The Long Weekend (Part One)

I feel as though a small disclaimer must be passed on to those of you who follow this roller coaster ride of emotion I call my blog.

I'm insane, in the most sane way possible.

It would be in your best interest to take what is typed here with a rather large grain of salt. In fact, you might just wanna bring the whole damn shaker along before you read these musings. I write to help calm a dis-eased mind. When the soul is quiet, when the mind is at peace, you’ll see my public musings taper off, as they have for the last couple of weeks.

For the most part, I don’t feel compelled to write when all is well. When the sun is shining, the conversation flowing, the mind feeling healthy and the soul feeling fulfilled I simply don’t have as much need to process what I'm going through in writing.

I understand the inherent tragedy that this situation presents for you the reader. You often hear from me in the midst of the storm rather than when the sails are up and the boat is gliding effortlessly across the strait.

The last three weeks have been beautiful, marked with moments of sorrow of course but overall some of the most soul affirming I’ve had in a long while. Some very good old friends and a few new ones have helped to carry me along. This is the best kind of journey, the kind that gives you just what you need right when you are most in need of it.

The power of human connectivity to change a life should never be underestimated. Compassion, caring and understanding, you can never have too much of these although we often don’t get enough of them.

While I could carry on like this for sometime I think I’ll wrap this post up for now. It's late and...(I broke this post up into two parts after realizing that it was really long).

The Long Weekend (Part Two)

I'm exhausted after another weekend spent in Canada with my Maple leaf loving friends. My buddy Steve and his bride Stephanie were married last night at one of the more appropriate places I’ve chanced to end up. A small farm about a mile from the U.S. border with a gorgeous glade of cedars and orchards and a truly old barn exuding so much authenticity that with the right kind of ears one could almost hear all the stories it held within it’s wood planked walls.

Oh, it was heaven.

After the realization of my close proximity to the U.S. border I thought it absolutely ridiculous to ride with my friends all the way back to Vancouver only to pay eighteen dollars to ride the Greyhound back to Bellingham. So, after much personal deliberation I decided to have said friends drop me at the border so that I could walk across and try my hand at hitching.

The crossing went smoothly (as good as any crossing can be when dealing with government agencies which force you to recognize the imaginary lines they’ve drawn up). I walked into Blaine and immediately began searching for a spot that looked good and felt right (in hitching I’ve learned that a good spot makes all the difference). After some wandering around I chanced to meet a woman walking her dogs beneath a bridge. I asked her if she was indeed from Blaine (lots of tourists around town this time of year). Yes, she was. She told me the where the bus stop was and then I asked if she knew of a good spot to hitch out from.

She pointed to the only highway ramp in town and said that she had often seen people standing there trying to hitch out. I thanked her and before I could move on she told me of how she had ran away from home when she was fourteen and hitched her way across America to Blaine. She told me of how she’d been here for thirty years and how back in the early 70’s she had helped smuggle draft dodgers across the border into Canada.

A person of conviction with the actions to back it up, now that’s my kind of woman.

I thanked her and took up a very short lived residence on the highway on ramp. A few cars went by and no takers. No worries, the sun was out with not a cloud in the sky, I had all the time in the world.

Then I saw him. He sat at the stoplight just before the onramp. His big white box truck said “Fountain Rental” on the side and I knew that the gods were smiling upon me. Today was my day. Fountain Rental is not a chain rental company. They only have one location that I know of and that location just happens to be located no more than a five minute walk from where I live.

John pulled up, opened the door and I climbed in, a broad smile spread clear across my sparsely bearded face. He asked where I was going. To exactly where you are going, John. Exactly.

So we rode down the highway exchanging stories about jobs in America and how much it had changed over the last forty years (John was in his late fifties, maybe early sixties). I asked him where exactly from back East he was from before he told me he was from back East. New York. The accent is unmistakable. I told him my family was from Long Island (and when you’re talking to a New Yorker it’s best to pronounce Long Island as one word, not two, dragging the ass end of the g right up against the I’s lonely left side. Longisland. One word, not two).

