Why Be A Donkey When You Could Be A Burro

That’s Archie, doing what Archie does.

He has his mother’s feral heart.

There’s not a cage big enough to hold it captive.

With so much devastation spreading across the globe, it’s difficult to make sense of things.

It feels too big. Too much.

Did you know a “donkey” is domesticated and a “burro” is feral?

Jase and I happen to be camping among burros.

Instead of waking to the sound of roosters we awake to the braying of the burro. (And inconsiderate campers……..Who the fuck listens to music at 5 am in the wilderness?)

If you need some laughter in your day, enjoy my first encounter with a burro.

Remember to stay feral my friends. Domestication is for asses.

Miss Stinky Pee-Pee Pants

So I’ve peed my pants twice on this journey.

The funny lookin funnel thing in the above photo is what I call my “she-wee”. It’s god given name is “the freshette”. I’ve used it for the past 5 years to stand and pee in the woods. It wasn’t until this trip that it malfunctioned. The funnel couldn’t handle the flow and spilled over into my pants and down my legs. Good times. Fuck off she-wee……. you are no longer on my favorites list.

We drove from Montrose to Dolores, hitting the town of telluride on the way.

We popped up a quick camp for the night and had some red curry for din din. The insta pot is becoming a great companion.

We are traveling with both of our cars bursting at the seams with gear for every occasion. Living out of your car is nothing like packing up for a weekend of camping. This is a whole new ball game and we are making up the rules as we go.

Take A Moment To Breathe

Photo by me

Man was made for joy and woe;
And when this we rightly know
Through the world we safely go.

Joy and woe are woven fine,
A clothing for the soul divine.
Under every grief and pine
Runs a joy with silken twine.

Auguries of Innocence William Blake read the entire poem here

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

I hope you are well and embracing the creation of new normals.

May you breathe deeply and feel peace for a moment.

Each of us have differing circumstances among the similarity of the whole.

From our home to yours we send light and love.

The Awesomeness Of Awe

Photo by me

Letting go.

Relaxing into life.

The results provoke awe.

There’s a spot I like to visit near the home I clean every Friday. I stopped there a few weeks ago and while getting back in my truck, I heard “Hey!”.

When I first moved to Colorado, I took a job at the homeless shelter in North Boulder. There was an intelligent young man who was participating in a program to help him get back on his feet. He happened to be the one who urged me to up my cleaning rates from $25 to $35 an hour. (In this area $35 is still relatively low)

I had an overnight shift and wondered why he didn’t check in.

Long story short, he had a bad night. He phoned the shelter and I was on the phone with him until 3 am. He was drunk, on meds and threatening suicide.

I never saw him again.

2.5 years later the “Hey” I heard was this young man.

He had been wanting to apologize to me for the past 2.5 years. I had wondered if he was alive for the past 2.5 years. My coworkers and I held a candlelight ceremony asking for his protection.

Funny thing is, it was a cold windy day, and I wasn’t planning on stopping.

He wasn’t planning to drive all the way out to this particular spot and take a long lunch break.

Letting go.

Relaxing into life.

The results are awe provoking.

Mighty Modification

Photo by me with my refurbished Canon

You’re never as crusty as you think.

Pull away what’s dead in your life.

New blooms are on the horizon.

You are still you, only the blooms renew.

Yesterday at my retail job, one of the managers complimented me on not losing my personality, though I don’t feel well. She commented on how the “energy” of my being has not changed, I still make her laugh multiple times through out my shift.

What a lovely comment.

I’m thankful that the tempest within has not spilled onto those around me.

I’ve been upfront with many in my life as to how poorly I’m feeling. I believe there’s healing in being authentic, truthful and open about life’s struggles.

I’m not as crusty as I thought I was.

I carry the fear of affecting others negatively. I especially worry about Jase and the hit our life has taken.

I can’t be adventurous in the way we are used to, but we can make modifications.

MODIFY: make partial or minor changes to (something), typically so as to improve it or to make it less extreme.

Currently we are working on bringing “happy hour” to the house.

Our plan is in it’s infant stage, but we want to make each day of the week something fun to look forward to.

There’s something magical about having a focal point when you’re not feeling great.

Shit’s On Tap

When life serves up a pint of shit, you’ve got 2 choices. Pinch your nose and drink it or find a different tap.

I’m working on finding a different tap. The shit in my pint glass is unacceptable.

I accept that it’s there, but I don’t have to drink it.

Accept and adapt.

Find a new tap.

All The Things I Didn’t Do Today

photo by me, as usual

I didn’t construct the bed I woke up in.

I took no part in sewing the pillows, sheets or blankets wrapped around my body.

Didn’t come up with the design for my jockeys, t-shirt or hair tie.

I did not design, glaze, cast, dry, spray, fire or test the toilet.

I peed.

I did not grow, cut, then grind a tree to create pulp. Nor did I mix pulp in water and chemicals and then bleach the pulp or remove the lignin.

I wiped.

I did not install the plumbing or dig the 300 foot well.

I flushed.

I’ll speed this up. You’ve got the point? There’s so much I didn’t do today. I didn’t grow, pick or grind the coffee beans. I didn’t manufacture the coffee pot, the fridge, the counter tops or sinks. I didn’t put together my truck, or pave the roads.

In fact, I did not participate in the creation of the many objects and materials that served me today.

What I did do, is mindlessly use all of these things without an ounce of gratitude. I was busy feeling anxious and overwhelmed by life. By not feeling like “myself”. By mere survival. By wishing my life were different.

