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Posts Tagged ‘motion’

-AUTHOR’S NOTE: Thanks for the poll responses!  As the writing progresses, I have many new thoughts about formatting and the overall layout of the novel.  Things might change up a little bit here and there, as I settle in to the tone and direction of the stories.  Thanks for your patience!  And for those of you who are interested, I have simultaneously started writing about the writing process as I do this.  Feel free to read alongside! http://theblankpagedwriter.wordpress.com/  Cheers!-

He came home, opened the door, as if he knew (and he did know) that the dog was right behind the door, tirelessly wriggling his whole body in anticipation of that door.  They didn’t skip a beat; after a jolly reunion they headed straight for the thin but well-worn footpath.  

            What a particularly annoying day at work, and an extra loud day on the bus.  Thank god for this walk, just two minutes in and my heart starts to beat faster in happy exhilaration from moving my legs, from breathing crisp air, from escaping the squeeze of man-made things.  I’ve got to get a new doctor- that shmuck doesn’t even know what’s good for me.  High blood pressure. Bah. 

The afternoon sun is lower on the horizon.  The nights are producing more and more dew, until one morning we will wake up to white-edged frost painting every jagged leaf and pine.  Makea runs to the right somewhere, her wet nose just barely skimming the surface of the padded ground.  Shafts of sunlight stand tilted between trunks of douglas firs and pasty aspensThe trees have mostly dropped all their cones, as if they were women tossing handkerchiefs at a military parade.  Clay looks at them, and lost in recounting the day, the leaf litter blurs behind his thoughts.

 Pine cones. That little kid kept asking me questions about pine cones today.  He just had to ditch the family outing and interrupt me while I was raking. Reaching into my piles of leaves and needles and holding up a cone, asking me what tree it was from.  Asking what they were for and why they were shaped that way and why some were different colors and why why why why until I shouted at him to go buy a book about pine cones.  His eyes got big and he looked like he might cry and then- I can’t believe it- he started asking more questions!  Where do you buy books about pine cones and do I have one he could borrow and do I like my job and…I mean, I guess the kid had some good questions.  But it was as if his parent’s had never shown him a tree before.  And I’m not about to give the kid a lesson in plant reproduction. 

            He continued hiking up to one of his favorite spots- a grove of aspens in the folded v of a valley.  It was almost perfectly hidden from the trail, and from where he sits, the buzz of the town has completely faded to silent.  He savors the quiet, as if it were a tangible thing to taste on his tongue. His fingers soak into the spongy moss; and he smiles at the sensation that the ground softly gives way to his weight.  The breeze pushes the leaves into making a shushing sound and  gently tumbles through his hair

              It’s amazing the things I miss even when just walking on the trail.  As soon as I stop moving I hear the chick-a-dee-dee-dee singing and I see a nuthatch hopping in curls around a thick branch. Alright, so a plane flies overhead, you can’t completely escape.  But this is where I fit.  Every living thing around me knows its place and purpose and the good sense not to ask why or try and take more than what they need.  No more, no less- this is my definition of equality. 


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(Is that an intentional action, or do you just nor prefer to do yard work when it’s so similar to what you do for a living?)

Both, I guess.  I’m definitely a firm believer in supporting habitat for native and migrating animals.  The best way to create a healthy and natural place for them to eat and find shelter is to maintain indigenous plant and tree life.  Which doesn’t require much work because those are the species that want to live here anyways.  Plus I think the tall grasses and spindly trees and rocky creek beds of this area are beautiful.  Much more so than a perfectly green lawn and symmetrical beds of store-bought flowers and a team of hired labor to come on Sunday mornings and run lawn-mowers and leaf-blowers and edge-trimmers and all that junk.  But I do do a little garden work.  I grow a few tomatoes and lettuce and beans.   It’s nicer to walk out back and grab some of that for dinner than shove my way through the over-bright and over-crowded grocery store stocked with way too much food that people don’t eat.  Like cacao covered juju berries and crap like that for about $40 an ounce.  I’m sure that’s an “essential part of my nutrition.”  Keep me away from all that noise.  That’s another reason I keep my property wild – when I’m finally back from all the racket of the streets and highways, lord knows I don’t need to start raising a ruckus of my own.

(So, do you live far away from where you work?)

Well. Yes.

I love where I live, and I love where I work.  And the only problem is the distance between them.   Most people commute to work, but I’ve been there before, and I can’t stand the thought of being another mindless drone on the road, a part of the endless line of rubber on asphalt.  While driving, I tune out to everything around me, sheltered by the bubble of my car, aware of only my own insular thoughts.  When you’ve driven a route thousands of times, you don’t even have to consciously turn the blinker on for your exit.  And don’t even get me started on single occupancy drivers in their gas-powered tanks.  Talk about waste.  So I swore to myself that I would never do that again.  And now I take the bus to work.  Sure, it adds a lot of time to my commute, but I don’t mind.  The refreshing walk to and from the bus stop.  Saving myself from the hassle of trips to the DMV.  And I even get to sit by the big window and watch the world swirl.  Tree branches melt together with people and bikes and sunshine and clouds in the window, like they were thrown together in a big blender, complete with the sound of rumbling. And then I step off and breath new un-circulated air and head to work; rubber boots on, hat in hand.   At the end of the day, I walk to the stop on the other side of the street.  It’s actually one of my favorite parts of the day.  Most people who take this bus complain that the line doesn’t come often enough, that they are petitioning for more pickup times.  But I enjoy the wait.  There’s a huge cottonwood tree right by the bench, its leaves flutter down to sit next to me.  Birds come and go like tenants in a New York city apartment, and squirrels display acrobatics like monkeys in the tropics.  And trees, well, maybe I have more trees for friends than the average person, but trees just exude a sense of calm and steadfastness that I have come to really appreciate as an antidote to speeding traffic and the impatience of plastic.

