Conjuring the Past, What has Passed
Though going to Phoenix was totally unplanned, it became a place of conjuring up my past. I spent most of a weekend with my cousin, Scott, and his partner, Michelle, at their house, and got to meet their daughter, Christine, and their grandson. Scott lived with my immediate family when we were kids, and, of course, we talked a lot about old times. He also showed me what he does for his work, now, helping to develop neighborhood lay-outs with computer schemata. Scott sent me off with some clothes and food for the road.
The day before I left Phoenix I was doing email at the ASU campus, and a high-school classmate, Don, emailed me and said his office was on the campus, a couple blocks from where I was! It turns out he teaches Russian at ASU! I hadn't seen Don since high school, 30 years ago! I only got to talk to him for a half hour, since he had a class to teach. But we learned quite a bit about each other in that 30 minutes.
Seeing old family and friends reminds me how fleeting life is. Seems like common sense, but we constantly forget. Funny how we put so much stock into passing vapors and the castles we build on crests of waves. When I get worried, or when I think the injustice of society is overwhelming, I remind myself it takes a galaxy hundreds of millions of years to make one revolution! Our nations, our religions, our institutions, and our philosophies are blinks in time. We're like gnats, soon swatted by the Cosmic Hand. We often think we and our systems are the center of the Universe, lasting forever.
But we can forgive ourselves, because our perceived self-importance is also part of nature, a tricky play of the Universe! And the dissolving of our illusion of self-importance, our Dis-Illusion, is the Grand Finale of the Play! Disillusionment happens to every single one of us, but is either heaven or hell to each of us, depending on whether or not we are willing to Let Go, give up all possession. Dis-illusion is breaking of illusion (Crucifixion) into Reality. Reality is Eternal. It wouldn't be Reality if it weren't! And Reality is Hell if we run from Reality. Reality is Heaven if we fully embrace Reality. But the paradox is, if we are desiring heaven or fearing hell, we are running from Reality.
Inch-by-Inch, Back to Moab
Besides the above happenings, and hanging out with Claire, her house-mate Dave, and her friends, my life in Phoenix was fairly non-eventful. I felt it was time to go.
Dave's friend, Kevin, was driving them to Durango, Colorado, last Thursday, so I decided to ride with them as far as Shiprock, New Mexico, and camped in the woods there. Next morning a Navajo couple gave me a ride as far as Cortez, Colorado in the back of their pick-up. A young woman took me to Dove Creek, CO. She was studying to be a nurse. She and her mom take excess clothes from thrift stores and distribute them where needed, and they also pick up stray animals and shelter them. Obviously, she picks up stray humans, too. After raiding a dumpster for food in Dove Creek, I got a ride to Monticello with a local who lived there. I slept in the hammock in the woods there. The next morning I walked out to the highway and didn't get a chance to put my pack down when a guy named Felipe stopped for me and took me to Moab. Felipe was from Houston and had never been through Utah before, and was awe-stricken by the landscape.
I must say, this time I now feel way burned out on hitch-hiking, and am glad to be back in Moab. The first person I ran into was my houseless friend, Harold, who talked me into going to the free Sunday Brunch put on by Wabi Sabi thrift store.
Then I headed up the canyon to set up camp, where I holed up in the cave a couple nights as a cold front blew in. I can't describe the relief I felt being in the wilderness. I upgraded the flue on the wood stove I had made form a cookie tin, sealing it with river mud, so there was no more leaking smoke in the cave. It's toasty warm in there. I also went back to a "seep" where I've gotten water and found its source is a regular bubbling spring, so I don't have to worry about critters trampling in my water. I feel so blessed up there.
It's good to see old friends back in town. Today, Carolyn was fired up about getting together with John M and me to brainstorm on ideas of creating alternatives to the money system. I don't want to blog about them unless we actually start doing those things.
Los Angeles Review
Since I couldn't post photos before, here's a photo review of my time in LA:
|Eric and Grace|
|Jayme, Isaac, Eric, Jen|
|Isaac, Jen, Jayme, me, Jeromy|
|Veronica, Celina, me|
|Jayme, Paul, Jen, Isaac|