American Discovery Trail: Imminent Departure!

American Discovery Trail candidate here!

k, breathe…

No worries, I feel like the hardest part is over (he says in that gasping for breath, laughing sort of way!).  After all, I made an absolute decision that will impact every second of every day for the foreseeable future.   I made that decision, as I often do, in an instant.  Then, and only then, did I take to the task of accounting for my choices.  I think there is a metaphor here, but we can explore that more later.  Truly, we are going to have some time to get to know one another, that is, assuming (which I long ago learned not to do!), I don’t fall and break my face on week one (one more deep breath!).

So, down to some nitty gritty.  On March 20th, next Wednesday, I will be hopping a train on one coast to then arrive, a few days later, on the other coast…only to then turn around and walk back (the longest way possible!).  I am certain we may need to review definitions of insanity along the way, but for now…”a stupid is, a stupid does.”  Let’s roll!

I have been inspired and lifted, as I always am, by the stories of those who have walked before.  I am not one for linear logics.  I understand and experience “history” in a multidimensional sort of way, like images superimposed with varying degrees of transparency.  I am constantly in conversation with others, whether we share a temporal-spatial coincidence (you standing next to me…to which we both agree!) or not.  I have no intention of walking alone, though my trek will be, by common definition…solo.  I am equally inspired by the stories of those yet to walk.  My friends, I have already walked with you, and we will walk together once more.

The Pack

Okay…back to the nitty gritty, the pack.  Another deep breathe (I’m doing this a lot right now!).  I have found it interesting to explore the different strategies and compositions used by different folk at different times.  I have appreciated the insight and, especially, the creative “overcoming” along the way.  None of us walk in exactly the same way, for exactly the same reasons.  We all must make concessions according to the values we ascribe to the hows and whys of our unique (though certainly collective too!) journey.  I’m a photographer and a writer, for example.  As in, I do these things daily as a function of how I come “to know” the world around me, communicate and “exist” within this co-occupied space and place.  So for me, my camera and lens, my tools of writing, along with the necessary equipment and means to transmit my “work product” out to another commonly shared space…these are not “options,” nor luxury…these are not superfluous, nor “extra-curricular” (for another, they way very well be all of the above…and that’s cool too!).  These are my beating heart.  They also weigh a tid bit, and weight matters like the air I breathe…millions of steps yet to come.  

Ahh concessions (and life lessons!)…but also “creative overcoming.”  I have come to value, through much trial and tribulation, the obstacle in my path…each an opportunity for growth and transformation (though often we must grieve and scream too…and plenty!).  Fortunately, accommodating my epistemological needs has not been a screaming process (though I will reserve that for a later date!), merely an opportunity for some creative considering and problem solving.  I certainly love the multifunctional in my life, so I am carrying very little that doesn’t serve, at least, a secondary (and tertiary) function as well.  I have also accounted, best I can, for the complex nature of this particular “trail.”  I will be wandering, with some frequency, through and about “civilization.”  There will be opportunities to adjust, on this particular trip.

The Methodology

And then there’s some of the unique “intent” for my particular walk.  I have mentioned I’m an “educator” (at least in my bio I did), but as a point of clarification, I have never been a classroom teacher (though I have said credentials, for those who might need such “verification.”).  My graduate work (much like my life!) has lead me from “Early Childhood” to “Social Justice” (dual degrees).  I work, especially, within the space of “liberation.”  I believe, quite radically, in open methodologies and a collective (the Academy favors “participatory,” I do not) praxis.  I intend to walk in accordance (and harmony) with the spirit of the world I hope (and know!) we can imagine and co-create together.  In other words, I have not planned each detail.  I have not marked each and all waypoints, though I have maps that have been collectively created (yay crowdsourcing!) with more waypoints than I could ever imagine to manage.  I am humbled by the labor of those before me.  I am humbled by the labor of those beyond me.  I am humbled to walk with each and every one of you, my friends, my partners…

Let’s roll!


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