Travelogue. Notes from the PNW September 2015

When the squeeze gets too tight for the masses that grind the gears that keep the American engine greased, there’s a pretty great chance it will blow. But, that’s just the way it feels today and probably a bigger story for another day.

From here, 5 months into shedding all but about 100 things that I own and choosing to stop being curious and start getting some answers, I can tell you this: It’s gettin’all real up in here. I no longer stand out as the only non-traditional, unconventional American out and about doing grown-up things like a responsible adult. It’s weird. Weirder still to not be an outlaw for the first time ever. Ever, ever, like in my adult life: I am breaking no laws. I also still have no stomach for drama, career slothing and passive-aggressive manipulation, but that’s old news.

Two weeks into Washington state and I’ve formed all kinds of opinions and solidified some others.

These are my Top Three:

  1. HORSEgirlWhen people talk about the Wild West or The Revolution or Ninjas or Pioneers, or the highly sought-after Pioneer Ninja, they are taking for real. All these things were just conceptual to us before – they were romanticized and woven into great books and cinematography. Now they can fall into conversation and not raise an eyebrow. There are no new words. dangit. All those words are current again. It’s NUTS in America, just ask any one of all the other countries. These changes are simultaneously awesome (literally.makes me gasp) and straight-up scary. So many considerations, so few waking hours.
  2. The Meth/Crack & heroin cultures have left a divide in this country that will never be safe to touch. Just like dry-drunks, there are dry-addicts. TONS of them. Check your maps and star charts before planning vacations. The societal impact and the long-term toll this takes on communities is generational. We’re into our second gen zombies now. From what I’ve seen, these drugs erase any suggestion of a moral compass unlike any other substance Americans have ever dealt with. It scares the shit out of me and is a constant reminder to never make eye contact with strangers, pack light and play all cards close to the vest. Even though it’s usually apparent to the untrained eye, the non-addict can be swept into empathy all too easily. It’s a dangerous world. Beware the zombies.CIVILIZATION
  3. People are disgruntled & disenfranchised for real. (this isn’t my forum for talking about the reasonably pissed off disposable humans, like veterans; That’s later.) There are a lot (by a lot, I mean A.LOT.) of super unhappy humans out and about in America. They’re alone and miserable or they’re with somebody and miserable or with a whole bunch of somebodies, annnnnnnnd: Miserable. It’s weird how people are so disconnected from owning their own happiness (to the tune of supporting a multi-kabillion dollar self-help industry) and critical thought is more discouraged than ever. Seriously, it’s weird. There’s also a whole bunch of people, crossing all the demographic divides, who don’t get that their vote matters. The stretch between words and actions has never felt greater. People don’t vote in this country and I get it … voter fraud (GO Kansas!) and the ability to buy office make it hard to argue that a vote matters.
  4. WESTERNwomenWomen are Owning.THIS.Place. And, on a totally related note: Resistance IS futile. For real. Short of water covering our whole island, marijuana legalization is going to impact our future. It is up to you, each of you really – with your great big ol’darling ability to vote, to decide how soon you want to reap the economic benefits of turning this obvious game-changer into better schools and brighter futures. There is no shortage of data to support both sides of this debate and I just ask you to always double-check your source and find the other side before forming an opinion. Then go see how much money is generated. The Dalai Lama has a quote about Western Women changing the world and what I’m seeing out here in the Wild West (CO & WA only 2 states with legal med/rec) supports that notion. More women than men are driving these changes so it makes me like The Dalai even more. I believe women can sense change in the wind. We’re hard-wired to be ready.

That’s what I got today. Nose to the grindstone. Trust no one.



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