Ramblings of an Insane Man

What is it to embrace the notion of artistic expression? What is it to conjure images in one’s mind a greater human evolution? And if these questions were answered, how would it be put to use by our ancient ancestors set forth upon the Arctic plains of North America 12,000 plus years ago? Would they have imagined a society transfixed with political or otherwise convoluted notions that one must impale themselves on a social system bent on devouring itself on the notion that a greater political power has our best interest in mind? How has it come, in the pass of of Human evolution that we have become transfixed on the idea of voting into power, the contradictions of one persons idea of a happy and fulfilling life vs the idea that we must all contribute to a society that continues to worship, historically, the idea that political power, no matter how well intentioned it is, focuses on greed, wealth, and war, not it’s people. It never has.

I am a believer in the tides, the current, the swell of the ocean, the constant downward drift of the glacier, the omnipotent erosional forces of the Earth upon itself. The force of the river, the perpetual shift of seasonal onslaught gaining the landscape. Not of political bully play.

From the perspective of person born of this insane culture, yet who rejects it to a certain extent, I believe it is time for us to all ponder something far different that has been presented to us since birth. Why not move, or shift our perspective away from ideas that politics and partisanship are the singular way for us to all be in rhythm with what is ours for the given: the notion that we can all be at peace and not be courtesan to a system that does not have our best interest in heart? The notion of politics is one of futility to the embrace of those who desire real and genuine peace. It cannot and will not be the keeper of subsistence to the longevity of our species. If this notion is wrong, then so is the Human Race.

When I speak of artistic expression, it goes far beyond the notion of what a piece of technology can offer; wether it be a digital camera, computer, paintbrush, or even a piece of paper and pen can offer. I speak, humbly, of something greater: the mindset that we can become something far greater than the extraordinarily limited offerings of politics and commerce. These things have been engrained deeply within us for as long as any of us can remember and longer, by far. These notions have led to nothing but war, poverty, and dismay of the entire non-human world. As well as our own. Yet we are not different from them, we are them. We are them. This is who we are, unbeknownst to the internet news feed that most take for gospel. Time to make a shift people…

The “shift” I speak of is obviously not a new idea. There have been “shifters” around as long as the first human “politicians” have been around. There has been dissent as long as anyone can remember, and a lot, lot longer. Dissent is what makes a developmental case for real progress. Without it, we are all slaves. Which we all are I might add. Time to break free of the oppressive system that has taken hold of our evolution since our beginning and conjure something new. Then we will be free. It is time, I believe for all to re-think what it is to be happy and content. Happy and content is not what the masses of the world are. Not in America, not anywhere.

So how do we do this? Myself, as a Human, struggling to make a payment to the bank, knows not what that it is exactly. I do know that a more than gradual shift towards something non-political is the real hope for who we are, and more importantly, for the sake of our children, who we will become. If, and when we can accomplish this, we will be appreciative of our neighbors, our surroundings, our air, our water, our Earth, and all who else inhabit this beautiful planet.

I wish to step into the wilderness for a spell; that is the place where genuine reflection of our species and all species can occur, I wish the same for you, even if you don’t think you should, can, or don’t have the courage to do so. Think radically, think different. Don’t be afraid to speak out. You are the voice, not  the politics. Act as though the system does not exist and you are supremely righteous. Do what is right and courageous, not what is expected of you as “Americans” by the status quo. Be real. Be supremely real… Be an artist in it’s truest form.

It is all a frame of mind, and it is extremely important to our children and all the other creatures who inhabit this tiny place we all call home.

Then we will be free, and not before.

If you have absolutely no idea whatsoever what in the hell I am talking about, best go back to Facebook and start over.

Here we Go Again

Here we go again. My mind has spent the day wandering about the empty landscape of my skull and coming up with lots of groovy ideas for trips and adventure in the Great White North. Problem is, I currently have a busted ankle, and no matter how much I work and scrape, I have yet to get a leg (as it were) over these damn house payments and bills to be able to leave long enough to have some time to myself and enjoy the art of traveling, bicycle touring, and mountaineering. This has to change. And it will.

