Meanderings

When walking two miles is a big deal

Walked over two miles (2.4 to be exact!) today…

It’s funny how two miles was nuttin’ in the past; it’s what I usually did each morning with a cup of coffee to wake up into the day.

Yet today it’s a big milestone out of the way and I’m happy. It’s also a mental hurdle fallen by the wayside post-lyme recovery. It took a long time to get there, but now that my body is starting to get back to the way it was, it’s getting easier to make progress.

I’m still stunned by how much Mr. Lyme can wipe a healthy body out so thoroughly. When I was told it took an average of a year minimum to recover (if that — some folks take years), I didn’t really believe it. I do now even though I’m well ahead of that curve.

Scary.

I don’t always have the best of days just yet, but I’m grateful I’m getting better and beginning to be able to do the things I love.

My biggest goal is to get back to nomad life in my camper. That’s where my bliss is and I have a feeling once I get there, healing will come even more rapidly because nature is where my heart is.

It’s good to sweat again

Yesterday I hauled my kayak out to Newnans lake for a sojourn on the water. It’s the second time out paddling since recovering from a too-long dance with Mr. Lyme.

The gentle swells and swaying of the kayak is soothing, a perfect balm for a soul missing its tangles with nature.

It was nice to have enough strength to make my own wake in the water as in the past. I like seeing my wake, it’s visible confirmation I’m churning and burning up calories.

At the end, I noticed I was sweating. Although seemingly silly, it’s another first on my return to health journey and it felt so darn good to be a little drenched in it.

I love sweating, it’s a release and mark of a job well done towards getting back in good shape.

All these little milestones are slowly falling by the wayside one by one on a relentless march back to where I once was before Mr. Lyme.

Onwards and upwards!

Facing an angry El Morro

View of El Morro from my campsite

On my wanderings through New Mexico, I was thrilled to find free campsites (with water and bathrooms too!) could be had at the El Morro National Monument.

Even better, straight from camp you could hike up to the top of El Morro and view what was left of ancient Native American pueblos left by the Puebloans in the late 1200s.

El Morro is also known for its “Inscription Wall” (fancy wording for graffiti, in other words) where you can read over 2,000 signatures and notations carved into the wall, some over several thousand years old.

Very few of the “inscriptions” were art from ancient Puebloans, the rest of them were the common kind we still see today in the form of so and so was here with a name and date scratched out.

As soon as I settled in at camp, I made a beeline over to El Morro for a hike to the top. On the way, I stopped at the Inscription Wall to view some of the autographs scratched in.

You can definitely feel a sense of history there — it was mind boggling to stand in the very spot a fellow human from several thousand years ago stood to carve his immortality onto a rock wall.

As I walked along the wall, I started feeling bad inside, like a negative pressure that was making me queasy and weak.

Halfway through, I had to back out and leave.

As I made my way back to camp, the pressure eased and I felt a bit better. I still felt something within that didn’t sit right with me. Usually I can figure it out but not this time. It felt intangible and from an outside source.

I had this strong sensation to meditate to get answers. I sat under a tree facing El Morro, deepened my breathing and closed my eyes.

I found myself enveloped in anger.

Giant, overwhelming anger.

Bewildered, I dug into it and abruptly found myself face to face with the energy of El Morro itself.

As a natural intuitive and empath, I’m not surprised when I come across all sorts of energies and dead people, but I’ve never faced the energy of a… well, huge rock.

I’ve always thought huge rocks, canyons, etc. were ancient and passive giants, but not this one.

(El Morro itself is not that old compared to its brothers and sisters across the continent, so its energy did not feel ancient — it felt young and brash like a Greek God.)

After being startled by the source of the anger, I took a moment to collect my own wits. My first thought was can I really talk with a rock? It seemed absurd.

I swallowed my pride and reached out, asking where all the anger was coming from.

(Intuitive messages come through primarily via feelings, visions, and empathy which I “transliterate” into our language.)

El Morro silently roared back that his space has always been sacred and he’d been desecrated over thousands of years with scars on his surface. And “you humans” had the audacity to turn his defacings into a National Monument honoring them!

I was baffled this huge rock had an issue with little scratches on his surface. Aren’t they impervious to this sort of seemingly minor thing?

El Morro played on my empathy and showed how I’d feel if strangers carved their initials into my skin over the course of my life.

Point made.

I offered my deepest apologies.

His energy calmed down and I felt pressure of his anger recede a bit.

And that was it, we were done.

I strolled back over to El Morro and although I could still feel an imperceptible anger, I no longer felt nauseous and was able to explore further.

Later that night, I had an incredibly beautiful lucid dream with El Morro unlike any I’ve had. That’s another story for another day.

Today as I think back to it all, it still feels implausible and crazy.

