Monday, August 22, 2016

This Nomad Needs to Get a Grip.

Lately I've been in a rut.  Well, several ruts.

I've been in a writing rut; a realization rut; a rough rut.

I know there are many factors at work here, there always are.  I'm a complicated individual with a complicated history and a mighty complicated brain.  But I've got patterns to my world and lately they've been challenged, changed.

Hence the rut.

I spent the better part of a decade in a constant state of motion.  This is well-worn territory on this blog, for sure, but to restate: I never planned my life more than six months out (in advance), and for a very long part of that better part of that decade, I moved every six months or so.  And not, you know, moved to a different side of town.  I'd move states or coasts or countries.

And then even when I did settle down again, for another six months, I'd inevitably leave for some unforeseen adventure and carve time off of that homebase, too.

So the reality is that I built a very solid foundation on very tenuous land.  I taught myself to not think of anywhere as home; to love my friends as family and love my family most of all; to make sure the most important things in the world fit in the back of an older-than-God Jeep; to be mobile, to be bold, to be me.

That's what living on quicksand is like.

And the longer you live there, the better you become at surviving.  The lighter you become.

So here I am today, after having lived in Norway for a little over a year and looking at two more years here, trying to sort out why I feel so... in a rut.  And I come to figure out that even though I have been here a year, and looking at two more, I still don't think of this place as my home (see above).  I still don't see my imprint here because it isn't.  I am so accustomed to the inexorable flee that I haven't actually done anything to combat it.  I haven't done anything other than hang a couple of prints and display a couple of keepsakes- and make a bed for my dog.  Other than that...

It's weird.  When you look around and can leave a place relatively unscathed after six months, that's one thing.  When you can do it after 15 months, that's another thing.  A somewhat unsettling thing.  It raises all manner of questions.

Have I gone too long untethered?  So long that coming back to the same place seems ... out of place?

Will I ever be not nomadic?  Will my mind ever not wander?  Will I?

One rut... clambered.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Machu... Wait, What?

Peru is something else.

It is a vibrant place full of people who are kind and patient, pushy and impatient, loud and lovely.  About an hour after we landed- well maybe more, all taxi rides considered- I realized that we hadn't made nearly enough time for this adventure.

A week?!?  Impossible.

There's too much there- too many people in too many cities.  Too much history and so much color.  Too much to do in just 7 or 8 days.  This is just a taste of all the flavor we could pack into the limited time we had there (including a dude, dressed as a monk, jumping off a cliff):

And then...

Upon arriving at Machu Picchu (this was after a two hour wait in a half-mile long line for a bus that took twenty minutes to get us from Point A to Point Up the Mountain), I was struck by one thought.

How the hell did they find it?

I didn't bother defining 'they' or 'it' to myself.  'They' were the Incas and then the Germans and then Hiram Bingham after them.  'It' was all of it: the space itself; the time it took to do it; the materials; the work force.  All of it.

I just kept wondering how it all happened.

Not to mention the alpacas.

And that's just the beginning..

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

It's Been A While.

And in that while... I've done some things.

To date: I've whirlwind-visited Italy, Croatia, Montenegro, Italy again.  I've made enemies of hoteliers and friends with bike tour guides.

I've been "remarried"; reconnected with old friends; returned to old stomping grounds and stomped them again.

I traveled to Peru; saw Machu Picchu.

I've thought a lot about time; and have meditated on space and place and the distance between the two.  I've realized that, much to my ever maturing machinations, everything changes.  Every single thing.

And I've let the fear of that overwhelm me.  Overwhelm me in a way that I am utterly uncomfortable with and in a way that I have not felt in a very long time.  I let the thought of the progression of time and people and places completely overwhelm me.  I let it choke me, stifle me, and render me silent.  It shut me up.

Which is weird, because that's not my normal state- quietude.

And then I started this blog post, called 'About Kings':

Sometimes I forget that I am supposed to be a grown up.

I mean, my combination of physical age and experience seems to suggests that I am, in fact, passing into my adulthood. 

But sometimes I forget that I am supposed to be a grown up... because I seldom actually feel like one.  I joke that I am like the metaphysical Benjamin Button- the older I get, the less mature I seem to get.  I'd like to think that I was onto something... except that lately I can feel it.  I can feel the slow creep of 'acting like an adult'.  I can feel myself thinking adult thoughts and facing adult issues. 

To go forward, let me go back.  For a very long time, I was the King in my Kingdom.  My whim was the sun around which my world orbited.  And I was okay with that.  I wasn't irresponsible (okay, there were a couple of times when I was terribly irresponsible- you know, those one or two times I sort of stopped eating; or those couple of trips I took that I didn't necessarily need to go on; or the shoes- but I'll stop there).  I didn't make decisions that endangered anyone (save for myself), I tried to make decisions that were on the whole good.

I messed up a lot; I cleaned up a lot; I ran a lot.  I was the King- and I did what Kings do.  I ruled.

But I still wasn't a grown up.  Just a King.

Now... now I'm something else entirely. 

And then stopped that blog post... because I couldn't sort out how to finish it.  Because I don't know what I am now, not yet.  And I don't know what to write without saying something that hurts someone.

So there's that.

It's been a while.

And until next time...