Please Make It All Go Away


On the boat to New Brunswick
June ’77

The squish-squash of my feet, as I just went up to get my second cup
of coffee, reminded me that I started peddling at 7 a.m. this morning.
The harder I peddled the harder it rained. In order to catch the Digby
ferry I had to peddle in the rain for three hours. I made one stop
along the way. It was for coffee at a restaurant. A couple of other
cyclists were already inside and they motioned for me to come over to
their table. They were up from Maine for a two-week bicycle tour in
Nova Scotia. They had just arrived, so they hadn’t experienced much
rain. The boy, across the table from me, had just started university
and was thinking about studying Philosophy. His parents didn’t like
the idea, though. When I told him I was majoring in Philosophy, he
asked me, “What can you do with it?” I didn’t want to get into that
conversation, so I said, “Nothing. Listen to your parents.”

Now, getting back to why I’m leaving Nova Scotia. Feeling bad about
not being able to see the attractions had not been the worst of it.
Sure I could stick around and tour Cape Briton and Prince Edward
Island. Their beautiful I’m sure, but why? I have never been into
collecting experiences. Even in Hawaii, I didn’t go to all of the
islands because it got to a point where I felt like I was collecting
experiences. That’s not what it’s about, that’s not the important
stuff. What’s important was the learning. If I couldn’t learn from my
adventures then I had no business “being there”. This trip was not
born out of that kind of thinking. Rather, it was born out of the
opposite kind of thinking. It was conceived and finalized as a mere
exclamation point to the whole Castalian process. No higher
justification was needed. It was like going into same classroom over
and over again, sitting in the same seat over and over again, — the
lecture begins and I don’t care why. Shame on me! Right from the start I
treated this trip as something to be done away with. My Castalian dream
wouldn’t be complete unless I turned my free time into an
adventure–study in the winter, travel in the summer. Instead of
greeting each occasion as something to be achieved, I have turned all
occasions into something to be done away with. Except for the East
Coast, I have pretty much seen all the United States, but now the East
Coast is just another notch in my bicycle tire. If that’s not
collecting experiences, I don’t know what is! Everything about this
trip has been pure hypocrisy! Please, make it all go away.

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About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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4 Responses to Please Make It All Go Away

  1. eof737 says:

    I don’t think it’s been about hypocrisy at all… it was an adventure with many experiences and lessons learned along the road. I hope you cherish that and the fact that we came back daily to catch up on your journey… 🙂

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      Chuckle, chuckle. Of coarse I appreciate interested readers, but, I suspect that people come back to read my posts because I react (honestly) to the hardships that I describe in my posts. These recorded events are embedded in the mentality, emotions, and expectations that I was experiencing back then (1977)–back when I felt as if I was not being true to the ideals that I identified with at the time–and hypocrisy was/is the right word that fit what I felt. I do cherish the fact that we all go through these kinds of growth experiences (no matter who we are or what we believe) in moments of critical self-reflection–or at least I hope we do! Thanks for the comment. Take care!

  2. dogear6 says:

    I don’t comment often because I’m reading your posts on my phone. Your response above is why I keep coming back – the honesty in your posts. You have highs and lows, memorable and mundanc experiences, and in it all is the honesty of the moment.

    Nancy
    http://www.dogear6.com

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      Chuckle, chuckle, I don’t really know what it’s like to read posts on a phone (I don’t have a cell phone), but I really do appreciate the fact that you have a phone. Your support and encouragement is also very much appreciated. I will try very hard not to let you down. Take care!

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