Tidewater Maryland

Southern Maryland- smackdab in the middle of the country’s Tidewater region. The land between two rivers; squeezed between the Patuxent and the Potomac, and jutting out into the Chesapeake Bay at its southernmost point. The bay’s veins and arteries pumping and trickling inland. Follow a back road to the end, and there’s a likelihood that you will run into water. Everywhere you turn more water.

A thick, deciduous canopy traces the water’s edge as far as the eye can see. Houses pockmark the coastline. Boats perch on lifts for nine months out of the year, and sometimes for a stretch many times that. The sands of time trickle slowly through a damp hourglass, moist with brackish tides. The frantic pace of D.C. and Baltimore have not reached this quiet estuary-yet. As megacities become the norm, will this scenic waterfront be swallowed with urban and suburban sprawl? I hope not, but I fear it is inevitable.

For the time being, I’ll enjoy the calm, consistent change of seasons, the scenic natural beauty, and the abundance of wildlife in all shapes, forms, and sizes. Ospreys, eagles, herons, gulls, and kingfishers patrol as a diverse tidewater air force, while the calls and chatter of their land-based brethren remind them of their origins. Schools of fish, circle, and breach in attempts to escape the hungry mouths below. Blue crabs pick up the scraps and wave menacing claws at passersby. The whole landscape seems to be orchestrated to a rhythm and tempo that is too slow to please urbanites.

Patches of corn, and long stretches of soy line the roads which are still more prevalent and more useful than the several, slowly expanding highways. Jets scream, prop planes buzz, and helicopters thump their way to the Naval Base from time to time; some days more so than others. Lawn mowers, with their props facing the ground, chop clean patches of grass on the weekends. There is no drone of traffic. No sense of the frantic rat race. Peace and quiet- something that is becoming harder and harder to find in the modern era. Southern Maryland is a time capsule, whose hatch will eventually be pulled off, and filled with all of the modern amenities that people are accustomed to, but for now, it is a little slice of heaven unmolested by “progress.”

Sheeple

“Half of the people you meet were in the bottom 50% of their high school class.” That statement rings truer to me now, more than ever. A majority of people, just don’t have a fucking clue. It’s glorious. Naivety and ignorance don’t even begin to describe the state of the modern populous. It’s actually hilarious when you take a step back and look at it. People know more about celebrities, professional sports teams, and TV characters than they do about anything else on the planet. It’s beautiful. And depressing. But also hilarious.

It’s like walking through a field of dunces. A big field. With lots of dunces. Sheeple. Lots of sheeple. Talking to one another in sheeple speak, about sheeple things. Talking about things they’ve been told and convinced are important. The world would stop spinning if they didn’t talk about the Kardashians or the LA Lakers. Obviously. Mindless. Fucking. Dribble. All of it.

I assume it’s the only way that people can find meaning these days. They find connection and inclusion with mass media. They are a part of a global tribe of consumers. That’s what the world has come to? Honestly? The developed world at least…the remainder is still in filth and poverty. They struggle with poverty, while the developed world is so used to excess, that they no longer have anything to worry about. With no worries, they are free to buy into whatever they please. The struggle for survival has turned into a struggle to find meaning.

What do people actually need these days? Food, shelter, and clothing obviously. But, what do they need outside of that? Most people have a small group of friends, “go out” occasionally, and take trips. But, where does the void come from? Is it due to a lack of close bonds that humans relied upon for millennia to survive? Now, the state/system has you covered. You don’t need your family and friends. You need to be an individual. And if you’re a good individual, the state will have your back. Healthcare, insurance, food, shelter, clothing. Anything you need.

I really don’t know. Sometimes, I try to look at the earth through a simulated “overview” effect. I try to look at the world as a blue marble floating in space. No borders. No boundaries. No view of society’s trivial nature. None of it really matters I suppose. The earth will still be here, even when humans are gone. I guess the meaning of it all, is that there is no meaning. Society has constructed itself out of the mud of our primitive upbringing, and everyone has bought in. It’s the only thing that keeps the ball rolling. It’s the glue that keeps us relatively peaceful, I suppose. Beats worrying about a neighboring tribe raping, pillaging, and plundering your village. Actually, I guess that’s still the case, but on a much larger scale.

Unless globalism already has the world in a stranglehold. I believe it does. Look around. Look at how much movies gross in the box office. Look at how many people watched the World Cup. Ask someone if they watched the Super Bowl last year. It’s comical. Nobody thinks for themselves anymore. We’re all a bunch of drooling babies, being force-fed a globalist, consumerist, capitalist agenda. All of us. We’ve all been thoroughly brainwashed. I want out. I want out of this closed system. That’s all I really know.

Fifty Thousand Words

Last night (7/11/18) marked the first 50,000 words of my fledgling writing career. I suppose I had written about 65 blog posts before then, but this was my first true, lengthy project. Fifty thousand words…that still doesn’t seem like a lot to me. Honestly. I thought it would feel momentous, but editing reared it’s ugly head almost as quickly as the fifty thousandth key was pressed. The real work has only just begun. I am going to need to revise, edit, and polish what I have so far…multiple times. Additions will be made, entire sections will be ripped out. I’m not looking forward to it, let’s just keep it at that.

Although, sitting on the dock this morning, my creative cup is down to a few drops. I need to fill it back up with some relaxation, activity, reading, kayaking, whatever it takes to get my creative juices flowing again. You can’t get water from a rock. I suppose I could go after inspiration with a club, as London would say, but, I would prefer a few glasses of cabernet and a good mood. I need to step away from Landon and Lily for a bit. I need to get out into the world, and study some social interactions. The world is overflowing with material, I just need to skim a few pages.