The reality of this grabbed me by the heart.

For years I’ve read about “mindfulness”. I’ve listened to podcasts on how to achieve it. Spent hours meditating.

A scavenger sniffing out morsels to consume, in the hopes they would change me. A caterpillar munching away, getting fat on information to wrap myself in a cocoon, hoping for metamorphosis.

I became a robot forcing myself to think or say “I’m pouring the coffee.” or “I’m wiping my ass.”

Nothing felt authentic. Just failed attempts at “fixing” another fault of mine. I’ve spent my life feeling as if my existence is a mess to be cleaned up.

I’ve let go of trying to get it.

It’s beginning to sink in and I had nothing to do with it.

When truth works it’s way into a pliable heart, you feel the changes on a cellular level. At least I do. I can’t speak for you.

You’ve Got Rings In Your Trunk

This is a reflective time for most.

I crawled out of my cave to join Jase and the kids at the climbing gym today. (now yesterday) I peek over my screen and catch a glimpse of the people I love. It stings that I physically cant participate. I think back to the spring when my oldest son took me on my first climb.

Hard to believe that was me.

Just another “ring” in my trunk. Metaphorically speaking that is. It’s different than having “junk in my trunk.”

Each spring and summer, a tree adds new layers of wood to its trunk.

The wood formed in spring grows fast and is lighter because it consists of large cells.

In summer, growth is slower; the wood has smaller cells and is dark.

So when the tree is cut, the layers appear as alternating rings of light and dark wood.

Count the dark rings and you’ll determine a tree’s age.

The rings indicate everything the tree has lived through: drought, sun, water, fires, insects, shade, being crowded by other trees etc……

The inside of the tree is literally a map of it’s years. There’s a cool diagram here.

Since I’m not a fan of long posts, and my head hurts from trying to choose a direction to go with how much richness and correlation there is between our years and the rings of a tree.

I’ll let you chew on it yourselves. Feel free to share any thoughts in the comments.

Happy 2020 folks. The start of another ring in our trunks.

The image above is the tree we cut down this holiday since the kids were visiting. I’m sad we ended it’s life. It’s looks like 2019 was a good year. Thank you tree.

Shouldering The Pain

Jase the blog jacker here again.

I always want to write funny stuff. I know it comes from writing when I was traveling around the world. I used to fill my brain up with beautiful landscapes and funny adventures. I now realize I was filling a pot. The pot was my brain and it had tons of vivid material to draw from when sending correspondence to people on over five continents.

The last few years have been exciting. I moved to Colorado, started a new life and met a wonderful girl. We’ve had tons of adventures together. When we first met we were traveling every weekend camping and staying at ritzy resorts while spending on a shoestring during the offseason.

Over time Mare’s energy level has plummeted. Pain has spread across her body like wildfire. Her sleep has become broken and patchy. She gets constant headaches, numbness and tingling in her extremities. Anxiety and depression can hold her hostage at times for days.

I have experienced much of what Mare is feeling currently. I had comparable symptoms while being disabled from Bipolar depression and Fibromyalgia. In my own way, I felt the similar mental, emotional, physical and spiritual pain she feels right now.

What distresses me now is that I thought that my experiences would have better prepared me to handle what she’s going through. The fact is they haven’t.

It’s one thing to journey through difficult times yourself. It’s another to compassionately sit on the sidelines cheering someone to better health. What I see is that no matter how much shit you go through, it doesn’t take away the sadness you feel for when your lover has to go through it. I am not a great spectator. I want to take this pain off her shoulders. I want to carry it for her.

The Icy Truth

photo by me

Here’s the skinny: this is a strange time of the year. I just read a post by stormsoutside reminding me of this fact.

The holiday’s are not a jolly time for everyone. It’s a time of the year that’s questionable at best.

For those of you that read this blog regularly, you know I clean homes and work retail. You also know I’m navigating mystery health issues that a team of doctors are guessing at. The recent brain scan had 2 professionals saying “oh, this is not good” and a third saying “Your brain is good, lets get an MRI of your neck and lower back”……….ok??????? I suppose I’ll gather all my “scans” and get a second opinion, blah fucking blah……..blood work, sleep studies, x-rays……. Long story short:

I FEEL LIKE CRAP.

I HAVE NO ANSWERS

Add to that the laundry list of other worries, kids, finances, bankruptcy, homelessness etc…..

I was punched in the gut with the icy truth.

I don’t know when I will feel better. I may never feel better.

So who am I and who do I want to be? This is my life, like it or not.

Only I can find a way to be ridiculously, genuinely happy. To smile kindly and keep my energy in check while working with the public.

TO REMEMBER:

I AM NOT THE ONLY PERSON STRUGGLING.

Every single person is worried or struggling with something. Their outside may look polished and put together. I assure you, it’s not.

We are gifted with the freedom to choose our perspective. No one can take that away from you. You choose how you act and which lens you look though.

I am by no means telling you to ignore you negative emotions. What good would that do? Acknowledge and work through them. This is not a fake it till you make it plea. It’s a realization that we are all going though “stuff.”We can go though it and be happy at the same time. Our emotions can learn to live side by side.

I am skilled at setting up my own private pity party camp, building a fire and wallowing in my slop. After a few day’s it gets very uncomfortable, I tear down camp, and chuck it in the fuck it bucket.

Rather than being overwhelmingly burdened, try being annoyingly happy. I’m talking crazy town happy……….I just might wear a santa hat to my retail job today…..I just might.