Kelsey asked me in a letter “how do you fill the day?”
in reference to my time on Lopez Island. Another friend of mine said he would go out of his mind if he had all that spare time on his hands. If you’ll allow for it I’ll let you in on a little secret;
inside of my mind there exists another world. Oh yes, its true. No, I have not been eating mushrooms harvested from the tops of cow turds. I simply have such an intense inner monologue going that most interactions I have with other humans almost always feel like an intrusion into this inner world. It goes a bit beyond just being an introvert.
Most conversations, blog entries, or other various forms of communication are nothing more than an extension of the vast world that exists solely in my mind. So to answer the question of “how I fill the day?”
I would reply that I do not fill it, I simply let it happen. I wake in the morning to a head full of thoughts. I lay in bed, stare at the ceiling and mentally prepare myself to face interactions that could encroach upon my inner world. One of the things that make my time on Lopez so enlightening is that I can choose to sit inside the house all day, by myself. I can sit and do nothing or everything. I usually have one or two “sit-ins” a week. I am a homebody.
This is true of me as far back as I can remember. As a child my mom would have to coax me outside to play with other kids and for many years spending the night away from home was next to impossible. I liked my home and I liked staying at home. I knew the people in it. I knew the stains on the walls, the wrinkles in the carpet, and the tinkering sounds of the heater turning on downstairs. It is important for me to have a relatively safe,
semi predictable environment to live in. The space in my mind is greatly affected by the space around me. I find it hard to live inside my head when the space around me is in constant transition. You may say “then why do you move around so much?” and this would be a very logical and fitting question to ask. Over the years I have learned how to adapt
to the various environs I find myself in. In a new place the first thing I tend to do is familiarize myself with my surroundings. I start with where I will be sleeping and work outward. Where I sleep at night is the first thing I want to know when visiting or moving to a new place. I believe I could exist in nearly any place if I knew I had a safe place to sleep at night. You are at your most vulnerable not only physically but also spiritually when you sleep. Here is an example:
I will be moving to Orcas Island for the summer to hike and camp and work a construction job on the side. The one thing that has been concerning me most about my move over there is where will I sleep? I will be staying with a family who I don’t know that well and I have no idea where they will place me. It could be on their living room couch or in a tent outside by myself. I assure you that upon my arrival one of the first things I will do is ask where I will be sleeping. Once my sleeping spot is established
I try to assess what noises I might hear at night, which might be sleeping near me, and the general layout of the space. In a sense I am trying to predict what I should expect to encounter at night while I am asleep. I do this same process as I am introduced to the rest of my new environment.
I do this with people as well. As a result of traveling and moving about there are very few people I feel uncomfortable around. But if I cannot get a bead on someone shortly after I meet them, on their motives and their intentions, than I usually steer clear. Most of the people I come across in life are an open book. But there have been a handful that has put me ill at ease and as a result I am wary of most everyone when I first meet them. So there is a glimpse into how I keep myself occupied
throughout the day. There is no shortage of interesting thoughts to mull over and as this is the first time I’ve ever lived alone I am cherishing the unhindered time I have to process those thoughts. I also fill the day with baking bread
, hiking and biking the island, and visiting with my next-door neighbors. Sometimes I just sit and stare out the window at the way the wind bends the tree limbs. Other times I lie down on the grass and let the warm spring sun wash over my body. Today I went to Luke’s
(one of the four boys who live next door) soccer practice. While there I sat and talked with a woman who lives on a small island of the coast of Lopez island and has to boat over here everyday to take her son to school. She told me about how they are experiencing growing pains as a result of all the vacationers who are building houses on the island. After talking with her for a while I ran across the soccer field and played king of the hill with some of the boys who were to old to play soccer. If there is one thing I have realized from my time spent up here
it is that I am a fairly simple guy who allows his life to become way to complicated by the problems of others. If you read this entire post than I laud you and applaud you.
I would also admonish you to get a life and stop reading all of the drivel that I post here. Ciao