Thursday, February 13, 2014

Palmerston North, Round 2! A resurrection.

 After Whanganui I ventured back to Palmerston North, where if you remember, I had spent an unexpected Christmas in a hostel rather than house sitting for a friend.  The key was at the post this time, and even better, a few of my friends would roll through town throughout the series of days I would spend there.
  The injuries persisted, but I was still up in the air about what to do.  I realize that certain things are beyond our control, and as I told a good friend of mine recently, our reaction to life is the only thing we truly have control over. What is that saying? "Life is what happens while we are busy making plans?"  There is truth in this.  I had been fighting injuries consistently since the first full week of the trail.  I am aware I am quite stubborn, and often to a detrimental point, so the debates in my head were raging. At what point do I give into the physical ailments?  And even worse, how could I possibly break the news to everyone?
  I was feeling like I had failed. I had set out to accomplish this goal and was terrified of the thought of it going unfinished. More so, I was afraid of letting someone down.  So many people have put their faith in my abilities and idea, for whatever myriad of reasons, and I find it difficult to believe that even if I told them every day for the rest of their lives the magnanimous effect it had on me, they couldn't possibly understand. And more so, they would probably get annoyed by my broken record of thank yous.
  The Tongariro Crossing was my last test.  If I could manage to pass through unscathed I could probably go on to finish the rest of the trail.  This would be an easy reintroduction test... again.  It was only 19km and I had the advantage of being able to leave my backpack at the hostel in National Park, "slack packing" with just a day pack of food, water and sunscreen.  What I didn't mention in the Tongariro blog is that I did in fact have issues in my feet and various leg joints and found myself once again limping after only 11km.  I won't go too far into details, but the pain was obvious and the trail was too much for me to handle.  I have officially been bested. There you go, I said it.  
  Te Araroa you kicked my ass like I did not see coming and I humbly bow down to you, a respected adversary and friend.  I find disappointment in the unrelenting set backs of my physical abilities holding me torturously just out of reach from my aspirations.  After taking the last couple of weeks to face this straight-on I offer reluctant acceptance, and I think I have finally found the level of grace I needed to say "thank you."
  Don't you think for one second that this means I am finished!!  I am still producing art and have hiked a substantial amount since then, though at slower speeds and smaller more manageable intervals.  The limits in my physical abilities have expanded the depths of my heart and mind. I am not the same as when I started, and so begins the healing.
  I stayed with a friend for 5 days in Palmerston North catching up on the last blogs and deciphering my next motives.  I found his house and company an oasis of insight in the deserts of my struggles.  When we are children our minds are like sponges soaking up knowledge and the wonderment of all the possibilities this world has to offer, but as we grow we are taught limits.  We meander through blockades of "no's" and "good luck with that's," hidden behind a veil of fear and pessimism.  We are taught to question, but with limits. We are taught to wonder, but within the confines of our cultures. We are taught to wander, but not too far.  Change is scary.  In Palmerston North I found a gem disguised as a man who still questions, wonders, and wanders through life in a state of awe, disguising his observations in clever cynical word play, (a living Monty Python character), bending the walls in this maze through life and allowing himself to be marveled by it.  To say anything further of what was discussed would be to put a stain on the sanctity of the flow and destinations of the conversations held.  Some things you must be present for.  But the lessons learned, and the new tilt of the angle through which I see the world will hopefully subtly translate itself through the next series of writings.  At best, I can give you what was passed along to me in the form of a poem by the Bulgarian poet Blaga Dimitrova (1922-present).


I was born for love
to give and to receive it
yet my life has passed
almost without loving

  So I've learned forgiving

Even the deserts I have crossed
I feel no scorn for
I just ask them with astonishing eyes
What gardens were you born for?

Countless thanks to you Grant.

Carnivorous Snails

1 comment:

  1. Aww Sucks
    honestly its me who should be thanking you. you have no idea what your visit has done to me, even if i thanked you every day for the rest of my life, i wouldn't even come close to replaying the favor. I used to write, I did so for many years, but I have writer block for quite a while, years in fact.
    But your visit inspired me so much that i have started writing again

    now i have the opposite problem, its a virtual explosion of words, there are so many things to write about I think it will take me a long time, perhaps years to get them all down. considering all the problems a man could have; too many stories and too little time would have to be one of the more beautiful problems to have