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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

It's A Winter Thing...

It's a winter thing, a vague oppressed feeling that's difficult to explain. Impatience, maybe, a longing for longer days and shorter nights. Winter sedates the clock, if not the calendar. From this wretched annual tomb springs a longing to shed my skin... cage, decorum... clothes... and throw caution to the minus 20 wind-chill. Memories of youth float to the surface like oil on water, teasing... taunting. I hear Janis, her ashes and spirit reach out from the cold, blue Pacific. She bawls, "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose," and "I'd trade all my tomorrows for just one yesterday... Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy..." 

What happened to Mr Anti-Establishment? Where did that long-haired guy go? Not so much as a Peace Sign trinket or tie dyed tee shirt left over from those golden olden days. "The times they are a changin." 

"Anchors" have a way of keeping us in "port" during the best years of our lives. Stones gather moss, instead of rolling. We traded VW vans and bugs for climate controlled comfort zones, with air bags to cushion reality. Oh, we still shoot up once in a while, but with disposable needles and Botox. It masks the decades of tedium in port, irrevocably etched on our now expressionless faces. Sometimes memories and choices made weigh on my metaphorical chest like an elephant, and I can hardly breathe. 

The longing grows as the calendar slows during winter. My soul wants to find a dark hole and hibernate. What a gift, hibernation. It is a complex longing I speak of... one fueled by darkness and loneliness... obligations and bucket lists and containment. "Aw, just a little post-holiday letdown," say you, "perfectly normal. Quit whining." Then says I, "You, my well balanced and privileged friend, don't have a clue. Good for you. So as to what is about to follow, you might want to take your lack of understanding and skip to the pretty pictures... now. "Have a nice day."

Now that there are mostly empty chairs in the "room," I'd like the remaining few to move on down to the front row so we can be cozy and casual. That's better.

Where was I? Oh yes, the "longing" I speak of. As you can see by it's "menu," it's usually found in those blessed/cursed with restless spirit syndrome. It's a feeling of wanting to throw off "chains" and embark on a New Journey to an un-calculated destination... which is just another way of saying, "we never arrive." If it truly is The Journey, after all, and not "The Destination," that would make more sense, wouldn't it? Some plants just don't put down deep roots, and, like the giant saguaro cacti, are easily toppled in the wind. They don't do well in the cold, either. 

Our closest friends and family wonder what we are running away from. Only those in the "room" can understand... that it's not so much running away from something as it is running to something else... something novel, previously unimagined... something that "waters" long dormant seeds of creative expression. It is only through creative expression that we can shake the "demons" of complacency. Yes, complacency and contentment are our "demons," while, for the the others who left the room, they are honorable retirement goals. Bahhh. If this runs over your toes, then you should have left the room when I told you to.
More and more, winter leaves me feeling like I've have exhausted my surround... that I am repeating all too familiar circles... that there is no new ground breaking under foot or wheel. "I need a new drug." I need an unfamiliar landscape in an un-calculated destination... an enriched human experience... a New Journey. I imagine possibilities for new destinations and couple them with different forms of creative expression. It reignites old passions and stirs the coals of new ones. Do we not hear the "clock?" Does the Bell toll for everyone else but us? 

So I pass this on to you few people still left in the room. Let's dream anew with the honorable words, "Once upon a time, long ago and far away, in a deep forest, there lived a child" much like you..." 


  1. I like to be the last one to leave the room, its kinda of like a box of chocolates.
    I must say I think the Garden of Eden will never again be visited by us, but never stop looking.

  2. One word, "Europe". Get out of your comfort zone!

    Love your thoughtful posts and fabulous photos.

    Annette in Omaha

  3. For me, it's not just a winter thing that leads to questioning the restless pensive feelings agitating in my soul. They are there all the during all seasons and reasons but they are layered with business of more active times. Loved seeing more of Bobbie's paintings.... maybe I shall paint again someday.

    I am still in the room. Your writings touch my inner wander.

  4. Maybe we need to give in and hibernate and live in the "now" and not fight it. I have been reading some Zen books and this is where my thoughts are now. Or, on the other hand, don't think about money and what-ifs and just take off for the unknown.

  5. Walden Creek RV steveJanuary 15, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    As you might realize- I would probably still be in the room after even you left! (time for ideas to sink in) And also the fact that I know some cold ones would be shared during rant makes the class even more comfortable- why would I leave? I know Brian- John Q -Marathon man Boonie-and a few more die-hards would have a few remarks to consider.-Main difference is after class I am heading back to beach after all this winter references-

  6. The days are getting longer, January is almost half over, and the Tucson forecast calls for sunny and 70 in a few days. Run! Don't look back. :^D -scamp

  7. Well, I just whittled away some winter minutes watching all your videos - that was fun! I could just feel myself bouncing along on my bike :O) I'm just awaiting the groundhog....won't be long!

  8. Well Jeez Louise, Mark, get going on south and get outta that icebox of Ouray, beautiful as it is. It's going to start warming up, so time to hit the road.

    You can't fix the wanderin' bug by sittin' in front of the fireplace. Now git!

  9. Hi Mark,
    if I could add on to anonymous, who suggested Europe to cure your winter blahs. If you all really want to have your minds blown, a la 1967, save up and spend a month in India.Snake charmers, holy men, great fresh fruit, rivers full of half cremated human skeletons,elephants,disease,curry,
    the Himalayas, mind blowing beaches....you and Bobbie would never be the same.

  10. When the itchy desire to move on encroaches my biggest decision is where.
    Get off the roller coaster if you don't like the ride.

  11. "Once upon a time, long ago and far away, in a deep forest, there lived a child" much like you..."

    ... and the kid quietly spoke; "You don't understand me, and refuse to accept what is different than you. You try to force me onto YOUR path. Luck with that."

    He climbed onto his big Red Yamaha and looking back said; "You do what you want with YOUR life. But I gotta RIDE!"

    Then his taillights disappeared down the two lane... and he knew not where he was headed... and he cared not... ONLY, that he was GOING. :)

  12. When contemplating how I would answer James Lipton's set of questions, my answers never waver:

    "What is your favorite word?" EXPLORATION!

    "What is your least favorite word?"

    "Once upon a time, long ago and far away, in a deep forest, there lived a child who lived to explore...new experiences, new places, new ideas to stimulate the senses. Even if the exploration had to be through Mark's blog." ;-)


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