John spoke in that very direct Northeastern American way I have come to love and cherish. The Pacific Northwest is full of its jellyfish people with their jellyfish speech, no spine, no substance, no direction for the conversation to flow. Some of the most socially inept humans I’ve chanced to come upon exist in this part of the world. There’s good possibility for it being one of the main factors that will eventually lead to my packing up and moving away from this physically beautiful yet socially retarded part of the world.

So John dropped me at my place and rode off down the street toward the rental place. As I strolled up the front steps I was reminded of the fact that some of the best folks I’ve met in life are when I'm hitching.

It was a very good day.


Moving Inward

There is a growing part of me that wishes someone could have told me that by twenty-eight I would be spent, hollow and bent low, low, low to the earth. How is it that I feel like an old man already? Creativity, gone. Curiosity, banished to some dark corner of my being. Some dark corner of the soul that I cannot find a light bright enough to illuminate.

I wept hard the other night. The small room I inhabit absorbed the sobs and threw them back at me, bringing me no solace, only a sad ringing in my ears.

A recent phone conversation with my beloved mother found me saying into the receiver, “if this country wanted to break me it has”. Here stands one broken citizen of the crumbling empire with nowhere to turn. You can leave this country one of three ways: by throwing large sums of money at whatever country you want to inhabit, holding a degree in something “in demand” (a lot of money is needed to obtain this education as well), or marriage.

What about the penniless wanderers? Is there a place for them? When my great grandfather came to America he held no degree, had little money and was not marrying anyone in this country (but would eventually do so). My, how the world has changed in less then a hundred years. For most of the world’s population they are effectively “trapped” in whatever shit hole they happen to be born into.

I’ll stop there. I’ll climb down off this horse and hitch it to the old worn out post for a while. I’ll give you the reader a break. I’ve been talking in circles, feeling very much like a caged animal. I did not ask to be born into this zoo and as a result have found myself feeling infinitely embittered by the cage that is the United States of America.

The utter lack of anyone to seriously converse with about my perspective of this country has been the final blow, the one that’s really taken the wind out of my sails. I wish, for my own sake, that I could say I had a group of others who felt the same way I did about this place, a group who saw the writing on the wall and were making serious plans to escape. For reasons beyond my understanding this is not the case. It’s as if the whole populace has been lulled into some sort of collective lie that “this is all there is”.

Sure life is kind of crappy here in the States, they say to themselves, but it’s much worse everywhere else. Right?


I am beyond appalled at the lack of any sincere foresight for the future of this country by my fellow countrypersons. I am broken and absolutely devastated by it. It makes me sick to the point that I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it.

How can I feel so alone in something that seems so apparent?

This has struck too close to the soul, too close to the core of my being, for me to speak on it much more. A silence will soon be necessary. I’ll plug away internally, finding strength from a place within I still have yet to tap in to. The Titanic is sinking and I am not going down with it.


I Was Lost...

And now this book has found me. Ishmael is not only one of the most important books I've chanced to lay eyes upon but sums up (and confirms) much of what I've felt about the culture around me. Things I've intrinsically "known" since a very young age are in this book. Words I have not been able to express nor articulate are there as well.

Tears stung my eyes as I read the following excerpt. I could not nor have ever met anyone who has summed up the way I feel about humanity better then Daniel Quinn has in this small novel.

The following is an excerpt between the teacher and his pupil:

"So when the people of your culture concluded that there's something fundamentally wrong with humans, what evidence were they looking at?"

‘They were looking at the evidence of their own history.’

“Exactly. They were looking at a half of one percent of the evidence, taken from a single culture. Not a reasonable sample on which to base such a sweeping conclusion.”


“There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with people. Given a story to enact that puts them in accord with the world, they will live in accord with the world. But given a story to enact that puts them at odds with the world, as yours does, they will live at odds with the world. Given a story to enact in which they are lords of the world, they will act like lords of the world. And, given a story to enact in which the world is a foe to be conquered, they will conquer it like a foe, and one day, inevitably, their foe will lie bleeding to death at their feet, as the world is now.”