Thursday, February 2, 2017

WE DIDN'T GO BIRDING TODAY


It was too windy. The Couve has been hit with some kind of windstorm, and it's been keeping us inside so far. This kind of weather is all fair and good for sailors and kite enthusiasts, but for literate townsfolk and kite (the type of bird) enthusiasts like me and J-Bird, this kind of weather is neither fair nor good.
I am wondering, though, if we've let ourselves be defeated too easily. And if maybe--extrapolation alert! (I've been watching the last five minutes of a lot of Viceland Documentaries lately)--I'm letting myself be defeated too easily by life. Or at least, not scrambling for victories. I need to get out into the wind, and feel the cold hard boot of nature against my crotch. Maybe. But how much?
The summer between high school and college, my mom made me go to this wilderness retreat thing on the Lost Coast of California, where me and 3 other 10-somethings went backpacking and built sweat lodges and wiped our asses with warm rocks for a week. It was as fun as it sounds, assuming that type of thing sounds fun to you. (I'm a drink the kool aid type of guy, so it was right up my ally.) On the fourth day, each teen was required to go on a 2 night, 1 day "solo retreat" (a type of vision quest where you're not allowed to take drugs) to mull over who he was and what he wanted to be, free from distraction. It was really chill. There's not that much I can remember about it, but I think that day was one of the top 20 days of my life. I'd already spent a lot of time spacing out and staring at the ocean that summer, because I lived in a beach town and that's what my friends liked to do, too, but this day was different, because I couldn't take mokies. It's extremely relaxing just thinking about it now: I'm sitting in a little hole that I dug, the weather is slightly overcast (my favorite type of weather), and there's a chill wind blowing. No music is playing. It's incredible.
Unfortunately, I enjoyed it so much that I didn't get around to the homework until the last minute. It was already dark when I finally thought about it for a second. Who am I? I thought, over the roar of the waves. What kind of stuff do I like? The wind picked up a little. And then, pow, there was the epiphany, in less than a minute. The epiphany was: I enjoy boring shit.
The next day, slightly after sunrise, we shared what we'd learned with the group, and the head counselar gave each of us a custom drawn 3 x 5 index card depicting our internal selves. Mine was a picture of two stick figure guys: a guy walking, and a guy leaning back with his hands laced behind his head. At the top of the card, it said DOING vs. UN-DOING. Whoa I thought.
Now, cut back to present day. I'm sitting inside in the dark, right here, thinking about this index card I lost and wondering if I leaned too hard to the UN-DOING side these past 11 years. What can you do, right? But it's bothering me. I still haven't found the right balance between doing and un-doing. On the one hand, I like the idea that doing nothing can be fun, if you're enough of a space cadet, because that way you don't really need anything, and that has a zen like appeal, but on the other hand I've realized that doing nothing for a long time takes its toll on you. It makes your words feel more meaningless. You know? If you do nothing, it becomes harder and harder to find something to talk about, so you just get better and better at talking, until you're just "talking loud and saying nothing." Which...that's a bad thing, I think. If you take it too far, which I have. Better to slide the slider just over to the DOING side. That was sort of the idea with this blog. I thought, hey, birding, that's something where you're doing something, but barely. But the problem is, we haven't gone birding yet.

1 comment:

  1. This is a very deep and thoughtful post and I like it a lot!

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