Friday, September 1, 2006

If I've learnt anything on this road trip across vast parts of America and to the South Pacific, it's that life is certainly more livable when we are able to unplug, unwind and tune-out.

I realized some time ago, and have once again been reminded, that an interesting life is best created by actively seeking out and recognizing authentic people and places. My life, work and travels have opened some interesting doors and I consider myself fortunate to have journeyed down countless paths that have led me to cross more than just time zones.

For me, travel is the best way to understand the meaning of authenticity. I don't believe there is anything authentic about watching television or other people following their dreams. You have to follow your own bliss and seek out your own adventure.

I must be honest, I began this blog on a whim with the hope that a few people would enjoy the chronicles of my journey. The responses and reactions to my postings and photos have been positive and supportive. I thank you for taking an interest and I sincerely hope this effort has perhaps inspired others to take a leap of faith. To go from the known to the unknown. It has been a bona fide journey that has opened me to many wonderful friends, people, places as well as providing countless reminder of all the exciting possibilities available. If you are still reading this, I encourage you to try and do the same.

Life is short.

Maybe you don't have 2 months, but surely you can find 2 weeks, 2 days or even 2 hours to break away from the routine and try something new.

I've also learnt that perhaps I am not "lost in America" - rather - America is lost on me.

I don't mean that in the sense that America is a lost cause. Although I know some certainly do feel that way. Rather, there does not appear to be a unifying thread tying the country together. Perhaps there never was and it's just one of those myths perpetuated by my memory or desire for greater meaning from everyday life. Yeah, I know the country is filled with ubiquity and obnoxious homogeneous clutter. My goal has been to see the ordinary in an un-ordinary way. I've tried to shift my paradigm if you will.

I've not watched much television over the last few months - actually most of this year...I was busy working 15 hour days during the first six months and traveling the last couple. So while flipping through the channels the other day I couldn't help but become repulsed and nauseous at what is passing for news.

It's time to yank the cable from the TV.

Yeah...yeah...yeah, there may have been a brief moment after 9/11 where people were united in their shock, fear and grief, and no, I'm not talking about Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction! Kidding aside, those were strange days and our emotional buttons were being pushed hard so we would be led to think we were all having a moment together. But emotions are things you process in your own personal way...nobody can ever feel exactly what you are feeling.

These days the stories and facts have become as twisted and turned around as a gulf coast hurricane. Nobody knows what is really happening from one day to the next or what reality is. Our collective memories are constantly being scrubbed clean.

Now the war in Iraq and our politics is the equivalent of a level 3 hurricane ripping through and tearing us apart. Really, what brings people together anymore? The media? I am convinced that it is a greater threat than Crystal Meth in that it is designed to perpetuate the dulling of our intellects and our ability to process anything of value. Overdosing on it will kill your spirit and our collective soul.

It has already been five years since 9/11 happened and I wonder what could possibly shock us out of our submission?

Even Katrina, only a year later, now seems like a bad B-movie. Honestly, after the few benefit concerts and Kanye West's brief moment of clairvoyant ramblings about George Bush hating black people, what do those of us who weren't directly impacted feel, care or even remember? Those images and resulting outrage turned out to be as temporary as a henna tattoo.

My most poignant moment happened while attending the services of my friend's mom who drowned outside of Biloxi. For me, spending time with his family and friends was the only authentic moment attached to the national disaster. Watching Anderson Cooper or the dupes at Fox News droning on about the drowning just doesn't do it for me anymore.

Yesterday's news story was nothing but countless hours of callous reporters calculating and drawing conclusions about a decade old cold blooded killing of little girl in Colorado and the titillating tales of young girls forced into polymigamist marriages inside a quasi religious cult.

It's time to pull the plug. more ranting!

The summer is winding down and I will be soon journeying back to Iowa for several weeks until returning to Maui for the winter. I am contemplating the continuation of the blog and its evolution. So, consider this a warning or promise...I will do my best to continue posting more photos, stories and thoughts from my wandering mind as I continue on this journey called life.

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