Along the Ray

Along the Ray

An alien from a different plane wandering the universe in a tiny camper

July 5, 2022 RANDOM THOUGHTS

Healthy boundaries

Ran into someone from a long time ago at the local bookstore. It was an encounter that felt quite disconnected. Formerly a great friend of mine, I cut him out of my life because he had become toxic and untrustworthy.

I was polite yet cool and reserved, minimizing small talk because I didn’t want to open the door to letting him back in my life. It was strange because I’m normally warm and welcoming.

It was sad because we had such a warm friendship. I could tell in his eyes he was sad too and probably surprised I didn’t welcome him back like I would in my old ways.

I just can’t trust him anymore from past betrayals — it’s one of those situations where I moved on because the trust is gone. It’s unfortunate. I still love him like a brother and we had many good times.

I’ve always had trouble moving on from those who mean a lot to me but when I’ve been screwed over more than once or someone becomes toxic I cut em out of my life.

That was a big lesson I hadn’t learned until my 40’s because I was always bending backwards to please (or rescue) people to my own detriment. It stemmed from my own insecurities & inferiorities and not wanting to lose friends.

As soon as I learned to set healthy boundaries life changed and became more stable across the board. Looking back, I see how it was a hard yet bold action that continues to ripple across the pond of life well into the future.

July 5, 2022

This is my last post …on Wordpress

(This was posted over on my old Wordpress site. I’m leaving it here for those of you stumbling upon new changes…)

After a over a decade of using Wordpress, it’s time to move on… to another platform. I’ll be moving this blog over to Blot in the next couple days.

Why?

Wordpress has changed. It’s gotten more powerful and complex with a frequent need of updating. Its focus seems to be moving away from a pure blogging platform to a jack-of-all-trades fancy page publishing system.

There’s nothing wrong with that — it’s insanely powerful and extensible but I’ve changed too.

Like Benjamin Button, I’m falling backwards into simplicity and ease of use. Hence Blot. It’s stupendously simple — just drop a note into a folder on your computer (or phone) and it magically appears on your blog.

Same with photos - I can snap something live on my phone and see it automatically materialize on the blog. Such beautiful simplicity is a must for a wandering nomad like myself with often limited connectivity.

Blot is also mischievously flexible — I’ve found it easier to bend to my will thanks to its clever templating engine and ability to use custom metadata. That’s how I was able to set up a Journal of Thoughts” section on the new blog that stitches individual thoughts for the day into a single post while keeping each thought” inside a tagged folder i.e. [health] (I’ll have more on all that in a future post).

As an added bonus, since Blot reads markdown (and txt & doc) files I’m able to plug my Obsidian app right in so all my notes and posts are linked together in the backend giving me a blog and commonplace book/knowledge management system in one. Whenever I edit or create a file in Obsidian, it can show up on the blog (more on this later, too!).

I’m excited about it and very much looking forward to blogging joyfully again with less friction for a change rather than contorting myself to make things work.

Those of you following via the RSS feed should be able to continue to get updates thanks to a redirect I set up. Down the road though you’ll want to update your feed reader to point to https://alongtheray.com/feed.rss on the new blog.

Unfortunately it’s a different matter for those of you following via Wordpress’ apps, etc. Since the new blog won’t be plugged into the Wordpress ecosystem you’ll no longer get notifications of new posts from there.

If you’d like to keep following me, you can get new posts by email by signing up here (Foment Labs is my self-hosted email platform). I’ll also continue sharing new posts to my Twitter and Fediverse accounts.

I’m very grateful to Wordpress for providing an open and stable platform for so long and wish em continued success — we need them. I will continue using Wordpress for my non-personal sites because it’s perfect for that.

If you have any questions, just post a comment. Thank you for following and see you on the Blot side!

-Ray

July 4, 2022

Awarness lost …and found

(Following up from Stuck Inertia…)

The other night I was digging through old Facebook archives for writings, memories, dreams, etc. I’d shared in the past to preserve into Obsidian1 and here.

It was there I came across a post from Fall of 2017 after a couple years of the full-time wandering life and stopped in my hometown for what I thought was going to be a brief visit.

