Tuesday, October 31, 2006

October 31, 2006
T-Minus 7 days!!! Part Duex

Just briefly, here is my top 10 list of things to do on my trip.
10 - Turn my cell phones off for at least 10 hours each day.
9 - Read at least 100 pages per day, excepting Friday & Saturday (One must have priorities)
8 - Complete a short story, ready for editing.
7 - Go an entire day without speaking to anyone whom I don't want to speak to.
6 - See the Milky Way again.
5 - Do something I will never do again.
4 - Sit an listen to the quiet.
3 - Enjoy an evening with the cell phones turned off.
2 - Hug someone and accept a hug in return, without pretentions or preconceptions.
1 - Thank a friend or two. The gifts these friends have given me is beyond words.

Things I MAY do...

  • Dance with a guy. (My heart belongs to a man with a badge!!!!!! LOL)

October 31, 2006
T-Minus 7 days!!!

I have been an amateur radio hobbiest since 1983, almost 23 years. I can't truly state that it is a passion, rather an enjoyable activity. There is a certain appeal to the thought of taking my HF radio along on this journey. It would allow me contact with people all over the world, right from my rental car. I would partake in an activity known as “county running.” This activity involves me making contact with other amateur radio operators via the radio, from different counties along my journey.

I did this once before and yes, it was a lot of fun, and is certainly an enjoyable activity worth consideration. How, then, does one decide whether or not to partake in an enjoyable activity, when the activity is part of a larger context; and the purpose of that context is enjoyment?
This was not an easy choice. And it was a test. To bring all of my radio equipment and partake in that particular enjoyable activity, or to leave it behind and focus on other enjoyable endeavors? In keeping with my newfound energy, individuality and decisiveness, I made the choice and will ruminate no more. The radio equipment stays home.

No Ham Please!

Friday, October 27, 2006

October 27, 2006
T-Minus 11 days!!!

If the point of a journey is the trip itself and not the destination,
a traveler stepping onto this path will exist and continue traveling for the remainder of time.

What is the point? The point of this journey, as in life, is not necessarily defined by the terminal destination, but by the mile-posts and rest-stops along the way. Yes, there are indeed people I wish to meet in person and talk with and spend time with at the other end of the road. But the story of this journey starts here and may well never end.

Sure, I can hope my trip is like this. I hope the journey is a good one. I hope that I feel refreshed and renewed upon return. I hope the trip is safe. I hope the trip is not TOO safe. I hope I can live up to my convictions and rhetoric. I hope to see my friends there and spend sufficient time with them.

I hope I don't spend too much money.

I hope I don't drink too much and waste precious time in an inebriated state.

Perhaps this is a function of my “insecure me” but I do not want the people I meet, to, well, dislike me. I know it is silly and now recognize this almost immediately. Instead of throwing the feeling away, I embrace and revel in the fact that I recognize it, for what it is.. That is not to mean these feelings are completely expressed or removed from my psyche. Some are filtered and others thrown away, others are recycled and still others are finally acted on.

I want to enjoy this trip. I WILL enjoy this trip. I WILL do and see things that I have never experienced before and may never have the opportunity to experience again. I WILL take advantage of the opportunities given to me on this voyage. To others, I may falter and I may fail but I shall try to do these things. Within these attempts, for me, I will not fail.

All of life's journeys should send out ripples, effecting others' Journeys. A life without ripples is one existing in a tea cup, on the sandy beach, near the crashing waves of the ocean.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

October 26, 2006
T-minus-12 days!!!

He deserves Paradise who makes his companions laugh.

My friend brings me laughter. I haven't experienced this in years and revel in its soulful release. Sure, I laugh and chuckle occasionally, but to have a friend who's voice simply makes one smile is a precious gift.

I have known and experienced sarcastic and hurtful humor now, for so many years, I actually found it difficult to recognize true, light-hearted conversation. I am not talking about the tripe of 'small-talk.' I found it amazing that two people could actually converse without friction or sarcasm or histrionics or accusations. I find it enlightening; enjoyable; and pleasant. There are no underhanded pretenses; no ulterior motives; no tests without correct answers; no fishing.

If I receive no other gift from a friend, laughter, friendly conversation and comfort are as good as gold.

Thank you, friend.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

October 25, 2006
T-minus-13 days.

Turn around and walk the razor's edge.

Originally this joural/blog was named “The Wounded Traveler,” until I searched a bit and found “The Parable of the Good Samaritan.” Within the context of this story, there is no way I could be defined as a “wounded traveler.”

Yes, perhaps several years ago, I may have been malleable and weak enough to fit this “Wounded Traveler” reference. No more. Yes, it is indeed true that I do occasionally make mistakes and can be knocked off balance and even hurt. But now, I am stronger. I can speak my mind and truly understand that I own my opinions and actions and behavior and soul.

