As I laid in bed meditating this morning in the arms of my beautiful partner staring out into the surreal snow covered landscape I was left with this incredible feeling of gratitude.
How did I get here, how could my life possibly be so good?
Was it luck, hard work, did the universe finally reward me for decades of suffering? It’s really hard to tell.
I consider myself a depression survivor. In many ways it’s kind of like being a survivor of something more like cancer, but for people who struggle with depression most of American’s attitude is ‘just get over it’. Not only is this incredibly unfair, it’s also unrealistic to judge others harshly for a condition that they really have little or no control over. I read a statistic online that said 50% of Americans will struggle with mental illness at some point during their life. If so many people suffer from it then why is there so little support and compassion for it?
Normally in this blog I focus on writing stories about quality of life and love, but there is something that has been deeply troubling to me since the financial crisis that has been literally keeping me up at night. When the financial crisis hit I spent a lot of time doing research to understand the root of what caused it. In the end, I discovered some deeply disturbing facts that NO ONE is talking about. There is a belief that people hold that the US government is the one creating the capital in this country, but most of the capital is created by private banks. If Bernie Sanders wanted to become president he would just focus on one simple fact;
That private banks are creating capital in the US monetary system out of thin air causing everyone else’s money to be worth less. For ever $1 that a bank takes in for deposits they can loan out $10 to someone else who then takes that newly created $10 and deposits it in their bank who can then loan out $100 to someone else that then gets deposited … ad infinitum.
Most people spend most of their waking hours working. Why?
The carrot that drives most people to get up and go to work everyday is money. Money is great, you can use it to buy things to eat or use or experiences. What is money really?
Money essentially is a system of agreement for barter. It’s very difficult to function under a system of solely trade as the perceived value of the items you are trading are often wildly different. The value of an item can also change wildly from one person to the next. With money we have a system of agreement and everyone agrees that $1 has more or less the same value from one person to the next.
As the 8′ high waves came and crashed on my head the only thing I could think was “Get back in your kayak and get out of here or you will die”. I frantically splashed around in the water while the most powerful current I had ever experienced thrashed me around uncontrollably. The boat hit me in the face giving me a black eye, I tried time and again to get myself into the swamped sea kayak and roll it up but to no avail. Eventually I gave up and grabbed my 500lb sea kayak filled with water and started swimming toward the vacant beach.
– Was attacked by lawn sprinklers while innocently sleeping outside somewhere I probably shouldn’t have,
– Got pressure washed with foam so hard it hurt while rocking out to a DJ in a plexiglass cage with 80 naked strangers
– Danced 6 hours a day in the desert for a week and ate the best food of my life every day at the Rhythm-Wave camp in Black Rock City
– Built a 43′ high bamboo puppet with scrounged materials found around BRC and walked around for 5 hours over 2 different nights with 5 people helping me
– Hiked for 3 days in Yosemite with Doug while the whole park was on fire, climbed half-dome and didn’t get eaten by bears despite smearing peanut butter all over my face and duct-taping myself to a tree
The jails are just filling up with innocent Americans who gun down intruders in their own home then get stuck with a liberally biased jury and end up spending their lives rotting away in Jail. A bunch of people put their heads together and came up with the “Stand your ground laws” to save the day. We live in such an amazing country that now 21 different states or 2/5 of our more perfect Union now have laws protecting people who shoot other people as long as it is in ‘self-defense’.
In Texas you can shoot a Prostitute if you pay her for sex and she doesn’t deliver ‘the goods’. Walk away scott-free thanks to Stand Your Ground Laws, but don’t try to steal ribs from a supermarket with a knife in your pocket or you could end up with a 50 year prison sentence.
I knocked on my neighbor’s door one day with my 12-year-old son by my side. He answered the door with a shotgun and a gruff ‘get the hell off my porch’. I stood my ground and told him how inappropriate his constant speeding down our road was threatening the lives of every living creature around. If only NY had a stand your ground law, he would have been able to shoot me and my son in self defense for not ‘getting the hell off his porch’ when he told us to. Or maybe I would have been able to take his gun from him and shoot him because I felt that my life was being threatened. Who knows?
