We’re starting to find a rhythm. Waking with the sun is truly a gift. The cab-over bed is incredibly comfortable. Like a tent, but with windows, sheets, warmth. I’m glad I brought a subzero comforter. Jake burrows deeper into his cloud of blue and purple. We slowly extricate ourselves from our cocoons to see where we’ve landed. Last night it was a barren parking lot behind a convenience store. Once again, we’d driven for hours expecting to find a park (as indicated on the map) but none had appeared by 7:30. So, grudgingly, we paid $30 for full hookup under sodium lights. We ate udon and watched a movie--Dr. No, the first of the James Bond 007 series. I slept like a bag of buckshot.
With all due respect for Michael’s disdain for Mr. Manly Man, I am grateful for his willingness to drive and run around checking systems at our various stops. Yesterday we ran out of gas about 50 km from Sasquatch. Thanks be, we had 5 gals. in a canister on back. It took both of us to figure out the no-leak container. I held the twist-and-wouldn’t-lock valve open as Michael held the weight of it up to the tank. By the time we finished the chore, our hands were soaked in gas. “Mama’s hero!” he told Jake. Michael is too, especially because he prefers to share in the weight and the glory of the tasks. This morning he showed Jake how to unhook all the systems before we departed.
Jake ran around gloriously in dirty orange gloves draining the pee pipe and later washed his hands with relish for the first time in days.
While I want to dive into the river of life with this trip, on any given morning this trip I’m more likely to feel I’ve stepped out of it, escaped. For over a year I’ve been reading from The Book of Awakenings by Mark Nepo, a gift from Eva. She discovered it or perhaps was given it during a year of cancer treatment. Nepo survives cancer as well, and this book was borne of that experience. I often read it aloud before yoga. And reach for it often during this trip, for structure, solace and instructions.
October 5, Waking Close to the Bone
Seeking life everywhere, I found it in the burn of my lungs
“… simply by waking, waves of feeling pulse close to the bone, and this continual pulse is so deep it aches. It is the ache of being alive. I used to think the ache was sadness, but now know it is deeper than not getting what I want or losing want I need. This waking close to the bone is the pulse from which both joy and sadness rise, where pain and wonder meet. Now I wake on stubborn fall days that resist the cold, I wake before the sun, the world wet with anticipation, and I feel this ache, the way the Earth feels its core grind about that central fire that no one sees. It is the slight burn of being here.”
I may read this book for years, like a cow slowly digesting fibrous grass through several stomachs. I’m still drawing nutrients from days ago. As Michael said, that’s the heaviest I’ve heard from that book and I like it. Because I feel it; it confirms the heaviness I feel. Call it gravity. It’s the weight that holds me to earth, next to naked birches and knotted spruce.