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I only have an hour, is that okay? I serve on two non-profit boards, am acting as a financial consultant to a handful of people, am in the process of bidding on a few properties, have had the largest client base of my career, and am diving in to a new hobby of website design so I’m sorry if I seem rushed to find time to even eat a sandwich.

A lot of people would see my schedule and shudder.  Do you want to take a look?  Okay, here’s my Google calendar –ahooh! looks like I just got that email response I’ve been waiting for- okay sorry, so here’s the calendar…  Now see, I can flip through the next few weeks and there’s nothi-wait- here’s a two hour break on the 13th maybe I can call Jen back and tell her I could meet up then, great.  I love my iPhone, see how easy all that was? Just a tiny flick of the fingers and email, phone calls, planners, camera, music, weather, shopping, I mean whatever is right there immediately, it’s probably why I’ve been so successful and busy lately because it just streamlines everything, so that’s definitely the answer to your question: I use my free time to fill up my free time with other stuff.  I love being busy, I love making contacts and networking and communicating with people.  We live in such a unique time in human history- never before has an individual been able to instantly talk with someone across the globe connect with complete strangers on a shared experience via the web sell and buy goods internationally without ever physically exchanging currency musicians and artists and writers can share their creations with millions of people governments and businesses can update policies fluidly.  I could go on, but the idea still blows my mind: we are part of this ever-flowing and constantly adapting and interchanging current of ideas and energy.

So you clearly have enthusiasm for networking and the advance of digital development.  But there has to be something you enjoy outside of work. 

Of course.  I guess my response sounds a little overkill. Yes, there are lots of things I enjoy outside of work like  I always feel great after a forty-five minute run at the gym I like to travel to big cities -I actually live a little ways outside of town, the house my partner and I bought was just too beautiful to pass up and besides, it’s not too long of a drive to downtown- but I always get a thrill from the speed and anonymity of sky scrapers and buses and concrete one of my favorite parts of the day is when I get up (really early) and brew a cup of dark, fragrant, arid coffee and  I sit beside the glass wall of the kitchen and read the NY times on my phone as the mug steams up a soft-sided, egg-shaped section of the window.  Often I see a neighbor woman who gets up early too.  She either likes to sit in one spot in her kitchen all day (I can’t imagine!) or has some physical disability and can’t stand and I only guess this because sometimes I come home from lunch and still see her sitting there.  Speaking of sitting, I’ve got to get up and go Thanks so much for your time and your questions I look forward to continuing this chat did I mention I really support your public radio station?  I believe I donated this year let me check hmmm yes here it is great  keep it up good bye!

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Of course.  Actually, I have several.  The first that comes to mind is: “Life is movement; it is a quest to widen our hearts and our consciousness.”   Which reminds me what this Central American priest once said, I don’t remember it verbatim, that the horizon gets farther away with each step you take. But that is what the horizon is for…to keep walking.  I love these concepts of motion being a key aspect to life.  I get antsy just thinking about it, like I have to run outside and build or change something.  I actually can’t stay in one place very long without getting anxious, I transferred to a new college halfway through my bachelor’s degree, I love to travel, I love to move.

This is great, what a privilege to be able to explain my thoughts and ideas for other people to listen.  I feel that so many people have great ideas and inspiring thoughts that just never get heard in the global commotion.  Giving people a voice, man, that is really something I believe in- service and justice and good old-fashioned helping out our fellow mankind.

I am leaving in a few weeks to volunteer at an orphanage in Costa Rica.  I’m really thrilled to be a part of this organization that believes in sustainability and responsibility, to be part of a new project that is centered around educating children about world issues and politics so they can grow up to be informed and productive citizens.  Mark Aggrand, world changer!  Wow, I can’t wait to get started.  I have thought long and hard about where and how to serve; I don’t want my time to be about giving handouts to the needy.  That’s another one of my credos:  “If you have come to help me you are wasting your time.  But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together…”  We are all one human race, right?  I don’t speak perfect Spanish, and my background is certainly very different from these kids I’ll be working with.  But I still consider them my neighbors in the wider sense of the word. And I think we are personally responsible to help each of our neighbors when they are in need.  Again, we’re all one human race, let’s help each other out.

The other quote I think about often is “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”  I just think that most people get so complacent and stuck in these ruts; they lose their sense of adventure and discovery.  I hope I always am hungry for answers and knowledge; I hope I am always foolish like a little kid trying new things or pushing the limits.  This lifestyle is much more appealing to me than paper pushing and mortgages; there is so much out there to discover! I don’t have time to stay here spinning my wheels!

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