Once a journey is designated, equipped, and put in process new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. Tour masters, schedules, reservations, brass-bound and inevitable, dash themselves to wreckage on the personality of the trip. Only when this is recognized can the blown-in-the-glass bum relax and go along with it. Only then do the frustrations fall away. In this a journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it. I feel better now, having said this, although only those who have experienced it will understand it.
-John Steinbeck - Introduction- Travels with Charley
It's 3 o'clock in the morning and I'm oddly wide awake (and hungry). I'm in L.A. and I feel a little wired and shell shocked from an overload of visual, sensory, and physical stimuli. Albeit a short visit, it feels real good to be home.
I received the above in an email with a note "made me think of the three of you." --- The email actually had 2 other paragraphs before the one I put here, however it was this paragraph that resonated with my current state of being and mind.
I am on the battlefield. The bounty - Sanity. Control, severely wounded by Circumstance's coup, is considering it's surrender. This battle is a very old and never-ending one that strikes at the core of me since it is my nature to try and assume control of everything, always. So to be more specific, the particular war at hand is a mental one pertaining to my current situation, which therein lies the problem. For it is insanely delusional to think that I have any control (other than complete removal) of the circumstances of my current journey. I do not. Control, to my ego's dismay, will desist. It's power is only perceived power, a defense mechanism - faulty at best.
Expectations succumbed to Reality (the first war waged). And days leading up to my present hills departure, Balance challenged Perception; the bounty - my higher self. Upon my descent back into the middle of buttfuck nowhere, the duel will commence. The outcome to be determined.
I am rooting for Balance.
Per·cep·tion - (defined)
A single unified awareness derived from sensory processes while a stimulus is present.
The stimulus in this case are the hills themselves for they have been the catalyst of my decadence. Don't get me wrong, I do not feel like I'm in a bad place and other than the need to go into headphones, write, do yoga, or indulge my psyche in an impulsive psyche scream - all is well overall.
Two noteworthy things about the hills and my current situation :
1) "There is not a filter on feelings, there is a filter on facts"
2) "When you fall off the wagon, you roll."
Balance and Perception is a tricky war to wage. It almost feels like the chicken or the egg conversation, however in writing this I had to figure which came first so I could firmly decide my position. Out of the hills I've come to the conclusion that Perception is the feeling, Balance the facts. The trick is to not perceive myself (or the situation) as being balanced just because of the circumstances. Granted after being in the hills for 6 weeks, working almost everyday at the minimum of 12 hours a day, and having no outside contact to the "real" world - self indulgence seems like a rather harmless and well justified vice. However, it is faulty reasoning like that that has advocated my decadent behavior and brings us to head with the war at hand.
How one perceives things ultimately depends on an individuals state of mind, making balance relative. In the hills, balance is purely relative. Balance can be (erroneously) perceived, but true balance within oneself is a way of daily living that requires constant execution of weighted and well thought out decisions followed through with corresponding actions. It is the consistency of these balanced decisions & actions that ultimately result in the ability to perceive things with full clarity.
For the sake of my higher self, my clarity, my well being - Balance you must win and then conquer Circumstance.
...Oh Steinbeck is shaking is head, asking me if I've learned anything at all.
Well, I guess not, I'm still fighting.