The best part about this whole process, is that there’s no pressure. I certainly don’t have to wake up and start writing by 6am every day. I also don’t have to write 1,000 words before breakfast, either. There are no deadlines, and no money on the table. I do it because I enjoy it. I enjoy letting my family read it. Their reactions are enough for me. For now. I would love for a broader audience to have access to my thoughts and work, but that will come when it is ready. I have a long way to go. A very long way.

The good news, is that I could see myself continuing this until I kick the bucket. It relieves my anxiety, makes me more self-aware, more empathetic, and is motivation to expand my horizons. Looking forward, I’m going to need to read more books, write a little more every day, and expand into different genres. The great, american classics, while highly entertaining and a favorite of mine, need to be shuffled into a foreign deck of cards so to speak. I need to mix it up a bit. Steinbeck, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Twain, and London will always have a special place in my heart, and have kick-started this journey for me. I hope to be able to hold a candle to them someday…one can dream.

If nothing else, this writing journey has taught me more than I was expecting it to. Writing makes me more in tune with social cues, settings, and persons. I notice much more than I used to. Tone, body language, interactions, seating arrangements, and conversations seem to happen in much more detail. It has been fascinating to say the least. A remarkable transformation has taken place with my empathy, or lack thereof. I’ve never felt so connected to people. I feel as if I know what they are saying, even if they haven’t said a word. Kind of bizarre. Probably makes me a better person, and more enjoyable to be around if nothing else.

At the very least, this process has gotten me out of bed early, and I have witnessed the golden hour of sunrise every single day for weeks on end now. It has only reinforced my opinion of it being the best time of day. Each one is unique, special, and inspiring. There have been mornings where the water is black obsidian, smooth and dark, and the sky is a mix of hot neon orange, red, pink and purple, like the view of another planet. Other mornings have been serenely white and blue. Puffy clouds drift on the treeline, and golden rays give them subtle halos. Other times, a stern breeze blows in my face as clouds blot out the great eye in the sky. I enjoy each and every one. Summer has prevented rainy mornings for the most part, which I am grateful for.

It allows me to walk down to the dock with a french press, coffee mug, laptop, phone and headphones, and sometimes a banana…I face my chair in the direction of where the sun will rise, and tap on my keys until it breaches the treetops. What a way to start the day.

The wildlife has made a recovery in the area. My writing partners consist of green and blue herons, ospreys, otters, beavers, snapping turtles, a variety of fish and minnows, and a symphony of songbirds that let me know it is a good time to be writing. The experience of the wildlife and the sunrise makes the entire  process worthwhile. It has renewed my sense of appreciation for not only life, but for its fragility and complexity. Evolution hums around me. It is humbling to witness a complete and utter lack of regard for all of man’s trivial pursuits and constructs.

Overall, I think it was a successful start. I think I may have used a little too much “stimulant” at times, although I understand why the great novelists have done the same. Writing is hard. It is hard to maintain the confidence that what you’re putting down is worth reading. There are days when I’ve felt utterly stagnant, disheveled, no good, delusional, questioned my ability and sanity, and felt like I should throw my laptop into the Patuxent. There are those days, and there are the days that the words flow from my fingertips seamlessly, I feel like I’m already rubbing elbows with Fitz and Ernest, and I’ll be an American great in no time. Like any other endeavor or pursuit, there will be ups and downs…and one must maintain patience, discipline, consistency, and practice practice practice. So, in conclusion, I think I’m going to stick with the whole writing thing. It fits, I love it, and hopefully I can strut around with it one day. And if not, I’m just glad my family enjoys reading it. Onwards and upwards. (I’m at 1050…time for breakfast bruh)

“Loke Dog” (Loki)

My old, faithful, loving, cheerful golden retriever did not return home last night. It was the first time in fourteen years. He is M.I.A. We are unsure whether or not he wandered away to die, or if someone snatched him. Both seem incomprehensible. He didn’t seem ready to rejoin The Creator just yet, and who would steal an old dog on his last legs? I don’t know. That’s the hardest part: not knowing. I would rather see him huff his last breath, than not know where he is, or if he’s actually still alive. It is painful. That’s the only way to describe it. My heart hurts.

Wandering up and down the hillsides and surrounding neighborhood in the dead of night was eery. It felt like a dream. Whistles and hollers echoed down the river. No reply. No smiling face emerging from the bushes. No, “Here I am. Got any treats?” No tousled fur. No wagging tail. No muppet paws. No Loki. Part of me hopes he is okay, and the other part of me hopes that he laid down for the last time somewhere peaceful. I just want to know. I want to know if he’s alive or dead. I want to know if he’s living out his last days or at rest for eternity. The unknown is much more painful and much scarier than closure.

The unknown allows hope to linger. You see an outline of him everywhere. You see his favorite spots and expect him to emerge. You wait for him to show up on the porch. You expect to open the door and see him struggle to stand and then bury his face in your lap. Having closure would at least force you to swallow the pill. Gulp it down and accept the effects of death: the hurt, the pain, the loss, the suffering, the denial, the bereavement, and the final acceptance.

How long do we wait before we move on? Will we ever truly stop waiting? He deserved a proper goodbye and burial at the very least. Thinking of someone else getting to spend time with him when he has so little left, makes me so angry. He’s probably so confused. So out of his comfort zone. He has to be depressed. That makes me more upset than picturing him on his side in a mossy thicket, contentedly sleeping the eternal sleep.

He was a good pup. At times he was the only form of consolation and comfort that I needed. He was a family member and a good friend rolled into a furry ball. I’ve never seen a happier dog. He was my house’s mascot. One of the few consistencies that remained as my family aged and separated. He was always there to come home to. It is already so bizarre to not be greeted when I walk around or to see him napping in the shade or sunshine. So fucking sad. Loki, if you’re reading this, come home, buddy. I’ll be waiting. I hope you’re okay. I miss you so much already.