Saturday, October 9, 2010
Sand Dunes of Enlightenment
The Road Winds South
I woke up the next morning at a campground near Sutton Lake, excited to see Christina again, just to sit across from her over a steaming chai and look into her eyes and say "Hey friend. I still love you." But my intuition kicked into high gear and said, "She's not coming."
"Nope, and it's probably better this way. Easier to move on..."
Arian and I packed up our little camp surrounded by the thick green forests and rode 3 miles into town. We hadn't done laundry since Astoria, and we wanted dry warm clothes bad. So right when we entered the north end of Florence, Oregon and spotted the Laundry/Showers store, we quickly zoomed in for a spell. And they even had Wi-Fi. I called Christina on Skype to see if she was on her way to meet us, and she said she wasn't coming. I told her "I know, I heard..."
It's strange having a psychic connection through the creative void and a relationship to the invisible guides of the soul, because you know more than you should, but they still keep you guessing and spontaneous. In a way, our connection to Spirit cultures our spontaneity. I was trying to plan my day on seeing Christina just because she happened to be in the area, a planned spontaneity I thought, but the universe had greater ideas. Instead, Arian and I rolled into town and found a quaint little coffee roaster cafe under the bridge with a perfect view of the river, and I was able to focus and get an astrology order done, connecting with the cosmic muse. It was a happening little cafe and so I tried to keep my voice down a bit, because if I open up full steam and talk as loud as I normally do, people might think the universe is caving in as the archetypes begin there rhythmic dance.
Turns out Christina didn't want to talk much about why she wasn't coming but I eventually got it out of her. She had a new boyfriend who was a Scorpio jealous type, and she didn't want to rock any boats. How lame! What kind of friendship were we supposed to have then. I guess only words across cyberspace and phones. Oh well, I bid her soul goodbye in the depths of my being and thanked her for the experience. She said she was still going to sell our house in NC and try and settle our debt. I didn't really care. I told her I wasn't interested in any of it. She could do whatever she wanted. I didn't even care if we ever got legally divorced. I was now eternally immune to the legal marriage bug. I had gone over our relationship and how it began and in hindsight saw the wrong moves we made, maybe unconscious moves better describes it. We jumped into a boat together to escape a situation where my former intense Canadian girlfriend Tanya and her old boyfriend Richard were all up in our space and lives. So we bought a house together in the woods and moved out to enjoy the isolation to our own detriment. I love the serene isolation of the woods, but my soul thrives in a vibrant community. I got depressed and gained weight and felt like dying, because I gave up my dream to live another's. Never again. Have a nice life, Christina. I'm so over your darkness and confusion and ready for a new day to dawn. Can't wait till the Scorpio finds out how frigid you are. That will be some in intense drama. If I sound miffed about her ditching us to please another I am. Oh well... Life is already much better without her and her fearful limitations and attachments to the so-called REAL world.
Anyway, back to the journey at hand. I've always been great at escapism. My family has a long tradition of it. My dad was an alcoholic and my mom could get raging drunk and emotional by a bonfire with bikers too! We just love to escape. I was against drugs and drinking mainly because of the pain I endured watching them go through it and a devotion to a pure lifestyle nurtured by great teachers I met through school and sports. In life, we tend to create our own demons out of the fears that haunt us, and then we run from them and pray to some higher power for help. We pray for divinity to help us defend against ourselves, our illusions, our madness. We run from our fears.
When I embarked on this quest I was running from my fear of being bored to tears in the isolation of the woods. At the same time, I was doing an experiment in lifestyle design to embrace a new way of digital nomadic living on this bright blue planet we call Earth. After dropping and breaking my LCD screen on the DROID phone, (I have to admit that I miss it, but only because email was an addiction), I had an intense realization. It brought more craziness and obsessiveness into my life than I needed. So I'm consciously choosing to break my contract with Verizon as a statement of rebellion against another monthly bill that only added compulsive behavior to my life. I hardly ever used the phone to TALK to people! And I can TALK to people over Skype for free, or even call their phones from anywhere in the world for $3 bucks a month. I hated how I entered Canada and started getting all these instant roaming charges from Verizon. Screw you too Verizon! Can you hear my now, bitches?