It hit me — I hadn’t been stuck here for two years as initially thought — more like five years. Wayyy longer than I realized.

I was shocked when it sank in I’d been stuck here for that long. That’s five years of life and joy gone by in a blink of an eye with nary a nod to it.

To be fair, the first three years were spent rebuilding my body post-Lyme. And I did hit the road in 2020 for several months, making it as far as the California border until I came back exhausted because I wasn’t strong enough yet. COVID also began rearing its ugly head.

The rest of 2020 into the middle of 2021 is a wash what with COVID shutting everything down, including campgrounds n’ such.

So in retrospective it seems I’ve only” lost around around a year — mid 2021 to mid 2022. I know I was strong enough to hit the road again by the end of 2021 but I stayed put because of the fear I wrote earlier.

Maybe I’m being unrealistically hard on myself for taking so long to get back to doing what I love. Or maybe I was unconsciously staying put to learn new lessons?

I struggle accepting it because inertia has been an issue in my life. Making excuses or roundabout justifications make it harder to expose truth and learning opportunities are lost.

Still feeling unsettled about this tells me that other than facing fear, I haven’t completely found the truth yet…

Until now.

It has to do with awareness — that I let these years slip by without being aware of it and being shocked to find out how long I’d been in a deep slumber.

That’s not being alive.

I’d rather be consciously doing nothing than unconsciously doing something2.

Being aware while doing nuttin’ means at least I know what’s going on and I’m open to changing things up. But just churning through the motions unaware like a zombie is bleeding away life.

Lesson learned. To be sure it stays learned, I set a quarterly reminder on the phone to prompt, Hey you. Are you aware of what you’re doing/not doing?”

(Another lesson learned? That writing things down on paper truly helps clarify thoughts and surfaces answers & insights into nagging issues.)

*3


  1. In addition to blogging with it, I use Obsidian as an electric commonplace book.↩︎

  2. Like when meditating - it might appear we’re doing nothing but we’re fully aware as opposed to mindlessly going about things without awareness.↩︎

  3. I almost didn’t post this because it seems like a a repetitive meandering but I want to honor my mandate of making this blog an echo chamber of my thoughts & working through em in public.↩︎

July 1, 2022

Stuck “in”ertia

Looks like I’m stuck again.

Nearly two years have slipped by1 since I was wandering the land in my camper, cut short because I hadn’t fully recovered from a prior bout with Lyme disease (where I spent two years earlier rebuilding my health back from barely being able to walk out the door).

Today I’m actually stronger save for occasional fits of chronic fatigue. I can correlate most of these episodes from being on the computer (or anything with an electronic screen) too much which somehow beats up my immune system2.

Yet I persist in that crazy loop and I’m still here with a camper now needing a bit of an overhaul from sitting so long.

What’s the issue?

Is it laziness? Perhaps due to all the work the camper will need? It’s a vigorous job I don’t always have the strength for. But that’s easily remediated by doing it in steps or hiring a helper. So I don’t think it’s the cause.

Fear maybe?

Now we’re talking.

The first year of recovering from Lyme disease was devastating and soul crushing. It was bewildering to completely lose strength and the vitality of life that goes with it. My body was stolen from me and it eerily mirrored a long struggle with Meniere’s Disease over a decade prior that nearly drove me to suicide.

I’m haunted just thinking back to those days. Maybe that the full rage of Lyme (or something else) roars back while I’m on the road. Maybe I’m worried if I get that bad again I’ll want to check out” having endured enough suffering in this lifetime, too weary to fight back to life once again.

When push comes to shove, I don’t think I’d go that far. I have a beautiful soul of a daughter I’m very close with. She’s the light of my life and why I am still here.

Perhaps thinking and writing about all this will help chip away at this — facing one’s fears tends to do that. I’m finding that my inertias are usually masked by fears waiting to be acknowledged, embraced and released with grace.

So here I go venturing forth into my fears to live and breathe life so that I can be free once again.

