Crash

It’s Friday night and there are many things that I would rather be doing than sitting at home writing a blog post. I was going to use the excuse that it was too bitterly cold out to do anything else and that may still be true but I’ve also looked at the weather forecast and it looks like this might be as good as it gets until Tuesday or Wednesday.  If that’s the case, I might just want to get this done so that I can go have some fun before life gets any worse. In any case, yesterday deserves a blog post.

I woke yesterday to what may have been the coldest morning of the season. Maybe it wasn’t but I wouldn’t know. I usually don’t wake up before noon so all I know is that it was the coldest morning I had experienced. It was really cold and it was really early but I needed to take my daughter to her therapy appointment and I was determined to get her there. I’m usually willing to acquiesce to the weather but given how little time my daughter and I spend together, I wasn’t going to give in without a fight.

My biggest concern was whether my van would start. It’s been doing pretty well all winter but I know it doesn’t like starting when it is really cold. It did bitch and complain a little but eventually I got it started. I had given myself plenty of time just incase I had to make other plans so I let the van warm up while I went back inside. I have a feeling that was illegal but that’s the kind of criminal mastermind I am.

I picked up my daughter at eight o’clock which gave us plenty of time to get to Bloomington by nine. We did hit rush-hour that was heading into downtown so it was slow going for a few miles. I noticed at one point traffic had come to a complete stop. I hit the brakes but I was on glare ice. I started pumping and steering towards the shoulder but nothing was happening. I had given myself plenty of room between me and the big white cargo van in front of me. I kept hoping that I would catch pavement and able to stop but that hope quickly faded. I knew I was going to hit the van. I laid on the horn. I don’t know what I thought that would do but I felt like I owned the person in front of me some warning.

I was traveling at maybe ten miles per-hour at the point of impact but it was still a real crash. I’m just glad that the car behind me was either better able to handle the road conditions or driven by a more experienced driver. It could easily have been much worse. The driver of the white van and I pulled over to the side of the road and got out to assess the damage. I wasn’t even concerned about my van although I did later discover that the cover to my headlight was completely smashed. My main concern was that my daughter and the other driver were not injured. Luckily no one was hurt and the only damage to his van was that I cracked his bumper.

As far as car crashes go, this was pretty minor but it was the most serious accident that I have had with another vehicle. I’ve never been in the position of having to exchange insurance information and this situation didn’t go down that way either. The other driver was in a hurry to get to work so we just exchanged phone numbers. That’s a lot of trust that he put  in me and I hope I can live up to it. There is no doubt that this will be an expensive experience but in the long run it will probably be cheaper than going through insurance.

I hate cars. I hate driving and I really hate accidents. The worst accidents can ruin your life. A bad accident can ruin your week, month or year but even a minor accident can ruin your day. I still had a lot to do that day so I was determined not to let it get me down. Even with all that I still got my daughter to her appointment with plenty of time to spare. After that I dropped her off at school and headed to my friend’s house so I could watch her son while she went to work.

I had completely forgot about the accident when my left arm started hurting. I just blamed it on playing Nintendo Wii with the boy but I know now that it was a result of the crash. Nothing is broken and I’m sure that it will heal eventually but it is going to take some time. That is one of the downsides to aging. As far as I’m concerned, it’s the only downside. It just takes longer to heal.

The babysitter arrived at five and I left to pick up my daughter. She and two of her friends had gotten a ride to one of the girl’s houses after school. The three of them had decided to start taking belly dance lesson so I drove them all to the class. I hadn’t really planned on driving them all home afterwards but that’s the way it turned out. This is what being a parent of a teenager means. I’m grateful that I still have kids in my life who need their butt wiped but at my daughter’s age, my job is to facilitate their independence and their interaction with their peers. They don’t really need me.

Still, my daughter thanked me.

Her mother thanked me.

I thanked the fact that I still have a twenty year-old mini-van that got me through the day!

Advertisements

Tales from the tundra

wpid-20140226_153306.jpg

I keep wondering why I live here. I seems insane but the rational answer is pretty straight forward. This is where my house is. This is where my family and friends are. This is where my band is but most importantly, this is where I am. To be someplace different would require some sort of radical change and as of this moment, it hasn’t happened. So here I am.

