Friday, January 11, 2008

Long Overdue

What in the world has been going on that could justify such a lengthy absence from contributing to my blog? Well, truth be told... nothing. There is no sufficient justification for my non-production.

I opted for other projects, I guess. Somewhat, anyway. I mean, yes I am alive and doing things... but my most common chore of late has been avoidance. Lots of video games, naps, watching sporting events or movies... All part of avoiding the work that I supposedly have such passion for...

But enough already of the self critical and self mutilation. Onward!

I had approached this blogging endeavor as a means for regularly developing my "story." My book. My memoir.

But as much as I enjoy the act of writing and recounting events and thoughts in my life, I resist the regular practice. Routine is just so confining, unnatural, bland.

Whatever. Excuses, elaborate or not, they all amass and conspire to allow my procrastination.

Again. ONWARD!

I'm overwhelmed by the project of recounting my experiences in Greece. Where to start? What to include from my background-- the shared background of my college friend and myself; the experimentation and exploration of developing world views and maturations that we shared.

Again. More non-specific superficial speculation that avoids the task at hand. Good gravy, it's such a pervasive habit!!!

To recollect... I can remember considering the trip to Greece as a "once in a lifetime" sort of experience. And now, I only hope that it's true, at least on the subject of manic episodes... But so many things converged at that point in my life that I think my recollection and the diagnosis of what happened is a watered-down, simplified "theory" of the truth.

Going back to a time when I was living in Sacramento with my college roommate, in the early 90's, I can remember a time where I was struggling with my future direction, my focus, and feeling the stress of impending debts that I had no income for. I sunk deeply inside myself, searching for a course of action. I had experienced a similar situation soon after leaving college and relocating to Sacramento with a friend from high school. I was groping around in the dark with my eyes closed, so to speak, trying to find my calling, my passion. I did a lot of writing then; writing for writing's sake. And I started to build some confidence. But the chink in my armor was that I didn't have a steady income.

I had the opportunity to spend some time at a Squaw Valley resort around this time, and did so enthusiastically. Among some of the things we did while there was hiking some of the surrounding nature trails. I can remember going out by myself, retracing some of the hike that we had been guided along earlier, my mind filled with deliberation and quandary about what I was going to do with my life when I returned to "reality," mainly how was I going to find a job to pay my bills. I stopped along one of the trails and found a rock about the size of my fist. I picked it up, without words analyzing my actions or surroundings. There was just a feeling of purpose, of something more profound than the sum of the parts-- my mind, the rock, the trail, nature, life, economic forces, etc. I crouched and placed the stone at the edge of the trail, in a little cranny that seemed to have been waiting for exactly that size rock to be placed there. There were still no words of significance dancing in my mind; only a significant feeling of purpose, of meaning, of righteousness.

It was soon after returning to "reality" that my life changed significantly-- I got a job through a temp agency which led to a permanent position, and I was off and running.

So later, after I had been laid off from the job, my unemployment benefits were running out, and I took a job that I soon realized caused me more distress that I could handle, I got in my truck and drove. I had no destination; I was just searching for direction. I drove for hours, ending up in a remote area east of Yosemite Valley. I pulled over and got out of the truck. The lack of noise was significant. No vehicles on the road, no planes in the air, no distant highway noise or urban landscape machinations.

On the side of the road, there sat a large boulder, roughly the size of a conventional washing machine. It's surface was pocked with divots from years of erosion. I knelt down and picked up a pebble and placed it in one of the small pockets at the top of the boulder, in much the same way I had done on the trail back in Squaw Valley. Again, it was all action and no conscious thought, at least in terms of verbal commands or premeditated and vocalized actions inside my head before acting. The pebble fit nicely into the pocket, and I felt a peaceful justification in having placed it there. I then returned to my truck and drove back home.

Soon after, I would change my life dramatically by moving back to the Bay Area to live with my parents, and found a job with the City of Santa Clara.

So. As you may have already guessed, I had a similar, unrehearsed, and unconscious but significant "ritualistic" occurrence while visiting Greece.

About this I will write more soon.


Suzy said...

I am glad you are writing again and also glad that you chose the path to come to Santa Clara. I, for one, benefitted from that immensely.

Deb said...

It has been awhile...glad to see you are back on track.

I find that the placement of the rocks analogous to what we do everyday. We are constanly trying to make things "fit" in our lives.

Keep writing, and I'll keep reading.

Gerri said...

I, too, am glad you are writing again. I always enjoy reading what you write.

I have been writing, too. I started with the autobiograhphy I did while attending USF and went through and made notes where I wanted to expand on the subject. I want to have some of the history written down for the family...not just my point of view, but my brothers' and sister, too.

David said...

You always liked rocks. Even as a small boy you collected rocks. Deb got rocks for Christmas one time. It may be that Santa meant to give them to you. Oh well, there is always next Christmas...Rock On...