POSTSCRIPT: I wrote this a few weeks ago; it was very cathartic to write and share. In preparation for getting back on the road I had my vehicle that tows the camper tuned up & added new tires with off-road capability. I’ve been going over the camper for things to fix and reached out to a nearby shop who will overhaul it and do long-time wishlist stuff (like raising the axle & adding larger tires to be able to access more remote camping spots. Yay!)


  1. It’s odd how time flies even when sitting still… I thought around a year had passed until I sat down to write this and to my surprise I find it’s been two years.↩︎

  2. Almost every major illness (Meniere’s, Lyme, and COVID (although mild at the time)) was preceded by intense periods of being on the computer for hours and hours. Why I have yet to fully grasp that lesson is on me — it’s those times at full strength I plow into heavy computer stuff thinking it won’t happen again then I get knocked silly.↩︎

June 23, 2022 RANDOM THOUGHTS

Am I wasting time?

Spent most of the night catching up a bit with Billionaires” (@ Showtime) and wondered if I’m wasting my time again?1 (Earlier I suggested to myself that I write or do art in place of streaming in evenings)

I struggle with the answer… My immediate thought is a resounding YES!”

Yet I also know it’s important to have unwinding time” to zonk out and enjoy some entertainment.2 And sometimes I gain creative inspiration from it.

Maybe the secret is to allocate some kind of balance to the process. I.e. catch up on streaming stuff for an hour (or two max) and use the rest of the evening on writing or arting (as long as I’m not too wiped out from the day).

My wandering blood doesn’t like structure so it’ll be interesting to see how this pans out…


  1. Back when I was physically reeling from being in front of screens too much I wrote that I should wean myself from watching stuff and just write/art more.↩︎

  2. I often think back when our ancestors didn’t have any of this stuff and they seemed to do fine (aside from life being more physically taxed).↩︎

June 23, 2022 RANDOM THOUGHTS

Energy surge

The past few days I’ve had more energy and strength — I’m not sure where it’s coming from. Maybe from working and prepping the camper for getting back on the road? Could be an internal joy that I’m finally actively doing something to get back to the life I love? And/or the extra physical activity somehow boosting my chi?

June 17, 2022

Returning (the blog) to a blank canvas

For the longest time, I’ve held back from sharing much on my blog because I thought it was supposed to be a travel / spiritual contemplation journal of sorts. I didn’t want to lose folks by straying away from that…

But I’m a person of many colors and flavors with a variety of eclectic interests. There’s times I wanted to share something and held back because it didn’t seem to fit” or might be too personal.

Upon deeper reflection, I realize part of the problem is I’m thinking of my blog as… a blog. You know when you see the word book” your mind automatically thinks of a long tome with chapters, etc. as a structure? Same way with the word blog.

My mind pins blog” into the more traditional sense, i.e. covers specific themes, has article-style writing on specific topics, follows commonly used forms, etc.1

What I need to do is to start thinking of this space as more of a personal journal — or better yet — a blank canvas upon which I can share whatever my heart or mind desires. To throw away all previously defined boundaries and write for myself.

On my travels, I’m often asked where I’m headed next — my answer is usually Where ever the wind takes me!” I’m going to extend that same philosophy to here and share whatever the wind brings forth through my pen, be it geeky, spiritual or mundane things, personal stuff, Short Musings”2, etc. along with the usual travelogues and photos.

I might even share more stream of consciousness thoughts here rather than on social media like most do. After all one’s blog ought to be a home for anything and everything, right?

I especially want to use this canvas as a way of further exploring my inner self and peel away layers, even if it might be uncomfortable.

Just maybe my blog canvas will evolve into a more in-depth reflection of who and why I am — as it should have been all along.

P.S. I’m also changing blog platforms to something much easier to use while I’m on the road. In the past there was too much friction/work to even post anything and I’d be too worn out by the end of the day. Stay tuned!


