My First Blog Post: A Day in the Life I Have yet to Live
Done with the worrying, on to the dreaming.
My first blog post. I’m a little tired of obsessing over gear and food and logistics. I’m a little tired of the couldas, shouldas, and mightas. I’m a little tired of reading articles drenched in angst, vigorously blended with excitement and slowly seeped into the unknown. So I want to write about something else. I’m guessing that most of you have come to the realization that we are incapable of not imagining the future. We wonder about all the possibilities, the beauty, the horror, the pain, that utter devastation, the demand, the love. Reason being is obvious; we think and therefore we think (damn you Descartes and your perverse rationalization).
Anyway, we think and we think about our futures, of what is to come, what will be, what might happen. Is it super healthy to linger in this state constantly? Of course not, we must in all our beauty seek out our inner Buddha from time to time and chill the fuck out. We must on occasion take in the beauty that lies before us. Allowing ourselves to experience the worst that life has to offer in a complete state of ecstasy. (Thanks Nietzsche, you dirty, dirty little man).
If we can take the time each day to focus on the present and be grateful for it, I think our futures will thank us as they come along. But—and a big hairy one at that—I want to linger in the future just a little longer and take you with me. Imagine as you read, please.
I wake up to the sound of rain droplets drip dropping upon the fly of my tent. I watch as each one hits, leaving their marks, and quickly flow down the sides. They only briefly stop as they reach the edge, gaining enough volume to reach the point of no return, finally flimsily falling into the abyss of earth’s most outer crust. Splash. I—still lying in my damp metallic-red sleeping bag—watch them as my morning thoughts begin to intrude the pleasantries of my dreams. I have to pee. I always have to pee when I wake up. So as anyone would I continue to lie there holding it, considering doing anything other than stepping out of this womb of down and into the wetness of the great beyond.
Eventually, of course, I do get up just like I always have and without even considering the perplexing realization of why. Why I decide to enter the vast meaningless void of nothingness that is my futile and sexy existence, only so that I may walk another 30 or so miles. I take pride in that.
I’m now sitting up with my tent zipper open and my feet on the grass. I put on my shoes, which have been lying outside my tent but under my rain fly, and climb out and into the world. I feel better already. The rain, although a little miserable, helps to awaken my slumbering, sore body just enough for me to walk toward my food. Along the way I relieve myself, a true joy of life, the ability to pee. Once in a while take a moment to truly enjoy your pee. Pay attention to each second as the stream protrudes through your urethra and out your pee-hole. Then move on with your life.
I grab the bear canister and shuffle back to my tent, climb inside and into my sleeping bag; making breakfast inside my tent just like all the companies never wanted me to do. I’ve come back to enjoying oatmeal, I think, as I shovel some into my mouth and quickly swallow. High calories, I think, high calories. I sip my coffee, which I had promised to give up before my hike, and nibble on a bar. I hear the movement of my neighbors, whom I had gotten to know the night before; friendly, friendly people, without a clue as to why they’re here, just like me. We bonded over that; heck, I might even love them.
Maybe that was the whiskey speaking (just kidding, nobody would even consider carrying extra weight like that). In actuality it was just my trail mania coming out. Like a hefty helping of euphoria, the trail shovels the mighty power of Mother Earth, people, animals, food, plants, dirt, the universe, and all its things, deeply down my throat, allowing it to fragment through my very being. Carefully in a sudden burst it stretches out each one of my limbs, slightly bending my neck and back, lifting me up and off the ground higher and higher. My eyes roll back and I eventually explode with all that it means to be truly alive. With the realization that happiness makes you cry, that everyone you know will someday die, that life goes fast and it’s hard to make the good things last (Thanks Flaming Lips).
Around 1 p.m.
I’m about three-fourths of the way done with my day when the rain finally stops. I’ve had my second breakfast, I’ve had my lunch, I’ve even had my coffee-nap. And now, as the sun comes gleaming through the lightened clouds, blasting its way down to earth so fast, so very fast that I can’t even see it, I’m hit by a God-send. As if by an entity so glorious that it makes life worth living. Like the beauty of peeing, there is a beauty among the feeling of light hitting the body, as though all life is within you, as though the gosh-dang meaning of life is shooting through me like a bullet piercing the body.
Goodness, I shutter and drink water just to finish the equation allowing my body to be filled and brought to nirvana just once more before I transcend into a world far, far beyond this cyclical bullshit. I look down at my feet realizing I had been standing in the middle of the trail for longer than I wish to say. Had people past me? Had animals seen me? Have I totally lost my mind? Yes, yes, and probably yes, but the truth I’ll never be able to see, and that is beautiful. Beautiful.
I keep walking, continuing to work on my stride matching it with my poles but still I mess up. There’s an art to walking well with poles. I desperately wish for them to match but life happens. Sometimes the pole hits too early, sometimes I trip, and sometimes I hit something. Sometimes the rhythm is slowed, altered, or destroyed. Then I try again, and again, until finally…
Some Time Later That Day
There I was, at my next campsite. I had forgotten to eat dinner so I head off about half a mile into some other direction. They say the triangle system works but I like to make it work even better. One side is a half-mile, the other is 20 feet (my tent to my toilet), and the third side is too difficult to calculate. Standing in a little patch of forest about half a mile away from camp I look for nature’s chair to find me. Ten feet over a nice log stares back at me.
I make my way over and sit down, pull out my bear canister and try to open that sucker up. I always thought it would get easier to open this thing. Pushing here and there and turning at the same time that tiny piece of plastic locking the lid just wont budge. So I muck around with it just long enough to really get hungry. I place my pot beans, rice, water, bouillon cube, and some veggies over my burner. Voila. I eat, I drink, I have some chips and shuffle back to the campsite to begin my nightly routine.
Safe and sound in my red-metallic sleeping bag, I whisper Good night to the earth and all its beings, good night all you animals, good night trees, good night plants and bugs and twigs, berries, leaves, and peaks, “Good nigh,t” says my neighbor; “Good night,” says my other neighbor. Good night.
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