I seem to have a negative tone today. There's wind outside and the storm clouds are rolling in. But Arian and I have been having a great bonding time as Father and Son, and as friends. When he is in school around other kids all day he seems to take on this attitude that the parent is just an authority figure that must be appeased so he can get fed and whatever else he wants. Most kids think there parents are necessary hardships to be endured. That is until they get older and realize the cool relationship that could have been developed. In a way our society breeds bratty, selfish, egotistic children with its addiction to winning and being number one!. Somebody need to smack them with love. But instead we just keep buying them gadgets and trying to entertain them.
On this trip Arian and I have developed a new relationship. I feel respect coming from him and I respect him too. He has struggled up hills in the face of devastating winds, he's pedaled through rain for three brutal days with sniffly nose. He's rolled into camp exhausted after 50 milers and collapsed after a mug of hot tea. But most of all, he appreciates the little things so much more. A homeless cooked meal in the middle of nowhere soothes the soul. Stir fried veggies in MOngolian hot oil with rice noodles makes one's tummy tranquil. We've laughed together and shared stories and insights and amazing vistas. We've become friends, even though the boundaries of parent and child are still firmly in tact. And I don't get that feeling that my kid thinks I'm stupid when I tell him to do something like pack up the tent or wash the dishes. He understands the responsibility of being alive of enduring a long day of pain and overcoming the selfish self just enough so that the visionary self can shine through.
So we packed up our stuff in Florence and headed south to the Honeyman campground five miles to the south. We felt great with freshly laundered clothes and a nice stock of food, including his favorite meal: Chips, Hummus, and Salsa. Altogether we only rode our bikes less than ten miles, and our legs enjoyed the rest. We also stopped in after doing laundry and had some Thai food in Florence. It was delicious. I love the tingle and spicy heat of a nice red curry sliding down your throat and into a waiting warmed belly! We camped at Honeyman campground and encountered several other cyclists at the hiker/biker site: Two girls from Canada and a guy from San Diego heading home. We saw him before in Newport and heard his story about fighting with the raccoons over his panniers! We brewed some hot tea and set up camp and enjoyed another nice dinner. Afterward, Arian and I began working on our new Roleplaying game called Emergence again, fleshing out the Skills that characters can train like Ranged Weapon Combat, Seafaring, Courage, and Wizardry. We're nerds that way! We both get really excited about designing characters and going on mythic adventures in our imaginations.
Arian said that he had a long term goal of figuring out how he could make money in the world, like I did with astrology. I suggested that he could run the Emergence RPG website and make money from selling and promoting the PDF we were creating. We both agree that it's going to be the best character design system ever devised, and that it would appeal to the novelist as well as the gamer, so we have two markets. I told him we could get my German I-pad ap developer to design an ap that runs people through the process of character creation and that we cold sell the whole book and a series of accessories online. He got really excited. I told him that he comes alive most in life when discussing RPGs and music. So why not make them the center of your longing. I told them he would never have to be a slave to any job but the one of his own creation. He is now very excited about running the online website when we get it done and getting people excited about the new game system by talking about it on forums. I told him we would release the first three chapters as a free PDF download as a try before you buy deal. That seemed to excite him too. I want my kid to live his dreams. I would be sad if he just took a job and showed up to "make ends meet". What are these mythic ends that have to meet? And if they are really meeting, then why is everyone so unhappy, clogging their lives with food and TV and gas-guzzling environment-destroying cars and glued to their little Smart-phones all day long texting like the world is going to end. Surly we've one batty as a culture? I've learned to watch any commercial and hear the message tot he core and then realize that the opposite of what they were saying was closer to the truth. If someone says they are #1, they probably only wish they were. I hear desperation. If someone says you'll save money, you'll actually spend more. If someone says something is great for the environment and all-natural, somewhere in their production process nature is being screwed. Smart-phones are really dumb phones...they keep you tuned into the cyber-world while ignoring the world around you. You miss the spontaneity happening in the flow of life.
