New Year’s Resolution

(written to a friend)

You make some fine pledges, my friend, and bring me no small amount of joy — not just with your too-occasional writings but with the recent news of your pending arrival in P-town. They say we put our intentions out to the universe and it responds in its own time and way, and while I didn’t realize it would take 14 years and a job to get you out here — I thought perhaps a promise of golf and whiskey would have done the trick — I shall nonetheless be happy to entertain you. And be entertained by you. And wallow in your considerable presence.

I’ve been reading some Emerson lately, which perhaps explains the more floral expressions above, but also my ongoing exploration of a few simple ideas, which I keep running into in the strangest myriad of minds: self-help gurus, shamans, recovering addicts, Buddhism, and now 19th-century American mystic philosopher poets.
To wit: the world that we can see and know with our limited minds is, at most, but half of what there is. There’s an unseen world that lives in continuous relationship with this one, and in fact each is a reflection of the other, only one is of a higher and more spiritual essence — not higher in the sense of being superior, but of being beyond our idea of right and wrong, ethical or not, moral or not.
It’s the realm of pure love and joy, and we are its imaginings. And it’s the blessing of us so-called “creative” types that we can occasionally stick our heads into that upper realm and look around, then report back on what we’ve seen. I think Hunter S. Thompson called it the “fine white flash” in that passage about the high-water mark west of Vegas? I know he called it The Groove when he rode south from San Francisco without a helmet. He experienced it as a magnificent madness, and when he realized he couldn’t dance on that dangerous edge anymore, or that his reports back weren’t working for people anymore, he just checked out. Come back and start over.
I used to see it as madness, craziness, even drama. Now it feels more like a peaceful presence, what’s there when you go, an acceptance that I’ve got what I need — that I am, in fact, a bud on the tree of abundance, which itself is growing in the ground of plenty, which is floating on a sea of wisdom, on a planet of peace swirling around in a universe of love. I think that’s what you’re feeling when you look out the window at night, feel the Delta out there, and know the family is cool and life is “just fine, inside and out.”
And so my resolution for this year, when all the above is boiled down to something simple and practical, is just this: re-connect for one day each week with the natural world, the great gateway to the unseen realm of magic and beauty … in other words, “go outside and play.”

Paul Gerald

I am the author of several books on hiking, camping, eating breakfast and chilling out. I am also a freelance travel writer, publisher, hiker, and inveterate traveler.

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