I want to thank Birdman for taking over hosting duties for a while. As it turns out, I’ve been consciously occupied with outside events of personal importance that have allowed for very little in the way of inward journeys. So, thank you Birdman, you have been a true friend in keeping this haven for me while I was away.
K and I moved to the Pacific Northwest. This is something we have been wanting to do for a long time.
I quit my job, we donated or recycled a bunch of our belongings, and declined to renew our lease. We packed up Gamera with some luggage and a pair of cat carriers (one medium and one small), and then anything that didn’t fit in Gamera went inside a huge POD.
Loading the POD and emptying out ten years of stuff from a three story townhouse was a supreme ordeal. You need mad Tetris skills and nerves of steel from having studied several episodes of the TV show “Hoarders.” It took 38 hours, 27 of which was straight-on-till-morning, without sleep.
After making sure the PODzilla transport arrived (they had tried to call us to confirm, but our phone was already disconnected), we loaded the three cats Michael, Frankie, and Blink into their carriers. K and I made sure they had plenty of water, litter, food, and comfy blankees to sleep or throw up on.
With star charts in the crevices of the seats and jammed to the gills with food, bedding, clothes and computers we left Reston Virginia behind and embarked on our galactic voyage across the country. We still hadn’t had any sleep, but we were determined to reach our first stop in Toledo, Ohio.
Sometimes a heroic effort is necessary to break free of the octopus of the past.
We got stuck in traffic. The DC Foundry has a strong gravity well that can be formidable—in this case we spent an hour going 2 miles before we managed to escape. The temperature was brutally hot, but the AC held and the cats managed not to freak out until we were actually out of the jam.
Blink needed some calming medicine and the others a little petting. This was an adventure they had never encountered before! Then we were off again.
I don’t know where I got the strength and the will to go on, but I drove through the night until we reached our goal. Despite the hotel directions being incomprehensible we found the place.
The hotel staff allowed us to check in late and stay in past check out (bless their hearts) so we could get a few hours extra sleep. 44 hours is a long time to go without sleep, let alone move like a beast and then drive ten hours.
The cats rolled with it.
Then, every day the same: Get up, pack the stuff and then load the cats, check out, get breakfast, gas up, drive to the next stop. Des Moines (Iowa), Cheyenne (Wyoming), Ogden (Utah), Boise (Idaho), and then Portland (Oregon). Six days of travel and full of danger and hilarity.
I didn’t know if I could drive for such long periods of time. That was always something my father did, and did with great skill and stamina. So in a way I have made my contribution to the Drive Yourself Crazy Club of which Ferguses are said to be members.
There is something of a meditation in having to be alert and discerning for endless hours of monotony. The body adapts to the external demands that the mind serves to navigate.
If there is one insight I come away from, having been 2800 miles of distance through the United States, it is that the country is a huge resource extraction wealth grab for the rich.
Corn fields in Nebraska as far as the eye can see, making corn syrup. Beef fields in Wyoming making ground beef for the franchise wars. Refineries processing coal for energy. All connected by roads and truckstops, with a slight nod to tourism (if you can afford it). All fenced in and owned or dominated by big business, with no signs of civilization or individuality anywhere.
When the cheap oil runs out and the diesel begins to strangle the truck lines all of this will die, blow away, leaving ghost towns and blighted landscapes full of nitrates.
It’s already happening—I could hardly believe how much construction was going on with the roads. A third of the roads I drove were in a state of repair, traffic redirected to a single lane for 25 miles at a time, again and again. And the roads that were new were composites—where is the asphalt? The quality of the roads is going to cheap materials as it breaks down faster, talk about surreal.
We passed a lot of wind farms, and that’s great, but you aren’t going to be running trucks or building roads or making fertilizer out of wind power. To see this country propped up like a house of cards with all wealth going to rich institutions with no thought of what comes after is to witness the triumph of mindless evil over decent human life.
As K and I drove through this desolation of self-destruction we encountered the elements. A thundering torrential rainstorm in Iowa that would become a roaring hurricane a few days later sweeping the east coast in a fury, destroying phone and power for millions.
The smoke clouds from the south as we drove through Wyoming were the beginnings of the massive brush fires that would destroy countless homes in Colorado, of a size to stagger the imagination in its scope. We drove through areas where the fire had burned everything to one side of the highway and then gone out when it met the road.
Some fires still blazed in their enclosed firetraps. I thought we were passing through a strip mine, when I realized the black earth was cinders covering the landscape of boulders that remained after everything else had perished. This is the future—nature crushing us back into the savage garden from whence we sprang.
Just remember, global warming is only a liberal hoax!
The vision is a horrific one, and beyond my small power to affect—yet I still ask what it is for and I will to will Thy will in my transformation. I shall remember this and express my own personal potion when the time is right, for do I not also contain a small spark of fire inside me, a thunder being holding a candle alight?
Then we reached our destination. It was as if we had stepped through the protective mists of Lothlorien, where some small craft, healing, and knowledge is preserved.
We stayed at a Buddhist retreat run by one of my oldest and dearest of friends, allowing the cats to stretch their legs and us to remember a little of what it means to be human beings. Eat, drink, walk, recover—our journey done and the real work of building a new home begins.
Our apartment is small, but perfectly placed for us to begin again. Everywhere are trees, ferns, lichens, mosses, and birds. There are secret and hidden places for me to discover new ideas and form new substance in the world.
As I attended college here, I went to the reunion to witness and regard the connections to the past that still shape my life today. There are ceremonies of the soul that cannot be shared, but of which there is great sensation and emotion pouring out into one’s life.
My old life is gone, destroyed by a thunder-fire storm of psychic change. I am nothingness, out of which may come the dawn.