I do apologize for lack of posting in the past week and a half. So what have I been doing, heh?
Well, the week after Crawford, TX was a whirlwind of fun! Even though I was exhausted, there were still 1,600 miles to put behind me. Early Friday morning, we pulled into Virginia; unfortunately darkness cloaked the brilliant leaves of autumn. About 15 minutes outside of town a presumably drunken college kid almost ran us off the road. I was seriously riled up by this, as it was one of the closer calls I’ve had this whole time on the road and we were so close to home!
We made a stop at a 24 hour grocery store to purchase my little guy a bone. After exuberant, sloppy greetings were exchanged, everyone crashed hard. After basically a quick nap, we roused ourselves to enjoy Charlottesville before Daphne and Lil C headed back to Maine. It was a very action packed day and by its end, I had accomplished my three goals: take Marco Polo for a long walk, cook a tasty dinner in my kitchen and carve a pumpkin. The next couple of days I unpacked all of my stuff from storage and began the tedious process of setting up my new bedroom. Most of my friends, including the roomie, had left town for the weekend, so it was really quiet-giving me a chance to unwind. The apartment is looking really good due to Wendy’s hard work. We inherited the place from some frat boys so there was a lot of dirt to remove from the carpet and patching to be done on the walls. Wendy, in her mercurial fashion, has created a couple of herb gardens, a compost bin and painted some rooms.
The next thing on the list has been to relax, something I have to turn into a task in order to make myself do it. We went for awhile without TV around here, but recently Wendy’s family gave her a full entertainment system, including surround sound stereo. After hooking it all up, I decided to test it out. We watched Sneakers, an OLD movie, from 1992, but its content was remarkably cutting edge. Great quote from the movie:
“What do you want in exchange?”
“Peace and Justice”
“We are the United States Government, we don’t work for that!”
Wendy made a frightful comment that the liberal propaganda in Sneakers probably wouldn’t be “allowed,” in today’s era of Homeland Security. Since I’m a big documentary fan, I’ve continued my testing of the new entertainment system to watch a couple. My favorite was Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. I was living at Omega Institute during the zenith of this scandal and we didn’t have TV or newspapers. I was absolutely riveted by the amount of information presented and completely disgusted by the massive synergistic corruption between business and politics. I recommend Alex Gibney’s movie because its very objective and informative-a journalistic presentation with Integrity. A lot of the movie’s information came from C-Span clips, a cable network that most people can’t afford to have. (or choose not to) It’s unfortunate to pay a rental fee just to get the objective coverage which is the responsibility of our media. Last night I watched Revolution OS; this reveals my geekier nature. It was somewhat hard to watch, but provided a really interesting look at the hackers and computer programmers who challenged Microsoft by developing open source software. By the end of the night I was feeling ready to get back on a productive schedule.
Today has been pretty busy; lots of piddly errands to do-calls to make, piles of bills and letters to write. And tax forms to fill out. Yes, I am now employed and even worked a shift yesterday. The Mudhouse was my employer when I left town, but the new spot, La Taza, holds a lot of promise. The job acquisition was pretty hysterical. I’ve enjoyed being my own boss for the past three months and wasn’t enthusiastic about turning over that freedom. But since the money ran out a long time ago-its time to make a commitment. At least for awhile to generate some income while I pen a novel about the travels. I was sitting outside La Taza, using the internet and the waiter, Stephen, joined me. He didn’t give me the opportunity to dawdle picking up an application. The next moment I was behind the counter making a drink for the manager. Suddenly, I had a job-and agreed to report for work the next morning. Whoah. There was an employee meeting scheduled in the next hour, so I stuck around to meet the rest of the crew and listen to their comments and strategies. They all seem smart, cool and creative-looking forward to confirming that. We ate some yummy pizza together and then I left-happy with the good possibilities ahead at this cafe. It’s literally out my back door, good for fuel conservation. There is also more money and scheduling flexibility-so I’m pretty excited.
I’m adjusting to being inside after spending the past three months outside. The brilliant scenery and ever changing horizons are gone. I’ve developed a riding disorder, where my happiness is proportional to the amount of miles I travel. My friends took me to see Into the Wild, an intense and profound movie, shot in some beautiful locations. I became very nostalgic for the raw nature and open spaces that I experienced during 11,000 miles. I’m itching to be back on the scooter, which is en route to Richmond now. Meanwhile, I’m appreciating the comforts of my own home. Me and Wendy have both spent years on the road, so we were in agreement that our doors would be opened to lodge wayward travelers. The other night we brought home a trio, Virginia, Michael and Michael, who had been hiking the Appalachian Trail. They are all headed to their respective homes after the hike and years of service in the Peace Corps. It was cool to meet them and live vicariously through them for a moment.
I’ve also been eating and sleeping a lot-and getting back into my yoga/meditation practice. My need for a mediation and yoga practice was discovered years ago after I confronted a feeling of disharmony in my life. I had a sense of what Peace was, just enough to know it was lacking in my life. After a lot of soul searching and meeting spiritual teachers, I created a framework that helps me deepen and strengthen my personal growth and my relationship with others. We really do begin to experience Peace when we believe it’s possible, and daily take the steps to maintain it in our life. It’s an operating system and of course it takes maintenance to function at its best.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about Peace and the lessons I learned from thousands of interactions this summer. It was a wild ride and there is still a lot of processing happening. The other day I joined my friend, “The Reverend Rick,” for $2 pints at South Street. Rick is an IBM Genius, basically the company pays him to think, to invent and to motivate people. I was a little surprised when he told me that he initially thought my idea was crazy-I mean the guy gets paid to expand the parameters of possibility. Rick was one of the first people I talked to about PEACE SCOOTER-over coffee at 7:00 AM. He, like others, say they thought I was joking. The reoccurring sentence is,” You made your dream come true-I thought it was just a crazy, fleeting idea-the kind people have all the time and never follow through.” To this I say, don’t have a dream, have a goal-and pursue it with a ferociousness that is catalytic. The word ferocious come from “ferox”-Latin for wild. The English language defines “wild” as “lack of constraint or control.” Don’t ever let fears control your imagination. Every fiber of my being wanted to travel and talk about Peace, I refused to accept the idea of obstacles. I say it takes more energy to create obstacles and resign yourself to shortcomings than it does to believe you have the power to accomplish your highest goals. Now if I can just apply that to quitting smoking….
Just today I put up a fresh piece of poster board, my “Wall Brain,” it helps me keep the distractions at bay. This is the system implemented when I had only a month before hitting the road. It serves as a good way to do my mind-mapping and to keep the details, goals, and contacts close at hand. Thought this might help me delve into the next phase of P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER. While on the road, I developed a good pace to manage everything. I slept minimally and accomplished a lot, and that came to a screeching halt once I stopped traveling. Right now, I’m excited to bring new information to my community and to maintain the far-reaching community that I met while on the road. By the way, the first items that went on the WALL BRAIN were
Write about Oklahoma City.
Write about Crawford and Austin, TX.
Write about the zany road trip back home.
Write about New Orleans-just revisited on the way home and remembered that I excluded major commentary about NOLA.
Stick with me……
Peace and love…..Alix