Friday, October 11, 2013

Band Aids for the Bewildered

South Dakota, or maybe North

Much Anticipated Americana

Flatlander's Comfort Zone
SD Mothership

I recently blazed in my Cat Yellow Fiesta from Mt. Hood to Watford City ND for much, much needed love and affection...and the particular soulful delights that only accompany long solo road trips. Unlike last November when I spent two or 3 nights in a motel each way, this time I drove two 12-16 hour days, spending only one night. OUCH said my almost 53 year old sciatic nerve! My clown car is not made for comfort, but gets excellent gas mileage. And after about the eighth hour my hundred dollar gel cushion is a lumpy ball under my arse. I went to see Daniel, my last bit of Antarctic connection, and we had a fantastic week of just melting into that one person that we seem to be able to do. I was so cray-cray when I first got there, the stripped down to the core raw nerve of myself that happens in Taos still not fully integrated yet, so I was overly sensitive and demanding, my abandonment shit just through the roof. I realize now I was starving. Starving for something I have tried for several years to give to myself through spirituality workshops "loving myself" practices (???) and whatever other horse hockey my mind tries to fool me that I need when what is obvious is that I need to be with somebody I love! I don't even realize that loneliness is the problem until I race the 1500 miles to see him. And I wouldn't expect it to be any other way for me - I mean, if it doesn't read like an overwrought Springsteen ballad it's probably not exciting enough (and we even went to the Badlands for crissakes!)- and I wouldn't have it any other way. I am not talking about physical connection either, I am talking about something more akin to "twin souls", as dorky as that sounds it also feels apt. We have a groove that we get into when we do stuff together that is like companionship plus...I have tried for 3 years now off Ice to have a life but I've cobbled what appears to be a tattered quilt like life - hole-y and quiet, not the shiny, overamped, studded leather one I had become so accustomed to. O metaphors!

In am amazingly surreal chain of events the Antarctic program has been cancelled because of the government shutdown. Whereas I NEVER look at fb during this time because of sheer despair and envy, now I am watching closely as my friends are being uncontracted & sent home - and I understand completely their pain. Even though I am choosing not to go back it has come at a high price to my mental happiness. I had just dug my way out of the desolation of missing my third deployment to see that almost EVERYONE is missing this deployment. My first roommate friend, and the only person I know that feels the same way about the Ice that I do wrote a blogpiece that captures the essence of what it is like to be in love with a place, and the heartbreak of having it torn away from you. It feels like a dream I will wake up from - to see so many of my tribe yanked from the homeland...

In the 80's, before the Internets, I used to mail order these little booklets from an obscure writer in the ads from the Austin Chronicle. They were incredibly deep & intellectual discussions dissected from ancient Irish sayings. The collection was called Band-Aids for the Bewildered. I ordered these little booklets as they came out, and I don't ever know of anyone else that read them or had heard of them. Before I could afford to travel and navel gaze for the bulk of my time, these were the kinds of luxuries I could afford. I wonder if I still have these little booklets somewhere...I don't know what made me think of them, but what I can guess is that I have been in this sort of lost place post Ice and have done what I can to be happy and kind to those around me. I have done a lot of it with a heavy heart. Sometimes I wonder if they are all band aids: the trips, the knitting, the binge show watching, the buying of a cabin...but that feels like thinking that comes from old programming...the only thing that thinks it needs a band aid is my thinking. Yeah, fuck the band-aid metaphor.

I've surrendered to life moving on at its own rhythm. I like to force and smash and destroy things so this is new to me - it forced it's way on to me. I am sitting in my cabin on a volcano drenched in autumn fog. My favorite season is beyond beautiful in Oregon - sometimes I can't believe I live County Donegal, like somewhere I always dreamed of living. And the best part hasn't even happened yet: the snow. We are all giddily anticipating the arrival of snow, and it looks like I'll have a job at the resort, with built in time for ski breaks during the shift. I asked for the lowest job there: parking lot attendant, knowing that that is the job I would probably enjoy the most. So I made the plan to move to a mountain with a ski resort and I did it. No band aid, no bewilderment. Doing the next best thing. The next right thing. Talk about a dream, try to make it real. Maybe a lost Ice soul will join me...the door is open.