SONG OF MYSELF, NOTES ON INSANITY
Feb 3 Day 12 Red Cloud Mine Road to a place in the desert
miles today: 29 cumulative: 227
Cosmo, where are you? My first day without her. Three more days on this trail. I can tell today will be hot, no clouds again. Every 25 feet there are signs that say: No Trespassing, LIVE BOMBING AREA. The Bradshaw Trail forms the northern border of the Gunnery Range. Every once in a while you can see a huge pile of old bomb casings on the side of the road, waiting to be picked up and melted back down to make new bombs. I follow coyote tracks on the sandy sides of the road, the middle is all gravel, and difficult walking. There really issuch a thing as purple mountain majesty, it is here in front of me, in the Chuckwalla Range, I dont think Ive ever seen a mountain look so purple.
On both sides of the road are fields of rock that look like a mosaic, completely untouched, they look like fragments of tile set into the desert floor, black, orange, red, with patterns of quartz. But the larger of these fields are almost always torn up by off-roaders who come here on weekends and ignore the signs that mark the wilderness boundary. Like taking a can of spray paint and painting big loops all over the The Last Supper. The common mans Postmodern art, a statement of how most Americans relate to nature. Those tire tracks will never go away, no one can ever restore these desert mosaics, it would take a dozen men months just to repair the tracks left by one vehicle made in 30 seconds. No one can restore these but the ocean, waves and time, another great flood, there will be no Ark next time, Killer Karma.
My thoughts are moving so fast today. Once, when I lived in the capital city of Slovakia I almost lost my mind. It was thinking too fast, I couldnt slow down, crunching the numbers of the universe, a supercomputer stuck in the existential loop, trying to calculate the Nth decimal of infinity. I would see people walking down the street doing normal things and think, Wow, I wish I could think like that, about a date, about dinner, about a car, about anything but my existence. I came out of the loop eventually, I was working on a series of paintings at the time and I just threw myself at them, as objects of salvation. As the only things that were real. Working on them on my hands and knees, layers and layers, lifetimes on lifetimes, obsessed with the physical act of painting, until they made me whole again. Sanity came back when I knew that one was done, when I knew that it was real, when I knew that I could create beauty. My own Genesis. I had to recreate my whole world in a series of paintings.
Today I am thinking fast again, but not worried about losing anything, I understand how to flow with it better, how to use that speed to travel. I have been traveling a great deal in my mind these past months. Thinking about the girl of course, one night while laying in her arms I saw whole life times pass, I did not imagine them, I lived them, whole life scenarios together, I lived them through to the end, but in the end I still didnt see death, I still dont believe in it. In one of them I saw us both as musicians, growing old together on the road, playing in Nashville, me on harmonica, her on guitar, both of us singing. She does not play country music, but in dreams she croons like June Cash. But it wasnt a dream, I was awake, I was sober, and the lives came in flashes, then the books, then the universes. I wrote 5 books that night, about her beauty changing the world, and new universes came to me like those other lives, not just imagined, but lived! Flashes, journeys, so far so fast, like the rainbow cobwebs in the Palo Verde again, then there were no words, just the journey. Too fast for the body, too fast for the mind, beyond symbols, beyond language. Lucidity. I found the treasure chests, the hard part is bringing them back. This will take many trips.
Thoreau wrote about walking, that
we should go forth on the shortest walk, perchance, in the spirit of undying adventure, never to return, --prepared to send back our embalmed hearts only as relics to our desolate kingdoms."
"If you are ready to leave father and mother, and brother and sister, and wife and child and friends, and never see them again, if you have paid your debts, and made your will, and settled all your affairs, and are a free man, then you are ready for a walk.
I have not paid my debts so I am not completely free, but I will send you my embalmed heart in these letters, and I will walk as though there were no tomorrow, no yesterday. A walk in the present is the hardest walk. So in the present I will take you through my mind, kicking down walls, free beyond any debt that I may have. I give you my heart.
When this body is all that is left, when you dont hear my voice, when you cant wake me up I will be surfing. Cosmic oceans, rainbow cobwebs, faster than the speed of life. I know it is the ego that requests this, but it is also for your amusement. Take it seriously, I mean every word of it. Tar and feather my cold body, arms out-stretched, with red feathers. All but my face. Cover that with glitter and put chocolate medallions over my eyes. Place me on a funeral pyre, like the Trojan War, then a make bonfire big enough for you to say, Is this too big? Then add a little more. Everyone should wear a war bonnet and dance around the fire to electronic music, the kind that makes you move without effort. And drink some cactus juice, the kind that makes you crazy for a while, the kind that makes quantum leaps in your mind so you can see that everything is perfect. And youll say wow a lot and then youll see the wave crash over the place and carry me away. There is no death. Water flowing.
If I become the ocean I will fix the mosaics in the desert.
If a man or woman knew that they would leave this place at a set point in time they would be free. It is that uncertainty that is our prison, that maybe if I wait, maybe tomorrow, maybe then Ill be happy. But if you knew. If you knew you could live free. You could tell more people you loved them, you could hug more, you could laugh more, you could enjoy your life. You would be a super hero. To live in the present moment is to be a superhero. Live like you know. Like today is your last chance. If you dont like your job; quit. Dance more, beat your chest, kiss the girl, mend broken fences, do something you wouldnt normally do, make someone happy, make yourself happy. Eat more sushi.
Movies, all of them, all our lives. You are the director, you take your film crew wherever you want, so dont complain, just change the set. Pan to the left, to the ocean, pan to the right, a beautiful girl. I will occasionally tell you that my feet hurt, that I am scared, that I cant go on, but what I mean is that I have chosen this journey and I accept all of the above.
At sunset I am paranoid. Water. I am water and I have no water. Where are Larry and Amy? The chances of them coming out here after dark are not good. I ran out of water 2 hours ago. I would tell you about yuccas and cactus and small palm trees and the way they light up in the last minute of the day, but I am too worried about water. Where are they, where is the water, where are they, where is the water, where are they? A broken record. I have been singing all day, in between visions of funeral pyres and the last supper I have been singing. Now I am silent. Even in my silence I know that this is a test. The test is to sing when you are scared, to sing when you are out of water. Trying to sing. Where are you guys? Late in the night I hit a 2 mile stretch of deep sand, I cant believe this is on a highway map. I want to get further, but I am exhausted. I have come 29 miles today. An akward camp site for lack of energy to go on, another fire of dead dry brush. Maybe they got stuck, maybe they got in an accident, maybe they will send someone tomorrow. My mouth is dry. I chose this....