Maybe I am off my rock-er (lame pun intended). All I know is nothing is truly out of the ordinary when it comes to the Beyond.

Who knew rocks had feelings, too?

How do you stop loving?

I can’t.

All my life and all these loves I’ve had, I can’t stop loving them.

Maybe I just don’t have an “off” switch when it comes to love.

I used to think I couldn’t let go.

But for me love is forever.

It doesn’t always work out. Change is constant, especially in people and relationships.

But love? The flavor of it may change yet it remains.

Flowers of a different color.

My high school loves? I love them even as memories fade; smiles and warmth still come.

My once wife? I love her even as we are unfortunately estranged. I’m forever grateful for wonderful memories and miraculous creation of a loving daughter.

My old flames? One tore my heart wide open, others widened it further, bringing forth more love of all different flowers.

The more I’ve loved, the more I’ve found there is to give.

Once I tried to stop loving to move on.

Instead I dried up, veins empty and heart barren.

Like blood, love gives life.

I can’t ever stop loving and I made peace with that.

Sunflowers. Roses. Daisies. Orchids. Chrysanthemums. Weeds.

I love ‘em all.

Field of love

Baby steps into the water

I finally found the courage today to launch my kayak into a nearby lake. It’s been several months since I last kayaked.

I wasn’t at full strength and I was nervous, especially untying and unloading the kayak which requires quite a bit of yanking and lifting and grunting.

The thing about dealing with Mr. Lyme is our internal battery runs out a lot faster than we’re used to. So every out-of-the-ordinary exertion adds up quickly. Out-of-the-ordinary as in stuff not normally done in the usual day to day routine.

Like kayaking.

That’s why I was nervous — by the time I got the kayak situated into the water, I felt my energy going down.

Rather than freak out (as in the past because I was so scared of major setbacks to my recovery) I calmly got into the kayak, pushed off (ugh, another burst, more draining) and floated onwards.

Oh, it was so wonderful being able to feel nature again.

The gentle lap of the lake nudging the kayak.

The cool breeze caressing my face.

Trees and seagrass swaying to an invisible tune.

Sun shafting through leaves and branches.

Ospreys snatching prey out of the lake.

And of course, alligators lurking about.

That’s my kind of heaven.

I didn’t stay out too long — baby steps. Over time I’ll be able to do more and more.

More bliss.

By the time I got back and loaded the kayak up on top of the car (more grunts and ughs and battery drains), I was a bit tired but it was a good kind of tired.

Water always seems to rejuvenate me. I was born near the ocean and have always felt a lure to be near water in any form.

You could say water is the lungs of my soul. I breathe more deeply and freely around it.

I sure do miss it.

Baby steps.

Thoughts after a month of daily blogging

Today will mark thirty three consecutive days of writing and posting photographs to my blog. Just over a month ago I wrote of an audicious challenge to post every day for a year.

The challenge was to get into a regular habit of creative expression to help find my voice.

Some days I have struggled to write, mostly because I’m not quite at full strength yet. Sometimes I’m too tired to think, much less write. I can only write when I’m inspired; I just can’t write something to throw on a pixelated wall.

My photographs have been a saving grace during those times — they’re very much part of the fabric of who I am and my creativity. I enjoy snapping and tweaking them afterwards to coax out the vision of what I saw that day.

By writing and crafting photos each day, I’ve started to notice the return of a very dear old friend of mine.

My muse.

She comes as a feeling deep within, magic elixirs percolating in a well of deep creativity that hadn’t been used in a long time.

She makes me feel warm inside, a comfy flame burning in the hearth of my soul.

Long forgotten parts of my soul are coming back to life, awakening in bits and pieces.

As I create, I feel her poking and prodding, challenging me to step out of my inertia and embrace passion.

It’s not quite a roaring fire just yet; she needs to be stoked more to be set further alight.

This challenge has reminded me creativity is a fire that needs to be tended to else she flames out. Coals of neglect become harder to re-ignite.

Like forgotten love.

I’m not sure yet if I’ll be up to the task of doing this every single day for a year — it might be more reasonable to set a goal of crafting a few times a week rather.

Still, I like what’s happening within. I like dancing with my muse again.

I’m going to try twirling her around each day because it’s a joy I’ve missed.

Be bold with life

This summer I’ve been swimming daily in the local community pool as part of my healing process from Lyme disease (my acupuncture physician suggested it and I’m amazed at how much better I feel floating in cool water).

I made friends with several folks there, including a young lifeguard who was on summer leave from college.

Over the course of my time there, the lifeguard and I mostly small talked. As her summer leave drew closer to ending, we had a couple opportunities for longer talks where we got to know each other a bit better.

She mentioned majoring in psychology and I suggested a couple books she might find fascinating (“Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness” for one, it’s a favorite). She asked what I did and I told her I had Gator Country and lived life as a nomad roaming across the land.

