Along the Ray

Along the Ray

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

February 23, 2022

Short musings on Digital Gardens

I’ve been going on a learning spree about digital gardening lately…

Not familiar with digital gardens? Pop over here and there for a few explainers along with functioning examples out in the wild.

Here’s my thought process as they pertain to my needs/desires (which can be completely different from yours so I encourage you to make your own conclusions).

  • The geek in me wants to have a digital garden with rows and rows of notes and ideas. Oh my!

  • It’s a human tendency to want to compartmentalize, to put things and words and thoughts and data into nice neat little boxes on shelves.

  • But can digital baggage become a psychic burden?

  • I keep coming back to old notes and finding them stale, no longer relevant.

  • So would I be accumulating words and data just for the doing” of it? 

  • When transitioning from house living to nomadic wandering, it meant shifting to an ultra-minimalist lifestyle because my tiny camper can only hold so many things. It forced me to get rid of everything and change the way I live.

  • Adapting to that life was surprisingly easily after a bit of time acclimating to it and I can’t imagine living beyond the means of my camper.

  • When staying in one place for unusually long periods of time (such as a couple years of recovery time from Lyme disease) I start to accumulate stuff again.

  • The difference this time around is awareness. I consciously feel the burden of these extra things and my constant instinct is to get rid of them as soon as I can. Stay light!”

  • Being light of stuff brings lightness to spirit. It is freeing to be free of the burden of physical accumulations.

  • I’d imagine the same for data — it may not be physical but it can be an intangible/accumulative burden over time.

  • As much as I love the idea of having and tending to a digital garden, my wandering soul refuses it (and says my garden would wither!). It wants to be free in all ways, including data. Haw! Can’t explain it in any other way…

  • I have learned living the wandering life that change is constant — the environment and my home” is always changing as well as my needs and wants depending on where I am.

  • Change also means maybe one day I’ll settle again into data accumulation for good cause?

  • While having a digital garden isn’t in the cards now for me, I enjoy browsing through others and see their value.

  • Thinking about growing a garden? Tips I’ve gleaned:

    • Bend the garden to you, not you to it. It exists to serve you. 
    • Do it for you and not other people.
    • There’s no right or wrong way to garden — build or utilize what works best for you with the least amount of friction in cultivating it.
    • It can be a blog, a wiki, a card index, software or all of it. Whatever works for you.

Here’s a few favorites:

Have any thoughts or resources & cool gardens to share? Do chime in.

Ray

February 17, 2022

No gas, no groceries

(click date for larger photos)

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Passed this on my way into Pie Town to …take a wild guess… sample one of their world famous pies back in 2017.

Blueberry and yes, it was quite good (but the absolute best was out in Nova Scotia… If only I could remember the name of the place, sigh).

Nearby is the Water Canyon campground nestled up in the Magdalena Mountains. Easy to get to yet remote with a rather treacherous hairpin curve tossed in just before you get to camp. Barely made it with my camper but it was so worth it.

I was the only one there, which is just how I like it.

A bit further down is the Datil Wells campground (on BLM land) and it was very nice with a beautiful, winding trail through the mountain above.

RELATED MEMORY: Spins @ Datil Wells

January 29, 2022

The last embrace of my grandparents

I saw them in the hospital.

There they were in a dark ICU room lit by the glow of electronics, beds rammed together by nurses.

Their arms crossed the void. Grandma’s hands wrapped tightly around grandpa’s arm and he clenching hers in a forever embrace.

It was a simultaneous act of love and desperation.

Image seared into memory, it was the last time I saw them together.

So strange their health would fail at the same time for different reasons… Or maybe they just couldn’t bear to be without their dearly beloved so one followed the other not just in health but also in sickness.

More than a half century of a marriage of true love will do that.

They plunged into deep comas, the prognosis grim.

Grandpa somehow came back for a brief shining moment and asked about her. He succumbed a few days later.