It took them 44 days to press charges against Zimmerman, after the Jury trial he walked. Members of the jury were left feeling like they should have charged him with SOMETHING. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that George Zimmerman went out looking for trouble. If he hadn’t been packing heat and then whatever altercation he had with Travan would have ended in a scuffle with some bruises and hurt egos. Instead Travan died. Why did he die?
There was no piss on any toiletseat I used in my entire 2.5 weeks in Japan. Of all the things that struck me as odd in Japan, that one was the most unusual. After spending time in Japan you really begin to realize how rude and obnoxious people everywhere else really are. Folks are so polite in Japan that they will not even smoke and walk at the same time, no one uses their cell phones in public spaces, and when crammed into the subways together somehow people manage to not bump or touch their neighbors. Everywhere we went people would stare at Orion and I but would not say anything unless we spoke to them first. Everyone wanted to talk to us, but were too shy and polite. I remember on one train that was full of school kids in uniforms pretending to ignore us, I took the ketchup container out of my backpack and said ‘ketchup’ in a loud voice and the entire train car was in an uproar with everyone yelling ‘ketchup’. Within 2 minutes there were 20 cellphones snapping pictures of Orion and I with our arms around the local school kids.
Whenever I go on long trips I have so much time to THINK while driving. It’s amazing how words wind themselves around my mind and I think and think and think about what to write, how to make my adventures interesting, worth reading, engaging for others. I love that feeling of thinking about what I want to say before I say it, and the act of creation, when I write or draw it is the closest thing to sheer bliss I think I will find on this crazy planet.
The overwhelming feeling I had on this latest 2 week-long road trip adventure with Orion was one of Joy. I spent a lot of time remembering when I was young, going to school, keeping my head down, burying myself into books. Most of the time I spent intimidated, afraid, mostly of my peers, my teachers, my principle or my parents. Never in my wildest dreams would I ever imagine that I would grow up and would be able to find and hold onto happiness. Through a brutal exercise regime and by avoiding sugars, meat, drugs and alcohol I have been able to find a lot of joy in this life. When I am on these trips with Orion we both spend most of the trip totally giddy. Orion is the best travel partner I have ever found. Although at night in bed he is all-elbows and knees every other aspect of my traveling experiences with him is just amazing.
Skyline is the quintessential West coast snow kiting destination that deserves every ounce of its reputation. The scenery was amazing and the terrain was varied and extensive. Almost every day we wanted to ride there we were able to ride, except for when the storms were rolling through. Traveling with Zeb for 10 days was fantastic, he had already been to skyline countless times and he was pretty good at predicting the winds and the conditions at the top of the mountain. Zebulon is the only kiter I’ve ever met that is actually weirder than I am so it gives me immense satisfaction traveling with him. Whenever people are like ‘dude you are so weird’ I can always be like ‘Yes but my buddy Zebulon is even weirder, why he’s from the Crabnebula galaxy’.
The trip started off pretty insanely when Zeb texted me that a woman had given birth on the flight he was on and he had gotten re-rerouted to Denver. Apparently this is a pretty uncommon occurrence as it ended up making the national news. The last time he had flown in an airplane the person in the seat behind him had stopped breathing so he had to give him CPR, that’s some bad flying karma. When I met Zeb in Salt Lake City my bags hadn’t made it there yet, so we had to wait a couple of hours till the next flight brought them in. We ended up getting a humongous Chevy Malibu rental car and Zeb had acquired conjunctivitis (pink eye) on the plane so we had a prescription for antibiotic eye drops called into the nearest pharmacy. Zeb had gotten one of the new Android phones and it ended up being a real boon to have with us on the trip, the phone impressed me so much that I can’t wait to get a google phone of my very own. It did voice activated navigation with real-time traffic updates so you can see how slow the Freeways are moving. I’ve been waiting a long time to get that functionality out of my phone, and it’s all free. Continue reading “Flew To SLC To Snowkite, Ended Up Sleeping Outside On Top Of Skyline Drive In -20F. Cold. Fun.”→