Sunday, October 24, 2010

One year ago....

This was taken a year ago in Northern Quebec not long before I retreated south. Looking back I feel I was a coward for not pressing on in the face of freezing temperatures and mechanical failures and bad tires and dead batteries. Because now I'm on the same damn mission and it's later and I'm in worse shape and my kidneys are bad and I've got to outfit my van for the adventure. Not to mention the wolf is in trouble.

But I have a real video camera this time and I am determined to make it. This time, nothing will stop me. It's Labrador or Bust. This week will determine my fate either way. I had an epiphany last night in my frozen breath dreams that I've been waiting for life to miraculously fill me with love and contentment but I think that I must pursue and cultivate these things on my own. They will not grow by themselves. Like Joseph Campbell said, Follow your Bliss. Fame and fortune will probably not be in your future but some level of peace might be enough.

There's a good line in a movie called "Owning Mahowny" with Phillip Seymour Hoffman back when he was taking roles in everything.

Psychologist: How would you rate the thrill you got from gambling, on a scale of one to one hundred?
Dan Mahowny: Um... hundred.
Psychologist: And what about the biggest thrill you've ever had outside of gambling?
Dan Mahowny: Twenty.

Then the psych asks if he would be satisfied with 20. And that's the question all us addicts have to ask ourselves. Maybe I'm addicted to drama or abuse or self destruction. The times I get a thrill of 100 is getting lost in the forest or having a major mechanical breakdown or solving some motorcycle problem or writing an especially tasteful passage. Work, when I'm paying attention, is about a 10. Reading John Updike is a 50. Listening to Roger Waters is a 60. Everything else literally doesn't register on my meter. I daydream 80% of the time of a place where Roger Waters sings to me while I work on a motorcycle. That's a 100...but it isn't it's really nothing. We're all looking for the 100 and it's easy to think that which gives you the biggest thrill is worth the pain it gives too. No one wants to be satisfied with a 20 out of 100. Maybe I can convince myself that the 20 is really 100. I'm good at self deception.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.