It’s All About Movement And Movement Is Everything-Not Talk

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Seawall Campground

June 21, ’77

It’s been raining, almost constantly. This campsite has been home for three wet days, and, after tonight, three wet nights. At least the rain-fly that I engineered worked some. I will never go on a camping trip without a rainproof tent again. Sitting in the rain hasn’t been all that bad, though. I have had plenty of firewood, and I have been reading a good book, Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance. This low-key existence has replenished my energy. Waiting for the weather to break, I have been eating hot rice, gravy, and eggs, plus I haven’t had the anxiety of wondering if it was going to rain. I have also had some interesting conversations with other campers. I have even become very adept at building and keeping a rain-fire going. Best of all, this campsite only cost me one dollar a night, and because the grocery store is walking distance away–two miles–I have been able to feed my senses the whole time, even if those senses have remained wet the whole time. All and all, I have enjoyed this place, but now it was time to think about leaving. It was still cloudy, but the rain had stopped. The weekend campers had all cleared out and I was on my way to take one of those infamous grocery store showers for twenty-five cents or fifty, depending on the dirt. If this was the break in the weather that I had been waiting for, I wanted to be ready to leave early in the morning.


The Parody

The watchful parkman’s eyes

brings an afternoon of beauty

to a weighted evening surrender.

The Promise

Past anxieties,

and the quiet

mountain solitude

inspires a summit sanctuary.

The Product

Dancing night visions

overflow in starry wonder,

while the distant ocean surf

foretells my return to the sea,

and my black boundaried gaze

awaits the morning sun song;

for this days end

by a cool wind caressed.

Here’s a few words on why so few words. I’m not sure why! Maybe I’m more content then on other trips. I’ve experienced all these hardships before. The difficulties are not less difficult because of this, nor are the “highs” less high, it’s just that I don’t feel the need to question these events like I used to. I’m pretty in tune with what’s happening to me, so I don’t feel the need to talk about it. I have never been able to communicate my feelings and understanding very well, anyway. To be sure, I am still a student, but my search has de-emphasized content in favor of direction. I believe the key is in “understanding movement.” It’s all movement, and movement is everything. When I return to Mt. Pleasant, maybe I will continue to analyze my past experience, or maybe I will be content to just be, or maybe I will go off in a completely different direction! I really don’t have an answer. I need to finish this journey first. Those things tend to take care of themselves, anyway.

Roads Without Cars, Lakes Without Cottages, Beautiful Ocean Inlets Without People

Nova Scotia

June 22

It rained this morning. I was depressed, but that ended with the rain. The clouds rolled away, and the sun came out. Hold on, the mosquitoes are really hungry.

There, that’s much better. I had to put up my tent. I pity the animals out there. The mosquitoes are in a feeding frenzy heat. Now where was I; oh, yeah—when I finally left the campground it was a nice 72 degrees (soon to become 80) and the sun was shining. I was so glad to be riding my bicycle; it felt like I was sailing down the highway.

I took the cutoff up to Mt. Cadillac, a 1500-foot high mountain. On the way there, I ran into Donna and Peggy. They were riding bicycles, too. Donna was having problems with her derailleur, so I helped her out as much as I could (not much). After that, the three of us rode together to the summit. The view was super. On the east and south were the ocean, islands, and inlets. On the north and west were lakes and forest. The girls and I enjoyed the view and the sun. We ate our lunch together. Peggy even offered me her place to crash for the evening.

I thought that was a great idea, but like most good things it didn’t come cheap. The girls couldn’t add me to their small car, which already had to carry the girl’s bikes, so I had to bike back to their place. It was down the mountain and back over the twenty hills I had already traversed. I had to bike all the way back to the little town of Southwest. Upon arrival, I was greeted warmly, though. At first, I thought it was because I was carrying a six-pack of beer, but I soon found out that Peggy didn’t drink. Poor me, I had to drink it all.

