undoubtably the greatest of these days have been the narrowest ones- the wildest and most invigorating moments of circumstances uncovered when freedom of choice and vision were no longer valid and when risk and faith and desire consequently began to grow together. these were the days of hitch hiking and unconnected paths and new people and places. these were the eves of night-staring and the sleepless weighing of thoughts and yearnings and praying. it was never easy, yet these paths and people continued to connect in countless ways.
"trust in the lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understandings. in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your paths." proverbs 3:5-6.
i've found that to 'not try too hard' is a very hard thing to do. and by not trying too hard for the strenuous and confining coming-of-age checklist i have found a massive zeal for a life away from what had always seemed normal, required, and sometimes boring.
that sentence could be summed up by this thought, spurred by personal reaction in many vastly contrasting scenarios: complacency is heaviest where comfort is softest. freedom is more than an ill-labeled consumer's asset. money has very little do to with happiness.
had i not left, i might not have ever had a bountiful thanks for past privileges like my jeep (which i love and miss and am also trying sell, make an offer). a cell phone. a job. a family. home. food. thinking back, my biggest 'problems' then would have involved petty materialistic pursuits and the overanalyzing of relationships which could have been better invested and developed on more human and spiritual terms.
however, i am head-over-heals ready to tell of the fruits and ultimate, God-given privileges experienced and received and vicariously shared throughout the past year. i mentioned that i had started side project a week or so ago and i'm continuing to add names and deeds of the hundreds of people who, usually unknowingly, have had a profound impact on my life and this journey. that list will appear in the final post, whenever that is, and you'll probably be involved in some way. thank you for that.
what am i going to do now? i have no idea. if i was even to begin to be honest with this inevitable question, i would at least approach it with the understanding that i've found a strange security in insecurity- a paradoxical relationship that would have never before seemed possible. however, if i were also to be honest, i would look back on these writings and posts with slight embarrassment knowing that not much significance has been produced because, although there is a year's mass and ten thousand miles, i've hardly once written connected and forward sentences on anything greater than my own observations and feelings. just now at palio's coffee shop i read a line in the introduction of judson jerome's book the poet's handbook and have highlighted the following sentences: anything goes. poetry legitimates narcissism in this age of narcissus. one can become absorbed in one's own image and be indifferent to whether or not there is an audience besides oneself. who needs a handbook to learn how to do that?
and yesterday i'd mentioned the conclusion that a person can become anything he wants in their own eyes if not held responsible. this is dangerous.
regardless, i've also come to realize that hardly anybody will really, truly be interested in hearing the story. some will ask about my one or two favorite parts. or the scariest. or the most dangerous, etc. people fall in love with summaries. those questions are natural and perfectly fine. my biggest regret, i'll tell you right now, was getting a haircut and beard trim in february because, if i hadn't, i would have gone an entire year without a razor. that would have been a feat in of itself. only nine more new months to go for that one i guess.
i remember debriefing in malaysia towards the end of summer 2007's australia missions trip and talking with some of my team members about how many of their friends back home will hardly be as interested in everything that had happened in as much that they'll ask a couple questions and maybe, for a couple weeks, be slightly more inclined to casually notice any queues (way too many vowels in that word) and traces of a changed life. and then life will keep changing. for everyone. keep your best couple stories handy but don't hand over a book version of some daily blog or anything. who would want to read that? but now if, after an inevitable return marked for sometime soon, you were to look hard into my eyes and say ''tell me'' (just like that, actually) then i will gladly chill with you (probably at a coffee shop) and unravel the bits and pieces of how my soul and life have been shook and transformed and could tell you much more than what this blog has ever eluded to because, undeniably, there is so much more.
i feel incredibly blessed by and through this experience. i had never imagined this kind of life and adventure was even possible- even when i had finger-traced highway routes from illinois to portland over one year ago or when i'd visited that house of twenty-something (did i just say twenty-something? is that me now?) musician guys in wisconsin. that was long before i knew of vancouver island. or fernie. or, for that matter, before even considering that canada could actually be a sweet place that supported more than deserted tundra and igloos and polar bears. wait, there aren't polar bears in canada? joke. but still.
so what now? should i keep blogging every day for the rest of the adventure? the obvious answer is yes. i think an official habit is formed after something like twenty-seven repetitions and by now i literally, subconsciously and automatically, create daily outlines in my mind for that night's post, even if i can't remember anything when it's crunch time (i also have learned to not trust the 'faulty camera in my mind' and to immediately write down or photograph or record any thought, scene, or tune that calls for remembrance). and there's the pocket notebook of unexpended and unfulfilled ideas and inspirations collected along the way. i don't think i could stop if i tried. it's cool though. a year is a pretty solid number by any means. it's been many moons. if anything, however, i hope that there's been at least one post that you might have read that would have sparked something inside to seek some sort of change and to reevaluate life for a better outcome. i'm so stoked to have this story to tell for the rest of my life and yet, honestly, could accept death today and be completely content with these twenty-one years. that's not to say there isn't a massive life-to-do list open that's ever growing but, overall, i'm pretty content right now. i sleep outside on the front porch couch in portland and stare at the glowing clouds in the midnight blue and try to resonate ever day of peace and gratitude in some sort of prayer of thanks.
this might sound silly but today really does means something to me. i turned twenty-one back in november and that day was automatically supposed to feel cool whether it actually did or it didn't. today is just as important to me because it never had to be and because it could have never been. this day is the first in a lifetime mark for all this. that's what i've been calling it- all this. all this. i see the night starting to surround those floating white blobs. i'm going to go play guitar. thank you God for all this.