As I mentioned in my last blog, my personal life became more interesting than the landscapes I was driving trough. But respecting the people involved implies not been able to tell the whole story. I’m not longer just looking at the window and meditating, I’m taking action. That was the whole purpose of “DoingIsKing”: shake the analytical phase and force some pragmatic adventures.
My thesis at the beginning of the trip was like this: If I think too much, I’ll be overwhelmed by the options and discouraged by existential conclusions. If I just act, I’ll create habits and get into a comfort zone and stop growing. I was trapped in the “thinking” phase for so long that I needed an ‘action shot’.
After four months traveling, parking in completely unknown neighborhoods, drinking beer with road workers, dating woman with phosphorescent hair, dancing in gay bars, sleeping in the same room with people hiding from the mafia, talking politics with BBC producers, furnishing with Netherlands carpenters, chatting about photography with Japanese students and babysitting with old friends grown older; I realized that “action” also has its burn out.
After Washington DC in Maryland, and Arlington in Virginia, I needed some space and silence to invite meditation again. So I took a long route at the top of the Appalachians. The Skyline Drive is so generous in views that you don’t have to be worried to miss one particular spot. I drove two days with perfectly clear skies and stop at creeks, meadows and valleys. The silence is so perfect that when you get out, the only thing you hear is the cracking sound of the car while getting cold. Then I went to the Luray Cavers. There the silent is so deep that you just hear yourself. It’s always an intimidating experience to hear your heartbeats, mostly because you don’t know the final number they are decrementing. In those cavers, there is a series of hammers electronically activated that hit certain stalactites in such a way that whole tunes can be played. The tour guide was careless enough to let me alone in that chamber and kept walking with the rest of the group. I sat down, press the button to initiate the sequence and closed my eyes. That was the sound of cones of calcium carbonate formed over millions of years talking to the calcium of my vestibular system just some decades old. I’m this minuscule instant of conscience through whish Nature enjoys herself.
Nature always humiliate me, makes me feel like I’m not gaining my place. Dignity is the only word that comes to the rescue. Pity is the enemy.
Nothing in Nature inspires me compassion. It’s all a constant source of admiration. This craving thirst for glory calls our bones with the weight of the giant rock it once belonged.
Following my route south, I stopped at the Natural Bridge, an arc more than five hundred millions years old carved with water trough granite formations. I won't start listing numbers in feet and tons. The point is that we belong, atom per atom, to the realm of majestic things. Only our mind can contradict that physic fact. A brain that talks too much, ignoring the natural impulses of the heart, degrades a man into a couch and a speech into a bark.
Finally, I arrived to Atlanta, Georgia, where the body of Martin Luther King Jr. and his wife have been kept in a crypt just one blog away from where he was born. Over and over again we keep placing big stones on the burial place of big men as if by doing so we release them from their misleading coil and make them wear one that weights as much as their actions.
We use our mind to respond to the question “how to get there”, no “why not to bother”. The smarter we are, the smaller we get when choosing the wrong questions.