Thursday, February 22, 2018

Living Life Unplugged ( General/Philosophy )

 ( Postdated from 2/06 )

 For some of you, the idea of living on top of a 1400’ mountain, 35 miles from the Quebec border, with no wifi or even cell service to entertain you, and a 3.1 mile hike to even reach your sole mode of transportation, would not be an enjoyable time. Even less of you would enjoy this experience being paired with 8-12 hours of physical labor per day, in the form of snow shoeing, chainsawing and hauling brush, cutting/sanding and staining lumber to make trail blaze signs. But this was my life for 5 days. Let me tell you it was quite a trip! The one time I made it into town during my stay was on the second day. I felt a burning desire to connect with the outside world as I was feeling a bit ‘off.’ During my descent from the mountain to my car, my head was filled with a heavy fog, which was in contrast to the beautiful sunny clear weather northern Maine was experiencing. It even reached 34 degrees! Inside of me were thoughts of self doubt and mania. As I reached my car these thoughts lessened and I relaxed into the 20 minute drive to reach town. I stopped and went inside a local business to ask where I could buy some craft beer. I wanted to share a few with my hut mates later that night. As soon as I opened my mouth a voice came out that sounded a little odd to me. The words this voice chose did not quite make sense, given the context. I stiffened and a wave of anxiety washed over me. The shop clerk pointed me in the direction of the general store and I shuffled off in that direction. Strange, I thought to myself as I left the store. It is almost as though I am speaking a different language after spending only two days up in those woods. It’s not like I was alone with nobody to talk to. I thought more on this as I munched on my pizza and drove back to the trailhead. I decided that I had been living/working with a few people in a very specific and remote context and that when I was forced to interact with people who were not sharing that specific context with me, I did not know how to interact with them. When I reached the top of the mountain and closed the door to the hut, I shared this realization with my hutmate Rob; he smiled and said he knew exactly what I meant. I found comfort and comradery in his response. I look forward to climbing those trails and exploring their mountainous terrain later on this summer.

Don’t forget to escape from the daily grind.

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