The next morning we woke up and Arian was cold. he had put on another pair of socks during the night to try and warm his feet. I woke up first and he was talking to himself in his sleep. I looked over the great Wall of Panniers that divided the tent in half and he said, "I would like a hot chai." He was completely asleep, and a laughed out loud. His eyes shot open and he slowly realized where he was. He asked me, embarrassed, "Did I say that out loud?" I said, "Yes, we better get you to a coffee shop!"
We both laughed our heads off. My kid was dreaming about steaming hot chai with cold feet in his sleeping bag. He said that we were couchsurfing in his dream and that our host asked us what we wanted to drink. I had asked for hot tea and when the host turned to him, he said, "I would like a hot chai." Hilarious!
So the next thing you know, we're packed up and heading south toward a little town called Gardiner. On the way we rode past the great Sand Dune near Dunes City that you see above. The sun poked through the clouds and began to warm the sand and I had a great idea. I stopped next to one of the huge sand dunes and Arian came riding along and stopped too. I said, "Are your feet still cold?" He said, "Freezing!" I said, "Then take off your shoes." He turned to see the large gleaming sand dune through the trees and his eyes widened in excitement. I love when he gets that excited look. We parked the bikes and took off our shoes and socks and we ran up the sandy dune. It was quite a hike to the top and our old couch-potato, video game selves would not have made it ten feet without gasping for air. But we made it all the way to the top no problem with our rock solid legs and strong lungs. Life is just more fun when you are in shape! Sex is better too!
I vowed that when I did settle down for 3-6 months somewhere to write and create that I would start each day off with a devotion to the body and physical fitness and that I would ride my bike everywhere like I used to before Christina came along and wanted me to have a cell phone and a car so I wouldn't feel so lonely in the woods. That was the best part about Christina, her loving nurturing spirit. She was so nurturing that I think it deprived her of her self-assertion, always pleasing others. She used to come home from rubbing people all day exhausted and I was just excited to see somebody and wanted to jump on her like a happy dog! She just needed five hours of recovery and would sink into web TV land and feed her food addictions and I would jump on the futon couch next to her and help her down yet another bowl of popcorn. Sometimes I had dinner waiting, but she liked bland food and complained about the rich spiciness of my cooking. It was always a struggle between her pure Virgo and my multicultural Sagittarius.
The town of Gardiner was a ghost town, and if you blinked. you pretty much missed it. And some old exploration party was massacred by Indians back in the day. Yeah for the Indians! Damn white people think they can just move in and take over these sacred lands and push the Indians away like a disease. I imagined taking a load of machine guns back into time, and uniting the tribes against the invading Europeans. I imagined a scene where the over-confident European/American soldiers encountered a small skirmishing party of Native Americans wielding M-16s. That would teach them not to just come in and take land from people! Instead we have the depressing grey paved over modern world and the continual worship of Progress in a land lined with little churches where people congregate and pray for a better existence in some elusive afterlife. Blah!
So we pushed on to Reedsport and found an amazing natural foods store with adjoining cafe and had some soy chais! We topped them off with some vegan Mint CHocolate CHip ice cream and then restocked our oatmeal supply. We also added some enticing spices to our small growing collection. We had honey and cinnamon for our oats, but we added garlic pepper, and a cayenne/pepper blend called Hot Shot, plus some Basil. We were looking forward to tonights spicy stir fry if we made it to Coos Bay. The State Parks looked like they were on the far side of Coos Bay near the beaches and it didn't look like we would get to see Coos Bay and make it to camp, so I got on Couchsrufing.com and looked for a host. Within ten minutes I had a lead on a cool place to stay! A guy named Tony who was an avid surfer and his belly dancer instructor/performer wife had a cottage we could crash in behind their house just south of Coos Bay. Yahoo!
We got on our bikes with renewed spirits and rode like wild centaurs toward the bridge that crossed into Coos Bay. We quickly found Tony's place after hacking into a random wi-fi hot spot on one of our I-pads. He was a gracious host and had a wonderful little daughter. We never met his wife as she was busy teaching/practicing for a show. But he showed us to their little cottage in the back and said we could have all the apples we wanted off his tree. There were hundreds! I was overjoyed, but Arian can't stand the texture of apples and biting into them is like someone scraping fingernails on the blackboard! he gets the chill bumps just from thinking of biting into one!