I hate to complain about the weather. It gets old pretty quick. Still it’s a major factor in my life and a key character in many of my stories.  It makes life pretty hard sometimes but a hard life is an interesting life. For the past week I have been unable to write anything so the stories have been piling up. I was just starting to believe that the worst of winter was over when last Thursday arrived. I did manage to write a little bit before the full reality of the situation sunk in:

We are in the midst of what may turn out to be the worst blizzard of the season. I was sitting at the bar across from our rehearsal studio waiting to find out whether we would be rehearsing tonight. Venus was freaking out  because s/he couldn’t get out of the driveway due to the neighbor’s car being stuck in the snow. S/he finally decided to cancel rehearsal. It was the right call. Sometimes the weather just gets to be too much. The roads are extremely dangerous for driving plus there would be no place to park downtown. All of the roads are snow emergency routes and our parking lot is at the bottom of a hill that we would never be able to get back up through half a foot of snow.

I decided to grab a slice of pizza and another beer. The meter was plugged for an hour so I figured I might as well get my money’s worth. I slugged through the snow back to my van. Another inch or more had fallen while I was in the bar. I could feel the effect of the two beers which is my indication that I shouldn’t be driving. I knew I was probably close to the legal limit but knowing how high strung I am in driving conditions like the I figure a little anxiety reduction might do me well. I was five miles from home and it’s pretty much a straight shot. I only had to make three turns. I fired up my van and blasted the defrost while I brushed the newly fallen snow from my windows.

It took me several attempts driving forwards and backwards to get my vehicle dislodged enough to make it onto the road. I was on my way. The first two stop lights were green and I sailed through. The third had just turned yellow. Maybe I could have stopped but under these conditions there was no guarantee. I decided to gun it. I made it through but not before the light turned red. I looked in my rear view mirror, through my half-defrosted rear window, to see the red and blue flashing lights of a squad car. I pulled over to the side of the road.

Luckily the police were not interested in me. They were on there way to something more important than a semi-intoxicated rockstar running red lights on his way home in a blizzard.

That was actually just the final story of a day filled with stories. Had I had it in me that night, I would have written another thousand or more words. Now that almost a week has passed I’m hoping I can do it in far fewer.

I awoke last Thursday a tad  hung-over and without enough sleep. After rehearsal the night before I had stopped by Transmission at Club Jager to speak with Simon about performing in one of his Singer-Songwriter showcases. It had been quite awhile since I last attended one of Jake Rudh’s dance nights and I wound up staying later than I had anticipated. Since there was a taxi sitting outside the bar when I left I opted to leave my bike locked up and get a ride home. It probably only saved me fifteen minutes but I knew that the next day was going to be a big one and I could use all the sleep I could get.

The day started out pretty smoothly. The weather service was sounding the alarms but there was no sign yet of the calamity which was about to ensue. I picked up my daughter from her cousin’s house and delivered her safely to her school in south Minneapolis. My next order of business was an appointment with my daughter’s mother and the therapist in Bloomington. It wasn’t for another hour and a half but I figured I should head in that direction just in case.

Arriving safely in Bloomington with an hour to spare I decided to stop for a leisurely breakfast and some inspirational reading to calm my nerves before the therapy appointment.  As it turned out what I really needed calm nerves for was just the drive to the therapist’s office. I rolled out of my parking spot but as soon as I hit five miles-per-hour the whole van started shaking.

“Oh great!”, I thought to myself, “Now what’s wrong?”

I found that once I hit thirty-five miles-per-hours the shaking stopped but there was still a sound that I wasn’t familiar with. I was pretty sure that it was something structural and not an engine issue so I just kept going hoping the van wouldn’t fall apart or explode. In case you haven’t figured it out already, it was just a flat tire.

The therapy session actually went pretty well… at least for me. I don’t think my ex-wife was too happy with the way things went. I’m pretty sure that she went into the session with the agenda of making me look like the bad-guy and somehow forcing me to change my wicked ways. I wish that she would learn that I don’t respond to threats or guilt-trips and that she would have a much better chance of getting what she wants if she just asked. I guess that wouldn’t be as much fun.

She did accuse me of never being willing to drive my daughter; a pretty ridiculous claim given that I had just dropped her off at school an hour and a half earlier.

I simply replied, “I don’t agree with that statement.”

My ex later brought up, “You know, I don’t even have to let you see her. You’re not her legal father. You have no right to see her. The only reason why you have a relationship with her at all is because I encourage it.”

I didn’t even know where to begin with that statement. I felt like she was looking for some gratitude but considering that I had just gone six months without seeing my daughter I wasn’t feeling very grateful. Also, law does not make someone a dad. Being a dad is in the heart and my daughter knows who her dad is. It really has nothing to do with the law or her mother. I have a relationship with my daughter because I have a relationship with my daughter.

