Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Why Green Cascadia?

That's a damn good question.
Let me tell you a little about myself.  I have always been a "Steady Joe", professional technical jobs, sitting in a responsible cube while the wild world outside my door churns away.

"This will not do" I thought, nearly continuously, but with children and responsibility, dreams have a way of slipping away.  Thankfully the splendor of the natural world has always been my solace and medicine, for my entire life really.  Every free moment the wild world called like an unseen beacon, pulling me to Idaho, Montana, seeking those places that run with their own unseen industry.  Finally, after a visit to Portland, Oregon (or Stumptown as it's fondly called) I found home under trees that have never known dead presidents, although their age defies our understanding.  What is 1000 years to a tree, nurtured by abundant rainfall and just enough sunshine?  I felt I have lived here before, as entire generations.  So I, like so many followed my heart and to those luscious forests.
But still, the mechanism of society churns on, and we must face our responsibilities.  A new cube awaited.

After nearly ten years of struggle, avoiding dirty politics, hostile corporate takeovers, gross disrespect, and the usual fun of the "cube farm", I had enough.  I had changed; years of losing myself in the splendors of Oregon's ancient places made coming back to blind duty nearly unbearable.
Concurrently, for 20 years I have been taking friends and family to my favorite secret places- deep within a green canopy, or hidden in unlikely cornfields and behind pasture.  Every trip was a new beginning for most - I could see the child within reflect in their faces, perhaps for the first time in years.  No one is immune to a place  larger than the human mind can comprehend, and perhaps answered only in the abode of the heart.

Perhaps we all need this experience, as each trip becomes more special and life affirming.  Fitting a square peg into a round hole was becoming clearly futile.  I was clearly not a corporate man, although I did a fine job pretending.  Well don't we all.

It took me a couple more years to build up the confidence to, as Joseph Cambell once said,

“To find your own way is to follow your bliss. This involves analysis, watching yourself and seeing where real deep bliss is -- not the quick little excitement , but the real deep, life-filling bliss.”

Well, my bliss is in the rivers and forests and impossible places, where one merely scratches their head in confusion of the complexity of it all.  Where a waterfall somehow transforms into love.  

It has been 2 seasons now since I left....THAT PLACE.  My mind is still a bowl of tangled spaghetti trying to make sense of my new freedom and sort my duties from a perceived hell.  I can say this: my days are incredibly richer and vastly more satisfying.  My daughter, now almost 7 had almost slipped my grasp as I sat in near madness in that gray cubicle.  But no more, as I can be a greater part of  her childhood and emerging life.

Our children grow up and out, while we ourselves age and decay, soon to return to from where we came.  Life as we know it is incredibly short, and we must not squander or waste a moment.  Life is a precious jewel, and it must be lived!!!!!!!!!

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