Thursday, April 30, 2009

Day 354

the morning has exploded into cloudless blues and vivid greens. someone's mowing the lawn and the cool air carries the scent on golden gusts to the center grass of the roundabouts where people are scattered reading or sleeping or playing with their dog.

cole and i hopped on bikes to go to the grocery store. this trader joes in the southeast neighborhood of portland is the very one across the street from my friends from last fall. remember that? here is yet another cool little connection of old and new people and places.

i'm not sure i tell you about the trouble i get into every once in a while. it's nothing serious and things have always worked out, but there are some side affects to traveling and living without a cell phone. i've embraced and enjoyed it so far, but there are times when i find myself 'up a creek and without a paddle' as today's gas station employee suggested.

it happened before in vancouver when tyler's number was a digit off in my notepad and he wasn't in the phonebook and i had to research maps and memories to hitch back. it happened in seattle last week when the pay phones wouldn't dial parker's cell number and it took forty minutes of store hopping to be granted a phone call to plan our reuniting before the noah concert. and it happened again today when my bike's rear wheel stopped turning altogether because of some broken hub and cole and i were separated. i hopped on a bus and offered my total of twenty-seven cents to which the driver casually accepted. the gas station couldn't call cole's long distance, california cell number and only after visiting a diner a few blocks down did i place the call. the waitress had told me to pick a seat and i asked about the phone. i told her i'd try to make it back some other time for food.

these events aren't too serious at all but they make me realize that having a working phone and my own car back home at such a young age was really an incredible privilege. i don't think i ever would have seen those two things in this way before.

but my bike wheel was toast and i spent the rest of the trip under an aluminum-crucifix plod. on the walk back to the house, though, i found i was perfectly happy. there was fresh air and sun and this new place. i don't know how to explain the following other than by saying that i've found it to be exponentially (big word) satisfying to consciously 'give'- and that's where i mean i can't explain it- these moments and feelings of contentment or unbridled happiness or inspiration to God, or at least let him know that i'm thankful for them and that i'm trying to relate them back.

and as i walked the sidewalk under the blossoming trees i mulled over the comment of a friend who had said that they thought i had done more with a year than anyone else they know. that meant a lot and today, with the bike across my back, i thought about the past near year in total and the continually intersecting paths and friends and clutch earning opportunities and although i don't have an impressive amount of money, i have enough coin to survive and to start paying back my parents. and if it's a parent's goal to see their kid happy and successful wherever they're at then i hope that the context of the past three fifty-four days lends these daily, last minute posts for the telling and finding all this kind of adventure and learning and happiness and growth that i never imagined could happen in a life. it's almost become a flexible, pseudo self-support lifestyle of its own that, in its own concentrated genre, i would guess to be as exciting and rewarding than if i had never left illinois and had just plowed through another year of college and future planning and retail working.

for all this i am thankful. and in these ways and in the closing line i want to here acknowledge Jesus as my trust and director of paths.

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