Up at 5.30 frosty, loading cold and stiff bags into the back of the truck and then off to Tim Horton’s in Williams Lake for coffee and a wireless connection – it all seems so normal again. We have to meet up with the rest of the crew and get back to the normal life we all had previously. But just how do I do that? If I am cold, where is the wood for the fire and the hot stones to warm me; where are the dry leaves to cushion my bed. Where are the fish to catch and where is the water to drink. There is no wood anymore, just paper – and pens to write our applications for electricity to power the storage heaters. There are king-sized divans and Land of Leather sofas; frozen farmed salmon and fish fingers. And pipes, thousands of miles of pipes dug into the Earth to deliver water; and all manner of other chemicals. How do I make sense of all this now?
And where is the humanity; the connection; the tribe? There is no one tribe here; there are arbitrary groups of people gathering together for scheduled moments to imitate a real family. People passing through for a coffee and a fix of togetherness. The crew, the canoe family, although still high on the natural experience we have share, all seem a little lost in their own impending worlds. We are surrounded by a complex and interwoven complexity – a twisted intricacy of conflicting desires. Surely we all desire warmth, food, and shelter. Why do we make things so complex in our search for these simple things? Or is it that we are subdued into a complacent acceptance that these simple needs cannot be simply met.
Dare I believe that I could find a spot of un-civilization where I could find the simple solutions without being moved on for vagrancy or persecuted by bureaucrats? No, I doubt it.
Perhaps I am meant, by whatever power is guiding my present change of mind, to simply reintegrate into society somehow and find my feet and continue to follow the status quo. No, I doubt that too.
I do, however, feel a greater confidence in my own voice; and a surge of insurgency armed with my new connection with the Earth. I feel a greater connection with others and their painful disconnection from the naturalness of our species. I also feel the weight of the overwhelming mass of humanity and its detrimental effect on the Earth.
What to do about this? Think I’ll join a monastery… well, perhaps not yet.