Smoke from the Road

A few minutes ago a burning smell invaded our cabin. We looked out the windows and saw a plume of white smoke emanating from our left rear wheel well. As soon as we could we pulled over, which brought us to the United Methodist Church parking lot outside of Vancouver, WA.

After breakfast we’d noticed that one of the air canisters holding back our spring-loaded emergency brake was leaking pressure. Now it seems it’s given out and we ended up driving a few miles with our emergency brake engaged. A mechanic’s on the way, seems to be a simple enough fix. Proud of us for being able to pinpoint the problem so quickly.

We’re out on the open road again, heading up to Seattle and feeling invigorated and with renewed direction after a few weeks in Portland. Yesterday we had a great team meeting and looked at the big picture of what it is we’re hoping to accomplish with this journey.

It all comes back to each of us evolving ourselves in the direction we truly want through experience, fun, understanding and acquiring skills. To do that more effectively, we’ve each begun writing down what it is we’d truly like to achieve both in our near future and in our lifetimes.

I want to coherently communicate my perspective on consciousness, life, evolution, awareness and reality. I also want to get into great shape, to play keyboard and guitar, to be fluent in a third language, to let go of fear, to master my focus. I want to love life and everyone in it in every moment.

It’s interesting- I wrote a little while back about how obstacles/accidents can lead to positive adaptation. This more organized direction has been spurred by a bit of confusion and inactivity on our team’s part. We had such a broad goal of ‘evolving culture’ that we were finding ourselves at a loss of what to do. Once we realized that the culture we want to create is really about each of us being able to evolve ourselves, it became much more clear. All we really need to do is pursue our dreams.

And we can use our stories to evolve culture. The quest to be oneself and fit into culture is universal, as people’s understanding constantly reminds us. If we do that fully and openly, people can relate and hopefully see ways they can add to their own lives as well. Furthermore, as we meet people through our pursuit, we can easily tell them that if they want to be part of our movement they should simply do whatever it is they’ve always wanted to try.

Mechanic’s here- time to go get the bus up and running again. Nothing keeps things moving forward like action.

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2 Responses to “Smoke from the Road”

  1. Matt Ford

    Love life and everyone in it ever moment. What I’m hearing is total acceptance of what IS. Valiant goal my friend. I love this blog,


  2. miitch berg

    As a hopeful pursuer of similar lofty goals (I think of it as a Love Marine) I thought I would at least express some of the setbacks of such worthy undertakings, so you may be kind to yourself along the way. First, of course, is the obvious paradox inherent in the pursuit of focus. It’s a zen quandry. If you are Pursuing focus then you lack It (as in enlightenment, it is a state of being, not the work undertaken to achieve it. It simply is) But also, Focus assumes a judgement of what we pay attention to- this is better than that, and, I am wasting time because I am not focusing on my goal, ad infinitum. I often think it is the game G*d plays on us having given us consciousness of Self. What I have discovered, and truly I am only speaking for myself here, is that focus comes with an inherent avoidance of our “darker” natures. We feel that we can overcome the lesser qualities of human nature: sloth, overindulgence, pride, desire, whatever your demon is, by focussing on what we have concluded is our higher nature: diligence, committment, achievement, etc. If we win the battle over ourselves in this manner we evolve to a higher state of being, maybe with a side of happiness thrown in. But the next day there is another battle to get to an even higher goal and it never ends. No matter what you achieve there is more to achieve. That is human. I don’t have a better plan then always seeking the best in one’s self, as it appears you hope to do, an honorable goal (you’re parents should be proud). Don’t stop striving or driving down the road of life in a big fucking bus. But it is just as important to embrace the side of yourself that is your weaker, fear-based self and find a way to LOVE that person in all its weakness and vulnerability as well as the one that wins awards and grows flowers in every passing footprint. You will never be happy with how well you play the piano or speak Spanish or Love in every moment. All we can do, while we live with our frustrations, is help each other out, Serve others with an open heart and be an example of a loving human being by laughing as often as possible, even when you let yourself down. Good luck, Marshall’s Dad.


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