Life All Awhirl

I think my computer has the soul of an old cat. It’s been in storage for two months, alone and neglected, and when I rescued it today from its storage unit kennel, it decided to neglect me in return. I suppose that passes for fairness in the purr-fect cyber world, but it sure was irksome! Poor old thing, the battery was almost dead, so dead I didn’t think it had enough juice to resuscitate itself, but luckily, it did finally begin recharging. It took several hours for the beast to decide to share its CPUs — I have no idea what it was doing other than its svchost.exe thing. It didn’t seem to be chasing anything dangerous like bugs or viruses, so I let it play.

I’m getting my metaphors twisted here, but the thing really did seem to be punishing me for my neglect. We’ve made up, though, and its decided to let me have my say.

To be honest, I have nothing much to impart, so you won’t hurt my feelings if you leave. Mostly, the past couple of days have left my mind in a whirl, and I’m using this bloggerie to unwhirl my life, and bring me back to a semblance of equanimity.

The bus/train return trip was an interesting experience. I made friends with a self-named “new generation hippie” or “traveler.” She said she got tired of the scene, because although the kids were into various spiritual things, they were mostly into drugs, and she wasn’t. These travelers slept in fragile eco systems, without a care for the damage they did, just because. I might not have paid attention to the account of their shenanigans, except so much of the research I am doing about hiking and backpacking is based on protecting the land while making it available to as many people as possible. The various trails in California, as well as the Appalachian Trail are particularly at risk. (For example, lot of people are reporting used toilet paper “flowers” along the trails. Some parts of the trails are littered with trash and broken gear.) I can’t do anything about them. I’m just glad I walked softly on the trails provided and left no trace. (Though they left a trace on me! Mosquito bites and bruises. Eek.)

Since I’ve been back, I’ve spent a lot of time at my storage unit, trying to find what I need for the next month or so. (For the past eight weeks, I’ve lived with less than 53 litres of possessions — that’s how much fit in my backpack.) And now I find I need a whole carload of stuff. (Computer, dance clothes, printer, nutritional supplements.)

I checked on my car yesterday and today. Poor old beetle still isn’t finished being restored, but even though the body shop guy is only working on it when he has nothing more lucrative to do, I am grateful for the care he is taking. He keeps finding things that were supposed to have been fixed, but weren’t. I’d paid a supposedly reputable VW repair business to replace rusty brake lines and leaky fuel lines, and even though they took the money, they didn’t do the work. Even worse, when I went back because the problems didn’t seem to be fixed, they swore they double checked the work and everything was fine. I can sort of understand cheating with parts like a muffler (they did that, too, took my money for a new muffler, and neglected to put it in) but brakes? Fuel lines that are prone to catching fire? Cripes. They tried to murder me for a few dollars. Oddly, the reason I went to them in the first place, is for them to fix something a previous mechanic had screwed up. And now they’ve been put out of business by myriad lawsuits.

Luckily, I have a new mechanic and now a body shop guy. Between the two of them, my car should run as well as any ancient car can, and look a whole lot better than most old vehicles.

Meantime, I’m back at dance class. It’s been a long time since dancing made me smile — too many personalities and too much drama overloaded my system and took away the joy, but now I feel renewed. At least for a while. It helps that I have another trip planned. And it also helps that I’m literarily causing havoc for my dance mates.

I started writing my novel about the dance class when I was up north. I even know who committed the murder and why, just don’t know all the particulars, but I don’t need to know those details until I write myself into a corner and need a twist to get me out. I’m not sure I’ll be able to continue writing the book now that I am back in class. I have a hunch it will be hard to keep my mind in the story when every day I see the characters in real life doing the opposite of what I’d written. Sort of kills the imaginative aspect, I suppose, but maybe not. The characters are already evolving away from their real life counterparts, and since I couldn’t have a whole bunch of supporting characters muddying my figurative waters, I combined the women into composite characters, which makes it easier to be truthful. (As the wolf told Red Riding Hood, “the better to destroy you with, my dear.” Or some such.) Besides, if anyone annoys me, I can get my revenge on them in the story.

It’s hot here in the desert, close to 100° and so humid I am drenched even so late in the evening. Such a vast difference between here and the northern part of California! Oddly, the skies seem higher in the desert. The light is different here, so glaringly yellow, that I’m sure it causes some sort of optical illusion. And oh, does that sun burn! In all the hiking discussions I have read, all the experts have iterated not to wear cotton when hiking, but that can’t possible refer to the desert. Wearing synthetics would be like sitting on a vinyl seat in a car that has been baking in triple digit temperatures. Ouch. But I’ll check out Merino wool — supposed to feel like silk.

And anyway, I’ve put away my hiking persona for now, and donned my dancing diva.

Thanks for helping me unwhirl. I feel so much better now!

Here is a song someone sent me. Sounds like my life. https://youtu.be/6BvPMbJZfLw Hope you enjoy it.

***

(Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.”)

6 Responses to “Life All Awhirl”

  1. rami ungar the writer Says:

    Glad to see you’re doing so well and even doing some writing. I hope everything goes well for you in the future.

  2. Kathy Says:

    Welcome back to the desert, although I will feel better when the days are shorter and cooler. Soon!

  3. Coco Ihle Says:

    Welcome back, Pat! Happy dancin’!

  4. Constance Says:

    Good to hear that you arrived back in the Hi Desert safely.
    Can hardly wait for you to finish the book on dance class. When it is published, I would like to have a copy, signed by you.

  5. Carol Says:

    I’ve been away much of the summer, too, but not on your kind of adventure — just a weekend away to pick up a new puppy, then a few weeks at our little wilderness cabin, followed by weeks at our daughter’s rural home in the Kootenays. We returned home late last week and I’ve just started catching up on things.

    I haven’t read all of your summer posts yet, but some… enough to figure out what you’ve been up to. I’m so glad you were able to make this journey. It might not have been the adventure you originally dreamed of, but it sounds like you had some wonderful experiences and saw many fabulous vistas. I hope you’re refreshed and feeling re-energized for your living, writing and dancing.🙂

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      Sounds like you had an adventure, too! My summer adventure was more of a way of safely sticking my toe into adventure. As my hostess said, it wasn’t supposed to be a death march, and it wasn’t. Just one awesome experience after another. I never thought it possible to find a deserted coast where I could walk for hours without seeing anyone. Truly fantastic. And the redwood forests were astonishing. I did start writing, did feel renewed, but I’m restless. Planning a winter adventure across the southern border of the US where it should be fairly warm.

      Thank you for all your support during my sad years. You made a difference.


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