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4.07.2005

 
Maybe it was discovering an infinite regress in pragmatism, maybe it's just my unadulterated wanderlust and spontaneity, but regardless of cause it is now come into my mind that I will canoe 110 miles over the course of a week this summer. Astounding as this would be if I were to do it alone, I am, in fact, going to be in a very large group (about 200 people), all canoing and learning about the river systems in the state. And quite frankly I think that a journey with so many people will be a more challenging and also more rewarding experience overall. I have never had trouble doing things by myself, I rather enjoy things that way, and I despise group work in classes, but that is just my point. Why would I want to accomplish something that isn't the most dramatic alteration of my status quo? A grueling trip like that would be amazing and character building either way, but if I can learn how to connect to other people by living with them and learning with them then all the better for me and my fullness as a human being.

Plus, I really miss being outside. I go out of my house everyday, but it's just into a neihgborhood in a city. When I was a kid, after we moved out of the city I could go outside. And when I was out there I could discover how to sit quietly. The world beyond the city blows through me with a quiet intensity that provides a peace that I am unable to taste in the urban jungle. There is always something trying to live harder and faster here, and it turns everything into a vicious fight. People try to impress each other and outdo their competition in a way that serves no real purpose other than to be an indulgent being. Those same things happen in the woods but only because without them life falters. It gives me the feeling of existing in a part of the most perfect and well tuned machine ever created. And as vivid and full of life as the city is, it is not suffused with life, it is life on top, rather than life throughout.

Happiness comes from various sources at various times, and the true happiness just falls like rain into my life, and it's just as easy to hold on to. But there is something more that is left behind from the greatest of my joyful moments, not a lesson or even a feeling, but an addition, as if I have been made more because of it, my being is more. I can still remember laying on my back in the driveway when I was five. It used to be all I would do some days. I loved it when it would rain in the summer and then the sun would come back out, so that the whole world seemed to be glowing. And I would lay there and look up at clouds while everything smelled like dirt and all the warm water would soak through my shirt, and it was the best feeling ever, to be that warm and happy. Even when I think of it now I can feel that there is something attached to the memory that is more than an emotion. It's like a connection to a concept or existence greater than myself, and in combination with other such moments I am made more than the sum of all my parts, more than just a Me. Beyond just the joy or the sorrow, a dive into infinity.

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