[Part of original post deleted…]
November 29 (or 30th?), 2011 – 27,000 ft high in the thin polar air, somewhere over Northern Canada (Yay!), Greenland or the Northern Atlantic…
“My face is a mask I order to say nothing
About the fragile feelings hiding in my soul.”
———————— Glenn Lazore (Mohawk)
As my Disclaimer says, I can change my mind without notice on anything. The shift that happened [see feb 1, 2012 post] illustrates this well. I am willing to change my mind if I have good reasons to do so. This is as true for my resonance with particular activist strategies and tactics, views on climate science, as for how I lead my life. So, for entertainment purposes only…:
For the first time in 16 years, there’s nothing… Nothing keeping me in the US. The last major good reason to stay fell away in July… I quit my office job shortly after. The rest is history, too.
There will always be damn good friends (you know who you are – always welcome whenever I live somewhere!) and wonderful places to visit and discover, but after feeling so incomparably AT HOME in Canada… either I find ways to feel as good in Europe, or I’ll find a way to return to Canada, with permission to work there. That’s my simple fail-proof plan. ;-)
Now, I’m on my way (by way of friends and hot springs), to return to my “permitted work zone”, an area of this planet specially zoned for “Belgians”, something legalese invented in 1830, for which I happen to have the right papers: “Belgian Citizenship”. Absurd, but… whatever. It’s as utterly nonsensical as the “Registered Resident Alien” status I got in the zone occupied by the USA in 1995, but… it’s the convenient option available to me right now… So, thus I roll..
Homage to my time in the land I enjoyed calling home…
I arrived in SFO on the day of the Oklahoma City bombing (April 19, 1995) and I left from Seattle …on the eve of the 12th anniversary of N30, the tumultuous anti-World Trade Organization protests in Seattle (Nov29-Dec4, 1999)) in which I served as a riot medic… It’s kinda mindblowing how many amazing times I’ve had in this totally awesome country… Basically my entire adult life so far.
From getting married (age 20) and divorced (age 24), living in the San Francisco Bay Area, Humboldt County, times with the Dineh (Navajo) and Hopi in Arizona, time working in Portland (OR), in Boulder (CO), at Heartwood Institute, at Shambhala Mountain Center, briefly at Esalen Institute, retreats in Crestone (CO), writing a book in the Kamas Valley (UT), practicing and studying with an amazing meditation teacher in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, working at The Four Winds Society headquarters in Park City (UT), exploring the ancient Redwoods, the deserts of the American South-West, the Tetons, the Rockies, the Sierras, the Lost Coast, Manhattan, the gulches and hidden hot springs in places I shouldn’t name, hospitalizations,… and really good times in the Pacific Northwest,… Kinda unbelievable what I packed into these years when I look back. So many journeys. And hopefully this was just the appetizer… ;-)
The sweetness of love, love gone mad …and love gone sour, friendships made …and friendships buried, from Burning Man’s early days (’94, ’95) to corporate time on the clock in suit and tie through temp agencies; in the cubicle, in the field, couple days in jail for civil disobedience, in court for this, in court for that (always won – no convictions ever), powerful camaraderie at road blockades and in treesits with Earth First!, brief moments of media spotlight, uplifting victories, heartwrenching losses,… holding silence for falsely imprisoned, assassinated, car-bombed and injured fellow freedom fighters… From the highs of nonviolent activism to the lows of the worst of police brutality-induced PTSD. From living it up in the emerald triangle, to being a yogi sleeping alone in hollow trees… From experimenting with entheogens to spending many months in buddhist meditation retreats… Nothing but gratitude.
Special THANKS to all who were part of my time in North America. I don’t think I could have made these unique journeys anywhere else, or with anyone else.
Stay in touch! I look forward to crossing paths again.
… farewell for now …
PS: I was back two months later. ;-)