Even in a time of elephantine vanity and greed, one never has to look far to see the campfires of gentle people.
While trudging through this tangled jungle of human behavior one day in the merry, merry month of April, I was taken by surprise by a pair of roving ideas. One was that I was lugging around with me a heavy sack of my past, recent and otherwise. The sack contains all kinds of useless and harmful memories, impressions, thoughts, beliefs and regrets. It was clear to me that I could not go forward in my life with any degree of energy and purpose until I had unloaded this sack, threw it off the edge of a cliff.
But the other idea is that maybe not everything in this sack is worthless. I know better than to go through everything that's in there to make a value judgement about each thing. I might as well throw myself off the cliff if I tried to do that.
I took a nap this afternoon and woke up with a start thinking about someone I hardly knew. I had been working at the Provincetown Playhouse on Cape Cod. It was my day off and suddenly there was a French Canadian girl following me around. She was very nice and we spent the day together, the evening and eventually went to sleep somewhere around the playhouse. We didn't have sex, we just knocked around and did things. I remember I woke up in the middle of the night and she was staring at me, eyes wide open. I spoke to her but she didn't answer. She was asleep. She slept withy her eyes open. I remembered hearing about people who did that. It was strange. I went back to sleep. When I woke and went back to work she disappeared. I never knew her name. What a strange memory to have. It happened over 50 years ago. And why did it suddenly come back to me?
What it tells me is that there are things and people in that bag of trash that will come out to be looked at and thrown out or saved and that I probably don't need to go searching for them.
That experience quite unnerved me. I went for a walk in the cold and rain. As I can tell I'm still having trouble getting rid of the bag of junk I brought with me when I moved. The only time I feel alright is when I'm typing. It's logical and therefore calming. As someone said I'm putting the pieces of the puzzle back together after an upheaval. There's a strange paradox here. It doesn't matter what goes on around me here, It's unimportant. But it's the only thing going on around me. Meanwhile I'm trying to sort through the thoughts, emotions, point of view about this and that, memories, and find the right place in my head and my heart for the things that need a home while I look at the same chaos with my material belongings. I don't want to do either. I've never felt this way before that I can remember. I hope I'm not losing my mind.
I think Bruce had the best solution. He told me to read a novel of far away places. So I read some philosophy. I'm searching for the campfires of those gentle people. Haven't found them yet.
DB - Vagabond
Never give up.