Grandma emerged a week after only to find her forever love gone, passed on. Devastation ensued.

Somehow she healed enough to make it back home. But she was never the same and said so:

I have this big hole in my heart.”

She died less than a year later, heart and lungs black with cancer.

January 1, 2022

Sunset on an old year

(click date for larger photos)

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View from a fallen tree over a swamp off the trail at San Felasco Hammock Preserve State Park.

May 4, 2021

That feeling

That feeling of a cool breeze on a warm night… Timeless.

April 27, 2021

Pale blue eyes

She forgets
cigarettes and
loses the money

Father demands
their whereabouts,
smiling with anger

Trembling in
pale blue eyes,
she doesn’t know

Father beats her
in drunken stupor,
raging against all

Mother is nowhere
to be found,
mind long gone

In school,
they see welts
and bruises

Always they see
constant sadness in
pale blue eyes

She is shuffled off
to foster home
after foster home

Often she is seen
staring out windows
pale blue eyes

Her role model is a
wayward roommate seeking
love on street corners

Overworked social workers
never truly see her
pale blue eyes

Often she walks
around town seeking
what cannot be had

For there is no love
to be found absent
father and mother

And a foster home
with more abuse and
tortured souls

Will she ever find it,
so her beautiful heart
can sing once again?

Pale blue eyes,
always walking around
looking for love.

April 19, 2021

Alley Spring mill in the Ozarks

(click date for larger photos)

Grist mill on very edge of Alley Spring in Missouri. The spring empties into Jacks Fork river, a National Scenic River and National Park. You can camp just south of the Mill on the river and it was a beautiful, relaxing location.

April 12, 2021

Kayak view from Bonner's Ferry

(click date for larger photos)

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View from my kayak on Lake Smith near Bonner’s Ferry, ID. The orangish haze is smoke from nearby forest fires making for a bit of a surreal moment. Camped near the shore for a blissful week pretty much all by myself a couple years ago.

April 8, 2021

Convergent smile

(From a dream…)

I jumped back in time
to when I was little,
just starting school.

There in the hallways,
I saw Little Me
about to enter class.

Quickly, I darted
to try and catch him
so that I could tell him

That the lifelong
tidings he has to bear
wouldn’t be so bad.

That hearing aids draped
over his tiny chest would shrink
over years into his ears.

That even though some
kids would be cruel,
he’d bounce back.

That when some said
he wouldn’t amount to much,
he’d prove them all wrong.

That the mountains he
had to overcome would
make life far more rewarding.

And finally I wanted
to tell Little Me
that he was my true hero.

Sadly I was too late,
the door slammed and
I was yanked back to now.

Later that night,
after my weary soul
had fallen asleep

Little Me came to me
in a dream as real can be
and climbed into my lap.

Looking up at me with
a gentle smile, he said:
“Everything will be okay”

The past fell away,
future blurred, and the
now became a forever smile.

April 6, 2021

What fears may come

After a too-long-for-me hiatus, I’m slowly and finally getting ready to get back on the road.

Most of my hiatus was focusing on recovering from chronic lyme disease which wrecked my body and sapped it of strength.

Once again I find myself facing an old familiar - fear.

Can still I do the things I so loved? These long, rambling hikes in the woods where I’d lose my soul in em? Would I still have the strength to kayak down swirling rivers?

I’m not the sort to sit around camp most of the time. I’m a natural born explorer — a life unexplored is life wasted. Would I be too tired and exhausted to enjoy those wanderings?

Would the heat of long summer days wilt me? Can I handle the rigors of day to day camping life?

Out there, there is no retreat from escape. No air conditioned home to bolt back to, no safety valve for when things go awry. 

I’m not all there yet physically and yet I’ve come as far as I can in exile from the woods.

I feel the call of the road and I need to answer it. I must. My soul misses it deeply and my heart is empty.

It is time to fill those valises with the nectar of nature’s love and joy.

Once again I face my fears and see where they will take me.

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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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