It’s midnight plus 15…I’m tuckered, but dang it, I haven’t got my blog posted yet for week 6….Ok…here goes.
this weeks task of creating a dream board has been fun and revealing. seeing 3 dimensional on my dream board really has driven my PPN’s and DMP into my heart. Once again I had no idea how long the task would take, but as I started into it, the magic began. Ideas for my board began to take shape. So of course, like cleaning the inside of my truck, a task that I thought would be a couple of hours that turned into over 6 hours, my dream board took an initial 5 hours and I’m not finished yet. I may need and entire wall of my office when is all said and done!
I’ve had internal wanderings about my PPN’s. Are the 2 that I selected really me? I had selected Liberty and Recognition for Creative Expression. I feel good about those 2, but True health and Legacy have signaled my heart as well…Now having said that, that without a doubt, Liberty stands tall in my heart. My whole life is dotted with thoughts and deeds that signified my desire for true freedom. I know that Autonomy is closely related to liberty but with one major distinction between the two, at least in my mind, and that is Liberty also has the financial component. A seemingly small but very significant difference between the two ideals. I know this one pretty well as I tried autonomy when I was younger.
Early on when I was 20 and the urge for adventure was at such an urgent peak in my life, and ‘method’ was not, I decided that on the spot, that I and a friend would hitch hike to Florida from California…without any money!— to be exact, I had 13 cents. Which is by the way, more than I had in my head, at least according to my wife when I told her this tale years later. My buddy was much more affluent than I as he had, 2 dollars on his person. Did I get the adventure I was seeking…Oh boy you bet! Was it foolish to try such a thing…Oh Boy you bet! In looking back, do I regret such impulsiveness?—Never—It was a time when dreams held much more fire in my heart and soul than how to attain them. I was operating from my imagination! There were moments of despair, mind numbing fatigue, hunger, saint like generosity, and moments of incredible bliss…One night in particular is etched into my memory.
We had managed to hitch hike to Needles CA…this is in July mind you…We were 8 to 9 hundred miles from our starting point of Tahoe on the side of the road during mid day. It was 114 degrees…No water and no food, one of us came to the realization, we might be in over our heads here, so to speak. I had a watch and other than the clothes on my back, was the only thing of value on my person, other than the 13 cents that is. As it happened, a mom and pop grocery store was across the street from where we were standing. I cooked up the idea of trading my watch for a loaf of bread, a package of baloney and some sliced cheese. The manager took one look at me and laughed and we made the trade. My buddy was ecstatic as it had been almost 2 days without anything to eat. We also made to the wise decision to leave the hitching until night and go down to the Colorado river under a bridge and EAT! We hunkered down in some tall grass and languished the rest of the day watching the river flow by. During the day we noticed that there was a rail yard across the river. Most of the trains going through were empty, slow moving cargo cars. We concocted a plan to wait until night and under cover of darkness, attempt to hop an empty freight car that was moving slow and get out of Needles….fast forward till around midnight. My buddy and I crossed the bridge and using the cover of darkness made our way to the side of the tracks…At this point in time, self doubt was thundering into our consciousness like a storm. My buddy said that maybe this wasn’t a very good plan. I think I uttered something like “NO SHIT!” But it was desperation…We were still a long way from Florida! Finally, a train was coming right at us. We’re hid in the waist high grass as the engine passed before us. It was a big throaty intimidating engine chugging not 20 feet from us. The ground was shaking from the immense rolling tonnage. I could see as the engine went by, several empty freight cars. It was now or never. My heart was pounding in my chest like sledge hammer. What if we got caught or worse, tried to jump on and miss and fall under the steel wheels and one of us dies in some kind of gruesome fashion?
the Train was starting to pick up speed, we made the decision. It was no longer a pipe dream, but “go” time. We jumped up out of the grass as an empty car was going by. My adrenaline was at maximum out put as I ran along side the car, placed my hands on the door opening and pushed myself up and in. My buddy was right behind me. He made it. We were in! I quickly peered into the dark empty car and saw, that indeed, we were the only passengers on this car. The car had the unmistakable smell of many past loads of card board boxes, but now, it was all ours. For the next 20 minutes, we stayed in out of site as the train sped up and we went by lighted buildings within the railroad complex. Fear was still the emotion in charge as we weren’t quite sure if by some tragic twist that we’d been spotted and the train would stop and throw us off and into jail, or as some legends I’d heard, some rail yard security would beat us senseless. If this was breaking the law, and I’m sure it was, it would be my first and only time. But the train kept going faster and faster and finally we pulled away form civilization and into the warm Arizona night. We sat at the edge of the opening with our feet dangling off the edge, listening to the rhythmic clicka-clacka of the steel wheels under us. The stars were brilliantly pulsating as only they can when one is lucky enough to be out in the silent dark desert. The wind blew through our hair and we felt like the kings of the universe as the desert night slid by us in one incredible view of cactus and mountains and rolling sand. The feeling I had then was indescribable. The razor sharp feeling of freedom and not knowing what the plan was to be going forward, was as liberating a state of mind as I had ever experienced and never quite came close to anything like it since.—we were in store for more life reality checks to be sure as the days going forward would show us, but right then and there, I knew autonomy up close and personal. Years later, I would hatch another plan to achieve another dream, only this time it was well financed…sorta…but that’s a tale for another day.