Vacation Thoughts

Bananaquit from aboveThe time away was a wonderful thing; I hadn’t realized how much I needed a vacation.

There was time for some necessary culling of what I have been doing over the years by not doing any of it. I wrote for days in a notebook, a means I have for clearing my mind. I started doing that as a teenager, a way to get everything out – every sting, every joy, every itching wound. That writing is never to be published – simply an exercise in free writing that cleanses and, which at the end, is destroyed.

An open letter to the Universe as some might see it, an open letter to the Self as others might see it. The physical act of making everything inside external, the mechanical process, is something that works for me because then you can look at it from the outside looking in. The shift in perspective is then more easily done, going through one’s own life as the reader rather than the author.

You find petty things, you find important things glossed over, you find a character whose world-view is affected by things no longer present, whose actions are affected by that world-view in both good and bad ways.

And then I burn them – a symbolic thing I have always done, watching the black ink contrast less and less on the pages that go from white to ash.

Then you’re left with a start, and in that start, in a space where you can be yourself, you find what’s really there now. What I found was not what I had thought was there – faux rationality is easily scattered from the urn and you can see yourself for what you are, the world for what it is…

And then the vacation starts where you can do the things you want to do.

One morning I idyllically tossing a tethered waterproof camera into an area of deep current, just because I had one and some 550 cord.

Another morning I traipsed around on the abandoned paths of Blue Waters Inn – full of life, absent people who wanted to spend money to go see things and were out and about. I saw new things.

I sat with a hummingbird for hours, watching it feed and chase others from it’s source.

Most of all, I figured out what the next me was going to do with his life, if only for a while.

Relativity

RelativityAs I hinted at, I got rid of the last pickup – codename Artsy – and have since moved on to another vehicle. I won’t mention make or model – I’m not going to do free advertising for some company when I’ve only had the vehicle a few days.

But I like it. This is what the article is about – because I told someone I visited today that they are now less far away with this vehicle.

They didn’t move. I didn’t move. The distance hadn’t changed. What I was driving had.

Artsy’s job was to create trails in the bush with me at the wheel. This she did well – so well, in fact, that I saw her on the way home and for a moment wondered what my pickup was doing there… when it’s not mine anymore. She looks well. 

However, things have changed and so the requirements of the vehicle have changed as well. And this one doesn’t have to go in the bush. Trails, maybe, but no more bush. Mainly, roads. Parking in the cities. And, finally, it’s not a manual transmission.

It’s a dual clutch transmission, which for the sake of people who don’t know enough about cars, is more efficient than a manual and as convenient as an automatic.

The air conditioning is awesome. The back up camera makes parking so much easier. The audio is so good stock, and plays my MP3s and more. The seat is comfortable.

And so, now, what used to be a long distance for me is a shorter distance – just like that. This is probably not news to a lot of people, but I’ve always sacrificed things.  The RX7s had their AC’s take out for weight reduction, Artsy had noisy mud tires, and so on, and so on. These were things that were necessary for the tasks at hand.

With this vehicle, I did not sacrifice. I ordered the pizza with everything on it. It has features I may never use.

But today I saw the value in that spontaneous simple statement, it dawned on me.
It dawned on me that relativity and the hierarchy of needs are related in the human experience – something I knew – but at a new depth.

And, after all, even the Spartan minimalist has to acknowledge that the new chariot is a worthy tool for the next part of my life.