-The Way It Is-
There's a thread you follow.
It goes among things that change. But it doesn't change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing. You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can't get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time´s unfolding.
You don't ever let go of the thread.
Sometimes it is hard for me to see my own thread, and I wonder how other people can ever see their own. If, as alluded to in an earlier posting, I am a tamale; have the leaves I am to be wrapped in already fallen from heaven? Am I already being wrapped in them? Maybe they are so comfortable I can't even feel them all.
Over a year ago, my friend gave me a hand made journal with the William Stafford quote written on the first page. She said, "hang on to your thread; pursue your dreams." Since then many days have passed when I thought I may have lost my thread, when I could not feel it in my hands, when I could not see it, or smell it, or taste it, or even hear it near me, lying by my side.
But here, on the road, on the long brown path, on the bus, in the stream, I am finding my thread. I think I was holding on to it all the while, only the feel of it had become so comfortable to me, so familiar, I could hardly notice it anymore.
As I have left Oakridge, left my friends so many miles away, my goals and dreams awaiting for my return; I have been able to gain a new perspective. I see thread running through my life.
I can feel it in my hands as I grip my pencil and write in that handmade journal my friend gave me on a cold winter day in Eugene, Oregon. I can hear my thread when I hear a guitar being played, when I hear an old Beatles song, when I think of my friends voices, or hear the rush of a creek. I can smell my thread in the dirt of the Earth, in the tire of a bike, in the loamy smell near a moist creek, in the scent humity. I see my thread as I imagine the metal creations I want to make when I'm back home, when I look at the pictures I have taken on this trip and look forward to the slide show I plan to have, when I imagine the upcoming summer, and the opportunity it holds.
I find my thread, when Lindsay and I have walked for miles in Los Alerces National Park, to find ourselves in paradise. Nothing around but white sand, green forests of lenga trees and bamboo, hawks, and clear water. Yes, this place is a part of my thread, but this place is also where I needed to go to regain the clarity and peace of mind I have needed to see my thread, in my everyday life.
Sometimes I've tried to find my thread. "Don't let go of it Eug!" I've thought to myself as I remembered my friend's urging, all the while wondering if I'm still holding on to it at all. I've often wondered what "it" is. What is this thread I am supposed to keep hold of? Is it my biking? Living in Oakridge? Working at the Merc? Is it in finding true love? What is my thread supposed to be comprised of anyhow?
However, although I haven't always known it, I think I have been holding on to it, maybe almost letting go at times, but I still have it.
My thread is not a monofilament, that is not what thread is. A thread is a strong, flexible, material of many fibers spun together. Mine is a thread made of many elements, all comprised to create a single form, made of diverse yet compatible materials from which I can weave the fabric of my life.
My thread is one of art, of creating with the hands semipermanent form of what is only transitory in these lives. It is also art that is transitory; music, performance art, personal perfomance art-traveling, unicycling, biking, being in love.
When I find a quiet place of reflection I see: the rivers of Oregon, my tribe, a little home in Oakridge, the Merc, the trips I take, the art I have made, and hope to make, and the dreams I have for the future.
When I find the space to reflect upon my life, I find my thread.
So what about Chile? And where am I anyhow?
Tonight my energy went to writing about what has happened for me inside, as a beautiful world of mountains, lakes, trails, new friends, and borders has passed by outside.
Lindsay are in El Bolson, Argentina, a beautiful little town of 8,000 people, nestled deep in a valley between a really tall bare cliff face to the East, and a huge more gradual mountain to the West (Cerro Hielo Azul- Mountain of Blue Ice).
Here we have recovered from our fantastic travels in Los Alerces Park, where we hiked 20 miles or so. We have enjoyed the slower pace at which Argentenians speak, eaten really well at there is lots of trout here and the food is cheaper than Chile, and found a really awesome handmade ice cream joint, which we have visited 3 times in 2 days.
Tomorrow we head out of this little paradise and to Cerro Hielo Azul for 3 or 4 days of backpacking in the cordilliera. Should be good.
The trip is going quickly now. We have hit a good stride, however our days here are short now, less than 2 weeks to go!
After we leave Cerro Hielo we will head North to Bariloche, then on to Santiago. We haven't chosen a route yet, but I hope to visit some of the lakes north of Bariloche as Steve and Denise of Coconino Cycles say they are great.
Gotta sleep, more miles to go tomorrow.
Oh, about those pictures I've been taking.. Never have been able to find a computer where I can easily upload them. I'm looking forward to some slideshows back home.