Why I rewrote the narrative of my life

The following excerpt is from my latest contribution to Elephant Journal.

When I decided to change my life, the goal was not only to change who I am today but to change who I was yesterday.

I know that sounds a little sketchy, but follow me for a minute.

One of my brothers and I once had an argument about what color a particular car my dad owned was. I said red, he said blue.

That’s a pretty big difference and yet…


You’d be doing me a favor if you finished reading the article HERE.

Journal Entry: Thursday, October 4, 2018

 

When I left Alabama I was smiling because I felt like I have a home to go back to and I like that feeling.

When I got to North Dakota it was snowing. The work I will be doing in Montana is at the mercy of the weather. An early winter means less work. The smile began to fade.

When I was forced to settle for a less than optimal camper to be “base camp” while I’m working because the camper I’d lined up was sold to someone who offered more money in cash the smile faded more. That happens. I don’t blame them for getting as much as they could but it left me without options. The only other camp trailer I could find in my price range (read: cheap) was half the size (a mere 12 feet long), missing windows from hail damage long enough that there was mold and mildew and some of the wood was getting soft, it had neither cushions nor mattress nor bathroom nor propane tanks (not that they’d be of any use since neither the fridge nor the heater worked anyway), and no title. Yep, less than, and it cost more than the complete trailer I had lined up.

When I got to Montana, where I’ll be working, it snowed some more and I was told to expect at least one rain day. It is day two up here and I just got off the phone with my new employer. We are in for an early freeze. All work is canceled until or unless the weather breaks but the forecast for the next week is heavy snow and sub-freezing temperatures.

The smile is gone.

I took a gamble and lost. I should never gamble. Being homeless in Austin, TX is one thing. Being homeless in Fairview, MT is something else entirely so I can’t let that happen. I pretty much depleted my funds getting here. All my cards were maxed months ago, that’s one of the reasons I decided to take the risk, I need to catch up.

The man I’m supposed to be working for feels horrible about it and is making some calls to see if he can line me up with some work. There are plenty of panicked farmers around here working around the clock to get their sugar beet harvest in and he knows many of them. There’s a good chance I can get on with one of them and earn enough to either get me by until the weather breaks, at which point the rock haulers will be in a panic to fulfill their contracts and be working around the clock too, or move to Williston or Watford City and pick up a water or oil hauling job. Not even the worst weather stops production.

If faith was food I’d be fat but I’ll need more than faith to pull this off. A little good luck would go a long way right now.

Stormbound

deployed

As most of you know, I have spent the last year of my life focusing on my training as an insurance adjuster in order to secure a position doing field claims as a way to escape truck driving and buy me the time I need to focus on my goals.

I am a writer. It’s where I belong.

Tonight I received a deployment confirmation and need to be in Atlanta on Friday morning for staging. I’m not sure how I’ll make that happen yet but I know I will.

If all goes as expected I will be able to begin focusing on my writing 100% within the next 8 months.

First comes phase two of the plan: Work my ass off to generate at least a years income on my first deployment.

If I can do that then I will spend the next year improving my writing skills and recreating the Caravan. I’ve already put parts of that plan in motion. I’ve began designing mini-courses, built a community site that I can integrate here, and that operates quite well as a mobile app, I established an email server using my domain and started the process of creating member only content (not as a paid subscription and not spam:), and more. A lot more. Some of it technical. All of it designed with a simple theme in mind: Sharing.

I want to build a community of people that support and encourage each other. A place where we can share our journeys, our stories, our talents, gifts, abilities, our hopes, and our fears.

Life is a journey best shared.

Change is often slow and always requires faith and effort. I have to admit that while my faith was challenged some over the last 12 months I never stopped believing and I never gave up. I’m glad I didn’t.

I won’t now even though I know the task I’ve set for myself is, well, it’s grasping. Far reaching.

I am not afraid to reach or to push myself to attain something, better.

