going off into the wilderness

Three days out there?  I am giddy and nervous. 

Today (Monday) I work a double shift at the ol’ restaurant.  This past weekend I went to a National Guard drill and met with some of the guys who I was with over in Iraq.  It was the first time we saw each other since coming home.  It felt good to see those guys… I’ve missed them.  I was amazed at how comfortable I felt with them because it brought to mind how I am not really comforable with other people right now.  Even at my place of work, where I’ve been for over a month now, I am still not comfortable with people.  I go out of my way to make connections and say hello… but it isnt’ them… it is me.  I don’t fit in with them because they don’t fit with me.  I am changed on some deep level that I have yet to understand.

Which brings me to tomorrow.  Tues/Wed/Thurs I have off.  I’ve told Eliza, and she will miss me but she understands, that I might go out into the wilderness.  It isn’t that long of a time, only two nights, but I am craving it.  I want nothing around me, no CNN, no Fox News, no blogs or papers, no people, no traffic, no library of books on my wall to read (every one calls me to flip through it’s pages), no errands, no nothing… just me and a large expanse of wilderness and time. 

I’ve still got my Army sleeping gear, very expensive and amazing stuff, three layers of stuff that keeps me warm and dry even when laying in a puddle of water.  I’ve got the gear and all I need is to get the food (a surplus store down the street… no problem), but I wonder.  I feel nervous… almost avoidant of going out.  It isn’t anything “out there” but something “in here” that gives me pause. 

It doesn’t make much sense.  It isn’t dread, it isn’t anxiety, it isn’t fear.  It is just the notion that I’d be happier staying home and going to coffee shops and movie theaters on my days off.  But I know the intense peace and beauty I feel when I go out into the wilderness, and it is for this knowledge that I wonder if I am in avoidance stategies right now. 

I feel like Luke being told by Yoda that I must face what is in the cave.

Is it Iraq?  Is it the things that I’ve seen and done that I’ve repressed?  Is it anger and resentment toward friends and family?  Is it anger and resentment against myself?

I need this, for I am still not exactly calm and centered as I would like to be and I’ve developed a tick on my left eye here in the past week, a tick that comes and goes often and will not leave.  Is this a sign?  I don’t feel any more stressed than I have in the past?  But then I don’t do as much of the walks and introspection and time in my own thoughts away from people as I did in the past.  I got none of that in Iraq and perhaps I just need to catch up a bit.

For whatever reason, I intend on packing up tomorrow morning and leaving for somewhere around Mt Hood.  I’ll take one of two motorola radios and leave the other in the truck.  It helps search and rescue to find you if you have a radio.  Who knows where I’ll go.  I don’t until I get there.


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