Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Shake it baby

You were very much on my mind while I camped. No cell service, I was left to my thoughts and my marble notebook. Whatever attempt I made at creative visualization of us in that place was pretty much subsumed by my need to be there, then, fully in it, an almost psychedelic experience, and yeah, I was smoking some superlative bud but it was beyond being stoned and it lingered well past when the effects of the pot subsided. It was only after I settled into the business of building a fire and preparing food that I broke open my manifestation journal.

Ah, the soft hush of susurration, the sybaritic sighs of trees as wind caresses leaves.

Writing that purple prose motivated me into the woods to gather fuel. My hands are still scabbed in various places due to getting too agro on busting shit up. Brought back enough to burn out just as I was ready for bed.

I made this, all by myself! With just wood, a Bic lighter, and some old newspaper!

Alone, the church group split about 45-minutes ago. Knees turned away from the fire, sipping a cold beer, listening to the fire, frogs, crickets, the lonely call of a horny bull elk, my mindfulness was ripped to shreds that I might just throw this journal into the fire, give up on all this manifesting woo-woo bullshit, burn it like a losing lottery ticket. Lie to myself by thinking this was just me creating a sand painting or a sidewalk chalk masterpiece.

When the wood was reduced to glowing coals, I gave myself to the stars above. There was no reason for a rain fly and the sheer netting topping my tent allowed those stars to be my nightlights.

Just after dawn, I was thinking about the Ring of Fire as I ground my coffee, lit my stove, watched oatmeal bubble and steam. My phone had been reduced to a clock and it told me that I had about seven hours before the eclipse.

The shadow of the eclipse briefly darkened the canyon but there was no way to witness the event. My glacier sunglasses weren’t good enough to view it anyway. Honestly, I felt like I didn’t miss anything I haven’t seen before but I know that were you there with me, we would have hiked up the rim of the canyon and watched the ring of fire with our two-dollar Walmart eclipse glasses. Solo, I chickened out, going as far as the dry creek bed that creased the canyon only to realize I hadn’t set up any cairns for finding my way back. After backtracking and to make it back to the forest’s edge my munchies were so powerful—despite all the trail mix I’d eaten at that point—I decided to return to camp and make a burger or two. Ultimately, there was no hike to the canyon rim and I probably saved my eyes from permanent retinal damage due to thinking my sunglasses were fit for staring at the sun.

We’ll leave that there as I was interrupted by PB (peanut butter, Patty & Billy) dropping by, which of course resulted in my PI, Peppermint Patty, and omg gathered within the gazebo to share stories, smoke weed and laugh often. I was genuinely touched when they told me they were concerned for my mental health, worried my solo trip to the mountains might be a death wish due to reading this and determining I could be depressed.

Fortunately, my retinas are unscathed.

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