Month: November 2014

From the Collection: Stories From the Road

chaos

#1

Join me on my travels on that Monday, that day in the van in October, driving like freaks on speed. This can’t fucking be right! No human driving mad crazy. What am I doing with all of this? The proof is in the pudding, the pride, and the persistence to show. The price is driving with this crazy motherfucker; barreling down the Pennsylvania hills, pissing in my pants, puppy-dog shit. This son of a bitch is the devil himself and we shall all die in Satan’s arms. It is inevitable.

The van is already dying, etching out the last of its pitiful life, the picture of American pride. Fuck it! Some fuel additive and gas and we’re on our way to the pace of porn, pot and poetry. We shall succeed at any price. Hell shall have its way! Quite a popery of prophetic prose to be put upon the priceless piece of pummeled paper. The proposal was put forth that in Pennsylvania and properties around those words like “prick” and “pussy” must have precedence in the propensity of profound poetry put forth.

Of course, this is only a prelude to the pretense that we shall actually play; watching the palpitatious patterns of people plunder the peace of palatable portions of epiphany.

#2

In the last moments, those final bleak hours, in the dark, in this fucking car. So goddamned tired and greasy. So close and the road just won’t end. My eyes are on fire and this constant moving doesn’t give a hairy apes ass! All I want is my home, that dream world I use to know before I took off on this fucked up ride. It’s like that park in Massachusetts where the operator fell asleep. The ride never ended and we were screaming at the end, sick as dogs, wanting to die. He must have been on dope or perhaps, just didn’t give a damn.

My mind knows there’s a place where I belong but shit, where is it? This is insane. All these cars, all this night. This whole, unending night, the numbers on the clock move, we move…so what’s the fucking problem? Give a man some peace; I’ve got a wife, I’ve got pets for god’s sake. They’re probably dead and I wouldn’t know it. I can’t do this. This is nuts; the same name on every sign, on every exit. It’s all the same.

We don’t turn, we never turn. No wonder this car is dying, it’s tired too! The same stretch of snot to roll down. I feel like a fly. Fly? Fuck that! Who’s got time with all this road? I don’t ask for miracles, just to sit in a chair that happens to be mine for a while. This moving has got to stop. Enough is enough. It will drive anyone insane. I know, I am fucking mad!

It’s all a spinning nightmare at this point. Who cares? We’re all going to die. No end in sight and we’re all acting like its normal, an enigma, a traveling savant, a fucking idiot. This is life in the fast lane, burning the oil, all of it. Fuck it! Let’s go…

Finding Your Way

path

“Finding myself” is one of those phrases that deserves the despite that it often gets. Like many other words and phrases it has become a watered-down excuse in many cases. However, I think that there is something to it. We do find ourselves wondering about who we are, and especially why we are. These are those thoughts that come to us when we wake up suddenly in the middle of the night, the world outside of us silent, creating room in our heads to think. Perhaps it is this silence and space that reminds us that we have lost our way, have never found it, or simply changed without realizing it.

Of course, to lose your way, you must first know which way you are going. This, I think, is where the despite for this otherwise beautiful thought comes from. Many of us who are out to “find ourselves” have never found anything much less our “self”. We have no way to get back to if we have no way to find. This is not as obtuse as it may first seem. Consider where our societies have come to today. We are far-removed from the agrarian lifestyles that we depend upon, the nature that we are a part of, and the relationships we depend upon for our well-being. It is an unfortunate truth that many of us have never experienced any of these lost albeit necessary components to life.

If we have lost our way, then we do not need to necessarily find it again if it was not the path that we wanted in the first place. Good trips are like this: being lost is part of the fun; not having a plan makes the trip interesting and often leads us to the very thing we were not looking for, but needed, in the first place. When I became more interested and involved in agrarianism, it was surprising to me just how revolutionary (in the political sense) that food is. To “opt out” of the system in any way seems to create ripples that are not welcome. I think this is because many people are on a path that they have not chosen. Perhaps losing their way is precisely what they need?

If there is anything that we all need it is to realize that change is the only consistent in life. We all change; whether or not we realize this is up to us. I had a friend that told me that after twenty-six years of marriage he realized that he did not know who his wife was: he had changed without realizing it. They were soon divorced. If there is a purpose to getting older, perhaps that purpose ought to be that we make sure we realize how we change; that we change is not in question.

So, in the end finding your way through life is like so many of the important things in life that get lost in the shuffle: love, family, time, philosophy, fun, and happiness. It is these things that we will have left in our lives if we grow old. It is my hope that we can all find our way long before we realize we can do nothing about the path we are on. Realize change while we can still do something about it, and we will find that life is truly worth living. Finding your way, we must remember, does not necessarily imply that there is path that we ought to be on. It simply means that there is a possible path for us all.

The Real World

the world

What is the real world, but the result of our actions? How we act defines not only who we are, but the purpose that we define for ourselves. In order to live in the world as it is, we must act according to the reality of the world not what we would like the world to be. While this may sound complicated, it isn’t. What is complicated is why we nevertheless continue to act as if we define the world and not the other way around. Examples abound:

“House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) says he’s “not qualified” to debate the science of climate change, but insists that President Obama should “absolutely consider” a ban on U.S. travel to West African countries experiencing Ebola outbreaks. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) says he’s “not a scientist” when it comes to climate change, but also says it would be “a good idea to discontinue flights” from Ebola-affected countries. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal — who studied science in college — says he’ll “leave it to the scientists” to talk about climate change, but says it’s “common sense” to institute a flight ban.”

                -Kate Sheppard, Huffington Post

 

The fact that there are individuals and corporations that would like to insist on the “illusion” of climate change does not change the consequences of climate change. The fact that individuals react in fear does not change the nature of what is feared. Again, Ms. Sheppard:

 

“Meanwhile, actual doctors and medical professionals have made it clear that Ebola does not spread through the air, it is not “incredibly contagious” and there is little likelihood of a large-scale outbreak in the United States.”

-Kate Sheppard, Huffington Post

 

Irrationality is part and parcel of the world in which we live. However, we can change not only who we are, but the purpose that we define for ourselves. To say that we must live “in the real world” is not to say that the world is defined by those who live in it. Rather, it is to say that we must adhere to the real consequences of our actions and our beliefs.  Reason can happen.

Make no mistake: the real world in which we live is defined in a relatively exact, measurable and wholly reasonable way. However, the world by which I mean the one in which we make decisions and create beliefs is dependent upon us as individuals and as societies. We can only hope that there is some way that the quality of the relationship between the idea of the world and the real world itself can rise to the occasion. Otherwise, the often very unreasonable world in our minds will eventually determine the very real world in which we live.