The therapist tried to get at what I want. She suggested that I want to spend time with my daughter and have her stay at my house. I understood what she was getting at but I expressed that this isn’t about what I want. This is about what my daughter wants. I am here to help her. Yes, having her in my life helps me. It makes my life better but that is a byproduct. It is not my purpose. My purpose is to give.

Then came up the money issue. For all I know this may be at the root of everything. This may be why my ex wants me to adopt my daughter. She may believe that she will be able to get money out of me if I am the legal father. I understand the motivation. I know how hard, and at times, expensive it is to raise a child on your own. But coming after me for money is just silly. I have a little and there is nothing that I enjoy more than spending it on my kids but I’m not going to part with it through guilt or extortion. I’m not entering into a financial relationship with my ex.

I’m not entering into any kind of relationship with my ex. I did that for six years and gave it my all and it wasn’t enough. My ex’s expressed concern is how to keep our daughter from being put in the middle. My concern is that my ex is trying to put herself in the middle of my relationship with my teenage daughter. I wish that it was different. It’s pretty sad that I can’t have a relationship with my ex. It’s sad for me, it’s sad for my daughter and it’s sad for my ex. I love her and wish her nothing but the best but I simply can’t do it. I guess six years of an abusive relationship which ended in my daughter being taken away for me and being falsely accused of domestic violence has left a bad taste in my mouth.  I don’t know, maybe I’m the asshole. It’s got to suck not being able to manipulate me and control me through the systems this society has been built upon. I do really own my ex a debt of gratitude for teaching me how to not get sucked into that bullshit ever again.

Anyway, I think the therapist likes me. I asked her for her help with my flat tire and she put me in contact with the buildings maintenance person. My ex asked why I didn’t have AAA and I couldn’t even respond. The truth is that I dropped it because I couldn’t afford it. This has forced me to ask friends, neighbors and even strangers for help. AAA is awesome and I will probably get it again but having to ask people for help has actually made me a better person.

The maintenance guy was able to inflate my tire enough to get me to Discount Tire. They replaced the flat tire for free and I bought a new tire to replace one that was dangerously bald. The snow was falling pretty heavy at this point so I knew I could use all the traction I could get.

The drive back into the city was horrifying. Traffic on the freeway was moving at thirty-five miles per hour but occasional big trucks would fly by me and splash snowy mush on my van completely covering my windshield. This happened twice. I also nearly ran into a utility pole when I had to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting the street corner beggar who decided to walk out into the intersection. Even with new tires the road provided no traction and I just slid until I was stopped by the curb.

When I picked up my daughter from school I went to talk to the director. Through the therapy session I learned that tuition hadn’t been paid for a couple months. I wanted to find out how much it was so that I could take care of it. Apparently my ex had informed the school that I am not the “real” dad so they wouldn’t give me the information. I totally understand that. It’s a new school and I don’t want them getting into legal hot water but for the past fifteen years, I’ve never had this problem. If my ex hadn’t made a stink about it, tuition would have been paid.

After that my daughter and I went to hang out with my almost four year-old friend so his mother could go to work. His dad would return in a couple hours and I would be able to make the long trek to the northern suburbs where my daughter and her dog live. By this time most of the cars had made it off the roads but it was still treacherous driving. It took me two hours to get her home and then get back downtown Minneapolis for rehearsal. I picked up my bike at Club Jager which was a challenge to get into my van now that I have re-installed the seats in my minivan so that I can haul kids.

[Shit, I’m already at over 2,000 words and I still have five more days to write about. I should just give up. No one is going to read this but I don’t care. I’m on a roll.]

Friday, I don’t think I did anything. Even if I did I’m sure it’s not worth writing about. Saturday was a much more interesting day.

Saturday was our big gig at The Amsterdam in Saint Paul. The roads were still unsafe to drive on but I let too much of the day pass to get downtown to the studio any other way than to drive. Plus, our drummer needed a ride and he lives pretty close to me so I stopped by to pick him up. I got to the studio about fifteen minutes late which was perfect because Venus was just as late. S/he was concerned about getting the band van out of the parking lot so she had me test it out. I drove down the hill into the parking lot and then tried to get out. I made it to the top of the hill and there I was stuck… actually I started to slip backwards towards the four-wheel drive truck that was at the base of the hill.

Anyway, there was no way we could load out through the loading dock. We would need to load out through the front of the building by taking all of our equipment up in the elevator. I have long since tried figuring out why I do this and have just accepted that it is what I do. It’s stupid as shit but… so what!

