Let’s go back for just a moment, all the way back to the Spring of 1999. I was working in West LA a mile from my sweet apartment which was about 3 miles from the Pacific Ocean down Santa Monica Boulevard. That evening, around 11:30pm, I woke up and had the most singular thought: “My body and my soul will never live together again. This is the only life I get.”
These are not the kind of sentiments that sit well a month before someone’s 25 birthday. I decided some big changes were needed in my lifestyle. I needed to have a goal to work towards and push me to the next level of LIFE. I took some notes that evening and the next day, what should I do, and then it slowly formed that I should travel around the US for awhile, get to see the country. By that point I’d been to a few places in America, Hawaii, NYC, Boston, Chicago, San Fran, Vancouver, central California, Grand Canyon, Texas and Flagstaff, Denver, a bit of New England…I decided that I would need at least two months and I would do it in mid-October, exactly 6 months from that moment. Some research on a slow internet connection got me to the conclusion that a month-long Amtrak pass would be in order. I think it cost like 435 bucks for the month, last-minute changes possible, and I had to go into Canada and use ViaRail for at least one day. I started in Oakland, going through Eugene, Portland, Whitefish, Minot, Chicago, Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Washington DC and ending in Savannah. A couple of rides, some Greyhounds, and one more train got me home about a week before Xmas of 1999, just two weeks before the world was to come to an end with the 2000 Switch.
I’ve celebrated every April 14th since then. Today has been one of the most interesting of the 10 times. I had a meaningful conversation with Franziska about important things, about life changes and the future. It wasn’t as intense and you’re imagining but it was an intense way to start the day. I was going to go into the city and shoot some photos and buy some good meat to cook later. I ended up going running along the river instead, living to Pearl Jam’s second album “Vs.” and it was weird going back to that place in college around 93 or so when the album came out. I had a good run, really struggling, in different muscles this time because of hiking yesterday I think, and after showering I went down to the supermarket, taking some trash out, and then I bought two lamb cutlets marianated in an herb sauce and I steamed some carrots. I cleaned my room, vaccuumed the living room and cleaned it up. I typed up some of my novel and then went down to the bakery across the street and had a big piece of Black Forest cake and a large coffee with hot milk. I sat outside in the sun and read about the history of Israel in my Lonely Planet guide. Israel is going to be a big life’s achievement for me. It’s a new part of the world and I have family there and there’s an inordinate amount of history and culture and great food.
Then I did some writing, first in my journal just to make notice of the day and to get the journal caught up and then I wrote 5 pages in my novel, the scene of going to the Foreign Authorities and being told that he needs to invest a million euros in Germany to stay. That’s a tough, critical scene and I hope to read it to someone tonight and see how it went. I would guess that I am about 40% finished with the book. With some perserverance, I can finish it before the summer and use some time at home this summer to clean it up and then send it out to 10-20 places. That’s one of my main goals for the summer and I think if I can develop a productive routine of work and working out and writing, and preparing for a multi-media event with some of my photography and some live music and…
But what about the change? How does one decide it is time to change? That very thing happened to me 10 years ago today but it’s not the most common occurrence. And what do I want to change? And why? I know, I know, a long journey begins with a single step. I just want to have a better idea of what direction I want my journey to be before that first step comes. And it’s difficult because the place where I’m at right now, in this moment, is clearly a peaking experience. My life has basically continually improved since the day I met here.
I actually wrote two more paragraphs here that were lost in the internet somehow. It ended with my goal being that I needed to create more cherries in my life.