I can see my breath with every labored step. I hear the gravel crunch underneath my feet. My eyes move upward, trying to see the destination hidden somewhere in the gray overcast above.
“Hi there.” I say to the wind. My best friend and foe. Really, it would be better if it just made up its mind! A friend on scorching days, but this morning it rips through my clothing, stealing warmth from every hole it can find.
A silhouette appears from the mist. What looks like two pallets nailed together in an upside down “V.” The famous sign I’ve walked so long to see. Katahdin.
Lynx Vilden talks about achieving through visualization. I hope to have her as a teacher someday (I’ve spent time visualizing that too). Basically, imagine the image of success in your mind, whatever the task may be. See it, see yourself in it. Feel it, hear it, taste it. I’ve seen myself next to that sign many, many times in the past few months.
Katahdin is impossibly far away right now, but it’s closer than it was three weeks ago. It’s closer than it was three months ago.
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
Lao Tzu’s, often hackneyed phrase, is quite apropos at this particular life juncture. That “single step” is taken far before the trail. Sometimes it’s a half-step or an infinitesimally-small step. As long as it’s in the right direction, it counts.
Tonight I find myself enjoying my usual vices. I don’t do “idle” very well. I should have started days ago, but I had a few set backs. I’ll never look at “stuff” the same way again. Probably 95% of my stress in the past few months has had to do with finding a place for my “stuff” or the process of getting rid of it.
“The things you own, end up owning you.” -Chuck Palahniuk (Tyler Durden)
It’s so true. Don’t even get me started on cars.
I get a million questions about my hike, but oddly enough, no one ever asks why I’m doing it. To be honest, a large part of me is walking the trail with the aim to become some kind of Stoic badass. I want to distill my life needs to their essence, and live in that essence for a time.
As Thoreau put it:
“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.”
That is the only wealth I desire. Capability.
Thanks for reading my ramblings. Hopefully the next post will actually come from the trail.