We made it to the venue about an hour later than expected but everything during the show ran pretty smoothly. Hardly anyone showed up because the weather was so crappy but that also has stopped bothering me. I think it still bothers Venus and of course we didn’t make very much money but that’s the way it goes sometimes. I actually had a lot of fun at that show because I just didn’t care. From my perspective, it was one of our best shows.

Getting back to the studio was a bit of an ordeal. We made it downtown but at one stop light we found ourselves unable to move. The temprature had dropped turning packed snow into glare ice. We couldn’t move forwards or backwards. Venus came up with the brilliant idea of sticking a piece of carpet under one of the rear tires for traction. It worked but I had to grab the carpet and jump into the van while it was still moving. We didn’t stop for any lights the rest of the way.

Of course I still had to get my van up the hill and out of the parking lot. I backed up to the end of the parking lot to give myself a running start and luckily made it out of the hole. Venus on the other hand had quite an adventure getting home. She had to stop and use the carpet trick a number of times on her own to get home. I’ve been watching a number of rock-n-roll documentaries about the crazy things that rock bands go through. Venus has a good one about hi/r called, Venus of Mars. I just can’t help but think about all the crazy shit that never get’s filmed. I would have loved to see Venus in the middle of Lake Street putting a piece of carpet under the rear tire in fishnets and a corset hoping and praying that she didn’t get hit by some drunk driver. That would be good cinema.

We did both make it home alive. It’s funny to me how exciting survival can be. We humans do all sorts of crazy things to feel alive but when you play in a rock band in Minnesota, just getting home from work can be an adventure.

I woke up around noon on Sunday to find some brilliant pictures from the show the night before. This is one of my favorite.

All The Pretty Horse - Amsterdam

I’m the guy on the right, Venus is on the left and our drummer Jazz is in the middle.

I wasn’t planning on doing anything Sunday. I tried getting a hold of my daughter. I had been trying for days with no luck. This day was no different. I also was worried about a friend of mine who is struggling because of this weather but I couldn’t get a hold of her either. That is really what makes living here suck so much. It’s not just that it is hard for me. It’s also hard for all of the people I care about. Anyway, it seemed like a good day to lay in bed and watch Netflix.

I wound up falling asleep. When I woke up I had a hankering for junk food… something I don’t keep in my house. I would have to venture out into the tundra. The local convenience store is five blocks away but across the street from the convenience store is the T-Shoppe, the local dive bar. Please click on that link. I know if you have made it this far you have already read more than you wanted to today but it’s a good article about a dying breed. The T-Shoppe is one of the last two remaining 3.2 bars in Minneapolis. Anyway, I said fuck the convenience store, the bar has crappy pizza… and beer.

I only go in there once or twice a year but they still know my name. The bartender says, “Slumming it are we?”

I respond, “I don’t think of it that way. I’m just working with what I’ve got.”

The fact is I have some of the best times at the T-Shoppe. It’s always filled with of the an incredible array of the most down-to-earth people you will ever meet. I met a lovely young woman from Alaska. I nice man from Central Mexico. I also witnessed an amazing dance performance by a young woman who was at the bar with her dad. I wound up closing down the bar which isn’t such a big deal given that they usually close by midnight even though last call  in Minneapolis is two AM.

I returned home and continued drinking. Still needing human interaction I wound up making a number of drunken phone calls. I talked to a guy who is working on a computer program that will revolutionize the way we deal with programs that all of a sudden stop working. I also talked to a dear friend of mine who has been going through some pretty rough shit but for some reason hasn’t called me. I do worry sometimes that I might get overwhelmed with people asking me for help but currently that is not my problem.

I woke up Monday with two people asking me for help. I spent the evening baby-sitting my almost four year-old friend and then drove to Northfield, MN to be with my friend who was going through some pretty rough shit. I spent the night there and drove back to Minneapolis on Tuesday for my therapy appointment.

After that I decided that I would go home and do nothing. I would have been successful at the doing nothing part but I wound up watching this documentary on Netflix called “Absent“. It’s about the modern reality of a fatherless society. It really kind of messed me up. I highly recommend watching it.

That’s it. That’s all I’ve got. Time to go to bed. Tomorrow is going to be another big day. I get to see my daughter again!

Maybe I should just get stoned

My body hates me but I don’t blame it. My body has good reason to be pissed off. Ever since I brought it back from Mexico I have forced it to live in a climate of sub-freezing temperature. I’ve tried to be nice and keep it indoors where it can find heat but that is not what it wants. It wants to be outside.

