Wednesday, June 13, 2012

the long haul back to base

I packed up.
I've been living out of my car for the past 6,936 miles, logged 104.7 hours in the car with a grand total of 43 days.

I've learned a lot from living alone and being separated from, what now feels, like the outside world. I started running again because for some reason, when I'm moving faster, my thoughts become clearer. My thoughts become poetry, poetry turns into prayers and prayers become thank-you notes. I can hear the river beside me and there is a sort of peace that settles deep down into my roots. So I keep running.

I'm so grateful for everyone who has let me crash on couches, beds, trailers, yards, etc. but I was growing tired of being a guest in someone's home. I had to travel almost seven thousand miles to realize that it's all about balance.
A balance between traveling and finding a good place to come back to. 
A balance between being in company and being solo.
A balance between wildness and settledness. 

So as I drove away from Groveland and all the wonderful, interesting people I met there, I played this song and threw my arm out the window to feel the wind and pines on my skin. 

I found little pockets of people all over the Western United States that are living unconventional lives and are just as transient as I am. Conversations filled up with talk of travels and homes, where we want to live, the coasts, the mountains, cabins and wood floors, baking bread in the morning and strong coffee. It was a comforting find. I'm shedding more possessions and thinking about moving again. 

First stop on my list of places en route to Colorado was the Buttermilks. I took my crash pad out of my car and leaned it up against the side, creating a couch that stared right into the face of the mountains. I sat there for a long, long time until the sky grew darker and the outline of the hills started to blur into the sky. I slept in my car that night, picked up a hitchhiking mouse that decided to live in my dashboard for a day or two, and then woke up at 5 to see the sunrise over the skyline. I took a million photographs. 

A brief stop in Flagstaff, AZ and I'm back in Denver. It feels good to set my things down for a little while to use this place as a base, and it's good to see my family. They all look older. Not in a negative way, but in a way that puts a couple more smile lines around the corners of your eyes- those kinds of measurements of growth. I wonder if I look older to them, too; if I've acquired a few creases around my own eyes. 

I wonder when I'll find the balance between being around cities and living in small, small towns. It seems like there must be a happy place in between, but until then, I will drift between the two. Denver doesn't necessarily feel right, but it feels okay. I can't quite put my finger on what's missing. I think the exhaustion has something to do with it, so maybe after I sleep for a bit, the inspiration will come again. 

Until then.

Friday, June 8, 2012

the last cabin day.

I think about everything I've learned and has been taught to me by living in this cabin. 

Loneliness is okay. It's alright to be lonely, but fill it up with things that aren't temporary. Fill it with things and people that last.

Live a well-intentioned life. This means, to me, to live slowly and intentionally by being conscious of your actions. This reminds me of "going gently." Don't crash and thrash and run through a lifetime.

I need to spend more time reading books. Filling up my head with other thoughts, ideas, and feelings other than my own is so important.

It's alright to love the mountains and the sea.

You can find pieces of yourself in different people and places...places and people that you never even thought existed in the world until you run across them. Isn't it incredible who falls into your life at the right times?

E-mail and being connected is important, but there are better ways of connecting with people. Like I had previously learned, but forgot, conversation is the best way to get to know someone. Not through any separated and sifted form of technology, but face to face conversation.

The word 'home' should not be thrown around carelessly.

Sometimes people just need to be loved. And your job is to pour love into them.

I need to say 'thank you' more.

"stories move in circles. they don't go in straight lines. so it helps if you listen in circles. there are stories inside stories and stories between stories. and finding your way through them is as easy and as hard as finding your way home. and part of the finding is the getting lost. and when you're lost, you start to look around and listen."

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

there are sometimes that things feel so sublime and beautiful. like the blue fog that set over a fire burned forest, and a storm cloud swallowing huge granite walls.
there is some sort of peace that i've found in these solitary moments where everything is a little blurry and i don't understand where my life is headed, but i just keep walking because it feels right.
Driving through the pines when this song is playing on my radio loudly and loving the colors that rain brings.
And there are some days that laying in bed and reading until the late morning and waking up alone in an empty cabin feels okay because the silence is welcoming and the quiet allows space for good thoughts.
I've been spending some time in Groveland with good people. This town collects all sorts of interesting souls and it's been fun to stumble into a community that i didn't know existed.

For the past couple weeks I've lived on couches. I left Yosemite when it started to become negative, and drove down to southern California for two weeks. I surfed, caught my first wave all the way into the beach, and collected some serious cinematic, perfect moments of happiness. I then drove back up to San Francisco, flew out of the airport to Telluride, Colorado where I had a gallery opening and a couple presentations. It was wonderful and I left feeling inspired for new project ideas and collaborations. Now, back in Yosemite, I'm drinking in the sunlight and the clouds. I spent a couple days with some really wonderful people and we spent some time climbing rocks and conversing about good life things.

Make homes in many places.