Sunday, June 29, 2008

After Walking the Road

I wonder if I wasn’t intended for another country. I’m a man of imagination and projection. People see in me their dreams, their hopes, their fears. Their imagination. Of course we are all mere projections of others. That’s true.

And others are projections of ourselves.

That’s true, too. So I see all of the same things in other people.

When I left Boston, about 30 of my closest friends (yeah, I had that many then) gathered to cheer me on to New Mexico. Each recounted experiences that we’d shared. Of most interest to me was the comment of Kristen: I have felt that my experiences with you were entirely unique. And they were. Yet I’m learning tonight that all of these other people have been made to feel special by you, too.

I do connect directly with people. That is an experience of the moment. So why do I feel so lost in the moment of now?

This is not the ‘now’ for which I had contended. It is far darker and bleak and without apparent direction than I’d assumed I would encounter.

It’s all easier to take when taken with what I call ‘vacation mind.’ You know how the morning feels different when you are on vacation than it does when you awake having to go to work? That is what I mean.

During my best of days I can employ that frame of thinking. I notice how people drive on the right side of the road, what their license plates look like and what cars look like. I take time to read signs and appreciate how businesses are presented. I watch people’s expressions (I can’t understand their words…I’m a visitor) and I enjoy the emotions around me. I move as a foreign man in a foreign land.

That’s when I think that perhaps it was never intended for me to stay so long in my home country. I walked it, mile by mile, and nothing much surprises me anymore. I truly love it; but I rarely feel engaged these days.

I took a homeless man to his remote land (he owns some in CO, but no means by which to pay the taxes) not so long ago. He asked me to offer a prayer of parting at the end of our excursion. Most of what I said is included in the phrase: May we always be reminded that the adventure lies within, not without.

Some days these days I dream of a remote monastery hermit’s hovel at the end of the Mt. Athos peninsula. There I was greeted in the light of the setting sun by a man showering off the day’s sweat and work under cool water schlepped from the Aegean sea. They told me there that I surely must be Greek. I didn’t, at least, seem American.

I don’t seem to be much of anything of which I’m currently a part. I feel more an amalgam of many things, many experiences, many memories and futures of which I have difficulty speaking. I do feel a part of ‘vacation mind.’

At my best, I feel that, here, tonight, house-sitting for those who have vacated to visit the shores of Alaska, that I am best when not mired too much in the norms of the mainstream.

Perhaps best for me is to be a part of a reclusive hermitage or to be lost in the dense lights of a foreign city.


Anonymous said...

keep walking the road dude.

Eric said...

This is a beautiful post. Thank you.

And I can see your point too. Albuquerque isn't exactly a hotbed of innovative thinking or relationships or social progress or spirituality. You have a very rich appreciation for life and experience and connection, and your current situation doesn't seem to afford a lot of that to you. So, is this a midlife crisis, a needling to get you on another path or adventure, or simply an indication that you need to find some more rewarding relationships or passions? What is it that you really want out of life and how will you get them?

I guess that's what all of us are asking of ourselves.

Dennis R. Plummer said...

Good questions, Eric, and, yes I'm asking them.

And, for everything else it is, it is a mid-life crisis, too. I realize that at least a full third of my emotion around one guy I'm attracted to is just that I'm attracted to his youth. (Fortunately, with that realization, about half of the attraction has faded.)

So I'm left looking for some folks my age, with my maturity, who are going through some similar things in life rather than still at the outset of their plans for life. Would be nice to skip this part and just go into "wise and learned old man" stage.

In the meantime, I'll await the curiousities you mention in the previous post's comments!