I wish it could just accept reality and make the most of it. I wish that it could be grateful for what it has and appreciate this time as a time to relax. Instead it’s being a selfish little prick and deciding to go on strike. That’s fine. It has every right to do that but it’s actually just making the situation worse for everyone.

I just spent two days in bed battling some virus or bacteria that I know my body is capable of handling. It just decided that it didn’t want to deal with it. It refused to eat which I know damn well it loves to do. If I tried to make it eat, it would just reject it in the most foul and disgusting manner. It’s cutting off it’s own energy source and leaving me with no options for productivity.

I guess this has really pissed of the brain part of my body as well because it has started to retaliate. I’m still confused as to the purpose of Fibromyalgia but the best I can figure out is that it some sort of alert system to let me know that something is wrong; as if I wasn’t aware of that already. It’s like an alarm going off to alert you that you have just been in a car accident. Like no fucking kidding! Accept in this case it’s not an alarm but more like dental pain radiating throughout my body.  Okay, I got the message. Now can you just shut up! I’m trying to think.

The only part of me that has been working is my mind but it keeps having to battle with everything else to get anything done. I need my body, my brain and my mind all working together. Seriously, can’t we all just get along?

Cold is the absence of heat

When I woke up yesterday morning it was 10 degrees below zero on the Fahrenheit scale. That is 80 degrees Fahrenheit colder than it was for me a week ago. That’s not cool! Not cool at all. It is down right sucky! I’ve been thinking a lot about the cold lately. It’s kind of hard to think about anything else, but then I remembered, there is no such thing as cold!

No! Seriously, cold is not really a thing. I’m not talking in an existential sense or in some new-agey mind over matter way of thinking. I’m talking science. I’m talking fact and the fact is that cold does not exist. The world which we have created in our minds is a dualistic world of good against evil but in this case there is no duality. What we perceive as cold is not really cold at all, it is merely the existence of less heat than our bodies would like.

Heat is real. Heat is thermal energy. With more thermal energy, temperature rises; with less thermal energy, temperature falls. At the temperature of −459.67° Fahrenheit or −273.15° Celsius there is no thermal energy. This is called absolute zero and it cannot get any cooler. Icecubes and refrigerators do not cool things by adding “cold energy”, they merely displace heat lowering the temperature.

The same is true for light and dark. There is no such thing as dark, it is merely the absence of light. This is not just a semantic argument. I know what people mean when they say, “It’s really dark in here.”, but that doesn’t make it any more true. We walk around everyday, going about our business, happy as clams believing in this thing called darkness but it is not real. It’s a delusion. And people call me crazy!

But enough fun and games; how about something a little more serious?  What about life and death? I’m not asking a spiritual question about life after death where we are united with all our friends and family who have gone before us and everything is beautiful with clouds and angels and cherubs with harps. I’m asking a real world fact based question with spiritual and philosophical implications.

That fact is, there is no such thing as death. What we call death is merely the absence of life. There is no “death force” to fight against. We can’t fight death because death does not exist. We talk about dying like it is a real thing but the fact is no one dies, we simply lose our life and this is coming from someone who very nearly lost his on multiple occasions. Life is really all we have. We can have more of it or less of it but if we seek death or fight death we are wasting our life energy because death does not exist. Death, like cold or dark is a figment of our delusional minds.

So how about that spiritual question? What about the ultimate duality of good versus evil? As we look around the world it is pretty easy to find examples of evil, but what if this too is a delusion? What if what we perceive as evil is really just the absence of good?

I don’t think that there is a way to definitively answer this question. I don’t think that there is any way to prove the existence or nonexistence of evil, and I don’t see many scientists out there testing the theory. This really is a spiritual question but spiritually we can find an answer. What if we assume that there is no such thing as evil, how would life be different? What if we dealt with what we call evil the same way we deal with what we call cold or dark? What if the only way to  eradicate evil was by providing and protecting good? What if we stopped fighting hate with more hate and accepted that love is the only power we have?

I’m not claiming to have the answer to whether evil exists or not but when I look at the world as it is and try to understand it in the absence of evil, I come up with better solutions. Life is better when I stop expending energy trying to fight evil and focus on doing good. Just as it is when I stop expending energy trying to fight the cold as instead seek heat or when I stop fighting the darkness and instead seek light. Life cannot be lived by fighting death, only by seeking life.

