I am about to begin my journey home. Almost everything is put away and the trailer is hitched up (I never did unhitch); all I have to do now is climb in and start up the engine. It was a good trip. Even though I was with my brother and his friends, I spent a lot of time by myself. I read some and I wrote some and I listened to music and I walked and I rode my bike. I took in the good Willamette Valley air under cover of giant oaks, just like ours, but older and over miles and miles. Last night it was so clear; the stars were lovely and David and I kept the fire going until 10 or so. I slept well and ate well and it was easy to be good. I have some Easter surprises for both of you that I hope you will like.
Just before I leave I am thinking about how grateful I am for both of you, and how thankful I am that you both were willing to (maybe even happy to) have me out of the house, let me do my thing, allow me this space to travel both outward and inward. I love you both. I am enriched beyond words having the two of you in my life, challenging me and growing me toward this hidden wholeness.
Somewhere between asceticism and an orgy of consumerism and excess lies the middle way. I must confess I have not found it yet. I tend to waffle in my struggle to find the center. Against my better judgment I tend to err toward excess. Here I am camping in comparative luxury with my new trailer and my new truck, and yet I am abstaining from alcohol, sugar, carbs, grains, dairy, beans, any thing artificial or processed. I continue to meditate daily. I fantasize about tiny houses. Living more simply. After seeing the film “Minimalism,” I have thought about whether I could reduce my closet down to 30 pieces of clothing, including socks, underwear, pants, shirts, shorts, and coats. I keep doing the math. It doesn’t add up. I must keep my disco pants and my disco shorts and my disco hoodie and my disco bowtie. That’s four. There are things too difficult to give up. And that’s the project, isn’t it? What can you live without? What’s necessary? Who do you love? Do they know? What hurts? What helps? Are you prepared to find the center out and hold on loosely, loosely, but for dear life? Beckett: We try, fail, fail again, fail better. I’m failing my way toward the middle.
- in which Michael almost gives up on the trip before calling neighbor Dave to help him hitch up the trailer to the stupid van
- in which Michael and his son Emerson and their new dog Tana embark on the first father-son-dog trip with the T@B
- in which it snows and rains a lot, but still opportunities occur for long walks with the dog, dog park action, and even a few solitary moments
- in which Michael gets along with his son swimmingly, but is bugged by how easily he is bugged and wishes he could stop
- in which Michael, late on a January night way too cold and wet for a campfire, turns his son on to the X-files
Here’s a late posting of a blog entry I started to write way back in January after my son and I went on our first camping trip together with the T@B. I wrote the little blurby-blurb thing above but never got around to fleshing it out and posting pictures from our lovely little winter trip to L. L. Stubb Stewart State Park.
I don’t know if there’s anything else to say that isn’t neatly and concisely expressed in the above blurb bullets, but I do want to attach some pictures for general perusal and make a promise that I will be better and more timely about posting entries in the T@B Diary series for whoever might be interested. This memorial day, next weekend, we have planned our next trip! Meanwhile, here are some pictures of the Jarmer boys and their dog.