Enduring a winter of such snow, my inspirations were fostered less intrepidly. The most elemental of my experiences was venturing out onto the Nock, a frozen lake near by that seemed extraterrestrial with its ice fishing craters and remnants of ice fires. Perhaps the most intimate was being lost in stories, lost in books. Throughout the cold cold months, interactions at the Shrine (Shriner’s Hospital for Children) continue to warm my heart. I’m reminded of the ephemeral and life’s fragility after the passing of a young girl that I enjoyed much laughter with while  hearing of her Amish lifestyle and cross stitching hummingbirds. While painting one evening, our imaginations were taken to a vivid vantage point where a young guy had once encountered a moose on his adventures in the forests and marshes of Newfoundland. Energetically speaking, venturing into the cities of New York and Philadelphia to enjoy new and wild music enlivened my spirit and offered a necessary change of environment.

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My 27th birthday has me considering quite cosmically: the zodiac and more specifically, the duality of my nature as a Pisces. My paradoxical appreciation for the love and comforts existing at home are sadly in tension with my desires to travel and my will to live freely. It’s safe to sleep with a sound roof over my head and pleasant to sit at a strong table and drink a hot tea, a fire dying down in the other room, my dogs asleep on the floor and the sounds of my guy’s guitar playing radiating up the stairs. I am thankful for all these things. And still I wonder, am I really happy? “So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity & conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a person than a secure future. The very basic core of a living spirit is passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day, to have a new and different sun.” Read from Chris McCandless’ pages, this has never left my mind.

I’ve set out on an adventure. The surroundings crossing Pennsylvania are indicative of my mood and initially restless mind. At times I feel trapped in the tide, a cyclic ebb and flow of action and reaction; Lulled into a very neutral existence. A stagnant place that despite the love I possess, I cannot be content.  I drive with tears in my eyes due to thoughts of my relationship’s uncertain future and considering myself alone. I must carefully heed my fears and not be so afraid of change. This mantra I stole from a song somewhere comes to mind, Keep your head up, Heart strong and mind set. I’ve known for a long time that at some point I may have to reject certain secure blessings in order to “woo the unpredictable ecstasies of my solitary soul.” I drive,  the clouded visibility, the thick fog and the cold rain is eventually lifted from the last mountains in Pennsylvania.

 

Eventually a crescent moon hangs high in the faintly colored sky of Ohio. The stress of relationships and the struggle has got to be suspended and held in abeyance, in an hour it is my hopes that sadness will be as distant as the stars.