It is almost like I never left. I was sitting inside an Irish Pub, Jack of the Woods, and I heard car tires on wet cement. I took my local lager outside to feel a real Southern rain. A warm rain. Is it true that every place is the same?
The difference here is you can roll out of bed and set immediately into the Black Mountain soil. This morning the Blue Ridge Parkway pulled its foggy sheet to its chin. I pulled the car over to walk through the forest. I remembered when I was ten walking through the Philadelphia arboretum. A tick had decided that my crotch was a good place to look for blood. I cried and made my Mother take it out with tweezers. A short film on the meditation of humility. The woods are still full of these tales. I still love the forest. I turn off my phone, get lost. I look down and walk paths that have been made by ancient animals. In the city, there is a different poetry. I look to the sky, where men have climbed and sculpted. The gargoyles watching. The mason’s symmetry signaling an ordered universe.
How can history be old in the South? The land seems alive and fresh. I imagine the men marching through this forest. Their feet sinking in the soil. Begging their bodies to take another step. Begging for another day. Begging for their families. I suppose they had each other. Companions marching into fate. Do we all look for companions? Isn’t it only the most basic of human needs? Most of the time I want to be alone. Writing and reading. Suddenly, I realize I have no one to share this with, except pen and paper.
In reading The Good Life, I am not always sure if I agree. Life is not so simple. Their way can not always be true. It might be simple to agree to that statement, but in practice it is hard. I want to be convinced. Perhaps the key is to understand our purpose is not the same as another’s purpose. You can live for your needs or your wants, but maybe there is a gray area here as well. I want to live on a farm, that seems like an ideal, but I need to be surrounded by the culture of the city. Where is my in between? Sustainable living in an urban setting? Maybe. Where is yours?
I often find myself not being completely honest with strangers. I think it stems from being unsure of who I am. Here is a list of responses I have given so far on the trip:
- A writer
- An unpublished writer, except a couple ‘zine’s
- A poet
- I work in coffee
- In the music industry
- Floral design
- A dreamer
- Customer service
In a recent tarot reading, my past an present were Cups. The Seven of Cups in my past signifies my pleasure seeking self. My fast felt fulfilling, because it was selfish. The present was a Ten of Cups. I feel emotionally rich because of my past pleasure seeking self. The future was an Ace of Swords. Time to cut through the bullshit and think about what comes next. Talking to all the travelers has been a beautiful experience. Why? Because I am not like them. We are both okay, we don’t envy each other, and we have much to learn from each other. I seek deep and meaningful relationships. I need a homestead. I understand the road as home. It has been my home for a while now. Part of this quest is to discover, what makes me who I am. That is what is being uncovered. What is your most basic self?
Asheville rains silver in the park / Light of banjos racket thumping / Parades of foreign and Southern accents / Symphonic and friendly farms……….
In Brooklyn. Just realized the answer to what I do is not where I work. I love personalities. I love people. I love culture. Replace with I am. “Where are you from?” The correct answer is, “When?” The better question is, “Where do you live?”
Joe and I are on the waterfront. Tourists everywhere, laughing at bikes yelling at families on the Brooklyn Bridge. “Get out of the way unless you want to die!” “This is the bike lane! Not the take pictures lane!” Singing falls from open windows all over Brooklyn. Groups of friends and strangers sitting on apartment floors in every brownstone, drinking wine and smoking cigarettes on the roof. Locks on every door, every door is open. Where is your crime? Ripped off in Manhattan. Where are your rats? Cursing the underground. Blessings from the corner. Blessing for the heartbeat. Artists starving in designer jackets. Shoes worn from cement hikes. Empty space, the womb of Grand Central, stars blinking backwards behind the tar. City skin lined with tile. There is only one life to take lightly and it is this one.