“Oh, the places you’ll go.” -Dr. Seuss, Ph.D.

Up on the Divide

The contridiction of writing about adventure comes that, whenever there is adventure worth commenting on, one never has time to write for all the adventuring.

I have learned something very pointed over the years, that there is something magnificent about how you look at the world when you are travelling. There is a freshness about each morning. Thoreau, in Walden, writes about an intimacy with the Dawn. There is a sort of transcendent palpability of life present. And then each night, one returns to bed with a gratefulenss. When you wander Bosnia without any idea of where you’ll be stopping each night, this is a particularly poinient sensation.

Such are my Colorado years. All two months of them.

The weekends are given to biking new trails and searching for aspen groves. If you’ve never had the chance to do that during the fall, it’s worth the price of the bike. I’ve been backpacking on the Great Divide, playing dodgeball, and obtaining permissions on Peruvian copyrights. When you’re new to a town, every day burns.

And this poses an interesting question. What is it about Man that we desire to burn our days? Why do we place such high value on adventuring and experiencing life? Isn’t it safer just to take a nap? If all we are is a creature that is only focused on his survival, what is it that stirs within?

PS – The snow is coming and the skis are waxed.

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“Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant! Let the dead Past bury its Dead…

…Act,—act in the living Present!
Heart within, and God o’erhead!”

-Longfellow, A Psalm of Life

After Canada, I took several days down in Tijuana. This was more or less my regular trip there, so I will be brief.
I went down to see several good friends of mine take their first vows and become nuns. I don’t care what your beliefs or un-beliefs are. These young women are giving their lives for what they believe in. That is very beautiful. And very much so to me, with my wanderlust and transient ways.

On main thing that had changed since I was last down in Tijuana in March, was that they finally hung the bells. Only one was operational, but that was enough. My bro and I did a lot of bellringing with the friars. We were bellringers. I think that’s something I can check off the bucket list.

The rest is bonus

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“Not Enjoyment, and not Sorrow Is our destined end or way…

…But to act, that each to-morrow
Find us farther than to-day.”

-Longfellow, A Psalm of Life

To take a step back and begin to fill in the gaps: Canada

Immediately after turning in my apartment keys, attending a wedding, and driving across the state: it was time to go to Canada.
For a week I was helping out with a summer camp run by the local Catholic community. It was good. There were cabins, and bonfires, music, and even a bit of stranger-danger involving me in a mask and a bowl of candy.

Everything that week can be summed up thus:

“I was sad, because I had no shoes. Until I met a man that had no feet. So, I took his shoes, ‘cause hey, he wasn’t using them!”
— Jack Handy

That is to say that we all have something to contribute, especially when we take a critical look at out lives and realize what we can spare. A lot of people gave an awful lot for that week.

Most of the people up at this camp I knew. It is always great to be able to go and visit them, and especially to contribute something to their community. It’s strange, the first time I went up, it was a favor to a friend who was short-handed with his team. But over the last couple of years, I have built up a good and ongoing relationship with them. It’s funny the places that life leads you and the people that become close to you, all because you’re not afraid to walk out the front door.

"But now at length I have the happiness to know that it is a rising and not a setting Sun.” -Benjamin Franklin

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“Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not the goal…

…Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not spoken of the soul. “

-Longfellow, A Psalm of Life

So I decided to go back to grad school.
That’s only tertiary to this story.
That was the main reason I found myself packing up my apartment. I started packing on a Monday. On Tuesday I put the major stuff into a moving van.
On Wednesday I left right after work to drive it across the state to put it into storage. Between the drive (moving vans definitely aren’t performance vehicles) and unpacking, I was in bed by midnight. That gave me three hours of sleep before I caught a ride to the airport.
An hour on the plane and two hours on the bus and a ride from a co-worker put me in the office only an hour late for work.
On Thursday I despaired.
On Friday a friend helped me pack up the rest of the apartment. Without her help it would have been impossible. Remember that, and be nice to your friends. With only a couple hours of sleep, we were there to turn in the keys when the office opened.
On Saturday, it was a three hour drive to a good friend’s wedding. We showed up just in time. By that I mean we were 20 minutes late, but since the bridal procession takes awhile, we snuck in before the first reading.
We jumped out of the reception after a couple hours to make the 7 hour drive to my hometown.
I left Sunday morning after unloading my car, heading for Canada.
The rest of the week I was up helping out at a youth camp.
Immediately after the closing Mass on Friday, I headed for the border, getting there shortly before it closed.
Another three hours of sleep, and I was on a flight to San Diego where we hoped a friend of a friend that I had never met would pick me up to give me a lift to Tijuana.
The following Tuesday night, I got back from Mexico, and had 18 hours to repack my car and head to Colorado.
I arrived yesterday.

All this to say: The Lord takes care of His own. I couldn’t do all of this if it weren’t for that.

Details to come.

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“To say that these men paid their shillings to watch twenty-two hirelings kick a ball is merely to say that a violin is wood and catgut, that Hamlet is so much paper and ink.” -J.B. Priestley

Today’s post is brought to you by the number “0,” or the number of crosses by England today that reached their target, or the number of goals scored by Germany, or the number of fouls that the USA committed in the 86th minute.

What the heck is happening in this Cup?

More later.

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The Mexican goal that was called back was definitely offsides. But glad to see the draw.

I woke up yesterday morning with the feeling that it was Christmas Eve.  I had tickets for that evening’s soccer match, and then today: World Cup.

I have waited the last four years for this, and I can’t believe that it’s here, that it’s happening.

A mis amigos mexícanos y españoles: bueno suerte.  Ojalá que ya podamos ser amigos despues de los Mundiales.  Lo siento por lo que voy a hacer y decier.  Esto es fútbol.  ¡Viva USA!

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“B+. This paper is not B+ work.” -What a professor gave me on my take home final, freshman year of college.

It’s not a bad way to live, when no matter what happens, it still ends up being pretty good.

Originally, a friend and I had talked about taking a kayaking trip and leaving this weekend. At the last minute, that fell through. So instead, I booked a site out at the coast, hoping to get some more time on the water surfing. Unfortunately, the surf report was pretty bad, so I spent the day reading in a coffeeshop and went with some friends to REI. I bought a thermos.

Now, a thermos is really good for keeping coffee hot, in case one would find oneself really cold after some scuba diving. Which oddly enough, I was.

I was up early on Saturday and Sunday for some kick around in the park and Mass, respectively, before gathering gear and spending the afternoon in the water. We didn’t go terribly deep, and the visibility wasn’t the best, and now my livingroom is taken over by gear…but it was good to get out and do something after the winter.

Adventure Gear

It’s not a bad way to live, when these sorts of things are by far the least important bits of life.

A couple months back, the priest at my parish made this comment:
“The most certain cause of death, is life.  Everyone, from the moment they have it, will surely die.”

But the thing is, there’s joy everywhere.  Even in the bad bits.  Even pain just lets us know that we’re alive.  And if we’re alive, that means we’ve arrived, and there is hope, and there is joy.

There was a man I met in Bosnia last year, his name was Timo.  He was German, and a recovered addict.  He said “there’s always a chance.  And that’s our gift, that we can pray for each other.”

And to be sure, the World Cup is almost here.

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