26 months ago, I was sitting in a little shack next to the Ogilvie River, just after breakup, at a time of magnificent high water in the northern Yukon. The ice pack over most of the river was still 36” thick and the water level so high, the mighty stream swelled up, changed course, and destroyed the road not 2 miles from that little shack I sat in to pass the time. The all dirt and gravel Dempster Highway, which leads from Dawson City (essentially) Yukon, to Inuvik Northwest Territories is one of the grandest places I have ever been. It is a spectacle of utterly wild and northern arctic and subarctic landscapes, filled with massive rivers, barren and rugged mountains, tundra, pingos, Caribou, Grizzly Bear, Moose, and Wolf. It crosses the continental divide three times and after traversing the barren and tundra covered arctic landscapes of the far north, ends at the small NWT’s village of Inuvik, a place thanks to the Ogilvie’s bad temperament, I have not yet seen. I reckon August would be a good time for another attempt. Due to broken ankle, no money and other factors, this August is out. I’ve got another year to figure it out and make it happen. I figure riding directly from Haines is an option. On the other hand, driving to Dawson City and starting from there would be best, besides I’ve already ridden all of the way from Haines Junction to Dawson anyhow. Then, when I returned from Inuvik, I could drive the truck across the Ridge Road into Alaska and do a quick jaunt up the Nabessna Road and into the northern portion of the Wrangell Mountains, an area I have not yet become acquainted with.

I miss it up north, I miss the Interior. Haines is a great place to live, but I miss the vast forests and tundra of the far north. I must heal up, make some dough, and get this shit into gear. Three years is too long to have to wait between these adventures. The following months will be challenging indeed. After taking off the air boot today to inspect my “broken ankle”, I have begun to seriously doubt the reliability and integrity of the medical profession. I stiil have yet to even speak to a genuine doctor about this. I was simply told, after 5 weeks of being in a cast, that I was “in need of surgery” by an unknown radiologist whom I have never met or spoken with. That was going on two weeks ago, and still have not heard from anyone in regards to when this supposed operation might take place. After I called the clinic in Juneau a week ago, I was instructed to not call again. “We will call you” I was told. This whole thing is starting to feel like nonsense to me. Looking at my ankle today makes me think it is fine and I should get on with life. I’ll hold out for a while longer I guess, hopefully someone will call soon. All I know right now is that my bicycle is calling my name….

Act Accordingly

Being out six weeks now with a broken ankle, a fall at work has produced disastrous results for my life here in Haines. Six weeks after the fall, I am now still waiting for word from the clinic in Juneau to merely get scheduled for supposedly needed surgery, which, all said and done is going to cost me many more weeks of recovery, possibly totaling 16 weeks of time spent on my ass and not working to make house payments, catching fish for the winter, and cutting much needed firewood. All can be done now is to surrender to the Universe at large and hope this will all work out somehow. This experience has caused a great deal of pain and psychological suffering that seems to be a great and unbearable burden. That said, I am grateful nonetheless. It has allowed me the time to come to terms what my goals in this life really are… Although it seems I have known them all along. Not sure what the immediate or near, or even mid range effects this will have, but a struggle is at hand now. I will keep the faith. I have held off on sharing this with facebook friends… It is in my face… luckily, the woods still speak a soft poem to me…

Life is never a notion to be expected of. There are always going to be mysteries that lie ahead. As Thoreau wrote some time back, “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

I have taken heed to this in recent years, but the challenges of daily life make hard to grasp at times. I try, I really do, but every once in a while, I get derailed, severely. I have a tendency to take on the loathing of life and I must say, it does not serve me. Or anyone else. So what is the point. The philosophical notion that we are all guaranteed a possibility of well being and happiness is true, but it is not a notion that can be expected without refrain. We must believe it. And believe it to it’s core. That is where I have fallen short. I want to believe, I want to gain from this notion’s laying of everlasting gratitude and sense that a world might emerge that will provide for all. Alas, I do not see this all the time. Instead, I often see a world of pain and suffering amongst humans and animals that is unspeakable. I try hard to be positive, but it is unwaveringly difficult. My petty situation is but one of minor inconvenience. There are are larger difficulties at hand. How can the human race intend on providing for itself, when it cannot provide for the remainder of the planet. As humans, we possess the  undeniably holy gift of thought and perception above and beyond that of the rest of the natural world, and as of yet, we have not even begun to harness this power. God is not what I speak of, but instead a sense of ourselves and the world surrounding us at large. This is what is important to me.

