Seven Soon

Aging into one’s elder years is an interesting trip. I’ve been experiencing new stops along the way: remembrance, regret, internal focuses more than external experiences, and a renewed sense of wonder at the power of words and images.

I picked up Patti Smith’s latest book, A Book of Days and it, along with recent readings and streaming media, caused a shifting of sands beneath my mental focus and pre-imagined plans, making things… interesting.

The last few years spent wandering America in two different RV vans, were times of wonderful nature immersion, road meanderings, and simply being out of the norm long enough to shift thinking on what’s really important as opposed to just what’s necessary to get through another day.

I’m nearing the first day’s sunrise of my seventh decade hanging around this planet. Lately, I seem to dream a lot in stories wrapped up in past lessons learned and not learned, plus regrets along the way long covered up by rationale-tinted stain. These memory wanderings are causing bubbles to perforate what I previously thought were plans for what I wanted to do. Desires versus needs seems to be the latest (in a long series) of tussles over influences on my decades ahead, not to mention an acute awareness of potential for the unexpected, black swan, or simply fate’s milestone.

Patti’s quote in the photo grabbed my attention and perhaps offers a reluctant, yet wise, approach on what to do. Armchair adventures have never appealed to me much, yet I can’t deny the increasing risk now, on several levels, from heading out on the road again as a solo vanlife nomad for long trips. Nor can I deny the growing time-sensitive awareness to no longer delay deeper creative pursuits (at the sacrifice of physical experiences), which may be the truer voice and brighter guiding star for me. It now seems clear it’s time to write more deeply, sketch more frequently, and read more widely from more significant works than before.

Instead of worn Italian cowboy boots, will I be content to slip on my German clog-like Haflingers, warm up the tea, and “adventure” through writing and books, with occasional wandering off to sketch scenes that move me? Will adopting these three as my proverbial three-legged stool be enough? In time I’ll find out, yet clearly all three can still be part of travels, just styled differently than before. 

New Year’s Day Meh: From the Journal

Brief entry based on my journal writing early morning on January 1.

Funny humans… always setting milestone days to achieve some sudden change like rebooting a life, pledging habit-shift intentions, and other follies of coming up short at present mindedness, living-in-the-moment-ism, and just enjoying the journey with a daily focus.

How we live lives in ways that by the end of the year our life chart looks like an ever-variable wave-like sea of bell curves… instead of a gently sloping upward trending line across the 365.

Yet, the brief adrenalin rush of getting a free reboot to try again by starting anew seems a much beloved addiction for each New Year’s Day.

Sigh. Pass the black-eyed peas, please.

When Tech Support Tells You Wrong

I am embarassed.

Apparently, my resetting of a bunch of previously published posts to private a week ago, then back to public yesterday, triggered a flood of new post emails to those who subscribe here or follow otherwise.

Apologies on steroids for this WordPress blunder. I have tongue-thrashed the help desk, although that won’t soothe your bruised inboxes from the deluge! Even unleashed the bad form police to chase after the perpetrators of this #firstworldproblems crime.

Anyway, just wanted to apologize for the mess. Technology! Can’t live without it, and it’s a harsh bedmate not really to be trusted all the time!

Some (Hiking) Lessons Are Hard to Learn

I’ve been hiking for decades, over countless trails and paths, more than I can remember. Over that time, I’ve picked up the handful of tips and tricks that keep one safe, hydrated, cool (or warm), etc. But there’s ONE area I seem to have a mental block on learning: the art of bug deflection.

Maybe it’s because only a smaller percentage of hikes over the years have needed bug goop. Or maybe it’s because when I apply that nasty stuff, I’m always in a hurry to get that part over with. Whatever the reason, this morning’s nice hike at Camp Seven Lake Campground in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (the YOOP), yet again, reminded me of my memory bane.

The thing is, the first thirty minutes of hiking after said bug goop application is a blissful experience: the bugs act as though you’re not really there.

The second thirty minutes, however, they do begin to circle and lightly swarm. They don’t alight nor bite, but they now sense your presence and the waiting game begins.

By the third thirty minutes, their patience pays off. That’s when either through evaporation or dilution via sweat, patches of your skin become… vulnerable. This is when the smarter buggies will find those small patches of unprotected skin and start their feast. This is also when smart hikers who CARRY more bug goop will STOP AND REAPPLY PROTECTION from the forest’s flying teeth.

Fortunately, for me today, the hike only lasted 90 minutes, so my solution for that last 30 minutes was to walk faster! Sort of worked.

So was THIS the time I finally learned my lesson and will start packing the juice on future, bug-season hiking? Hope so, but I’ve been in this predicament before and it didn’t stick.

We’ll see next time!