Howdy Myst, (Edited Version Available 2020)
Leaving the Smokies felt sort of like we were crossing a point of no return. Our original plan for 3 or 4 weeks in the Smokies and Blue Ridge was about to become a 2 – 3 month odyssey. Whatever this Devil’s Triangle turns into……..there will be consequences. The decision to go for it had gelled with an email from our Buddhist Wedding Photographer, Motorcycle – Therapist, “hey if you are headed for BC let’s meet at the Horizons Unlimited Riders Meeting in Nakusp.” BWPMT (pronounced however you like) had described these folks who did extended journeys (at times around the globe) in search of Adventure and Life Changing experiences so we replied “sure, why not…….it might be refreshing to meet people who also have slippery attachments to reality, like us.” “You dudes are in your own league where reality is concerned……..I been readin da blog – yer friggin crazy!”
BWPMT could sound pretty mainstream at times, despite his hipster outer appearance. Wedding Photography probably confines you in some terrible way that never gets discussed……..sure there are all the bridesmaids, cake and money, but do we really understand the effects of attending weddings every weekend? Also, we have always had a wariness around vegetarians – the Karma thing makes sense, but c’mon – have some beef now and again – slum it with the rest of us! The old adage about not trusting someone who doesn’t drink once in a while parallels nicely here. “Yeah, but the people who really freak us out are folks that act normal, say normal things and think normal thoughts – they all are ticking time bombs (listen to a phone tap sometime). Common arrangements like Marriage can be Death Traps if not steered around obstacles…….the Titanic was destined to sink BECAUSE it was supposed to be unsinkable (Experts). BWPMT is basically a good guy, everyone – even fringe dwellers sound standard at times (it’s natural to have these “normal fantasies” on occasion). We decide to accommodate his delusion somewhat. “Well…..we have been fictionalizing the blog some, ya know – spicing things up a bit.”
BWPMT is relieved “whew! You guys were really starting to freak me out……..so where have you been stretching the truth?” Our biggest pet peeve is when somebody wants specifics regarding the lying…….it takes the fun out of it. “Can’t you just accept the Genuine Variability in our Sincerity/Deceit Ratio? It took a few days for BWPMT to return email, “Understanding everything doesn’t really fit with Buddhist philosophy anyway, we’re supposed to just laugh about stuff sometimes……so go ahead and Blog bizarrely – it’s cheaper than traditional therapy. Also Motorcycle – Therapy isn’t about always knowing where you are going…….it’s about departing your normal life and exploring unknown places.” Blah Blah Blah, BWPMT went on like this for a couple of paragraphs, it was all well meant.
We have come to a place in our life where departing is necessary, a minimalist trek via Motorcycle was the prescription, but events have consolidated along the way and here we are – from Various Cosmic Dimensions – massaging our way along Interesting Death Struggles – Chronicling End Times Weirdly (more weird than other scenarios?) and somehow providing Therapy to our Motorcycle. Kimmie Lou has been taking this whole end of the world thing badly, most people understand getting Motorcycle Therapy out of an Adventure Trip, but because we almost never conform to regular framework……..we find ourselves also giving Motorcycle Therapy to Kimmie Lou while receiving it from her simultaneously. The departure is happening – from Reality? – from Sanity? – from Conformity? Perhaps we are simply Embracing Variability, the journey so far has been freeing, over terrain we ride on and write about.
“Wow – that’s it! Our Mission Statement for the .org can be Embracing Variability This freedom we are experiencing……what about promoting that?” “Probably too vague” said Kimmie Lou, “remember how well defined, clear, concrete goals are needed to make an organization tick?” “You are right Kimmie Lou, organizations are tightly defined to achieve their goals, but all these goals aren’t making the world a better place – aside from enriching the organizations.” “Yeah, a lot of Corporations have charitable outreach divisions that are basically just an extension of their marketing strategy.” “Also a lot of Charitable organizations are subtly trying to market some religion or practice while “functioning” for the greater good and Executives in .org organizations are regularly reaping profits in the form of whopping salaries for themselves while conducting half-assed non-profit work.”
Kimmie Lou was thinking this over, we were taking a break in downtown Knoxville, “so you guys are saying that aside from the Moral Duplicity in many Non-Profit Organizations there is a broad enough variability in the way they operate to justify another Non-Profit occupying itself with Variability.” “Yeah, also the variability blends nicely with diversity which is already well established.” “Look a .org about Embracing “less organization” may not fly, but if we are going to proceed with Freedom, (including it’s obligatory doom fringe) we can’t see any other way to do it.” We knew Kimmie Lou would have trouble digesting this…….it was too open ended, Machines like order and processing with measurable results – Freedom bugs the shit out of them.
The traffic ambled by……traffic doesn’t whiz by in Tennessee, finally she said “Okay I’m in, but with one condition.” Ridicu and I crossed eyes briefly (why does it always begin falling apart right from the beginning). Kimmie Lou, you know this is about Freedom right?” “That’s why my one condition is that there be no conditions……..which includes no registration for the .org, no board members, no discernible structure to our group – whether they are drinking buddies, dinner companions or folks we haven’t met yet – everything will be variable.” Mmmmm, when a machine gets it they really get it and besides, Structure really isn’t our thing. Aside from the women, this is what interested us about Nursing, being structured at providing care, while at the same time recognizing your efforts will ultimately fail in the mechanical sense. “Sounds good to us,” we all play around calling each other CEO, Director of Operations, South Pole Division Chief and all sorts of titles for around 10 minutes, laughing the whole time.
We are setting up camp at Big Ridge State Park a few hours later when this truly odd Duck waddles over (he looked more like a short-necked Goose / Turkey, but you could tell he was mostly Duck by the way he waddled). When he introduced himself as Ernest Hemingway 17 7/8 we stopped everything and paid closer attention. “Are you telling us Hemingway fathered waterfowl ? asked Kimmie Lou. “Naw, he was just into difficult women…….he winged one of my ancestors years ago on a duck hunt. Bobby took a shotgun pellet in his left wing but rather than fold up and crash, he kept himself aloft long enough to kamikaze dive right into Ernest’s face, knocking him over. Hemingway liked the fight Bobby displayed so he took him home and Nursed him back to health, they got to be friends and before Bobby flew away he changed his name to Ernest Hemingway 7/8 (since he had already been Bobby for a while and as a Duck, he couldn’t quite see himself past Ernest as number 1)” We talked about Hemingway, Ridicu was particularly interested in his Manic Depression. “Do people crank up into Megalomania when they get Manic?” asked Kimmie Lou. “Sometimes,” replied Ernest, “today people refer to it as Bipolar Disease.” That’s so two-dimensional, wouldn’t it be better to say Multipolar with well defined North and South Poles?”
We had a simple supper laid out, Tuna with Montreal Steak Spice and Lemon Juice in Whole Wheat Pita (we made these tiny little wraps for Ernest). Ernest gobbled and swallowed tilting his head back like a Pelican……..he noticed us watching him – he knew we knew and we knew he knew. “So where are we headed from here?” asked Kimmie Lou. Ernest smiled in that very slight way Ducks smile, he stood tall and puffed out his chest, then in a pretty good Foghorn Leghorn voice he said, “I say, I say BOYS…….I ain’t no Chicken, now if you want Chicken – there’s Kentucky Fried Chicken.”