12 April 2009

Say goodbye to Alexandria leaving...

Sitting in a cafe on a balmy Easter night...I am established at a hotel, prepared to embark tomorrow morning on a solo exploration of Louisiana's longest trail. Being down in the Deep South is like visiting a very good friend, like a homecoming. There is something about the Springtime here, especially in central Louisiana, where I came four long years ago to lick my wounds and find solace in solitude (and accomplished both). I am here again to lick my wounds, though they are wounds of a different sort now. I am not sad and forlorn this time (Patricia and I are well, and I wish fervently that she were here beside me) but I am so tightly wound up over pointless crap, I've found it to be increasingly difficult to just be in the moment. Teaching (and all the accompanying BS related to the No Child Left Behind Act), the pursuit of the Master's Degree (90% of what I have to learn and do is dross) and the constant struggle of the yearbook (which I hope dies) have made of my life an endless vortex of accomplishing things without any sense of achievement. I feel as though I have become disconnected from the beauty of the world around me...I feel as though I'm stuck in a crappy Ayn Rand novel, where I must adhere to a mindless philosophy with nothing logical at its core, and that the more I work, the more I am damning myself...

That's why a trip like this is so important. I was reminded today of how much I love my life, of how beautiful the world is. Driving south on Louisiana SR 165 in the rain, blasting Brazzaville and MIA - it's an elixir. I'd forgotten how great listening to Neil Young and Crazy Horse jam loosely (and loudly) over a chord and a half for twelve minutes is, how great immersing myself in a William Faulkner novel is...Today, I remembered, and though I've not yet calmed the tumult within me, I am at least aware of where (and who) I am again.

I did have a somewhat sad revelation while sitting in the car at a roadside rest area, reading Sanctuary as a twilit rainshower passed over me: many of the friends who were with me four years ago while I sat in that same spot are no longer with me...our paths have diverged. I am coming to grips with the fact that this is (mostly) a good thing. I cannot be with anyone unless there is a purpose - writing, making a film, traveling, exploring spirituality, creating something. I've no interest in being a face in a crowd, where I'm welcome just because I'm familiar. I've been told that I hold people to too high standards; perhaps this is true, but rest assured it's not even close to the standards to which I hold myself; and perhaps this is not true, for all I expect of my friends is that they constantly give what they are able to give - with honesty and joy and kindness. I expect of my friends what they should always expect of themselves. Nothing more and nothing less.

Ironically, I am much less lonely than I have been. As the number of friends has dropped away, the connection with those who are left is the greater.

Even if our paths have diverged somewhat, however, I still love you, and I believe that one day, we'll all meet again.

I cannot wait to hit the trail tomorrow morning!

Best,
Daniel

3 Comments:

At 9:58 PM, Blogger rvivekshanmugam said...

Nice Blog Dude...
I am a kind of Loner Sometimes too!


Me adding you to my blogroll... at www.rvivekshanmugam.com

 
At 9:59 PM, Blogger rvivekshanmugam said...

Wonder of Wonders! I am a Gemini too! :D

 
At 1:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yep, we have all scattered around, and some of us have drifted a little further away. I am not so far, and you know my number as much as I know yours. You have been there for me in the hard times, and I will continue to be there for you, even though we don't see much of each other anymore. My door is always open.

Herbie

 

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