Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Preparing for an Adventure!

I woke up on August 30th in expectation of something big.  It was a Sunday.  I managed to get everything I needed the night before and the only task that remained was for me to obtain the final items.  It was 6:00 am, yet somebody was already working in the kitchen, worse yet, it was the chef, whose name might as well be Bob.  In spite of how nonthreatening the name may sound, what I was about to do would set on edge any chef, let alone...Bob, who had a tendency to overreact to everything he saw.

The task that I had at hand was a very difficult one, and it was all born from an idea that came to me the night before (on August 29th).  I had just finished reading an adventure novel about an explorer who could not be scared, and at that moment, I too, decided to become one.  Within minutes of completing the book I found myself in the main building staring at a giant map of Deep Springs covered by Plexiglas.  The possibilities were endless.  Mountains to the south, sand dunes to the east and the unknown wilderness to the north.  The west was uncharted territory aside from a point in the corner that read Dead-Horse canyon.  This was my destination.  Boldly, I took a marker and drew the longest path I could find from here to there, letting everyone know where I would be the following day.  Soon after, I found myself in my room where I managed to find a large bag into which I threw a fur sweater (in spite of the fact that it was summer), a flashlight (that did not work), a medical-kit (that I did not know how to use) a diver’s whistle (even though we were in a dessert) and a cheese knife (even though I had no fine cheese in this 40C degree weather).
I knew ahead of time what a burden water would be, and that without it I would perish in this dessert.  So to be safe, I managed to procure from myself and friends 9 metal containers of water, and 2 large plastic jugs.  I was set.  I was ready to become an explorer.  And I was ready to sleep. That night I dreamed about tall mountains, large trees and exotic animals.  It was a great sleep, but it was interrupted by an urgent thought which I forgot to consider.  I forgot the food! So here I was in Bob’s kitchen, stealing food from a communal space.

The kitchen was pitch dark.  I first surveyed the area to make sure no one was around, putting on a face as if I was looking for someone who went off into the distance.  Slowly but surely, I made my way into the more and more restricted spaces, until I finally got to Bob’s storage of food.  There, like a Soviet Dream, the shelves were full with cereals, boxes of cooking chocolate, marshmallows, canisters, flour, even Wine!.  Some of these foods I haven’t seen or tasted in months and just to see a Hershey's bar or a marshmallow in person was like meeting a celebrity.  Because my time was limited I stuffed my pockets with chocolate pieces and put handfuls of apricots in my pants.  With this success, I got bolder and took an entire box of cereal out of the box (intended for my fellow classmates to have for breakfast) along with a large bag of crispy bacon that was set aside for some salad.  Having run out of time and pockets overflowing with snacks I scurried away from the storage, through the office and into a long hallway.

However, just then the lights turned on and I heard Bob approaching down the hallways.  His footsteps were confident, for he had a way of smelling out trouble.  I heard them quickly advancing as I quickly hid in the shadows behind a door.      

Friday, February 3, 2012

Full Circle

We have finally made it back full circle to the dry, West Coast.  Things are simpler here, more majestic and dreams really do come true.  Like in a movie, every morning we wake up to the sunrise which floods the hills with Red, always promising things which real life simply can not.

This is a place where Good and Evil exist.  A place where doing Right is far more rewarding than doing Wrong.  And there is always enough unclaimed space for the two sides to fight it out.

Welcome to my life.  Welcome to Deep Springs College.

We live simple, unassuming lives.  We don't dress well, we don't shave and many of us can't even grow a beard.  In many ways, we are the underdogs of this movie...starring only us.

The plot line to this story begins like any other.  We are twenty four normal guys, with normal dreams who live in normal houses.

But behind the simple exterior, lies a very different reality.  One of adventure, one of risk and one in need of a cleaning lady to bring our world back to the days of Eden.

And yes, there was a time when the world was a peaceful place, with nothing that went wrong where all lived in eternal bliss....albeit, an ignorant one.

