Archive | October, 2010

Settling Down and Settling UP

13 Oct

Back in good ole’ T-town again.

After Leaving New York I foound myself in western Massachusetts.
Near Great Barrington and Monterey. The home state of the Sports Guy Bill Simmons, W.E.B. Dubois, and Jack Keroauc.

I got a chance to stay on a 200 acre farm and cool out after being in the big city (8 million people in one tiny ass island?).

It was great. Composting, feeding chickens, weeding. Cooking, Cleaning. New England itself is awesome. Lots of old school culture and history. New Englanders have a deep sense of family and history and tradition. I felt like I was in a Robert Frost poem, walking around that farm at night, eating pancakes and venison chili. It was awesome.

We ended the week by going backpacking through part of the Appalachian Trail. My friend Jer, had actually hiked the whole thing at the beginning of last decade. Turns out he has a big patch of it right in his hometown.

We started on the Connecticut side and finished up in Massachusetts. He asked if 14 miles was going to be too much and I of course was thinking 14 miles on street level. I didn’t take into account that we’d be hiking some serious mountains.

We spent the night on Mt. Racer, and this was my first overnight campout since Boy Scouts and it kinda made me wish i’d have stayed in the organization a lot longer than Webelos.

If the apocalypse ever comes I want to be with my buddy Jer, he definitely has the know how to live among the wild life. What a guy.
So after waking up on the mountain and deciding that we must descend into civilization, we hiked another 7 miles to get to his truck.

By the time it was over, my thighs were screaming at me and my feet were howling. But I’d done it. And I felt surprisingly good. Jer looked like he felt like a million bucks. The guy is priceless. Solid dude and one of my many heroes. We got back into town and he dropped me at the bus station so I could catch a ride to Toronto to catch my train.

Spent a good week in Canada on a train, drinking Jameson and having stimulating conversations. I met a lotta innaresting folks. Had some quality meals that you won’t get on AMtrak.

I took the Viarail across from Toronto to Vancouver. The staff on the train was a lively group of people, flipping in and out of French and English. I was so impressed with their fluency. Made me realize how much I want to learn French.

It was astoundingly pretty for the first day, quiet and flat the second day, and the third day was epic.

As we came into the Rockies, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I’d been wanting to see this since I’d first came into Canada and saw a postcard booklet with pictures of Canada’s version of the Rockies.

I cried for like 20 minutes, for finally accomplishing a long held goal, for feeling so small in the midst of all this beauty, crying at how ugly I’d behaved in the past couple of months. It was a religious moment. and seemed fitting to have one of those right before I crossed the border into Washington and Oregon.

[Quick side note, Winnipeg struck me as a sister city to Wichita, Kansas, while Edmonton was just like DFW. Mirror cities man it was surreal. I guess Alberta is the Texas of Canada.]

The beginning of the end of my journey

Portland was good. I’d blown all my money in New York so with the help of my Portland People, I was able to skate by with less then ten dollars to last me a week (I was lucky enough to sell some poetry books in order to afford a ticket across the border).

The wedding went well. I made some memorable goofs from a mixture of anxiety, lack of sleep and preparation, and too much booze.

For the last few months I’d been thinking that an ordained license would be just a way to ensure that my travel expenses to friend’s weddings would get paid, however the minute the procession started I knew that it was much bigger than that.

I’d basically had a spiritual menage a trois in front of all these people.
it was powerful. I’ll never look at life the same way again.

Looking out at the throng of people there to see a hitching, it threw me off a bit. They were not there to see me do stand up, or read tawdry poetry, but to see me usher two people into a journey into matrimony. It was the most nervous I’d ever been before a gig. I nearly broke when the groom looked at me with tears in his eyes during the opening of the ceremony. It went off fairly well (even when I called the bride the wrong name during the toast THRICE!!!!).

So now I’m back home. And I’m happy to be here. It was good to know I made the right decision in moving back to Tulsa. I won’t be going back to Canada anytime soon. No need to. ANd Portland is still my favorite city to visit. I plan in going back in February to see Godspeed You Black Emperor.

And it looks like I’ll be here for the next five years. In November I will take my certification test and get licensed to teach and me and Kevin Durant will make the best of our new home here in Oklahoma.

I think a good compromise will be to teach and spend my summers working on various farms across the world. Farming is in my DNA. I could feel my grandmother smiling upon my shoulders when I was taking down my laundry from the clotheslines.

I suppose the theme of this trip was growth.

Growing crops, personal growth and development, urban sprawl…..
grow or die right? Lots of changes in the works.
To be continued.
I want to become a better person.

Waking up on a mountain to see this