This morning I felt tired. Not because of the what’s happening in the world, but because I had a chihuahua wake me in the middle of the night. Despite that, I started the cloudy, dreary day with determination to make things happen. I found a cabin I was interested in buying. I had started the process of talking to banks awhile back, but it was demoralizing because of my student loans.
It’s an odd system here with financing education, and one that has stalled my ability to move forward in a financial sense. I was upset after talking to a loan officer, so I decided to go for a hike. I got in my car and drove to my favorite spot. Turning on the news offers very little in the way of hope. Death rising, and to rise more. I pulled up to my usual trail and noted that there were more cars than usual. These are usually fisherman though, and this observation proved to be correct. I encountered nobody in the forest.
When I started walking, I noticed I could hear the traffic more than usual. The wind must be blowing in the right direction to have this effect. The noise of my thoughts would outdo the noise of the traffic, then vice versa. My thoughts were as unpleasant as the traffic. I felt a certain kind of self-pity towards myself, and the feeling of not being enough. This feeling haunts me from time to time, until I realize how unproductive it can be.
I walked off the path to pee. As I squatted, I saw a whole different view of the forest. There were mounds of bright green moss with clover speckled all over. I wondered when I would ever find my four leafed clover. When I would have some luck in life to overcome what seems to be the impossible situation with my loans. To have some luck with finding an audience, a place where my voice matters and makes an impact for people. Most of us wish to be heard in some sense.
As I started walking down the path again, I realized that maybe my luck was simply having the chance at life. At being alive, at having the opportunity to express myself, even if I don’t have a large audience or the ideal living situation. I have the ability to create. I have the freedom to create. The people who died today from Covid-19 don’t have that opportunity. They don’t have another chance. Their chances are up, their chances are over. They are gone. They don’t even have the opportunity to fail. It’s still an opportunity even if it’s not the desired one.
As I walked on the soft forest floor, I realized that progress doesn’t have to mean money. It can mean writing that paragraph, it can mean finishing that film, it can mean mastering the songs you wrote. Progress can mean anything for a person. Capitalism would make us think otherwise. I saw ripples in the river from the wind, I no longer could hear the traffic. I was far enough away in the forest, from the road, from as David Lynch would say, “Strange Unproductive Thinking.”