole. I don’t know what the final product (or products) will be, but if anyone is still curious … stay tuned!

The beginning of the pulling together ...

The beginning of the pulling together …