  1. I’d like to be clear that there’s nothing wrong with traditional blogs, etc. I very much enjoy and follow many of em and run Blogroll.org.↩︎

  2. You may have noticed a couple Short Musings” I posted recently. That was me scratching and sniffin’ at the blank canvas idea with something different & unconventional… I enjoyed it very much.↩︎

May 24, 2022

Short musings on taking an extended break from the computer

Recently I took an extended break from all things computers (w/limited smart phone usage) and I was surprised at noticible changes within and outin.”

Here’s my musings:

  • I feel physically better and not drained as I tend to feel from being on the computer.

  • Less tension. My breathing pattern has changed to a more relaxing pace. I didn’t realize being on the computer tenses me up.

  • My focus isn’t as burned out and I have less headaches and remarkably sharper vision.

  • My thoughts are calmer and I feel more grounded.

  • I have more energy.

  • Dreams are more vivid and memorable.

  • I feel more connected to earth, nature, and spirit.

  • As a result I feel more alive and aware.

  • It’s easier to meditate and go deeper.

  • When writing on pen and paper, my thoughts slow down and crystalize.

  • More ideas flow forth and I’m motivated to write.

  • When on the computer, an intense focus mechanism triggers whereas writing on paper is different in the focus is there but it is less intense and of wider spectrum.

  • The more I write by hand, the clearer my handwriting becomes as old muscle memory is resurrected.

  • I now carry a small pocket note book w/pen around for dumping of thoughts, ideas, to-dos, etc. on demand instead of using the phone.

  • A larger notepad serves well for longhand writing pieces. More space = less cramped for free flowing writing and by sticking to a larger notepad for longer pieces I’m programming my mind to see it that way while the pocketbook is for quick dumping.

  • Choose the right kind of paper and pen that makes it a joy to write.

  • My RSS feeds and newsletters piled up but browsing through them I realize I’m not really missing out on anything. Due to the cyclical nature of things, the interesting stuff will show up again anyway. I ended up clearing them all out and I’m still alive. ; )

  • It’s also an opportunity to cull feeds and newsletters I find myself skipping (Note to self: Set a quarterly culling” reminder.)

  • It’s hard to explain but going analog via fountain pen & paper seems to connect me more to humanity and our ancestors, as if ancient neurons are brought back to life.

  • There is a subtle shift in interacting with fellow humans. They come across not as faded — more real. Their colors, flavors, and nuances are more vivid. I’ve been waiting for someone to ask me, Where have you been all along?” (This metaverse thing might not be such a great idea given how it seems to more physically disconnect us…)

POSTSCRIPT:

  • When I got back on the computer I felt this sense of dread in my body, as if here we go again.”

  • I’m going to honor that and permanently reduce my computer/phone usage by going as analog as possible.

  • After all, our ancestors managed without somehow all this time, yea?

  • I hired someone to transcribe my notes into computer text. I ended up nixing the experiment because it was like sending my words off to the laundry and they get whitewashed of their personality. I’d rather continue to roll in the dirt and tangle in the smells of my words as I transcribe em myself.

  • Now I’m starting to write everything (long and short hand) down on paper first to stay connected this way.

  • I’ve fallen in love with writing again — it’s a wondrous thing to feel ink flowing out of my hands in a poetic dance with mind and paper.

Little Fish quote

How can you build a future if you keep having to rebuild the past?”

Poignant quote from Little Fish” movie that’s very relevant in these times.

February 27, 2022

Scars of Bear Canyon

(click date for larger photos)

_images/bonito_lake_new_mexico.jpg

The photo above shows remnants of the infamous Little Bear fire near Bonito Lake in Bear Canyon in New Mexico. The fire was back in 2012, this was taken in 2017 as I passed through looking for a camping spot.

I had no idea this happened so it was astonishing to drive in and see utter devastation everywhere. The lake was filled with fallen & burnt trees and the closed (South Fork) campground mirrored apocalypse.

I later learned the fire destroyed over two hundred buildings over 44,000 acres of land. Scary and we seem to be seeing more of this these days.

The good news is the area has come back to life with new growth and the campground re-opened not too long ago. I hope to visit again soon.

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https://alongtheray.com Along the Ray

An alien from a different plane wandering the universe in a tiny camper

Along the Ray

Somewhere on a river...

North American continent usually

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