I am no longer the withered, pitiful “wounded traveler”. I now, stand with sword in hand defending myself and those who need defense. I stand beside others in friendship and camaraderie. I stand in front of some, helping forge their way through the world I have been through and at times being pushed. I stand behind some, at times pushing, at times being pulled. At times I hold another and comfort and at times I am held and comforted.

I am Walking the Razor's Edge.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Oct 24, 2006 - Texas Trip Details

One ship sails East,
And another West,
By the self-same winds that blow,
Tis the set of the sails
And not the gales,
That tells the way we go.

Like the winds of the sea
Are the waves of time,
As we journey along through life,
Tis the set of the soul,
That determines the goal,
And not the calm or the strife.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Any journey that is begun without a plan, as rudimentary and ill-defined as it may be, is destined to failure. There is nothing wrong at all with changing directions or choosing a different path from the one planned. And there is nothing wrong with wandering either, as long as that is your intention. If your plan is to wander, that's OK, and, it is a plan.

A week or two before I decided to drive to Texas, I had plans to drive around Nevada. Just drive up to Carson City, then across the state, East, then down South, back to the bane of my existence, Las Vegas.

That was before I was invited to meet a friend in Texas. Plans change. The only thing constant in the universe is change. What was once meant to be a four day driving tour of Nevada, has become a 7 day trip to Texas. Please do not get me wrong. I am certainly not complaining. There are quite a few things I would like to see along the way. But first, my rough itinerary:

  • November 6th, Monday – Pick up rental car in the late PM. Pack.
  • November 7th, Tuesday – Leave Vegas in the early AM. Long drive through Northern AZ and West-Central NM. See Meteor Crater AZ and the VLA in NM. Will probably stay in Socorro, NM.
  • November 8th, Wednesday – Enjoy the slow ride through NM into TX. Plan on staying somewhere between Socorro and Dallas, TX. Pretty specific, eh?
  • November 9th, Thursday – Drive into Dallas.
  • November 10th, Friday – Dallas.
  • November 11th, Saturday - Dallas.
  • November 12th, Sunday – Leave & drive 'til I can't drive no more.
  • November 13th, Monday – Keep driving.
  • November 14th, Tuesday – Arrive back in Vegas.
  • November 15th, Wednesday – Back in Las Vegas (late arrival)

Along the way, I plan to take a LOT of pictures and post them here as I can. And write! Yes, I am definitely going to write a lot on this trip. Primarily I need the practice, and secondarily, It think this is a noteworthy experience that is simply begging to be documented, if for no one else, for me.

So, what am I going to see? A lot, I hope. Here is a rough list, in, as you would guess, rough order:
---Hoover Dam
---Flagstaff (not sure where)
---Meteor Crater
---The VLA (Very Large Array – the largest radio-telescope in the world – as seen in the movie Contact)
---Roswell crash site... maybe
---who knows!!!

What am I going to do in Texas? I don't know, and that's part of the fun. Part of the plan. The most important and exciting parts of life occur at random and are unexpected

Friday, October 20, 2006

Oct 20, 2006 - Introduction.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost.

A first. A genesis. A step onto the road less traveled.

I am preparing for my first real vacation, my first real time away from the world in which I exist and know.

For the past portion of my 40 year old life, I can honestly state that I have never taken a vacation, just for me, alone. Sure, there were the occasional trips with the family, typically feeling like little more than chauffeur and caretaker and planner and security guard. These trips were typically fraught with angst and tension and pressure.

“Into Chicago at 5AM, then rent a car, then drive 5 hours to your family's house. Sounds fun!” I remember my wife saying.

“Can't we just get a hotel after we land? I can never sleep on those horribly uncomfortable airline seats. Just for the day. Or maybe we can spend a couple of days in Chicago first; rest and see the sites. Then drive down and see my family,” I counter.

No... She is insistent. My immature resolve crumbles into a million grains of powdery white sand. I drive. My consciousness active only due to the effects of caffeine saturation and secretly smoked cigarettes along the drive. Every 30 minutes or so, I would stop at the nearest truck stop, relieve my overworked bladder, grab a hot refill, and quickly consume a cigarette.

The last 45 minutes were the worst. I was pinching and prodding myself to just stay awake, nodding off once and running off the road.

She knew nothing of these events. She took sleeping meds and went to sleep.

But this trip is for ME. Yes, I am reveling in the thought of free and independent travel as I write this. Although still 20 days away or so, the thoughts of driving out on my own, without the immediate encumbrances of my chaotic, abusive spouse, seem to cause little spurts of adrenalin and occasions of euphoria... I smile.

I feel something similar to that of a Panic Attack. These feelings are very real. I want to run. I want to leave. But now I have a journey and a friend to visit and a destination, all of which are of my choosing. Good-buy crumbling codependency, good bye abuse, good bye craziness, if only for little more than a week.

Pardon me while I pinch myself... Not in any effort to stay awake... But for the typical reason... To make sure I'm not dreaming.