Category Archives: Inspiration
But I have promises I have to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
- from “Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening,” by Robert Frost
Fatigued yet excited, I pushed my truck up a slithery thin road coated with sticky, humid fog. No lights along or on the road to guide, I lowered my high beams and windows, using sound and smell to help me through the most uncertain of situations: finding my campsite at a state park I’ve never been to, completely shrouded in tall pine darkness, in a state famously known for horrific acts upon humans who didn’t look like they belonged. I not only tested Fate but I mocked her, and after some back and forth on the windy roads, I found the site, my lot, and praise Allah, a full restroom with functioning showers!
Bobby Tiberius took the role of guard dog as I rinsed off the agony of Arkansas. Friggin’ Arkansas with its major construction, which the locals will appreciate and I will refuse to traverse anytime soon. My bunk, the back of the truck, with my faithful senechaux to one side, and the local radio station broadcasting from the dashboard, lulling us to quick slumber.
The following morning, I used the dictation feature of Inkpad to capture my thoughts en Existenz. Here’s my best transcription based on the choppy voice file:
8 AUGUST: I woke up this morning to the sound of chimmy chimmy chimmy chimmy, a bird I am not familiar with … [and all I can think is] it’s a great way to wake up in the morning. … it’s been a while since I’ve woken up before sunrise; got cleaned up, walked the dog, got breakfast [out of the truck,] a nice bento box of peanut butter sandwiches and fruit for breakfast. The way the sun hits the pine tree behind the picnic table, just so warm and inviting I don’t feel any anxiety here, which kind of [strengthens] the fact that I’m much more comfortable in nature then I am in society. Waldo Emerson, David Thoreau were absolutely right; the man in nature is truly complete.
Think about for a sec…you got a running shower, you’ve got gorgeous atmosphere, scenery, isolation…man! People are too afraid to go outside! That is based on fear.
If you’re one who understands that fear is a motivator, or you’ve broke past fear … use it rather as an engagement of intention, you can pull into a state park at any evening in the dark of night and feel completely at ease.
I hate that I need a cigar to wake up, but frankly I don’t have any heating element to which I can quickly make hot water to make a cup of hot tea.
So I already have it planned for next time; book lot #2 and lot #3 of the campground, which is right across from a playground with a Frisbee golf course, a beautiful walk along the side [of it.] Waking up listening [huh?? to birds, maybe?] is the life for me. For 14 dollars you can’t get that shit in a hotel! You can’t have a conversation with the gods in a hotel! (NOTE: I recall looking up into the pines taking pictures while saying this) To which makes me think that hotels are for the lonely and fearful … I think this is the best way for me to travel, feeling most at home. I can totally see me coming out here, plugging into a outlet with my laptop, writing from sunrise to sunset. The potential to imagine would be limitless, words undisturbed and I feel, [would be] of the best quality.
I noticed that my lot neighbor has a camper and a city truck and I can only assume he might be living here. (NOTE: Waved at him when he pulled off to work, so think I was talking towards him) I don’t blame you; this is perfect.
I imagine the reason why young people don’t like to camp is because they have watched too many horror movies, like they learn from what they see on the screen, and think that’s reality… equal to reality; the reality is that you can, with nature, transcend into something greater than one is used to, become truly connected. I don’t feel I can ever longer advocate for society, I certainly can [advocate for a] transcendental experience.
Imagine what it feels like to be driving, alone, after midnight in unfamiliar territory, when suddenly your GPS navigation system gives out, and the lamps inside your truck stop working. This happened to me during the wee hours of Thursday, July 24 just a few weeks ago.
The Girl Scout in me knew she needed a map, but she also knew we didn’t own one. All I knew was that I was in Georgia, alone, directionally blind in the middle of the night.
A familiar beacon, a striation of sunny yellow beams extending from a blue background and the words, “Wal-Mart.”
If ever a woman could get completely exasperated from excitement merely by reading a lit sign, it would be in the way I reacted.
Pulled in to Store #5797 and noticed first how bright and clean it was for stock hours. The design of this store is different from what I have back home, so I must’ve looked very turned around when a lovely associate stopped shelving and asked if I needed help. I asked for an atlas, and so he came up to Maranda, who, mind you, had recently lost her voice, eagerly directed me towards the atlas I own now.
Not content to leave me looking at the atlas, Maranda asked me where I was headed, and, still nervewrecked I responded, “I don’t even know where I am!”