My struggles at current time are merely a reflection of what the rest of Humanity are going through. These are the most trying times in history of both Human civilization and therefore the natural world. This I know. Technology and it’s Human dependence prove it. Peering out the back door of my home, I see an entire world that the bulk of Humanity does not recognize. It is there, it always has been. Hopefully, it always will be.

Excerpt

A paragraph from the book I just can’t seem to actually finish… maybe that is the point; maybe it is not supposed  to be finished…

“Just south of the lodge known as Bell II, I look through a clearing in the forest and see for the first time Canada’s great and glaciated Coast Range. Craggy peaks engulfed in ice and nary a road any where near them, I feel a washing aesthetic come over me, similar to seeing for the first time in many years the Canadian Rockies weeks earlier. I am coming home to a place I have never been, and a heartache for all things wild and free develops within, and a budding sense of realism penetrates all that this pedal north is becoming. Thoughts of my past life in Moab are becoming a distant memory, with visions of the North encompassing all of me and all I will become. This place, the Cassiar, her mighty rivers and expansive forest, begin to feel oddly familiar. There is a vague yet noticeable tinge of something ancient in these forests; something unexplainable that has catapult me into a womb of wilderness and animals. I see a Black Bear, then another, then another. The concepts of the modern world drifting from my heart; the destruction I feel I have left behind, the crying of a world gone mad, and the never ending forest are all I see now. In retrospect, I am quite certain that it was at this point my life changed forever. Never again could I be satisfied or feel safe in a world full of madness and decay. Here, my heart lost in a sea of timber and mountains, I see nothing but balance and I could never again return to what I had left behind. I was still a long way from Alaska, and if what I was experiencing here was only a precursor, I felt I might simply explode when I arrived in what the Athabascan’s call, “The Great Land”.”

Question All You Have Been Taught

The following piece was written, uploaded, deleted, and uploaded again. It is a work-in-progress

Also, If you want to get the most from JRB, and really want to read the stuff I put on here, don’t just wait for it to be posted on facebook; SUBSCRIBE!

You can do this by pushing the “follow” button to the left and entering your email address. In fact, at some point very soon, I will stop posting JRB to Facebook altogether. Just Rolling By needs to be it’s own entity, not something that is read because folks see it scrolling mindlessly through Facebook…

QUESTION ALL THAT YOU HAVE BEEN TAUGHT

One of the things that is perpetually on my mind these days as so many more before, is the notion of modern life. Seems we have become an article of economics, and the conceptual hows and how nots of the best and most fullfilling way in which to live one’s life upon the ever deepening demeanor of modern civilization. As Thoreau wrote, “What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” This has always rung true with me, long before reading for the first time “Civil Disobediance”. I remember not so long ago, on a long distance bicycle journey throughg Alaska’s Arctic that there seems a disconnect between who we have become and who we really are. Since childhood, I have been dumbfounded by concepts of material possesion, and the means to support the idea at large, versus the the path that we all must take to achieve personal happiness, and how it might affect the world as a whole and who we are in relationship to the planet. Too many people’s happiness and well being seem rooted in the degredation of planetary and community health. This is a tricky one, this notion, and it begs those who might follow a deeper and more compelling path of what might be considered “true” happiness, to re-consider what is really at stake. Thus, there are questions that seem to ride on my shoulder on a daily, hell. hourly basis: What do we as a species require to be fullfilled? What are the underlying needs that we all have to feel safe, happy, and socially connected? Without damaging what most in our arcane and insane culture has led us to believe? My belief is that we have created a society that has empowered nonsense and belittled growth and sincerity.

How can one feel deeply satisfied with the concepts of the modern work “ethic”, paying for and endowing to banks, lending institutions, schools, social security, IRA’s, stock investments, real estate ventures, medicare, health insurance, car insurance, licensing fees, building permits, taxes, mortgages, rent, internet access, cell phone coverage, fuel costs, vehicle maintenence, hospital bills, pollution, environmentral rape, social ignorance, chemical dependance, pornography, corruption, crime, false religion, bureaucracy, and the general bastardization of a society that we have allowed to be run by those of a moraly corrupt disposition? It is total and complete nonsense to me.