Summer is over

I’m feeling somewhat set adrift, somewhat missing in action. Summer is clearly over but I haven’t yet begun my winter hibernation. I’m in between worlds yet change is still going on within and around me. The pedicab gig is dying down but still not over. Band activity has started up but not quite in full swing. I’m spending some time with friends and my son is in town but most of my life is pretty lonely. My mood, above all, is tied to the weather and the weather has not been my friend.

Today is Sunday. It’s cold and rainy. I’m not inspired to do anything but knowing what lies ahead has me fearful of wasting what time I have. I need an adventure, but first, I will remove the air conditioner from my bedroom window.

Blame it on the rain

I’ve had my share of challenges in life. I have managed to overcome most of them. I have made changes where possible and adapted where necessary but sometimes the only thing I can do is surrender. That’s how I felt yesterday. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t change it and I couldn’t overcome it. My obstacle was the weather. With five days of cloudy, rainy weather I just couldn’t do it again.

I didn’t give up easily although I hadn’t made the challenge any easier on myself. The night before I managed to use every available hour of my trip home getting completely shit-faced to the point where I needed assistance for the final leg of my journey.

Still, I did manage to get home. I did manage to get up. I did manage to get ready for work and was all poised to head to St. Paul when the call came in saying that I needn’t bother. They had enough drivers in St. Paul and considering the weather, it simply wasn’t worth me making the trip. To be honest, I was relieved. To be honest, I had already come to the same conclusion. As I was sitting in my van, the engine running, the windshield-wipers removing the raindrops from my view, the only thought in my head was, “I can’t do this.”

In fact, I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t go to work, I couldn’t leave the house, I couldn’t even write about how I couldn’t do anything. I had thrown in the towel. I had given up on the day so I retired to bed with a glass of red wine. I spent most of the day sleeping or watching documentaries about the recent economic crash.

But can I really blame it all on the rain? What about my drinking, isn’t that a choice? Isn’t that something I have control over?

Drinking has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember but there have been periods where alcohol hasn’t been such a significant player. There have been times where drinking just didn’t present itself as an option. But I am a drinker. What I know about myself is that given the option, I am going to choose to drink. But I’m more than just a drinker, I’m a drunk. I actually really enjoy the way alcohol makes me feel. Once those chemicals start going to work on my brain, all of my troubles seems to disappear. I’m no longer depressed, I’m not anxious and I don’t feel any pain. As my chemist friends like to remind me, “alcohol is a solution”.

But it’s also a problem. It’s hard to deny the correlation between alcohol and aspects of my life that don’t work as I would like. The question I keep pondering is whether my connection with alcohol is a character defect or simply a character trait.  My instinct is to judge and shame myself for being a flawed human being but my intellect knows the futility of this response. I can change my behavior, I can adapt to most situations, I can mitigate the negative consequences but I can’t change who I am any more than I can change the weather.

Homeless or homefree

Working downtown I encounter a lot of people who are homeless. There are many different reasons why someone may find themselves without a permanent place to call home so I really don’t want to put them in one definitive category. For many it’s an absolute tragedy and a disgrace that we as a society can’t do a better job of caring for our fellow earthlings.

For some abandoning the shackles of a permanent residence is simply the best of the available options. Some may wish for better options but for some being homeless is a viable solution to the challenges life presents. I prefer to call these people homefree. Unencumbered by unnecessary belonging; physical, geographical and emotional ties, their daily needs for food, shelter and security are real, tangible and attainable. It may not be a perfect life but no life is. I don’t judge anyone for how they manage to survive so long as it doesn’t require hurting other people. When I look at all of the people downtown it’s not those we call homeless that are causing the most harm.

In a way I envy them. I look at the problems in my life and most of them have to do with maintaining permanence; my home, my possessions and my relationships. Sometimes I wish I had more important things to worry about – not to suggest that relationships aren’t importance, they are. It’s just that when it comes to maintaining relationships the problems seem to stem from the expectation and insistence on permanence. It might be better to accept, support and even encourage the inevitability of change.

Currently my biggest problem is a drippy faucet in my bathtub – a first world problem for sure. It’s a small drip but I still figure it is wasting five gallons of water a day. I have a bucket catching the water so that I can recycle as much as possible but that’s not a permanent solution. I know how to fix it, I know what I have to do, I just don’t know if I’ll be able to get to it before Monday or Tuesday and it’s really not what I want to be doing with my precious time.

Still, as I was biking home from downtown last night, rain beginning to fall as a major storm approached, I felt very grateful that I had a climate controlled and safe place to sleep.

%d bloggers like this: