Repositioning

Life on the road is no cake walk. Compromise, silence and space, solitude and good old Mother Nature. A tough re-entry into the world of civilization and then back to our happy place.

Leaving the back roads and beaches of Mexico was… in itself…hard. It was in essence the hot and humid weather and the need for COVID-19 shots, that drove us back to Utah. We have been officially off the “road/van life” for a month now. We have been doing service projects for friends and family and van fixes …including one very inconvenient tow, all month. May 2021, has been Service Month… literally.

We have helped with a remodeling project.

We helped recondition and sell a speed/ski boat.

Assisted a great, close friend to buy a new car. Helped our sister and brother-in-law get a good deal on two great eBikes and of course, we both got our vaccinations for COVID-19.

The spread of COVID-19 has slowed in the US. People are being vaccinated. We spent more money than our normal monthly budget for unexpected van repairs, spent a few nights in long stay hotels, and had to give up the van twice for two different repairs, one, after a minor mishap with the trailer.

My body has decomposed in this month, it’s shed thick calluses off my feet, lost at least half of its once healthy glow, my sinuses blazing with rivers of snot from seasonal allergies, lungs full of said rivers. My mind has shut down as things around me change, and I’ve all but shaved my head.

The routine has changed from outdoor living in peace and solitude, a primordial existence with Mother Nature, to City life. Now, four hard walls with a shingled roof, flush toilets and showers on demand with plenty of hot water, shelter us.

We ran to Kara’s house, loaded up the Hyside raft we sold, the IK we sold, the oar frame on the new roof rails, everything else suspended from the ceiling of the trailer. All the toys in one heavy ass trailer. It sucked the gas mileage from North Salt Lake, UT to Twin Falls, ID to under 9mpg… keeping it at an avg. of 68 mph. SUCK…

I drove the whole way with gusty tail winds, strong head winds and strong sideways burst…nuts! The Memorial Day holiday traffic is evident, from seeing 3 crashes south bound in Utah, to plenty of slow traffic driving north. We listened to an ebook talking about how US drivers fall asleep or just plain old don’t pay attention because our straight roads are hypnotic.

Nothing in the outdoor recreation world has changed since COVID-19. The prices of the recreational equipment, led by the demand and short supply, is up by thousands over retail value. That’s what has lead us to the west side of Idaho, a place we’ve yet to experience. Once we offload the extra weight we will head back to the Northern mountains of Idaho to decompress… as has become our norm… 3 days of mostly silence between talks of destinations and a sorta plan… at least a direction. Time is of no urgency unless a set destination is planned.

We spent the first night at a Harvest Host golf course right on the Snake River and a beautiful river gorge.

The silence is welcome. All 3 of us, Gandaulf included, need to hear nothing but the wind, river, birds, crickets, our own breath and heart beat. Until the controlling and aggressive “city personalities”…calm down and a synchronicity of calmness and kindness resumes… this is how the re-entry, repositioning, has been. Sometimes you just need a little space. Doesn’t mean we don’t love each other. I can fight it or move through it, it’s always a choice, and 15-30 minutes of uncomfortability in a day… doesn’t ruin the whole day.

Baja Decompression: The World as it is

We have been back for almost a month and it feels like a year. The amount of stimuli experienced in one day is a month or twos worth on the road. It’s hard to find any solitude when we get back to the city and live out of the van. The last time we slept in the van was April 27th. We’ve been camping out in my sister-in-law Kara’s house for the last two and a half weeks.

We got our first COVID shot and are now waiting for the second and then back on the road. This was our first service work. This month has been dedicated for the benefit of others. We helped out Kara any way we could with tearing out and replacing walls and old carpet for hard flooring. I mowed the lawn and keep up the outside and helped when I could inside. I have a real aversion to being inside lately. The van is cool since it’s a small comfortable space filled with few frills and only the basics to live, eat and sleep.

We had so much planned for this month but best made plans fell to the wayside when we got new tires on our trailer, let the service shop hook up trailer to the van, then said trailer proceeded to come unhooked and ran into the back of the van. Another small detour in life on the road. The body shop has had her since Wednesday and we pick her up on Monday morning. It’ll be nice to have her back.

Being back in the city really changes you after a while. The roaming soul falls asleep and the restless one takes its place. We are both ready to get back into our home and take off towards our next goal, Bend, OR. We’ve read about it and drool every night. With COVID restrictions loosening up, the Canadian border could open by July maybe still enough time to venture to Alaska. We have nothing left here except family and friends, what more do you need? So we’ve decided this would be service month, giving, just because. It’s part of the whole be kind thing. It’s been fun to use our talents to help out where ever we can.

There are things we don’t have in the van, like TV. This is the number one robber of time. It’s an old pattern I thought might be broken while on the road, but for at least one of us it remains the same. You become used to having a flush toilet and shower right there, no effort needed. Hungry? Want something to eat but don’t feel like cooking, go get something. These are just a few of the “city habits” we pick up and become softened by. I like living like a wanderer, seeker, explorer, and pioneer. When in the city, there is too much to rest on…to depend on. You loose that sense of one with nature, with your own self.

Things always happen beyond our control, we still just roll over it, but the stress meter climbs everyday.

One of my books

www.amazon.com/dp/B0948JTFB7/ref=cm_sw_r_oth_api_glt_fabc_ZD8HHP7EDE0BCG4VPK8D

The Child and The White Buffalo

In a land of wonder

Once a small child lived among the animals of the sky, streams and deserts.

She sought silence in the vast mountains that surrounded her home.

One night during a fitful dream,

The White Buffalo came to her in dreams of grief and sorrow, He’d spread his wings…

Rainbows and fire filled the sky

In his path he burned everything evil from the child’s mind and the rainbows were his promise.

The heart of Otter still guarded her

With love she thanked the White Buffalo and she drifted off into a deep sleep.

The stars told the story that night

The moon smiled

The child dreamed of sunlight bouncing off moonbeams and all her sorrows went away.

She woke to the new day

She smiled at the sun and

Felt the beating of her heart

Surrounded by light she danced and sang

She rested among the flowers

The tormentors are gone

She smiled and her smile

Was brighter than the sun and the animals of the sky, streams and deserts surrounded her and rejoiced.

I Know You’re There

I know you are there

When darkness of night spreads its wings for the bright and shinning sun

I know you are there

When autumn leaves fall from the trees and welcomes the cold snow on their limbs

I know you are there

When the bitterness of hatred takes a sip from the sweet cup of love

I know you are there

When sadness and sorrows fly away to make space in my heart for happiness and joy

I know you are there

When bad and evil get crushed so that only good and forgiveness can prevail

I know you are there

When my tears are wiped away and my lips smile and sing

I know you are there

So when my soul departs from this world towards the world unseen

I know you’ll be there

The Gift

The hollow heartbeat

The tearful eye

The gift so precious

Lie broken at my feet

The hallowed ground

The woeful cry

The breath

The only sound

My voice has no words

My mind wanders

Seeking

Full of thoughts

Passing memories

The pain the sorrow

The love and joy

A balance

I hear my hollow heartbeat

I wipe my tearful eye

I give my gift so precious and lay it at your feet

In The Silence I Scream

Do you hear me?

Am I talking in a language foreign to your ears?

Are my words worth uttering?

Only to fall on deaf ears

A closed mind

Where is the kindness and love I once felt?

It is always my fault…

Never is it you that takes blame

Am I really that terrible person you make me out to be?

Perhaps it’s time to let go.

Perhaps it’s time to take care of me.

How my heart aches to think of such things…

As I scream in the silence

Will you listen?

Tears stream down my face in rivers…

Filling oceans with bitter tears of anger

The anger that covers and consumes all emotion

Fuel on a fire of indecision

Please listen.

Don’t throw me away like last nights leftovers.

Don’t push me away then pull me closer.

My fragile self is broken into a million pieces I am trying to put back together

I will do it alone if needs be

I reach out…

I scream…

I struggle…

In the silence I weep.

what’s wrong with me?

What’s wrong with me? I asked…

And they said…

We are here as protectors

Of your mind and body

We are record keepers

Writers

Children

Terrorists

Sadness

Erotic lover

Confusion

Intense happiness

Dark thoughts

Secrets kept silent

We are you and you are us

What’s wrong?

Nothing my dear… this is your normal

You are strong

You are beautiful

You love deeply

You are…

Too intense for some

Lost in thought

Compassionate

There’s nothing broken or bent

That can’t be repaired with time

There’s no safety net

Be courageous

Be brave

Be patient

Be kind.

Repeat

I open and close one hand

Then the other

I sit up…tears streaming down my face

My eyes seek out any light

I am alone in the silence

My head pounds

My eyes clench shut

My heart beats fast

My breath is short and stuttered

I wipe the tears from my eyes

I can still see the horror behind my tightly clenched eyes

I open and close one hand

Then the other

I hear the voices still clearly in my head

I hear a small voice

“Please stop” it says

I search for the words to the mantra

I slowly repeat them, over and over again

I utter the words, “please stop”

I open my eyes

Still only darkness

The memory of the dream fades

I dry my eyes and settle back

Afraid to close them

I tremble from the cold night air

I look deep into the inky blackness of night

I wish for a moment

My mind could be as empty as the darkness

But the darkness holds monsters

My fears… my secrets

I wrestle with my fear and drift back to sleep

Repeat…

My Tears

You can’t see my tears…
They’re really not there.
They’re actually memories melting away from a troubled mind.
You can’t see my tears…
I won’t let you.
Instead I’ll wear my heart on my sleeve.
You can’t see my tears…
My heart heaves.
I struggle to breathe sometimes.
I won’t let you see my tears…
I am stronger than that.
At least that’s what I tell myself.
My tears will show themselves…
I’ve lost that control.
They are my heart overflowing…
With happiness
With sadness
And with love and compassion for others.
I will show you my tears…
They are part of me.
Share with me, if you will, this journey with all it’s twists and turns.
Hold my hand
Dry my tears
Assure me when I am confused
Give me hope when I feel hopeless.
Here are my tears…