I was up at 4 a.m. I had to bike twenty miles to get to where I had planned to catch the ferry for Nova Scotia. It was pouring rain outside. Peggy offered to drive me into Bar Harbor if I would only let her get some sleep. I agreed. Nothing could have dampened my sprits that morning, not even the rain!

All day long I felt like I was pushing my luck. It was fog and rain the whole ferry ride over to Nova Scotia, but when I arrived, the sun slipped out of the clouds. It felt great, and on top of that, I had achieved my goal, which was to bicycle the entire Atlantic coastline.

In Yarmouth, where the ferry docked, I found an old sea captain’s city. I half expected to see bandanaed pirates brandishing swords, or swashbuckling seafarers with shouldered duffle bags. If I would have had the time to belly up to one of the bars, I probably wouldn’t have been disappointed; instead, I had to prepare for rain. From Yarmouth I could go east, up the Arcadian side of the island, or west, and bike along the Bay of Fundy, either way I had to expect rain. I chose to stay on the Atlantic side. Nova Scotia had five distinct ethnic regions. I hoped I would get to see most of them.

I figured finding a place to camp wouldn’t be too hard since Nova Scotia wasn’t all that populated, and it was rich with forests. Leaving Yarmouth, I encountered roads without cars, lakes without cottages, and, next to the ocean, beautiful inlets without people. Finding a campsite was easy. Getting my rain fly in place was not. I planned to do whatever it took to keep my spirits up. With the exception of that night on Walden Pond, this trip had not produced any climaxes. Keeping my disposition from going sour had been a struggle. I had to concentrate on the good stuff to make it all worthwhile.

On my way over to Yarmouth, I became quite pleased with myself. I was reading Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance, and I felt like I was actually learning something important. Prisig’s description of quality was complicated, but I found myself anticipating the progression of his thought before I actually encountered it. Knowing what the book’s author was saying before he said it usually meant that I understood what was being said. That was a good feeling; an especially good feeling because it didn’t happen very often. I felt vindicated in those rare moments. It meant that my thoughts were not mere mutterings of other people’s thoughts.

In the Zen book, I found Phaedrus’s ideas, the protagonist of the book, matching up well with what I took to be Heidegger’s understanding of “care.” Phaedrus seemed to be identifying “caring” with what Heidegger’s “caring Dasein” was all about. Prisig’s “quality” also matched up with Lao Tsu’s “Tao.” He made that comparison himself when he said, “care, quality, and Tao were interchangeable terms.” I will have to give that idea more thought. It’s a pretty exciting idea, though. Maybe when I get back to Mt. Pleasant I will have more time to investigate it. Right now, I’m not fully convinced.


2 Responses to “It’s All About Movement And Movement Is Everything-Not Talk”

  1. Beverly Says:

    Dave, it always ends to soon. I want it to keep on going. But I shall have to content myself that I only have to wait a week for the next chapter.

    I sensed a more open-ness (I just made up a new word) about your feelings this time. Though you have expressed feelings before, I felt this one went to a much deeper level. And I found it amusing that your sense of humor was still intact after all that rain. And the mosquitoes. And backtracking over 20 hills.

    I especially liked your description “Roads Without Cars, Lakes Without Cottages, Beautiful Ocean Inlets Without People”. It is powerful in the emotion it evokes, at least in me. It’s beauty…with sadness and emptiness. It is worthy of a Poem or a Song.

    This Mt. Pleasant that you refer to, is that our very own Mt. Pleasant near Charleston?

    Thank you for sharing your journey and your soul, Dave.

    I hope you have a great week.


  2. dave Says:

    Thanks for the comment Beverly. Actually, I’m in Mt. Pleasant typing this now. I think there are three Mt. Pleasants in the States. Mine is in the middle of the Michigan mitten. It’s to soon to tell, but my postings may increase a bit. Maybe twice a week if they do.

    Take care

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