Sunday, July 17, 2011

36 days: whiteout

I wake up around 2 PM in my sleeping bag on the bamboo floor of my apartment, and through these giant floor-to-ceiling windows I'm totally overwhelmed by the sky—nothing but pure, shining clouds covering the space outside. Even for Portland it seems unorthodox; it's way too bright; it's awkward.

I feel a twinge of fear inside.

Now, I'm no stranger to waking up with a "twinge of fear", perhaps the theme of my life for many years—but this is not that feeling. I can no longer attribute it to my screw-ups. It's only been 24 hours or so, but based on every single thing I've learned over the past few years, this is the rightest direction I've ever been in. I finally have the means and a clear path to clean up my mess, and I'm going to do it in just a few months...?

I grab my laptop and sit cross-legged on my sleeping bag among a pile of luggage and clothes, looking out over downtown to the south and toward the cloud-swallowed hills. I don't even have an Internet connection at this apartment anymore; just a wireless card. In fact it was exactly this way even weeks and weeks ago; I just didn't see it then.

... slowly it comes to me. This is that feeling I was fearing when I set out to un-capsize a couple years back. It's getting to be that time where my book isn't writing itself anymore. I'm leaving all pre-defined paths, and now I'm forced to write it.

In western society (or, maybe modern society is more appropriate) you go to school, get a job, earn a retirement, etc—and what I'm "throwing away" is a lot of things that a lot of other people desperately wish they had. I'm deliberate in what I'm doing, but it's still hard to swallow.

These clouds are so bright. It reminds me of when I was a kid... My grandmother, when she would make a mistake on the typewriter, she would grab this little bottle of whiteout and brush over the mistake... like it had never existed

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