The Cepia Club Blog

The Cepia Club Blog: The Cepia Club believes individual awareness and activism can lead to a peaceful and prosperous world. This blog contains the pertinent literature, both creative and non-fiction, produced by the Cepiaclub Director and its associates.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Day #9-Underground Freeway--Notes from the Underground

Notes from the Underground–
Underground Freeway–Day 9, May 30, 2009
by Pi Kielty

[See author’s note on Day #7 of “Underground Freeway,” about writing notes #s 7, 8, and 9 upon returning home from the “tour d-question”].

Day #9 started well and normal, normal for the previous eight days of my journey, getting enough good rest in my little home-tent far away from home. My reasons for traveling, to be clear, were because life at home, in cramped, isolated, exhausting, tireless work and living, near destroyed my optimism. Life lived as I did for five months past lost all joy. And I knew that life without any break from a dim, skeptical viewpoint, a joyless drudge of moping onward and forward without sight of a promised land flowing with acceptance, would destroy my now harpless muse, unless I discovered a simple instrument for epic renaissance. Hence, I wanted to know the question I needed to ask, in order for an answer to be found.

I packed and loaded up in under an hour my little camp settled in the small urban residential backyard, after a wakey-wake of coffee and cigarettes. I shared the 5-way good-byes between myself and Lucky’s family, all gathered on this Saturday morning. I shot some photos of them gathered on the front door stoop. I asked them to give their questions for my project. Dawes, the four year Wonder Kid, had a simplistic one word curiosity befitting his age: “Race cars?” The Squirrel, the perceptive & precocious 17-year old born when Lucky, B., and I attended university, gave us the dreaded 30, almost 40-something “mid-life crisis” question: “If there was one thing you could change about your life, what would it be and why?” B.’s question really cut the matter of what people REALLY should want to know: “What part of the chicken do the chicken nuggets come from?” Lucky, part progressive parent, part playful responsible adult, asked, “What is your opinion of spanking?”

More hugs between us all. At last I just had to force myself to leave, or end up never wanting to leave my own mental Magic Mountain, one both safe and rejuvenating, especially in my life’s most troubled thinking-times. Five days and four nights with Lucky, one of my most trusted friends, and her family, did my spirit well. With reluctance, I drove off for the Interstate highway and points north and west. Passing the exits for Hattersville, I retraced on the way up the places I passed on the way down. Lil’ Casino sounded rough, for I pushed her to get as far as she went. The round trip back, I wished, would have nothing interesting to write about in terms of the trusty green Dodge Shadow.

After several way side rests, I stopped back at Johann’s and Ursula’s, where I originally planned to stay until Day #10. They were gone for the evening, and I left them a “sign” of a rolled smoke on their patio table to let them know I passed. It was more than four days, and less than 4 weeks. Considering the condition of Lil’ Casino after a near 1000 mile run around, and not able to give up my responsible work back home, the very work that drove me to exhaustion, I thought that going home at this point more prudent. One more stop to make, in the next city, to see the Wizard, have dinner, and make the final leg to the home Farm in Ubet Corners. So, my trip to find a “Question” for me to move onward with life would end in about three hours. Close to the end, I did not have my “Question” yet; neither a serious one nor one to lighten my summer ahead. I did elicit questions from others. I might have even built a small inventory of larger questions to build some thoughtful order in my life (see previous notes on the trip, Days #1 thru #8).

The matter of it comes down to why I left home in the middle of the night nine days before my return.

Why did I take to the road? Why did not I go on the backpacking trip instead? Holy men go to mountains. Philosophers find caves and woods to their liking, only to exit as more freakish or geekish in their appearance to the world that cannot grasp the explanations of their visions. Hipsters, drifters, vagabonds, and poets go on the road, and I was a one man carnival in a clown car spouting in through a cheap camcorder lense. Less of a writer than most, I cannot be sure if my life amounts to much of anything, before trip, B.T., or after return, A.R. In going on the Freeway Underground, as past notes might explain, there existed within an “exitinctual” crisis. Not a strong inclination, but to avoid the paradox of others I love who cannot live longer, and one loved-of-all-loves who does not want to live at all, getting away for a while beats getting away from it altogether. I said to my parents and a select few of friends that I would return. I knew on going away that I would take only what I carried with me, the most heavy and cumbersome of that freight would be me myself.

Like the saying goes, wherever I go, there I am. If we as quasi-living, sub-spiritual beings try to fix ourselves in any way besides the WHO reference by real or wannabe holy men and women, the WHO being willingness, honesty and open-mindedness (Oh, my!), then humans had best declare defeat and surrender to the inevitable. All the Bugs Bunny frets of “WHO, WHAT, WHY, WHEN, WHERE, HOW–whew!”– has improved the world a damn small bit over several millennia or eons. We are all, I suspect, a lot like me, vain, egotistical, arrogant, spoiled, and rotten children pretending to live like adults when we forget that, “We are,” as Archon Larson said, “all born human; we grow up tribal;” and we need to find our humanity again. Rest in peace, Teacher Larson.

