Posts Tagged ‘wander’

Trish and I are celebrating our one year anniversary in Dallas….but this is just the latest stop in a long line of stopovers. As Canadians, we are considered an anomaly. Most people in my country tend to hunker down, build a nest and stay in that one place for life, in the same job, short term vacation, paint the house every five years, have 1.2 children, put a different car in the driveway, buy a house they can’t afford, spend thirty five years trying to pay it off, divorce at least twice…. and never leave their comfort zone until  taken out in a box. Canadians in general are sedentary unimaginative and predictable people. The banks and government love them for acting like sitting ducks.

Many people emigrate,  we are nor immigrants…. we wander by choice. We have zero intention to stay in one place, instead we float in a dish of cream. When the milk runs dry we will  be on our way. In the past ten years in particular, we have been ‘on the road’ so to speak, living in hotel rooms and long stay executive apartments. I particularily like countries that rent furnished apartments by the week, like Australia. It’s liberating to move from one great view to another. I do not want plants or animals tying me down. I have a beautiful wife …why would I need a little furry buddy to assuage my inner emptiness? Aside from Dallas we have lived/ worked in  Paris , Amsterdam, London, Bristol, Beijing, Singapore, San Francisco, Bangkok, Hong Kong, New York, Maui, Helsinki,Denpassar,  and visited many places in between…..prior to that..  long stints in  Fiji and Brisbane homeschooling our son on the beaches. For university prep we gave the boy a top boarding school education and he went on to spend six years living on the campus of a great university. He is very independent and we’re quite proud of that.

The travelers lifestyle got under my skin when very young. I suppose you develop a mindset after a while where ‘home’ becomes a concept rather than a place. Our circle of friends are living around the world rather than the house-frau and her balding husband across the cul de sac. I’m permanently tanned from too much time in the sun, whereas in Canada they’re sounding alarms against the idea of even 15 minutes exposure. My travel flesh is deep and dark. My rotator cuffs  joints in arms and hips are grinding like an old transmission from too much time spent in swimming pools and surf lines…my travel bones are worn. And still I have no want to return ‘home’ and begin collecting china or automobiles….or even worse….take up golf.  This a hell of a lifestyle…. but someone has to live creatively.

Canadians in particular are jealous to the extreme, they covet  and become angry when anyone has something they cannot. It’s a peculiarity of the culture. You’ll find  conversations with Canadians  begin with  identifiers ‘what do you do….where do you live, how much do you make.. where have you been on holiday’? It is a Canadian caste system that defines who you are financially compared to every one else. They’ll want to know if they’re ahead or behind so that they can either envy you or despise you. Vancouver , for example has been polled as being the loneliest, least friendly, and difficult to make new friends in as a city…. there is a large population of people reporting some form of depression and mental illness due to the social isolation. People there are so covetous of anything another might have that they can’t decide to ‘just be normal’.A visitor to Vancouver will notice a desperation to own real estate and a huge number of newly leased cars…. but no theater scene, no music scene, art scene, no cool neighborhoods…..just a lot of miserable people sitting around telling you how great their city is as justification for what they’re paying every month. In fact…it has to be the most miserable , covetous place I have ever been.

But I remind people that what you do in life is a choice. ‘Change your mind.. change your life’… is a phrase that popped into my head when I began my career as a traveler hitchhiking around North America and then branching off to spend decades wandering the world. It works for me…..and if you don’t like where you are…pack a suitcase and go somewhere you do. Hey…it works for us. I guess I’ll have to keep my crown as ….THE KING OF PAIN.

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i may  have fallen

as i’m weary

too much dancing in the moonlight

slipped on the dark cracks

inky black

twisted broken sidewalks of my life

laying prostrate

under a street lamp

upon a pastel mural

by some forgotten artist

as anonymous as myself

the stars above me

in the red sky

perhaps a chance to rest

i doubt it

i am stricken

with a calling

homeless and wandering

my only inclination

i have  one pair of shoes fit for dancing

from trip to trip

call me back

i may not answer

this  drive is a lust and desire

to lead a life of deaf and dumb insecurity

wrenching me by the hair to carry on

in spite of any attempt to struggle away

i may have made in the past

i have no complaints

that’s ancient history

i  sing in the sunshine

and cry in the rain

bemoan every cloudy day

but i know i’m alive from day to day

this shadow in the alley may be frightening to you

but i am home there

with other vagrants like myself

and we are legion

a cooperative of fools

alive behind the mystery of an obvious world

without a pot to piss in

i spell freedom on the sidewalk with my spray

as i hear the music playing

in the distance

my feet begin to twist and join

i lift my head

the breathless sigh of a reckless seeker

has wound itself around my soul

i have no choice than to follow

and rage against the light

of a civilization whom i deny exists

what will come of this social apostate

no one knows and no one cares

inscribe this on my paper urn

before offering me back to the wild wind

‘he lived from day to day

and danced outside the lines’

he leaps from treetop to treetop

barely touching a frosting of snow

dusting the highest boughs

his eyes keen on a silhouette  that ran past the face of the moon

nimble feet dancing in the light

reflected lightning as he sped

racing down  transmission wires in pursuit

suddenly awakened sparks behind

snap in anger in his wake

before his passing could be determined

onto the back of a raven in flight

his heart skipped a beat

as he followed the moon shadow

that frightened oracle threw him off

as it banked

and careened into the  night

crashing through  forest boughs

breaking the frozen blue silence

wild with raucous protest and admonition

to fear time

he quickened his pace

enraptured by what he couldn’t understand

drew him reckless out of a restful dream

and into the night

to run

in the moon shadow