Ever since we got home from our trip, I haven't been able to sleep. I can go to bed normally, well before midnight, but once in bed I'm either wide awake, or if I do fall asleep, I wake to some small sound, a cat going through the door, an owl in the tree outside, or a car parting for the early ferry, sometime around sunrise. Sometimes I wake up multiple times a night, not quite knowing where I am.
When I sleep, I dream of water, consecutive waves crashing on the beach as rhythmic as a metronome, standing in the surf, or dipping my hand in its glassy surface, I dream of fires and great ships in a lagoon, caves full of bones and glass floats, of something, someone outside my tent, intimidating and inviting all at once; wolves, cougars, a great bird, old friends, unnamed people...
Upon waking, I feel untethered and ungrounded. It took days just for the ground to stop rocking under my feel when I first got up. Even though I was walking, I still felt like I was traveling in a small boat, feet bound, tethered to moving with just a simple motion of my arms.
Be it the Super Moon in Pisces, or just the after effects of a prolonged, profound exposure to wild nature, but the last five days have been a little unsettling in the best of possible ways. Suddenly it's easy to make decisions, both big and small, to separate that which we don't want from the things we'll take, to make what needs to happen, happen.
It's not hard for me to make quick decisions under any circumstances, but it takes me long time to process things, especially huge shifts. It took me about six months to finally internalize that we had moved, about a year to come to the fact that I was now living in America and married. Sometimes, I continue working on ideas I've had years ago, having them bubble to the surface at regular intervals, but not coming to a boil, until a long time has passed. I'm overly cautious with the implications of things, making sure I've covered every angle of decisions and opinions, mulling over meanings until they turn colorless from too much exposure.
Even when I'm not traveling, often takes my mind a long time to catch up with my body, for things that are happening around me to manifest in my head. Like I've said before, I'm not a very grounded person even under the best of circumstances, let alone when experience and scene-change after another rolls over my head like so many ocean waves.
So, even as I'm trying to write about our trip, the three weeks of paddling in the absolute Canadian wilderness, the whales, wolves, falling meteorites, peaks untouched by the Ice Age, I'm actually also still figuring out what those experiences mean, trying to put them in a wider context; both within myself and in what I know about the world.
I want to share them with you, the agony and joy of moving yourself miles and miles across open water, the inconvenience and delight of living in a tent for weeks on end, the utter dirt your body gathers, the magic of doing all this with other people, but my attempts fall flat, seem trite; their meanings not quite transferable, translated by some inept speaker.
Every journey we take into the unknown, whether it be a new town, a new person, an emotional, or a physical trial, changes us. The more we venture there, the more we change and the more comfortable we become with change. It's something I've never been that good at until push comes to shove. The unknown terrifies me for reasons very deeply imbedded in my psyche. I'm not good at pushing my own limits, or getting out of my comfort zone, yet at the same time I've always been able to make big personal decisions and take on things, almost at the drop of a hat. When absolutely necessary, I can stride into the new with the best of them, head held high and absolutely certain.
It's the aftermath of those decisions, integrating them into my reality, that I have a hard time with.
I guess I knew this trip would be a little bit of big deal for me: paddling a great distance without much sea-kayaking experience, in an unfamiliar and remote place in the elements, being part of a group of people constantly for three weeks…but I didn't, of course know, in what way it would be a big deal.
That's what I'm still trying to figure out. Night after night, apparently.
I know it might sound a bit cryptic, but it's really not. I'm not about to announce some huge life change, or anything like that, but I am brimming with internal shifts that I can't quite put into words yet and this trip was a big part of it for me. I look forward to sharing those ideas, and even the particulars, the miles and wonders and images of our journey to the wildest of the West.
So good Morning! I hope you had a goodnight's sleep. Any life changing journeys/ events/ decisions happening around there?