February 7th, 2017

So yeah, yesterday, six days shy of two months of having arrived, I bid farewell to The Slabs, to begin the third phase of this here journey o’ mine, and re-integrate myself  back out into reality.

I also need to quit being such a fuckin’ asshole… an entry (or two, can’t recall) back, when mentioning of my impending departure from Slab City, I wrote of what more is there to photograph here, just more garbage littering the desert landscape?  I need to quit being such a judgmental prick, and keep my snide comments to myself, or even better, eradicate them from my thought in the first place.

Slab City is more than just the garbage littered desert area, that it is in parts, it is a whole lot more.  It’s good people, living life on their terms… it’s a creative spirit… it’s people living free, and doing so at the cost of creature comforts that others take for granted of in their daily lives…  it’s a community… it’s a a whole lot more than just an abandoned, garbage littered, plot of land in the middle of the desert, it’s home for a resourceful and tough group of people, that I had the good opportunity to get too be a part of.  I will miss it… and am sure, if ever back in the southern California area, it will definitely not be my last time.

That remark was in relation to my saying I had run out of photographic inspiration, to explain my lackluster body of work produced at The Slabs, aside from my Discarded series.  You know what though, I could have did another series of which I thought of early in my stay there… when I was contemplating that which would make me happy, my actually going out and engaging with other people, by doing a little “What Makes You Happy?” photo series, where I would go and ask that question of fellow Slab residents, to learn of what does for them, to help aid me, and take an accompanying portraiture of them.  That would have been good on so many levels for me to do… but, do you see that series on this site?  Nope, sure don’t.  Because I would rather live in my head… and then make smart-ass remarks.

Just a lot of things I personally need to work on, improve upon, with me and myself.  I mean, if I couldn’t do a series like that in Slab City of all places, what makes me think back out in the real world I am gonna fare any better?!

So, thus why I am thrusting myself back out into the “reality” of this “real life/world”…  And this now entered into, third part/phase/stage of this here journey o’ mine, I feel, and know is going to be the hardest and toughest.

Why?  Because it will involve me actually needing to do, to put what has been gained, learned in the past six months of having been on this here journey o’ mine, and putting it, and me, into some sort of beneficial, good use.  Of putting this newly sunk in perspective, and way of thinking – of living in the now, definitely through the fire and test.

As that is what I will be looking to do now, find out how now I can live in this here life/world… not more thinking about it, runnin’ it around in the confines of my head endlessly, but actually doing… making my own little world a reality.

Frankly, I am scared shitless.  More than I have ever been on this journey, or was leading up to.  Because now it is do or die… failure is not an option.

And already I am failing, because I am scared shitless.  For, that is me thinking of, and living in the future, which does not exist… now is all there is, Jeffrey.  Right now, this moment, nothing else or more.  Right now, in this moment, I am not scared shitless… what is there for me to be scared shitless of?  I am sitting here in another local community library, writing this… all is fine, all is good.

What you are going to do next, where you are going to do next – that will come when that moment comes, and you will do accordingly, the best way that you know how, just as you have your entire life, and you are still here, you are still fine, and all is good… you are you, you are living your life… just a matter a continuing to do so, and doing it now even better centered and focused with this finally sunken in outlook of better focusing in on the here and now, and not some unknown future that does not exist.

Yeah, it’s that constant, every moment unknown that has me scared shitless.  Yeah, well, welcome to life, son.  Nothing in life is known except that which we ourselves, deep down know to be, to be right, and true, so…

Do what you gotta do.  Just need to focus, keep your head clear… maybe I am going to need to force myself to do my own little yoga class each day, to help me… remind me… as it did help me, as I told Eduardo, who kindly taught the class, when I saw him as I left yesterday… I designed and made up some flyers for him, in thanks for the classes, so that he could post around and get people to partake of his class –

Letting him know my sincerest appreciation and thanks for the class, as it really did solidify that whole living in the now notion that I had just fully come to realize, like a week before… and then a week later, just wandering about on my one of my daily walks, I just happened to come upon him at the end of his very first class, and decided to join along.  To find that the focus of the style of his form of yoga, centered on concentrating and focusing in upon the moment, the now, being aware of the life that is around us now, and living in it.

