Wednesday, October 8, 2014

To Wholeness

"I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that—I don't mind people being happy—but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It's a really odd thing that we're now seeing people saying "write down three things that made you happy today before you go to sleep" and "cheer up" and "happiness is our birthright" and so on. We're kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position. It's rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don't teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say, "Quick! Move on! Cheer up!" I'd like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word "happiness" and to replace it with the word "wholeness." Ask yourself, "Is this contributing to my wholeness?" and if you're having a bad day, it is."

Wednesday Morning

The morning sets up like a piano sonata.
Soft, quiet, with a moon still full.
Feathery clouds crest the mountaintops of the canyon.
All is still, save a few buzzing alarms in the apartments around the river trail.
Breakfast, coffee, emails as a rising sun turns the eastern horizon into cotton candy.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

2014 Fall Foliage Pilgrimage

I feel as thought I've restarted myself. Which is a good thing to do I suppose when everything is failing. Like in a computer or phone or camera or car... unplug everything, take the battery out, start from scratch.
I blame it on the loons.
This year's pilgrimage was riddled with challenges... as Ben calls them... opportunities.
Things got off to a rocky start with shifting the days of the trip around, excluding Errin, and for very different reasons excluding Ben. So I slept best I could, shoved my whole bed in the back of the C R-V (whole new appreciation for it's RV status now) and headed north.
There is something surprisingly pure in heartbreak. It crushes facades and exteriors, leaving you in a sedated raw place.
We stopped at West Shore for a walk and a drink. When we got to the border the Canadians asked if we were camping alone and who we were meeting up there... ha... good one... not this time. The road to the Provincial Park was closed. Two-thirds of the camping loop was closed, the remaining four spots taken. I drove to the picnic area and trailhead, backed up to the woods. There was a man there with a truck, small RV, and tarped off tent. Judging by the comfort of his two cats seemed he'd been there for awhile. That sleeping spot would have to do.
So I rested.
Surrounded by western red cedars, aspen, birch and balsam fir. Beyond the lush forest - the lizard range, Mount Fernie, The Three Sisters, The Ghost Rider. Rigid, stark, engulfing me in only this place. Morning came and I was slow- breakfast, walk, book, afternoon. I traipsed through town trying to find a plan B for the Blue Toque... there was no suitable substitute. Crammed into an old bank however was a brilliant interpretive display of the history of Fernie, I explored for awhile.
We tried to drive to a different Provincial Park on Crowsnest Pass... but it didn't have camping. We stayed long enough to eat an Indian feast, then hit the road.
Somewhat satisfied, somewhat disappointed.
Koocanusa - Kootenai + Canada+ USA = the lake surrounded by all three nations, why not. Three miles off the main road, just a ghost park. The water so still, the two other campers absent or quiet. We backed up to the lake. A near full moon rose, sunset cast a ballet of colors on the water, geese honked with whooshing wings, splashing into a landing. And all was lovely, quiet, and still.
Like clockwork, the loons started their frantic cackle. Haunting, piercing, comforting. I put on For Emma, Forever. Lost in British Columbia with no one to protect me, or rescue me... and no one to threaten me or stress me. Fading into the landscape.
We slept. When you fall asleep around 8pm , eight hours later puts you at 4am... we tried to sleep again. But the morning was more lovely, more quiet than the evening. I fixed Geronimo's breakfast, grabbed my leftover kheer and sat on a log by the waters edge.
By the time I was sipping my favorite cappucino and lolligagging around quiet Kalispell I began to feel more like my old self. Brightened and relieved with the world around me. I made it home... eventually. With everything cleaned up and sorted my favorite neighbors visited. Canadian Pumpkin IPA and leftover Malai Kofta for dinner, bedtime with the sun by 9.
And so morning comes again. There is Errin, coffee, fish oil for dogs, and a subdued clank of wind chimes. October is here. I am still raw, but alive and present.