August 16th, 2016
I really am screwed.
I really do not know what I am doing, or what to do.
A week into this insanity, five hundred and a quarter miles away from where I started, and it has started sinking in… after like playing as if this all is like some kind of big, fun holiday/vacation or something, distracting myself with these diversions of going to all these places, taking pictures and whatnot… sunk in that I am in no better position than what and where I was before, except now I am wandering around, living in a van. The past day or so have been a downer, and my spirits not so bright.
I did all this craziness, commencing with me unemploying (yes, I just made that a verb) myself, and then homelessing (yep, verbing that too… and yes, verbing verb also) myself also. Reason for doing so, after many, many, many years, I just couldn’t do it anymore… as I wrote in what I linked to in the first line above, a switch just got turned off, I now I am like completely unable to turn it back on.
The switch to me just continually doing that which I do not want, which is just hopping around from one stupid damn money-job to stupid damn money-job, as well as place to place, trying to find contentment, happiness, home. Yes, it has been I who has done all that, with no external influence causing, making me to do so…
I am just cursed. Cursed with being me. Me, who for whatever reason that I have yet to fathom, figure out and understand, is, to my very core, someone who has not just always gone along with what it is we are just told we must do, how our lives must be lived… not at all to just be contrary, but just because, innately, it just never made sense to me… it’s such an exhausting and tired old story with me, that I am way past sick of still continually dealing with, and explaining, it.
We did not come into this life/world, to live the lives that this life/world just says that all must be and do… we are are more… Life, is more. And all my time here in this life/world, I have just played along, as best as I can, doing what is deemed playing the part of everyone’s contributing normal obligation to be, do, and live.
There has got to be a reason to it all. A reason why I chose to come here, and be who it is that I am. I just keep hoping that at some point, some day in time here, a happening will arise, occur, that will provide that reason… yeah, not yet. Or, maybe it has, but have had my head stuck so far up my ass, that I just totally missed it.
Maybe, I am just completely and totally full of myself, and just need to get over me. Accept the fact that I am nothing. Not that I have ever once thought, or believed that I am like better, or more than any and every body else, because that goes against what it is I do believe – that we are all one and the same – wholly, truly, and purely perfect souls of love… we all are equal. But, we choose these play lives of coming to a life/world, like this one that we are currently choosing, for it to be all that there is… yet, that is the crux – I know that there is more, and that we are more! And that this is all just an illusional game and play.
And what has boggled my mind this entire life here, is why I am this way… why did I come here, and unlike every-bloody-body else, choose not to check my true self at the door, and become the only knowing I know being that which is told us here to be, believe, feel, know, think?! It’s like I’m a great big asshole, just going along not playing by the rules that I very well knew were the rules going into this game and arena, like I am some kind of person who just thinks that he is something special! I mean, what the fuck, Jeff?! As I have wrote ad nauseum, of how I would, like in some soap opera, or bad B-movie, get konked in the head and get amnesia, and forget who it is I am, etc., and could just then be and live like everybody else in this life/world.
Why did I do this to myself? Why would I subject myself to this life long torment of being a fuckin’ idiot to how everybody else here lives and does?! And now, even worse, that switch has been switched, and I can’t even feebly play along as I have been playing along up to now!
Like, coming here to Rapid City, in my pre-thinking of this whole lunatic’s endeavor that I am now on, that the larger cities like here, would be places where I would replenish the finances, by taking little spot, temp jobs… yesterday, I looked for just that, and all it did was just lead me to fall into an even deeper depression, because I didn’t want, or care to do any of it! I have not done all I have done, come this far, to just do even more crappy stupid dumb ass money-jobs to “get by”…
Jesus fuckin’ Christ, Jeff – what the fuck are you going to do?! Let’s just see when the coffers run dry, and you don’t have a fuckin’ dime to your name, and stranded wherever you may be at that time, with nothing, no food, and no money to get any, no means to fill the tank to go anywhere… !!! Let’s see if you’re whistlin’ the same bloody I-can’t-do-this-bullshit-anymore tune then!
I really am tired of me. My whole life I have been this way, and I can’t be any less or different… this is who I am. And it’s exhausting. It’s a wonder I’ve made it this far.
I just, simply, want to be happy. Simply, to be content, at peace.
Maybe I should find some hippie commune or something, where they have given up livin’ by The Man’s ways, and just live simply in some kind of – I don’t know… something that isn’t some freak cult…
And contrary to how it may seem, I am not just all wrapped up in only myself, and that I am just “o’ woe is me and my life” blah, blah, blah… that isn’t me at all either… I know better. I know that there are those whose lives that they are living and going through, make me and mine look like a whimpering candy ass pansy pussy to be even saying anything otherwise. Which is true… I know that I am, and have been, a spoiled white man American, who has known no other. Even when things have been at their lowest and worst, have been most likely something to be relished by someone else to just be able to have that! I am me, I am not a jerk, and all so self involved, and self obsessed that I don’t have perspective and see, know the bigger picture… perspective has always been my only welcoming solace.
So… what? What then, Jeff? What are you doing? What are you going to do?
I am certainly not the only one out here, homeless, I mean, and even then, I am living like a fuckin’ king, and I know it. I have met others who literally just have the clothes on their back, and literally not a dime to their name, and have been so for a lot longer than my little ol’ week stint here, riding high off the hog in my mobile home/vehicle, overstuffed with too much crap.