With the sweetest delivery, she pronounced, “You’re in Albany, Georgia,” to which I sighed relief. At least I was still heading the correct direction.
Maranda called over KT, who used to frequently travel to Memphis and Little Rock. As my stop was Memphis, he showed me on the atlas which roads to take, as well as how much time it should take me to get there. Relieved, grateful, confident on my path, I bid them farewell and told them I’d write a letter to express my sincere gratitude. Of course, they said it wasn’t necessary.
Obviously, I was compelled to share my story. I appreciate Maranda and KT going the extra mile to help me find the product I needed and get me safely on the road. My navigation system eventually resolved itself, but it’s good to know this cherished atlas is in my truck with me.
Still on the road; might visit Store #5797 for snacks!
Please freely use my expression of gratitude, as long as KT and Maranda are mentioned.
With greatest appreciation,
Author, I Blew Up Juarez
..so named because I hurt myself doing these! :D
Also Warrior braids, the flats to the front are to keep wisps out the eyes while driving. The flats to the back allow me to fit a cap in sketchy places.
BUT, technique requires constant tension, thus my need to drop some ibuprofen before I get a migraine!
How do they say…? Beauty is pain? Well, so is functional hairstyling haha!
BASICS: Part bang area to desired pattern, four tails to mid scalp. The loosed nape hair finishes the tails into two sets of French braids. Set with a satin wrap and enjoy!
My foot step into the first room made a hollow noise against the centuries-old wooden floor. Instinctively I fold my arms tight across the chest, for some reason feeling very invasive in this person’s – persons? – home.
To the left, the estate sale organizers had created a three-tier shelving with boxes full of “chinch”: sewing bobbins, Christmas cards, crochet needles, rope. Before dismissing them all I land upon a box labeled, “Stationary” and proceed to shuffle through its contents.
The organizers want $8.00 for the whole box, but I decide I only want these particular parchments.
The next room I enter is full of blankets, handmade all, crocheted or quilted by the same woman who sent correspondence on Little Stinker paper. This is where I experience The Clocker. She’s the person (usually a she, sorry but it’s true!) who follows you around to see what you value so she can grab it under you. Her joy at these events is not in finding something that resonates with her, but in finding something that she took away from someone who admired it. Psycho, right? Well, she starts by placing her hand on a pile of needlepoint napkins.
“Aren’t these gorgeous?” she asks. Her hand strokes the top one, a very nicely stitched sunflower design, as her eyes widen for my response.
I give her my best, “Meh” and continue forward.
She tries another play beside the stack of boxes. “Are those cigar boxes? Ooh, I want to see one.”
I turn and find she’s right behind me, violating all personal space rules. I appease her by lifting the stack of boxes with one hand, then placing them in front of her. Before she gets a chance to play “Do you like this one?” again, I swipe out the large box from the stack and keep it moving.
My friend finds me playing with a set of binoculars. “Have you had a chance to check out the books yet?”
I adjust the focus in my left eye to stare in the room across from me. “Nope.”
She nods with that nod of, you need to check it out.
I put down the binoculars, cross into the room I was spying into for a bit before I journeyed towards the reading room. As I pass through the corridor, I notice The Clocker has found the binoculars and is busy pretending to use them.
The reading room is where I meet the gentleman of the house. Yellowed corrugated tubes line a segment of a wall. Maps. Large shipping trunks fill the center of the room; my friend’s haggling on the blue and brass one. There are measuring tools, a surveyor’s scope, and medallions from all over. A well-traveled man, the highlights of his years being the early 20th century.
My eyes circle up to the bookshelves and I observe a mixture of children’s classics, encyclopaedia, a book on house keeping, and then rows upon rows of engineering-based books. Titles like, “Metals,” “Measurements,” one simply “Engineering.” My friend happens to pass behind me, “He was into digging. You should see the big tools in the garage.” I shall.
As I skim the shelves, I put together a story of a small-town boy with an incredibly busy mind. He marries his high school sweetheart and takes right off to the oil fields, working his way from entry level to lead engineer before he’s in his 20s. He’d be gone for months, sailing the world on large frigates, learning new techniques, putting his own to practice, every once in a while sending Lulubelle (my name for the needlepointer) a gift in exchange for a letter. They were a couple that used the power of written word to keep it together, and they managed to live a long and productive life.
I smile at my happy little made-up-on-the-spot tale, then remember to pull the books I want before The Clocker finds me again.