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Another Year


Not As Much Fun As I Look
Staff member
Premium Member
I was a bit disappointing today.

He wanted me to want something, to go, to seek, to desire. "What do you want to do? We can go anywhere, or do anything." While I understood(perhaps more than he did)that this offer was more limited than he wanted it to be, I found I had no urge to go, to do, to see. I didn't even have a meal to request. But, I guess if we have to do something...

"I guess lets go to the woods" I said. "Sure!" He was enthusiastic now. "We can drive to this city, or maybe over here..." he rambled on until I cut him off. "Nah. I just want to go to the ones around here." He was a bit let down, and said so.

The last year's been pretty rough on me. I've been testing and pushed to my limits, with nothing to show for it(perhaps coming out with less than I had before). I've lost more sleep than I could afford, spent more energy than I had. I'm exhausted. Somewhere along the line, I just stopped wanting(other than perhaps a good night's sleep). I lost desire for the search, lost interest in my food. I bounced in and out of survival mode, and the only goal I could muster was to just keep going. Tempered with the loneliness of an often restricted life, I learned to be content with what is, because pining over what one doesn't have will drive a person nuts.

So I said I was fine with the woods nearby, and I meant it.

Dad brought a cake, mom forgot again(she seems to every year). My son came home from school and said he didn't want to go, so the rest of us went without him. I parked at a different end this time, knowing it would be the same trail I always tread, but was still curious about what I might see going about it a different way. It ran beside the same creek I've swam in for years, a familiar sight. One that's become a little emotional as I watch it become more and more shallow(now to a point my youngest can walk across it).

The interstate echoed out as we approached. Iowa's not known for having real deep woods, and this is no exception. Simply a stretch of greenbelt, it dances in and out of urban areas as needed. I was aware the trail went under the interstate bridge, and prepared myself for the somewhat loud experience.

My eyes aren't as good as they used to be. I could see there was graffiti, which wasn't remarkable. Most bridges around here do. I got a little closer, and the purple letters still seemed unremarkable. I casually looked... "Om Namah Shivaya". I looked again. Yeah, it really said that. "Hare Rama, Hare Krishna" it declared, loud and bold. An 'om' symbol was painted over the top of it, blending beautifully with graffiti that had faded long before.

My heart glimmered with happiness for a moment, feeling like Shiva, Krishna, and Rama were actually nearby. This was a very unusual thing to come across in this area. The nearest temple is an hour away, and other than my former doctor, I've never met another Hindu here. I wondered who wrote it, and wondered if I'd ever run across them on the trail, and share "namaste". The blue of the sky seemed like Krishna's shining face, and I felt content. I said nothing. I walked on.

Moving through the sand in bare feet(there are few pleasures I enjoy more), I became focused on the sensation, and the sounds of the creek. I would have missed the next sight, had he not said anything. I stopped to see the trunk of a long fallen tree... with a tiny couch. Tiny beds. Little books. A fantasy house, all built into this rotting trunk... And I was suddenly transported back to the world of my younger years, leaving offerings for the fae, being alive to the land spirits. I could feel them here with me, too.

We walked on a little more, and then decided to turn back. Kids were getting hungry.

I guess I'm not so alone, after all.

(Please be mindful this is a journal, not a debate!)