For the next several months my posts may become even more infrequent or erratic, or I may find myself needing the outlet as a way to disconnect from the work I will be doing, helping people rebuild their lives after serious losses.

So I want to thank you, all of you, for sticking it out with me over this last year and I hope that you will continue to share in my journey over the next.

Be well!

so close i can taste

be.wild.png

a light rain
more a mist
a wet veil
cools the humid air
that clutches
and claws
suffocating
like some silent
assailant that cant be escaped
it swirls
in slight eddies
like cool water
in a warm pool
sweat runs off me
in a stream
still it feels like spring
life constantly flows here
something always in bloom
mushrooms sprout and die
sprout and die
the resurrection fern
mostly green
sleeping only hours at a time
the rain seems to never stop
yet does nothing
to subdue the humidity
giving life
to all this glorious green
even I
suffocating in the heavy air
grow


Image by Johannes Hofmann

Change happens

Change is the only real constant in the Universe and it happens whether or not I want it to. It is a guarantee.

If I allow myself to be swept up and carried by that inevitable change there is no way to know how it will affect me. It can carry me to places I am unfamiliar with. Places I don’t want to be. That can have any of a number of negeative consequences: confusion, frustration, anger.

But, when I am aware that even change itself is impermanent, and accept that it is the only constant, I can be prepared when it comes and guide my own destiny by remaining focused on the things I want in my life. I can incorporate those changes, own them, make them mine, I can use them to become the very changes I want in my life and my whole world can change in an instant.

Yes, change can, and often does, alter my path in ways that make progression difficult, even impossible, but when I step back from whatever situation has been created by those changes I can clearly see that I am always moving forward and can always choose where my next step is.

Change happens. Where it leads is almost entirely up to me.

———–

Image: “Icarus” by JMGreff.

Seven Years!

I can’t believe I’ve been on Word Press for seven years!

My first blog here was just your basic online diary and it has gone through some changes over the years before I decided to take my writing a little more serious just last year and started the Caravan.

I sincerely hope the Wayback Machine didn’t archive any of my previous blogs. I hate to admit it but my very first post on A Caravan of One was about how I decided to go with pack goats instead of mules. Change is good.

I never did get the goats and I immediately changed format to what you read now at the insistence of friends who thought people might actually like to read about the things we would talk about. I’m glad I listened.

I imagine the site will continue to change as the years progress but I think I have found my niche and I’m glad to have such caring and insightful readers.

Here’s to the last seven and to the next!

Blue Supermoon/Blood Moon

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Early this morning we had one of those ultra rare cosmic incidents: the second full moon in a month, known as a Blue Moon, also happened to be a Supermoon, which means its particularly close to earth, and we had a full lunar eclipse, known as a Blood Moon.

Thanks to contemporary fiction people tend to think of the Blood Moon as a bad omen (as if omens could be either good or bad) but it really isn’t because blood is life.

I could go on for hours regarding the symbolism of this extraordinary event but instead I’m just going to relay my own experience of it and mostly let you draw your own conclusions or refer to other people’s opinions on the subject. There are many.

I woke late, thanks to a slight case of bronchitis, the reminder of a nasty case of flu I didn’t actually get having only suffered mildly unlike so many others here, that keeps me coughing through the night. I saw a doctor yesterday about it and got a couple prescriptions that should help but I can’t afford to fill them until after work tomorrow.

Being late meant I got to witness Selene, the goddess of the Moon in all her magnificent fullness on the way to work and then arrived at my truck just as the eclipse began.

I gazed in silent prayer as my truck warmed up and then watched intently as I first drove North cutting through town and then Northeast as I left the metropolitan area.

A lunar eclipse happens pretty quickly so by the time I was mostly heading East the moon was half eclipsed and dropping below the tree line as the sun rose.

I would lose sight of it and then catch a glimpse in my mirror or see it reflected in my windows.

I could see the red haze begin to form as it pales from view as if hidden behind a colored veil.

