It’s been quite a while since the last post. There is a reason; it’s just not a very good one.

Part of the idea of this blog was to record my activities and thoughts without a great deal of wrestling with the prose and second-guessing. The combination of being an English professor, an aspiring writer, and an anal-retentive perfectionist has made this quite a difficult row to hoe.

In truth, it’s more that I’m an idealist perfectionist: in my planning and plotting, I aspire only to greatness, but because I cannot reach that lofty goal, I keep putting off the attempt until I feel “ready.” This readiness, I’ve found, will never arrive. That’s part of the impetus to hike the trail, really: it’s a project that must start at a particular date or I won’t make it through the window of opportunity. I can’t keep dithering or making excuses not to go. Add to that the weight of a sabbatical and my job riding on me at least attempting the journey and I’ve put myself into a position where I must simply leap and do my best.

This post, for example, was started weeks ago, meant to record some of the hiking I’d been doing in preparation for the trail. The longer it sat, the harder it was to get back to it. I’m doing so now just to get it out, clearing the decks for more frequent posting. It still won’t be what I’m hoping for, but—to grab the oft-quoted aphorism oft attributed to Voltaire—the best is the enemy of the good. Acceptable and concrete is far better than ideal and abstract, really. I want to be a deep philosopher, but I think I have to come to grips with the fact that I’m more of an amusing rambler. That’s good enough for now.

This also brings up the worry for me about how to post from the trail. Add in to these issues the fatigue from hiking all day and my natural laziness, combined with sitting in a tent somewhere in the wilderness (not the ideal workspace) and I am concerned about getting in here often enough. I know that the blogs I most enjoyed and which were the most helpful were ones updated with some regularity. It’s a project, and one of the many which I won’t really know how to tackled until the time comes. Pray for my flexibility and determination, won’t you? Thank you.

I’ll leave this here as a record, and go on to put the training hikes this was meant to be about in the next post. It will be full of excitement and adventure and burned bicycles! I promise. Here’s a picture of the old mug that no one asked for—taken during my last big hike—to keep you amused until then.

Cogitation, or constipation? So hard to tell.

Cogitation, or constipation? So hard to tell.

Categories: Pacific Crest Trail, Preparation | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Ponderings

  1. “I want to be a deep philosopher, but I think I have to come to grips with the fact that I’m more of an amusing rambler.” This is where we meet, sir. 🙂

  2. Anthony Slusser

    And so goes the clutterer….” I do not want this here, right now. And it may go there better. Perhaps I’ll think about this tomorrow and put it on this pile today, if I can still find that damned step stool.”
    To cogitate to the Nth degree cubed produces un-rememberable, unremarkable stiffness.
    It isn’t perfection that draws the listener to your posts. It is the spontaneous quipping of an imaginative first response narration.
    We want more of you and none of Khalil Gibran.

    • Well, you sent me to the hivemind of the internet to learn about 20th century Lebanese spiritualist poets, so good on you there.

      You may not want Gibran Khalil Gibran, but I surely want to sound more like him.

      Let it be said of me in this journey: “They say that only the wind combed His hair, and only the rain brought His clothes and His body together.” (from Jesus, the Son of Man)

      • Lisa Voogd

        That’s all manner of poetic loveliness, and yet, please don’t hesitate to capitalize on a real shower when the opportunity arises. 😉

      • Lisa Voogd

        Oh, and when you’re approaching our part of Oregon, if you can find a way to communicate your deepest food cravings, we will fête your arrival.

        • I will so very heartily take you up on that. I’ll be interested to see what appeals most at that point.

          On a hike with wise man Richard Morris (my sister’s former boss), we had a discussion of our hiking cravings. For whatever reason, after a long, hot hike, I’m always ready for cold, sweet things: soda and popsicles, oddly enough. (I suspect that after longer distances, things more substantial will appeal.) For him, with memories of hiking the coasts of England, it was tea and biscuits. I hope one day to be that refined.

  3. You make me happy. ‘Nuff said. 🙂

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