Deep Springs was never that place.  It was always ugly, it was always hard....
And always truthful....whether that Truth was pleasant.

...or a bit uncomfortable.

There was always time to reflect upon what mattered, who you were supposed to be in life, and what your dreams were.

In this Oasis, Everything is possible because Magic comes from around every corner, luck is a real thing and True Love can happen...even if no girls are around.

No matter where I take you on this Adventure, know that I made it there and back in one piece.  You can Too!!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Water! My last adventure before Deep Springs.

This is the last part of my journey as I went from the West Coast to the East Coast, from one type of water to another and from my old life to the new one.  Some take this journey many times, others just once.  But the water, the vital essence that is needed to keep all things alive can come in many forms and just as it can leave a mark with its absence, it will leave a mark with its presence.
It might take some time for you to see the mark, but once you recognize it; you will begin to notice that you are thinking and maybe even dreaming about it more and more.

These are the White Sands that have an uncanny resemblance to the white snow that lies in much, much colder regions.

The White-Sands is the most beautiful place I have ever been to, it is so calm and a word sublime.  

Not too many people know though, that underneath the beautiful exterior lies an explosive core of military weapon testing that is still active today.  In fact, the very first Atom-Bomb was set off in this very area.
After a beautiful and peaceful morning spent in this un-real place, I had to leave because the White-Sands were closing for an explosive afternoon.

Most places in the American West are dry and desolate with an occasional oasis where life can be found.

In other places however, even those with no life struggle to survive.

It is only when you reach the great divide of the Mississippi River that you leave the dust and sun-bleached skulls to find an altogether different type of America.  The American East!

There, water stretches into the distance as far as the eye can see...

A place where boats can be found in the water as opposed to withering away on the back of broken trailers.

After 2 years in the desert, it is a place where one could finally begin to breathe easily...

But this Journey is long and arduous, and the great distances involved begin to take a toll on both me and my car as the temperature gauge reads -70F, the oil gauge arrives at the boiling mark and the tire bursts off altogether to leave me with steaming shreds all over the road.

As I solve one problem another one appears as I go deeper and deeper into the ravenous East!

The wind picks up to terrifying speeds and walls of rain fall down to flood the highways and stop the traffic altogether.

Visibility approaches zero as the water completely obstructs my view.  But I foolishly press on ahead.

And 8 hours later I emerge victorious, but the effects of the storm beat me to the ground and my blood shot body can take no more and I pull over to pose with the locals.

After talking to the locals in a small unknown town, I had a chance to look around at my surroundings and take in the luscious fields of green. 

Here, the abundance of water can be seen all the way from the clouds, to the trees and on the ground.

And some of it seeps deeper still to create terrifying overhangs in the shape of rotten fish.  

Rotten fish that took thousands of years to form, and is still undergoing change everyday; no matter how small the water presses on and never gives up.  And so should I.

As I arrive to New York though I sense a certain type of artificiality and a lack of nature.

Here, nature is not King.  Instead a different type of hierarchy exists, from those at the very top of the food chain.

To those all the way at the bottom.

The Nature I have been used to is blasted away.

And all that's left is an artificial presence of what life is supposed to look life (the more East I went, the more zombie like locals I encountered).

And yet, even in the heart of this truly stifling desert a glimmer of hope and truth can be found.

The water might not be real, but it provides the same tension and relief as anywhere else.

And maybe that's why my new home has been able to survive for so long,

because it is able to provide the same emotions, the same feelings that are essential to life.  No matter how fake the intention might be, there is a glimmer of hope!

Maybe its not about the East and West and all the local patriotic or the foreign multicultural people which came to America that make it so special.

But rather, its the hope that we were able to make it this far not in spite of everything that came down our path, but because of it.  And even though we must sometimes part with what we loved so much,

There is always hope that we can do it again even better very, very soon.

Now, I can finally return to Deep Springs to tell you my story!!  Come with me to Death Valley Big Mouse!!