We had a good night indoors away from the chill night and Arian enjoyed warm feet for a change. We got another response from a lady named Daina on Couchsurfing up in North Bend but on the other side of the bay near the State parks. This was perfect because we wanted to spend a day in Coos Bay working on creative projects and I could do my charts. So we told her we'd stay with her through email and then we went back into Coos Bay to find a cozy coffee shop called Cafe 101. It was a Christina themed coffee shop where the Barista would claim that God deserves all the credit for her recent stroke of planning fortune etc. They had a section with a big sign hanging in the air surrounded by stars that said "The Heavens Declare the Glory of God." If they only knew the truth of that, I thought. Then we devoured some more chips, hummus, and salsa under that sign on these big cozy couches and broke out the computer to work on Emergence! We worked at an astonishing pace all day until the clock stroked six. I thought about doing charts in there, but it was too quiet, and I didn't feel like rocking any Christian spoon-fed world-views this day. Eventually we made our way through the twilight busy streets and avenues of Coos Bay and North Bend to find Daina's place. She had a wonderful set of houses that she rented all on a large secluded plot of land and a large RV type trailer out back that she let couch surfers crash in. It had no hot water, no beds, but plenty of space and a nice little table. We pulled our sleeping bags and matts out and put them in the back room on the grey carpeted floor and broke out our cookware to make a great feast. But then there was a tap on the door...
It was our host Daina and her friend's daughter who wanted to ask us about our cycling trip. I invited them in, saying enthusiastically, "Hello! Welcome! Come on in. I mean it's your place!" They came in and I knew something felt off. Daina seemed way cool, like my own mom in a lot of ways. She felt like a kindred spirit. Her friend's daughter thought it was way cool that I had ridden my bike from Boulder. She was gorgeous, a princess, but with sad eyes that reflected her pain. She had recently entered recovery from drug usage and was in need of help, I found out later. Something told me to do her chart for her, to help her, so I started off by showing her the I-pad, and that lead to the astrology ap called Kairon, and next thing you know we're gathering up chairs to sit down at the little table with the MacBook Pro to do a full blown session.
She stayed quiet the whole session and just kept looking at Daina in amazement as I described the character her soul came to inhabit, and she was in her Balsamic moon phase when everything crashes and ends and prepares you for the next 30 year cycle of living. I gave her the full spectrum of insight and ended up blasting her with the Dead Poets and Daina's eyes shot wide with knowing and excitement. She loved poetry and philosophy and the discussion of astrological ages and cycles. Next thing you know, the daughter's mom shows up mid-reading, right when we got to the good stuff of chart evolutions, the changes indicated for her based on transits and progressions! The archetypes came through strong and blew the top off that mid-sized trailer with imagery and inspiration. Afterward, Daina wanted her chart done professionally, and wrote me a check for $195, my standard fee. The daughter was amazed at the timing of these revelations, because she was making a life changing decision the next day under the New Moon in Libra and was grateful for the celestial perspective and advice.
Daina let us stay two days and we worked on the game system and I got caught up on a synastry chart I had been meditating on. Those relationship charts are the hardest to do because you have to hold two total human fluctuating lives in your mind and communicate the strands of conflict and harmony in such a way that it inspires people to work with the energy and understand why we've been brought together. The mistake we make is that we tend to fall in love with a person as they are right then and there and our attachment to the vibration of goodness we feel when we encounter them stifles their growth. What we have to love in another is the very thing that will drive them away from us, once they spread their wings and fly. I was in the middle of the road of letting go of love myself, and both of us were better human beings for our time together. As the cosmic genius Simon Vai once aid, "What we love in others is the hoped for satisfaction of our desires. We do not love them for their desires. For if we loved them for their desires, we would love them as ourselves." But we never really do, do we? We love through the lens of our needs. Christina needed me to be normal, to go to a job and make money and punch a time clock to work on the debt that we had accumulated. But I couldn't do it. An artist would rather starve than accept mediocrity and the drudgery of soulless work. My choice was to let all the material wealth go. Let's declare bankruptcy and head down the road. We can work on our sexual incompatibility on a grand adventure! She craved the security of a home in the woods. That's what she'd desired ever since she drew a picture of it in 3rd grade, her little homestead in the woods, her place to escape and have plants as friends. I respected her for that, but I wanted to see the world and develop a traveling lifestyle. We had both been dreaming about having a cool Roadtrek travel van for years. Now I see them go by on the road and think of our sad dream. Now I camp next to them in campgrounds and am overjoyed that it never happened after experiencing what RV campers are like...Blah! RV campers are people who take all their family dramas and comforts out into the woods and try to pretend that there's not another family doing the same thing on either side of them.