I  wish to live a relatively simple life. One that is mostly free from government intervention, one that is free from scrutiny of the status quo, one that is aimed at health of self and surroundings, one that rely on a community that rspects itself and those who are in need, and the only way that this can be achieved, in my very small and humble view, is to gain what is lacking. What I speak of is a concept that would eliminate all politics, law enforcement, voting, religion, crime, dependance, and corruption of all kinds. This is a concept, unfortunately, of a radical nature, one that the human world has never , ever seen before. Ever. Religion and politics pretend to teach it, the under payed teachers of our youth pretend to convey it, and the government claims they have it, But none do.  Without it, the human world will self destruct and those not prepared will suffer.  The human condition seems to be fueled by greed and control.

There is only one true answer to the accelerating demise of this decrepit civilization. Personal Responsibility. That’s it. It is that simple. I see it lacking in every aspect of modern culture and it is destroying us. However, it sure is giving some well paying jobs to priests, politicians, welfare workers, doctors, lawyers, and law makers.

If you don’t have this basic, required  trait, GET IT. if you don’t, you are old news and will be left behind.

OK, E-nuff… off to have an adventure or two.

Socially Unacceptable

The places that are wild and free are special and deserving of our utmost attention. The places that are a faction of corruption and dismay are places that humans have altered to to fit only themselve’s, and by definition, are neither wild nor free, but instead are made swiftly to submit to and are held in bondage by a race set on domination and desrtuction for it’s immediate gratification of false pretense, only to be held responsible for not only their own destruction, but the demise of all those wild and free creatures around them. These are not notions I have learned in school, but ones I have learned in the forest and in the mountains an in the desert. I have learned this from listening to the animals that inhabit these places and from  serving the woes of those who have not. I am not a wise man. I am a simpe man who desires and ultimately demands the best of those who’s intentions are pure and the downfall of those who’s are not. A world that is in harmony would not question such a notion or a man that speaks such. This I know, and I do not know this because the internet or the television or the media tells me so. I know it because I listen to a turbulent world of a struggling planet and it’s coherts in distress. For these reasons I do not believe in a system of politics or a system of voting; because a system of either is a system that serves only itself and nothing more. This is my truth. I know that I am rejected intelectually by many of my peers and my family for stating these neccesities, but I am not alone in saying. Unpopular beliefs have been punished for milennia and is nothing further from the truth than one who goes along with the status quo just because it is socially acceptable. The Human condition has been on a long and dangerous path for many, many moons and, since I was a child, I have known that a change has been occuring, at least in regards to the Human perception of the universe at large, yet perhaps it is not happening fast enough. Paradoxally, it is likely my own perception of the concept as a whole that permits me to think that this is happening too slowly, and yet the notion that things are happening at it’s appropriate timing is correct on a cosmic scale, and that all that we might do to carry our burden is to guide one another and help each other to listen to the forest, and the water, and the wind. To listen to the Animals, as they have as much to say as we ever have, and to forget that we are more important or  more relevent than all other creatures. To think as such is a Christian doctrine that has misguided the Human Race and set back it’s spiritual evolution and higher calling for  untold numbers of years. It is time to stop this madness and live the lives we were meant to live. If you think I am mad and don’t know what I am talking about, all you have to do is lsten to the wind speak to you and look into yor heart; then you will know all you will ever need to know.

Grateful

Haines I love the fact that I can gaze out from the deck of my home and peer into the dark forest and see the contrasting colors and shades of the snow reflecting form it’s floor. I love the fact that Alaska is a place I have dreamed of my whole life and I am finally in her. I love that I have a home that fits my basic and artistic needs. I love the fact that I have a family that has supported me in all of my worldly adventures an has not judged me for such. I love that I have a woman in my life that is crazier than my myself and backs me on the decisions I make to create a better and more adventurous life for myself. I love the fact that I have friends and acquaintances that allow me to be me. I am thankful for the fact that I can gaze, from the deck of my home, and see Alaska’s fantastic Chillkat Mountains. I love that I can see active and flowing glaciers from many spots near my home. I am thankful for the many aspects of the world that I am only now coming to understand. I am thankful for my bicycle and it’s manifestation of travel and foresight. I am thankful for all of the friends and peers I have known in the past whom I rarely speak, but think of often. Thank You… I am grateful for the adventures I have yet to embark, and I am thankful for my health and age. I love the fact that the world is an ever evolving place that one might allow a change to occur, if only one has the courage. I hate the fact that I sometimes become paranoid of the world and the people in it, but I am thankful that I have the power most of the time to overcome it and, once again, feel joy. Thank You.