Her eyes widened in wonderment at the stories I shared of my journeys along with other crazy parts of my life travels before I became a nomad.

She was wondering if she could do something like that, at least travel to Europe and such. I could tell she wasn’t sure — perhaps life seemed to have already gotten in the way of it.

I urged her to find a way to make it happen.

That it was a once in a lifetime journey at a young stage in her life. To do it before she got caught in in the relentless march of “regular” life because it stealthily steals time from you as the years fly by.

She nodded, her mind churning and thinking.

A few days before she went back to college, I gave her my copy of “Brain on Fire” with a short note inside:

Life is short. Be bold with it!

It’s never too late, my friends.

I began the nomad life in my late forties and it has been incredibly life changing and deeply fulfilling.

I did it despite emerging from a chronic illness (and coming down with another in Lyme — it ain’t gonna stop me either) and a limited budget.

And I’ve just gotten started — there’s many more adventures and dreams on the way.

Whatever dream you have that brings you joy, do it.

Make room for it in your head and find time for it.

Turn that dream into reality.

Be bold with your life!

Gone in the blink of an eye

I had a vivid dream of the future where I was on a spaceship hovering above our planet.

We’ve all heard stories about time machines and such where we’d step into them and transport to a different time?

These ships were outside the bounds of time and space; they transcended matter, making our people’s stories of time machines seem quite crude.

I was inside the ship and I could see our earth, but in some sort of sophisticated holographic form that I hadn’t seen before.

I had this “knowing” to watch the globe (apparently communication transcended matter too).

As I watched intently, the earth started spinning faster and faster until it became an incredible blur of motion. Despite the blur, I could still “see” what was happening; it was a story unfolding in front of me.

I was witnessing the evolution of our earth.

The spinning accelerated, going from hundreds of years to thousands and then millions and millions.

By the time it reached the moment of our human occupation on the planet, we were gone in a blink of an eye. Faster and faster it went until it faded away to be no more.

Then the dream was over.

What stuck with me was how we humans were only on the earth for a very brief moment in time — a literal blink of the earth’s eye. And how the world marched onward as if we were insignificant in the grand scheme of the totality of its life.

Just like the dinosaurs — they once reigned supreme over the land and then they were no more. Poof.

Maybe we’re not so different from them after all; maybe we are just another brief fling of occupation upon earth.

To be roofless again

Life as a wandering nomad the past few years has changed me.

It has woken my soul and I’ve found it is restless.

Out there I was always hiking, jogging in the woods, kayaking, etc. I loved exploring new grounds and finding new adventures. It kept me alive in spirit.

Before, I used to sit for long periods of time — mostly working on the computer, watching television, or staring at my smartphone.

Not anymore. After a couple decades of it, there’s no joy to it.

I don’t like inertia. It’s a nemesis because when I slip into its grasp, I feel lethargic and lazy.

I want to be outside all the time, to be in the embrace of beloved nature.

Being under a roof boxes me in. I want to see the sun, the clouds, birds, night sky, stars, and the moon.

I feel uneasy when I enter a building of any sort. I feel out of place, lost.

I don’t belong anymore.

I struggle these days while recovering from Mr. Lyme because my heart is outside and I don’t have the strength yet to endure the rigorous wandering & camping life.

But soon I will be free and tears will flow in joyous release.

I will be roofless once again.

For now I endure.

And dream of stars overhead in the warm embrace of nature’s fire.

Solitude in the rain

Rain has a way of driving people away and inside, emptying the earth of inhabitants.

Those are the times I feel freer – even in the city.

It’s when a new, secret world comes to life, calling out to my soul to come and play.

I decide to go for swim — a favorite thing to do when the sky is weeping — in the local community pool. Thankfully there is no threat of electricity falling.

At first glance the vast pool looks lonely, abandoned of laughing children and ardent lap swimmers. I slide into the water at eye-level amidst raindrops dancing on the surface.

I’m taken back to the days of my beloved cabin on the Suwannee where I would walk naked in the rain and sink into river’s warm embrace. I’d sit a long time, eyes level with tannin surface, watching rain drops reunite with their beloved.

Ashes to ashes, water to water.

I miss it.

I’m brought back to the pool, tiny spheres of blue water bouncing in multitude with each drop and I smile.

River or no, I’m still in the warm ambience of an empty pool given life by nature pelting it with her own, trees nearby swaying in the wind, and an occasional dragonfly braving the rain.

It’s when everything feels most alive, more than sunny days full of swimmers. It’s where quiet magic takes over in the whims of nature and solitude and becomes a force of its own.

My soul comes out to play, unfurling the inner child within and dances freely with the rain.

Solitude and rain.

Bliss.

(Photo of me in my childhood days contemplating in the rain taken by my uncle Terry)