K and I are both free for an unbelievable 3 days, so we grabbed an apartment on the coast for a working weekend. Drove a new route yesterday, stopped in a small town park, went for a long walk on the beach and into the tiny, mostly-closed, off-season town. Took pictures. Salvaged some jetsam. Finished the rewrite of the second edition of "Violence: A Writer's Guide" (Nearly 30000 words longer than the first version) and passed it to K to upload to her WyrdGoat press project.
I missed the annual Polar Bear swim with the Kajukenbo crew on New Years day. Made up for it this morning. Crunched through icy-coated grass until I got to the sand. A pair of bald eagles were doing some kind of coordinated flight (mating? flirting) above as dawn broke. Dropped my sweatshirt and sandals and ran into the waves. It was appreciably cold, as was the wind. But it felt good.
Lots of mental ghosts trying to lure me back to a warm bed: "There's no reason to do this." "You aren't a kid, you don't have anything to prove." The sneaky voice: "Aren't you supposed to be beyond this kind of bullshit posturing?" And the last ditch effort, just before I hit the water: "You know, you aren't young any more. Your heart might not be able to take this..."
Sigh. The doubt voices never go away. And I guess that's one of the big challenges-- to know the difference between the still small voice that whispers of a glimmer of potential growth; the protective intuition that whispers a warning; and the screaming monkey voice that fears any change and any challenge. It's not enough that your monkey mind is the center of emotion. Not enough that it will stick to your tribal identifiers (like politics or sports teams or religion) in the face of all evidence. Not enough that it drowns out the part of your brain that actually listens to evidence and makes good decisions. Nope. It will actively lie to you to prevent any change. To keep you solid in your identities.
When someone says something breathtakingly wrong in defense of a point of view, it doesn't always meant that they are stupid. Nor that they are lying to you. They are lying to themselves.
Tribal identities, patterns...and habits. I am more 'me' when I travel. I explore, play, try new things, brawl. Don't work out much, but I've never been a gym kind of guy. I liked trail running and climbing and grappling. Or else I was living and working in a place that demanded a lot of manual labor. Constant activity, constant pushing.
Because for seventeen years, home was the place where I decompressed. The job was constant crisis management. Always moving, always on stage. You were either fixing a dangerous problem or trying to predict and avoid the next one. So you'd go home and desperately want to NOT think. And I have that slug habit associated with home. Some is age, sure, and some is injuries... but a lot is habit.
Time for some changes.
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2 days ago