We can all hope that somehow, someday, we can overcome ourselves. Humanity is governed by two basic characteristics of Nature: Our fear and our greed. In children and the handicapped, these inborn traits come most natural, right, and good; things pointing us toward bigger lives for better things. As innocents of an age of complete helpless dependence, when we are born, we have no other way to learn the limits or the rewards of life except by fearing for ourselves, like not getting left alone, and asking, “More, please,” for that which makes us satisfied and happy. And sometimes as children OR adults we might not even give the courtesy of a “please.” It takes great effort for humans to overcome their natural motivations for either self-preservation or singular gluttony–to keep what they’ve got or get more of it, and obtain at least some of what they have not.

Fear and greed can rule us. In moderation, “dah,” it can be a good, beneficial act. To extremes, on either end, for selfishness or self-sacrifice, it can do ourselves and many others great harm, indeed the greatest harm. I left because I sat at pole ends of this duo-poly. Looking at people who despaired despite what they have, I forgot to look at myself, too, in the same self-criticism. On the other side of my personal abyss gaping in my spirit, I could not accept those things permanently denied, and still be satisfied. From my point of view, I could only grow more resentful looking at other people who still continued in the delusion that starting with very little, they could get it all; but even more festering in my outlook, they ridiculed me because I would warn them that everything–every person, every feeling, every fleeting dream come true–was NOT permanent. As George sang, “All Things MUST Pass.” I since learned to shut up and let other people figure out that they could lose what they had. I protest my apologies for saying here so bitterly, before I explain how I renewed optimism by accident, that one thing is true: Take no one or nothing for granted. Life can be good, still. The key for me resides in reconciling a moral balance sheet. The surprise in my days since my journey has been, “If it ends even, at least I play a game of life at par.” I can do no better in expectation, for the way is set before my life by the god of life-golf and the course of fate.

I mean myself no harbinger of misery, paranoia or terror. In fact, I say without qualification, Life is good. Can it be better? even for the miserable, the wicked, the vicious, or the evil? If we hold to our optimism like children, yes, it can. Qualifying at this point, it is better that we realize our faults ourselves, for how could Hitler, Mao, or Stalin be reformed? To prove it, we need only solve one mystery of supreme faith for ourselves at some point. That mystery is: Was Judas (or Brutus, for the secular) forgiven by his victim?

After dinner with the Wizard, following a final fill-up of gas, I felt supreme aloneness in my thoughts. I remained un-“Questioned” for my own search. I never went in search of meaning of life. I instead hoped to find some purpose to explain why I do what I do. Waiting at the traffic light to go on the west bound ramp for the Interstate, an hour from home, in defeat in the “details” of life, I yelled in my cramped, packed Lil’ Casino:

“Who the hell needs me? Who the hell wants me?”

Who needs us? Who wants us? Therein reads the ultimate of fear and greed. To be left unneeded by someone or the world. To feel unwanted anywhere. We are all children of Nature in that respect. We spend our whole life growing up. We end up finding out that all we need or want is outside of us still, beyond any power we have to give it to us permanently. All things must pass. Time therefore might be its own god.

Who needs us? Who wants us? Does anyone need us when our life is bad, as much as they want us when our life is good?

The only answer possible for me at this point is that, yes, we all need each other. We all want each other, in some way, but hopefully for honest reasons; for sharing joy or enduring pain; to help not hinder; to heal and never harm.

I find it wrong for me to define my own meaning for my life. That meaning might only be found in the memory long after I fulfill my fate in any form it takes. I think of the dead friends, the deceased family, of the past eight years. Their memory lingers strong, for the good reasons, the bad ones, or the indifference of how little my living helped them. But somewhere, in some people, I hope that by living I do produce more than mere offence; that I made a difference. It might be on some days, if not all, each and every all of us, lived that day with a purpose, even anonymous to ourselves, that helped our fellow humanity.

Our fear governs us to want to be needed. Our greed compels us to need to be wanted. For myself, in search of those who need me, and letting others who want me to seek me, might be enough purpose in my personal existence to motivate the rest of a “lifestory.” Even if only the god replies to my “Question(s)”, it at least would say, “I DO.” Then I AM needed and wanted in the service of the god of active time instead of merely being.

Thus, abruptly ceased at 10:30 PM, Saturday, May 30, 2009, my journey when I parked my car at the place where I feel “home.” The Underground Freeway found the end of the path, for a rest, for now.