I lost it again for a dozen or so miles as I headed East and then caught it in all its glory as I crossed over the twin bridges on I10 affectionately refered to as the “Dolly Parton” bridges. If you’re curious why they earned that name you can look up some images.

So there I am on top of the twins and behind me on my left is the pale red ghost of the moon while ahead of me on my right is the sun while I crossed over the rivers.

Behind me lay Mobile. My destination was towards the rising sun. Then I descended the bridge and both were again lost from view. By the time I made it over the next rise the moon was gone and the sun shone brightly.

In those few seconds when I was caught between the two, the sun raging as if to catch the moon while the moon reflected that rage as beautifully as she could, I experienced eternity. It was for just a fraction of a fraction of a second but even a fraction of a second in eternity lasts forever.

I continue my day and my journey in awed gratitude.

 

A change of plans

Laid out with careful consideration
Like cards from Tarot
Each option an action
Each person an archetype
Each possibility an outcome
Each potential interacting
with each laid card
All placed with skilled hands
Read with trained eyes
Aware of interrelation
Accepting of interdependence
Interpreted without influence
and an understanding of consequence
A future is revealed
Under the Seer’s gaze
Considered with attention
Reread with intention
Then shared
Defined
Explained
Discussed
Reshuffled
Re-laid
Reinterpreted
Again and again
Until agreed upon

 

Then carelessly laid aside

ignored

and forgotten

 

Now

deck in hand

I once again shuffle the deck

and place the cards one by one

to reveal

only

the direction of my path

without expectation:

 

Forward.

Always forward.

 


Image: Two of Discs from the Thoth deck.

Learning to Dance

dance_by_buzillo

Slow moves
Easy breath
Thoughtful intentions
I am mindful
Prayerful
Reflective
Introspective
I take my time
To learn the moves
To receive my muse
To wade through
The mist
Of misconception
The labyrinth
Of apprehension
To bring light
To those places
It does not,
Yet,
Exist
To navigate
With acceptance
Our paths
Joined direction
and learn the steps
of our dance
One move at a time

 


 

Image: “Dance” by Tatyana Volgina

Beaver Moon

There’s a full moon tonight. It is a moon of introspection. A time when impulse gives way to doubt. Doubt gives way to resistance. Resistance gives way to rebellion.

If, however, we are able to separate our feelings of rebellion from a need for change we open ourselves to new ways of communicating because it is also a time of inspiration, security, steadfastness, and loyalty.

If you find yourself ready to bolt today, from whatever it is that feeds that resistance, whether it be work or a relationship or yourself, then stand back. Take a breath. View the situation in its entirety. And be grateful.

I spent a couple hours at the beach earlier. I felt alone. Truly alone. I wanted to run. To hide. I was balled up tight and wondering why I would feel that way in the presence of such shear power and beauty.

I straightened up. Put myself in a meditative position; back straight, palms upwards in my lap, shoulders relaxed, jaw loose. I breathed in that amazing energy. Connected to those feelings of insecurity. Embraced them. Listened to them. Loved them.

In loving myself I released those feelings and found that sense of security that lay just under the surface.

I wish I could share this with you. The feeling that everything will be okay because I feel those same doubts coming from you.

Relax. Breathe deep. Feel yourself connect to the earth through your feet and the base of your spine. Breathe deep and long, filling your lungs from the bottom up. Then release the air, squeeszing it out from the bottom up.

Focus on a point in front of you. Just in front of your eyes whether slightly open or loosely closed. Imagine a white dot of light there. The light moves and when it moves it makes the slightest sound. Listen to it. Feel it. Let it expand. Allow it to envelop you. When your thoughts stray listen to them, release them, then return to that point of light.

That light is surety. Stability. It is the strength of the Universe that lives within you. It is your divine spark. It is you and it is telling you everything is going to be okay.

Tonight the moon is full and so are you. There’s nothing to run from.