It’s just the whole not knowing what to do part, that just gets to weighing on me… and that I have been trying to figure it out daily now for decades… wears on a person. Yeah, I know – oh, poor little o’ me.
As I have written, included with my bringing everything including the kitchen sink, of everything photographic, is my film camera, that I have been using to take one photo a day with. Last night, I spotted this building in downtown Rapid City, that was adorned with these bare bulb lights on it’s front facade, that I stopped to shoot for yesterday’s photo.
As soon as I raised my camera to my eye, a fella came right up next to me and asked me, in a friendly inquisitive way, “What the fuck are you taking a picture of?” He dropped the f-bomb quite often, which of course I did not judge, since, as readers here may know, I am prone to be loose with my language.
Anyway, from there, I stood and talked for about an hour with Two Crows, a Lakota, a descendant of Crazy Horse, he told me, who, sadly, as many of the homeless and indigent in this area tend to be, are the original native people of this land. Not to generalize stereotypically, but Two Crows was sadly also inebriated, from the firewater gift of the white man, amongst other things… like the killing, raping, pillaging of them and their land, livelihood, lives.
He told me of the sad reality, that he really didn’t have to tell me of, I already knew, I’ve always had an affinity to the native people of this land, and know that their hardship did not end, when the forefathers who bare the same color of my skin, came and decimated a whole indigenous culture and people (while they brought in tow, a whole other culture and people that they stole from their land and homes too, to make them their slaves)… but, that these very same people, and their tribes, are still struggling with their existence, identity, way of life and living… of how to be, and move forward as a people.
He often broke into his native tongue when speaking with me, often kindly addressing me as ‘khola’ – friend, and how he would get frustrated at how the younger ones of his people, cared not to learn the ways, language of their people, that those who still can speak it are fewer and fewer.
The whole state of play of the tribe, of a people, who were what they were, ruling the high plains, living off and with the land, up til a hundred-fifty to two hundred years ago, when good ol’ white man, just came and claimed that this land was now their’s, and for the “Indian” (that name has always pissed me off! This is not fucking India! Just because some stupid fuck arrived here, thinking that he had arrived in India, and thus started calling all the natives Indians… – it’s four hundred years later! This is not fucking India! The native people of this land are not Indians!) to just hand over the land they have called their home to the white man… and those who chose not to, well, by golly they were savages! Savages who needed to be fought and removed in order to procure the white man’s claim to that which they had absolutely no claim over.
Given the gift, from the white man, of reservations, for the tribes to continue to live on and off of… these people, having to come to terms to live their lives that they have only known, to now try to continue doing so, but from these reservations. Cut to today, and a people trying to come to terms with their place, identity, in a world surrounded by that of the white man… what is the use of learning the “old ways”, their language? How will that help them now, today? So, a whole indigenous peoples slowly over centuries and decades, losing who it is they are, their identity, that which made them great and who they are, being erased. A people not knowing what to do, stuck in the world of the old,surrounded in a world of the new, leading to rampant poverty, abuse in every form, be it physical abuse, substance abuse… He literally started crying telling me about the murder of his two sisters down in Denver, as he showed me the tattoos of their names on his arm. The politics within the tribe, of those who know the right people are the ones who get and receive on the rez, while everybody else not so much. Bunch of tribal infighting…
I really do find it sad and genuinely depressing to see the large native homelessness in this area. Two Crows told me last night, how he lives in the streets, of eating out of the dumpsters, the night prior, it had been the KFC… The kids, his nephews and cousins, more interested in joining up with gangs… in fact, one of them walked by while we were talking, and was dressed all fine, and pulled out a wad of bills from his pocket, he was inebriated too, as he could also not stand up straight or still, and kept dropping bills all over the ground, and gave his uncle Two Crows a $20, for him to go get something to eat…
Anyway… I look forward to Day 9’s photo from the roll of film in the camera, as it will be of Two Crows, standing in front of the building I had originally stopped to take a photo of.
We all are just trying to find our way. And all we can do is just take each new day at a time. Life is to be lived. Sometimes it can be too much living than we’d care to have, but, we got to do what we can, and continue on, heads up, hearts true, spirits determined.
And that is what I will continue to do… even when it is that I don’t know what the hell it is that I am doing, going. Life is precious. Life is beautiful. And as I have always said, I would rather “die” living, than to “die” dying.
We can only be true to our true nature, of who it is that we are… no matter what the cost… which, in the big ol’ scheme of things, is nothing at all… just the simple price to the ride, and joy, of living.
So, I guess, I’ll just keep going, and take it as it comes. And try to not get all worked up, and in writing earlier here. This is why writing has always been a cathartic blessing to me… just me talking out loud to myself, getting outside of me, externalizing it… to, in the end, feel better, with it out of my system, and able and ready to move on.
Move on. Move forward. That is what we must do. Adapt, adjust, change, grow, move forward, and on… that’s the name of the game of life, and this journey, for me.
Here’s hoping you well on your’s. Don’t give up. Honestly be true to yourself, listen to yourself, and trust in yourself, and life… don’t give up on you, or Life… try not to get weighed down, or to weigh yourself down with the weights and pressures that this life can throw on you… it’s just doin’ it’s thing, so you just keep doin’ your thing. All the while, lookin’ at and for the beauty that is deeply embedded within life and the world around us.
Maybe that’s why I enjoy photography so much… because it helps me to find and see it.
So, enough of me sitting here whining like a little bitch… let me go and get back out there, and continue this wonderful little adventure and ride of life, and get some pictures while I am at it!
All the best to y’all!