Creativity Divides The Species

boat railing fog

When I Look Up From My Writing Table, I See Only Products Of Creativity—This Boat And All Its Contents

The Canadian Side Of Lake Huron

Aug. 15, ‘82

I’m somewhere in the suburbs of Niagara Falls, Canada, sitting in a restaurant, watching the sunset out the window while drinking a Labbats Blue. Last night I camped in a corn field forty miles from here. By ten in the morning I was enjoying the falls. I spent most of the afternoon walking up and down the sidewalk on the Canadian side of the falls enjoying the view of both the American and Canadian Falls.

As I look at the map, I am noticing that I will arrive home a couple days early. Home sounds good, but my original plan was to bicycle the Georgian Bay area of Ontario, and come back into Michigan through Sault St. Marie. I guess I’m back on track now.

Aug. 18

Dad died one year ago today. The firmament is a better place now that all his good energy has merged with it.

I’m sitting on the ferry, on my way to Manitoulin Island. Even though I began biking at 6:30 this morning, this is my first cup of coffee. I had to pedal 45 miles in four and a half hours to catch the ferry’s 11:20 departure time. I was lucky to make it. The last couple of days I have been heading into a 25 to 30 mile per hour wind. All that pushing has taken a painful toll on my knees. Biking out of Niagara Falls was something of a headache, also. I could tell that finding a camping spot in Canada’s more densely populated areas was not going to be easy.

While waiting at a bridge that was drawn up to let a freighter pass, I noticed some campers down by the canal. I still had some biking time left, but I wanted to avoid camping hassles, so I went down and asked the guy if I could set up my tent. He told me to ask the man running the bridge. He, the man running the bridge, did one better. He offered me his backyard to camp in, which was only a stone’s throw from the bridge. After I set up camp, I went back to visit the old guy. By the time I left to go back to my tent I could run the bridge, and I knew a whole lot more about navigation.

The scenery along the Georgian Bay is very beautiful. I almost hate to be writing, but I’m too tired to get up and walk. I will let the big picture window in front of me suffice for now. The water is very, very blue.

My decision to go north instead of west was a good one, but it should have been accompanied with enough time to enjoy the area. I am, however, trying hard to enjoy what little time I have. Here are a few supplemental notes on this trip:

A. The weather has been exceptional. Almost every day I have enjoyed looking out at beautiful clouds. If this trip needed a label, it would be called: The Trip Of The Clouds.

B. A couple of days ago I stumbled upon a grocery store, but nothing looked good. I settled for some cheese and crackers. I had just come from a bar so my thirst had been quenched. The bar was definitely called for because I had just pedaled 90 miles on extremely busy highways. The cheese and crackers were more than just something to eat. They were memorable bits of nostalgia because twelve years ago, when I was hitchhiking around California, those pocket size packages served as my staple food.

C. Finally, a few notes are in order concerning freedom as it relates to my ideas of the past couple of years. I might add, however, that I have already forgotten most of the important ones. My ideas come and go almost like free association. I’ll be thinking of something almost totally irrelevant, and all of a sudden something clicks, and I see it new, as if for the first time. Anyway, many people disagree that a whole new dimension separates the animal world from Homo sapiens. However, when I look up from my writing table, I see only the products of creativity. This boat and everything in it is a product of human creativity, and it is this creativity that divides the species. All too often we take for granted our environment of creative communication, but it is this environment– this act of understanding and agreement– that separates us from other primates. It is a matter of kind, not degree. Indeed, this possibility– this act of understanding and agreement– liberates, through technological progress, not just the human body, but also, by generating a more inclusive social consciousness, the human soul as well.

D. That’s it for now. The captain says it’s time to depart, so I have to guzzle this beer, and it’s off to see more of the Georgian Bay area of Canada. It is true that I have forgotten many of the things that I should have remembered, but they will come back; that is, as long as I keep thinking.

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