Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Day Two-Hundred-Six, Manifesto

I am not Kwai Chang Caine.  Far too few of us are.  He was a walker, just like me.  I don't know how he passed the time.  He'd blow on his flute.  He'd meditate.  He'd be at one with the Whole.  I can't do that.  Different backgrounds.  I walk a different way.
I don't meditate.  I don't know how.  I'll zone once in a while.  Just kind of fade out, get lost in my thoughts.  Sometimes I hear good rock and roll.  Sometimes I sing.  I do little dances when there are no cars around.  I see beauty in nature.  That's nothing new.  It has been there all along.
I might walk to discover America, but I've always known it was there.  I've met some new states, but few surprises.  America is not exotic.  Not to me.  I was born and raised here.  I've seen most of it on TV.
I might walk to encounter Interesting People.  There have been one or two.  But I don't have much time to bond with them.  I'm the one Just Passing Through. 
Kwai Chang Caine helped people in need.  Kwai Chang Caine stuck around.  Just long enough to see justice done.  He kicked people in the head.  And then he moved on.  Humbly.  The world a better place.
I like that idea.  Helping people.  Moving from town to town.  Leaving a trail of broken hearts.  Justice my one true love.  But it hasn't come up.  No one's asked me for help.  Mostly people help me.  And I don't know kung-fu.  I'm not a fighter.  I don't know what use I would be.

And I haven't broken any hearts.  I have left something of a trail.  With bits and pieces of my own heart.  Just like Hansel and Gretel.  To find my way home.  Or somewhere as good.  I suspect they've been eaten by crows.
Kwai Chang Caine too dispensed wisdom.  I think I've done some of that.  And I've got plenty more if you'd care to hear it.  One hates to overdo that sort of thing.  There a danger of appearing pompous.  My humility is strong but it's thin.
I've had no real epiphanies.  I have discovered very few truths.  But I did not start this walk wholly ignorant.  I have lived on this planet before.  I've seen mountains and prairies.  I have seen the sun set.  I know what the sea smells like.  I have been across the Rockies dozens of times.  I have lived in Iowa.
None of this is new to me.  All that has changed is the walking.  It's a different perspective but not vastly so.  Your old life in super slow motion.  I've had time to reflect.  I've learned a few things.  I've decided to be more cheerful.  I've had blisters and I've had to poop.  That's all part of the ride.
I've had problems with my Samsung computer.  Which, by the way, sucks.  They have me in a post-modernist hell, where I blog about my means of blogging.  What if Shakespeare had stopped every few lines to bemoan the state of his quill.
Now I ain't Shakespeare.  Not even close.  I've got to be at least a head taller.  With more rugged features and a much better build.  I have luxuriant hair.  And he was a bit more prolific; he just churned it out.  We have one or two things in common.  But nothing that would reflect well on either of us.  It's best to let sleeping dogs lie.
There've been others before me.  Garfunkel walked.  He is something of a poet.  Gandhi walked for Social Justice.  This walk might make you think of God.  Or greatness.  Or goodness.  Or something profound.  I think about sandwiches.
But I do not do it artlessly.  I'm entertaining if nothing else.  I might see the world from a low angle but I see it clearly enough. 
I am Walking Across America.  It's easier than you think.  You could do it if you wanted to.  Don't worry about the specifics.  They work themselves out, sooner or later.  Invest in some very nice socks.
Are you in good physical condition?  Do you always see the bright side?  Do you adapt well to new situations?  Are you good at making new friends?  Are you determined, organised?  Do you work and play well with others?  Can you find poetry in a pile of dung?  Are you at one with the universe?  Do you like sleeping in a tent?
Then you don't need to Walk Across America.  You'd be silly to waste the time.  And the money.  And your deep sense of self.  I have no doubt that it was hard won.  Save the walking for those of us that do not have the first clue.  And are prepared to admit it.  And will never pretend to have discovered anything new.

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