I prefer rolling into a campground and seeing who is there at the hiker/biker site, the cheapest campsite in the park. Every night you could meet part of your human family. Yesterday we rode hard south through blustery winds uphill and Arian got to experience the pain and surrender of struggling to go 3 MPH uphill with wind tearing at your face. We only rode 30 miles to reach the coastal town of Bandon, Oregon, but it was a fierce uphill that burned our legs and made us leave more layers behind. And when we rolled into the campground exhausted, defeated, but serene and happy to simply arrive, we made our way pat all the petty families with screaming children and fenced fires to the hiker-biker site to meet a young couple from Seattle who were doing the 101 in reverse, an old man with a cart who was nearly deaf, and a middle aged man from Alberta, Canada who was an introvert and needed cycling time away from his life and his wife to go inward and dream. I know now the feeling Jesus had when they told hi his mother and his brother was here to see him. He gestured to the assembled masses and said, "These are my mothers and my brothers." And I feel the same. Thank you Jesus, for being a great humanitarian and teacher of the Way. I wish more of your retarded dogmatic followers could grow their hair long and go vagabonding down the road to share cosmic insight as you did. But no, they stay in their little clubs and meet on Sundays to see if all the gossip is true and compete over who has the best clothes and cars in the parking lot, and complain about the weather and the country is going socialist, and that we need more guns.
Everywhere I go I hear people saying the country is going bad and we need to defeat the Democrats and Obama before we lose everything we've fought for and become Socialists like in Europe. I say return to your body and perfect your own temple! I say focus on being happy deep within and living your dreams and you won't care about big brother. I say reach for more than Nationalism and go for the Global Village culture that is emerging. America will be one culture among many exciting brilliant expressions of humanity on the bright blue planet-spaceship we call earth soon. We won't feel the need to be number one in everything. We won't feel so divided across these fake lines we call borders. The borders are there to control the people on the inside more than they control anything else. I say reach across your borders and conquer your fears with your bliss. Go deep into the darkness of your woundedness and ask why you aren't happy? The French root word for Bliss means Wound! Can you transcend your cultural programming amidst the blaring commercials beaming materialism at you and find your true longing. As David Whyte says, "I want to know if you know how to melt into that fierce heat of living, falling toward the center of your longing, if you can live day by day with the consequence of love and the bitter, unwanted passion of your sure defeat."
Time to go consult the cosmic muse here in Bandon, Oregon. I think we'll spend the day here and create art through language. Our hot chais are finished, but the sweet potato fries are on the way. It's all fuel for the road of life! I emailed my spiritual brother Brett in Chico CA, and told him I'm coming. I'm ready to settle for 3-6 months, before wandering somewhere else. But first we need to make it to Arcata-Eureka and couchsurf with people for like a week! I've heard that the people there are to the far left of left politically. My kind of people! We'll see what inspiration we can bring and find there as we complete the last stretch of the beautiful Oregon Coast. All my life I've heard of this amazing place, and now I've lived it day by day on a bicycle. I'll have it in my soul memory after I drop this sacred vessel and blast off to incarnate on other worlds in the galaxy. And I'll remember the time Arian and I had while pedaling along together laughing and making up jokes and sharing insights about our Emergence game.
If you love reading these words and you want to support our journey (feeding the kid is tough sometimes when gold pieces run short) I welcome you to make a donation. Even $10 bucks means we can camp somewhere legally and eat some veggies! There si a donation button on the lower left of this web page.
Or better yet, you can support my work in astrology and order a life-changing session here. If everyone knew what wisdom could be gained through astrology, I'd have people chasing me off the side of the road to do there charts. But science and religion and superficial culture are out to surpress such uncanny unmeasurable sacred wisdom. I enjoy being a rebel!