Tuesday, April 27, 2010

From the Source

The other day I took a drink of fresh mountain spring water, and it wasn't from a bottle--it was from a fresh mountain spring. I was on a jog in the hills and thirsty as hell. I passed some water gurgling from a snow covered slope, and I impulsively stopped, cupped my hands, and slaked my thirst. Giardia be damned, I needed water, and the risk I took made it taste better than ever. I've been conditioned to fear untreated water (probably for good reason), but drinking clear wild water is such a primal fulfillment. The fact that I was so exhilarated by taking a simple drink shows how domesticated us city folk are. In the future I see myself throwing caution to the wind and drinking from more natural sources. But knowing that I have some ciprofloxacin leftover from traveling does put my domesticated mind at ease.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

4:20, Brah

The 4:20 smoke out at CU is a strange event. While I was observing the gathering from the library steps, I knew there was something strange, but it took me a few minutes to figure out what it was. And this is it: People go there to smoke weed, but I think their main motivation is to see how many people go there to smoke weed. It's like a meta-event where the spectators are also the spectacle. There's nothing to see except for the other people who came because they're curious to see all the other people who came. And the bigger it gets, the more people will want to come to see how big it gets.

It's also a good example of how smoking weed is not a big deal at all. In the minutes leading up to 4:20, there were thousands of people standing in a field. In the minutes after 4:20, there were thousands of stoned people standing in a field. The scene looked exactly the same, except for a plume of smoke that rose at the appointed time. And then 20 minutes later, the crowd dispersed, perhaps a little more placid than when they arrived. Imagine how different thousands of people getting hammered in a field would be.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

My Plan

These days, I frequently get asked, "So, what's your plan?" It's a rational enough question. I'm 24, graduated from college, returned from worldly gallivanting, working in a coffee shop, and living with my mom. One would think I should have a plan to use my education and move beyond my current casual lifestyle. But my answer to that question goes something like, "I don't really know," or "I have no idea whatsoever." Right now my life is a blank slate--a table rasa, if you will. It's the first time I've ever experienced this. I thought I did after I graduated, and while I was traveling, but in both those cases I had plans. I had either a plan to travel, or a plan to go back home, and as vague as those are, they provided comfort. I remember people talking about the post-graduate blues or angst, trying to find their way through the world and find gainful employment. I thought I was immune to such afflictions, but now that I'm trying to find my way through the world and find gainful employment, I see that I'm not.

I have a feeling of anxiety, or restlessness. At first I thought it was from not making progress toward some larger goal--we all have to plan for the future, after all. But when I thought about it, I realized the same feeling of anxiety/restlessness has been with me for as long as I can remember--it's only the apparent cause that's shifted. When I was in school, the cause of my restlessness was to graduate; when I graduated, the cause was to leave Boulder; when I was traveling, the cause was to go BACK to Boulder. Now that I'm back, I'm restless to have a plan, because part of me thinks that will cure me of my restlessness. But it won't. Once I'm onto a new thing, I'll be anxious to move onto the next. And the next, and the next, and the next, until there aren't anymore nexts.

I don't think I'm unique. I think 99% of the population (At least In America, though I have my suspicions about the rest of the world) has this same feeling for their whole lives. Why else are people so driven, and our society so goal oriented? America was founded on this restless feeling. Just look at manifest destiny. It's like we have someone standing behind us, prodding us with sticks into the next moment, making us feel guilty when we fail to make progress.

Well to hell with that. The cat's out of the bag. I'm wise to this affliction and I'm not going to let it follow me till I die. For now, above all, my plan is to work on getting over this anxiety. To outsiders, It may seem like I'm doing nothing with my life, but by doing nothing, I'm working on one of the greatest somethings of life. Now all I have to do is figure out how to explain that when people ask, "So, what's you plan?"