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  1. Andrew (reply)

    August 12, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    When the Stars become your roof, and the seasons your hope

    Then the Journey begins

    It is the year 2015 March. It has now been 3 years and 3 months since I left the last home, and the life of man inside. Funny as I write I think, is 3 years a long time? Is it? I took out my flute the other day, and as I played it, all the memories came to me of this Journey-as they are now, not just the events, but the emotions, and feelings, the scent of the earth and rain, the visions of starlight, moonlight, winds, birds, bears, marmots, and the hot days. I see the sight of laughing children in the woods, young lovers kissing …

    I feel and see my innocence then in wilderness alone, and also, my wisdom and luck. I think back, thank GOD I never told my older sister of such things I was doing, she is good hiker and plans well, it would have freaked her out. But then again, this is my 7th year in my life without a home, for back in 89, after the quake I was outside and there it was all about the sea and kayaking and —-surfing and riding swells two miles out at sea.

    As I write the crows are out, a woodpecker is going off, the birds are chirping and the sky is grey, here on the Coast of California at China Camp. I have now lived here on and off for at least 5 months and I lived on MT Tam for 14, months, doing work for the parks, I lived in Yosemite 13 months and in the Eastern Sierra’s doing volunteer work. I am seasoned now, living outside, seasoned and getting better at it. It is all a survival game, at points the stress goes down, but it is all about the fatigue, the elements, loneliness, hunger, both wilderness situations, social situations which are equally as dangerous at times. When I look into the world now, what can I say? I am the odd man out.

    In 21ST century, how many of us are there who have known the stars, the wind, the cold, and isolation for years and still going? Still going, not lost to alcohol, dupe or outright insanity. Still trying to increase what I understand of social emotional realities and my own mind. It is harder here in Marin and as well more expansive the learning curve, for I must not only calculate weather, my gear, my body, but as well my sociality and cultural milieu. Then bam! My season of life came into being: the grey hair, the changing of people’s perceptions of me and the youth’s for sure.

    Shit years have passed and now, I can see the stars in my mind when I close them. I can see the trees, sunsets, storms and hear the sounds of nature, frogs singing, woodpeckers, waterfalls, fish jumping, mosquitoes humming, raccoons screaming, clicking, crows and ravens screaming, the sound of a bears paws moving through the woods, snakes moving in the bushes, trees creaking, thunder, lightning, the sound the ocean’s waves booming, seagulls calling great memories of whales jumping, dolphins jumping, sharks near me, sea-lions and otters, Pelicans in flight and diving 2 feet by me…

    But I feel, too, in my spirit the Silence, the long days with not one person to talk with, just the time, wind, a leaf falling into the water, flying through the air, or gossamer, floating, the sound of my hair in the wind, I have been utterly shocked at the wonder of a butterfly shadow at high noon, the sight of woman crying out alone in the woods at lost love and I wonder through the faces of people and times – but there it comes again that utter feeling of everything and nothing. Surfers, Rock Climbers and Long duration Campers, Wilderness Nomads all understand this, but they are few now and young, still in the first ideas of life and being outside the propaganda system that blinds/binds us to death and destruction.

    I do feel strong, in shape, but I hurt to all over, at times, all my injuries come to me, all my muscles tight and sore. My emotions expanding, contracting, old wounds come into being, my folly and social idiocy springs up, and then the feeling of wonder, of love and fear and compassion. Right now, a light wind is blowing over my hand, subtle things and then wonderful things as 20 year- old woman comes walking in all turquoise colors, face happy, eyes beaming and her life just beginning.

    The Sun is breaking through the clouds, the light is upon the trees now and the earth in patches, patches of light. I sit now, the old man and the woods, once the young man and the sea. Thinking of it as Hemingway did in his book (A Movable Feast)

  2. Pingback: Earnest Hemingway’s Grandaughter Explains Why Our Life Stories Matter | Maria Shriver

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