If it seemed to me that time was warped before we left, I might as well be living in a new dimension entirely now. Its been only two weeks since Jamie left us in that striking gold canyon in Nevada, headed for our home base of Texas, but it feels like months and months. I’ve come to believe that without all of the distractions of modern life, like work and bills and cars and shopping and shiny, bright ads on every corner telling me I will never ever be enough, no matter how many shoes I buy, no matter how thin I get, no matter how rich my boyfriend is, because we must always have more more more…with the absence of all of that in my life, I believe, existence is vaster and denser than I could ever have imagined.
Of course, I can’t really escape the ads. They stand there, 100 feet tall on iron legs, proclaiming with a booming voice what happiness and success are supposed to look like, and just how much it will cost you, in a tidy, brightly colored packages complete with the perfect tag line All unsolicited and unwanted. No matter how much we don’t want to see see these incredibly mind altering images, we can do virtually nothing about it because the companies that put them up also own the property they are standing on. So we see images of thin, scantily clad women with “perfect” proportions selling clothing, fragrances, makeup, sex. We see men in positions of power. We see shiny new cars and savory, nutrient deficient food. Drilled into our minds over. And over. And over again. No wonder this madness has been going on for so long. They’ve got their brainwashing techniques down to a science.
The difference for me now is that when I see the billboards, I scoff, roll my eyes. Or I just try to flat out ignore them. Still they stand there, pounding their messages of inferiority and scarcity and fear into all of our brains. Its these parts of modern civilization that can send me tail spinning towards despair at any second, if I let them. It’s features like this that drive me to desire seclusion from the rat race more and more each day. How I miss Gold Strike Canyon, nestled in the southern tip of Nevada. I spent five pages in my journal just describing the intricate and wild beauty of the 6 mile hike down to a naturally flowing hot springs that overlook rose colored boulders , emerald moss and chartreuse fern cascading toward the Colorado River. We only spent four or five days in that canyon, but in that short amount of time, I began to really heal. I find it so easy to regain balance away from all the roads and consumption and advertisements. Away from the poison of civilization. So we hide away, when we can, for as long as our water tank and food will last us, till we have to go back to the cities to make some money and restock on our necessities. This bus adventure is definitely not any sort of solution. We’re still so dependent on the capitalistic system and its excess. That, also, could easily make me crazy if I let it. I have to remind myself that we are still babies in our journeys towards balance and health. We still have so much to learn about the world, community, and ourselves. This is happening right now to prepare us for what lies ahead, whatever that may be. I’m hoping that its land we can settle down on and begin to really fully sustain our own lives by our hands and ours alone. But I guess we’ll see…..
Anyway, time is really warped around here. Each day holds so much detail, a new lesson learned, new clarity to be appreciated. Or it holds so much weight and sorrow that I’m almost crippled with it. On those days, all I mostly do is write in my journal and make good food and take walks and listen to music and cry, trying to nurse my own wounds so that hopefully some day I can nurse the wounds of others. This is a time of growth and self care, I remind myself. I imagine I lay deep in the earth, surrounded by cool, damp soil. I am a sprouting seed. I see nothing, hear nothing, feel nothing, smell nothing, taste nothing. I am just able to be. I absorb the nutrients needed to become a little sproutling. My roots begin to spread out underneath me, grounding me to where I came from and soaking up the water droplets that have made their way down to give me life. Some day I will be a tree, but trees, like humans, take a very very long time to grow. So for now I am incubated in darkness, just beginning to be.