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Saturday, October 5, 2013

Notes on Being Off The Rails in So Cal: Part 1 (maybe)

A sense of foreboding and disappointment hangs in the air as I start out on a two week exploration of Southern California.  Why? Simply because deep down I know that our supposed leaders in congress will fail to solve the federal government shutdown in the next several days so that I (and many, many others) can have the glorious opportunity to experience some of our nation’s finest natural treasures (i.e. National Parks and Forests).  The timing is poor, the wilderness hiking plans have derailed...time to re-think the whole bloody trip. First, let’s detour to the Santa Monica Pier and check out Way Over Yonder music festival (think Newport Folk Festival of the West). Picturesque views, temperatures in the upper 80’s, and a fine selection of cutting edge American music should at least sooth a broken heart, if only for a day or two.

Let me also reflect on airports, airplanes, and passengers; of being “alone” in the terminals observing all of the hustle and bustle of people movement. That constant motion that signifies both joy and anxiety in preparation for travel. I don’t particularly share Jim Morrison’s observation that “People are Strange”. On the contrary, I gather up and breathe in a million little details in the faces that I meet- the individuality and uniqueness that manifests itself in this particular landscape. I sense how important people’s lives are, how they are driven to communicate with their loved ones during these times of being “in the air, not on the road”. I also see vulnerability, awkwardness, and patience….security checks, no shoes, lap-tops out, belts off, hands up, polite scans and searches; it’s all kind of surreal.

Yet it’s also a part of God’s handiwork, a blessing and gift in two words – hopeful humanity.  

And there’s everyone on the plane imaginable sy425. All ethnicities and persuasions: punkers, executives, models,students, retirees. Airborne you see the immense beauty of the earth with its patchwork of colors, shapes, and textures. A remote sensory vision of tannish-brown Nebraskan foothills and deep red Colorado canyons where one feels the flow of creamy Nevada rivers, and one understands the minute growth of  grainy, desert green tree California mountains. All of it of course enveloped in a myriad vastness of cloud patterns whose shapes constantly change like a chameleon. Its earth, sun, and moon (well, not yet anyway).

This isn’t strange or being alone is it? 

Perhaps it’s a deep longing for fulfillment, a blind encouragement to recognize the inter-connectedness between us all. Better yet, it drives us toward an understanding of “walking” in the moment.  See Rebecca Solni – Wanderlust: A History ofWalking.  For AE. 

Oh, by the bye, it’s also the Feast Day for St. Francis of Assisi!

Psalm Prayer (Oct. 4th Vespers): Lord Jesus Christ, you have prepared a quiet place for us in your Father’s eternal home. Watch over our welfare on this perilous journey, shade us from the burning heat of day, and keep our lives free of evil until the end. 




Resources

Pending Federal Government budget deal.


Addendum: I'm sure glad that I spent all of those preparatory hours watching old 70's Calf crime drama on force-fed METV. I understand the west coast culture so better now... whatever. Still, Rockford Files had a slight edge over Cannon and I'm rockin in a Ford Focus at the moment.