Like attracts like.

“Like attracts like. Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright. Automatically, as we shine who we are, asking ourselves every minute is this what I really want to do, doing it only when we answer yes, automatically that turns away those who have nothing to learn from who we are, and attracts those who do, and from whom we have to learn, as well.”

“Like attracts like. It’ll surprise you as long as you live. Choose a love and work to make it true, and somehow something will happen, something you couldn’t plan, will come along to move like to like, to set you loose, to set you on the way to your next brick wall.”

Both quotes from the writings of Richard Bach, who has always been a reading source that I have turned to in the past to help me remember.  It’s true though, as if Eduardo’s yoga class wasn’t proof enough to me… not even a week later of this, finally sinking in thought, I just happen to go for a walk a little later in the day than I usually did, and just happened to wander up to The Range to see what flyers for events coming up, and, oh, there’s a yoga class going on, and it just happens to be his very first yoga class.

Just be you.  Live your life.  Do what it is that you do.  Honestly, purely, and truly, to your highest right, and everything will fall into place, and come to be.  Just got to believe in yourself, in life, trusting both will lead you where it is you are wanting to follow and go.

So, Part Trois here… let’s bring it on.  Let’s do it, and do this.  Life isn’t frightening, it’s electric!  Breathing and charging every ounce of your being to go do, explore, and live.  So (feeling like Jean Luc now), engage!  Let’s see what’s out there!

And, since I said I would break up the external rambling with some photos, here is a handful that I took yesterday on Day One of Part Trois:

Tree Of (Bird) Life, And Shade

Had to get a nice parting photo of the tree that I lived aside for the past two months, that provided shade, from both sun and wind for me and Burgey… and as well was home to at three, maybe four, different species of bird neighbors, who came to sleep in it every night, as well as the numerous others who often visited it during the day.  Thank you, tree.

The Salton Sea

You know, the Colorado River is a grand thing… not only did it’s forces carve out and create the Grand Canyon, let alone the fact that it is the major source of water to millions of people in at least four or five states (I was also floating in an offshoot of it too, in Discarded IV of my Discarded series, the Coachella Canal, that is also fed from it)… but, it also created this, the Salton Sea, whose southern tip begins just to the northwest of Slab City, and extends for miles… I followed it’s northern shore for about forty-five minutes.

Salton Sea Shower

Salton Sea is much akin to Slab City too, in that it is something that used to be something in it’s heyday, but ever since has been abandoned and left to it’s own… from what I have heard, it’s being allowed to just dry up, and the communities that were around it, have been boarded up and dwindled away… strange…

You know, something just hit me… I was just thinking of how it is that man is, in when they are done with something, they just totally discard it and leave it, neglect it… and how that can also mirror me and my life up to now – the constant, head-down moving on, flittering from this to that, here to there, with the things, people, places that once were to me, and now no longer are… perhaps something more for me to reflect upon there…

Appreciate and value the finite now that you have, that is around you… the things, people in it… enjoy, and take it, and them, all in, in this moment, in this now.

Santa Rosa Light Play

At least I am pretty sure that this is the Santa Rosa range of mountains, that lay just to the northwest of the Salton Sea, which still could be seen in the lower portion of this photo, but I cropped it out.

Palm Grove

The route taken from Slab City is Highway 111, which at some point comes to be called Grapefruit Boulevard, or something like that, though I never did notice any citrus plantations of any kind, at least along the highway… but, several instances of, I guess nurseries, of palm trees, all planted nice and neat in rows for acres upon acres… though I guess possibly grown for their palm oil… or maybe they are the coconut producin’ kind… I really don’t know much about palm trees… anyway, was pretty neat to see.

So, that is it.  Right now I am in Indio, California (which reminds me, I need to remember to get back to updating my “Where I Am At” map on my About page)… tomorrow, I will head up to Joshua Tree National Monument, and from there, the plan is then up to Death Valley.

So, until next time, here is wishing you safe and happy travels on your journey, and all the best.  Be you, and live your life!

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