I’m confused when I first see the pockmarks on my windshield. I know those weren’t there a second ago, and I didn’t hear it happening, but sure enough, there it is. Rain.
I’m overwhelmed with the strangest feeling, watching the road and watching the droplets plinking at random intervals. I can’t actually remember the last time I’ve seen rain – I mean, I have to have seen precipitation, and I definitely remember snow, but not rain. Maybe there has been rain and I just didn’t notice. That has to be it. At least, I think.
I’ve been not-noticing a lot of things lately – the way my body feels before/during/while hunching over a computer for 8-10 hours a day for weeks at a time, the tedium of driving hours to tutor students, the growing consistency of the warmth outside, the number of friends off for trips short or long. Instead, I’ve been working, acutely aware of the quick-slow progression of sunrises, sunsets, days that fly by without thought or meaning, and wondering whether or how exactly a day on trail ever felt like an eternity.
I think I’m viscerally experiencing what too much work on projects without passion does to a person – it leaves a hole, an ache that we try to fill with things like escapist reading or retail therapy or actual therapy that will never be enough, never be quite as satisfying as simply owning our own time, tearing it from the jaws of a system that demands you exchange your labor for survival. Which is fine, if your labor is a labor of love – I would do the work I did last summer a thousand times and a thousand times again if it meant being as alive as I was then. But when it’s simply in the name of getting money to spend money so you need to get money all over again… Honestly, I don’t know how people survive years and years of this, of feeling like this. And that’s what it feels like, surviving – I’ve been more focused on making it through just one more day, and then just one more day after that, than I did in five months of living in the wilderness.
Cerebrally, I know that I’ve only got a couple of weeks left of this kind of survival. I’ve made it through a month of not thinking, not breathing, not sleeping unless it serves the “higher purpose” of making money, and I can finally see the trail, the purpose at end of this onerous bushwack. I’ve got a rapid-fire road trip and moving and just a few more things to finish before there’s only one main thing, one giant, year-long adventure ahead of me.
So even though there’s more rain, more wind, and maybe even more snow in the forecast, I’m finally convinced that spring has sprung – and the blooming season is right around the corner.