Friday, January 19, 2007

M2M: Resolution Update 1.19.07

Two weeks ago, Friday the 5th, was quite a day for me. I'd tossed and turned that Thursday night. I'd stayed up late and been thinking of resolutions and a sort of haunting start to the new year -- and the fact that this year I'd turn 50, which seems sort of crazy old to me, considering that I feel about 38, ok, maybe 42. But then maybe 49 really is the new 29. In some ways, for me, it will be. In some ways, it already is, such is the power of purpose, of creating a personal and distinct labor of love.

I'd spent a lot of the last three years teetering around the edges, over the lip and deep inside the abyss of a Serious Mid-Life Crisis. Some days worthy of a memoir of staggering sadness, other days as if the iron in my blood were lead.

Strains of that abyss and down time had been with me, sometimes, on and off, all of my life, drawn to the peaks and valleys of passions and sensitivities and moods and melancholy. But the nose dive a lot of things seemed to take for me, around me and for my country after 9/11 made me feel at times as if I were bound up in a thick canvas straight jacket (or needed to be, eh?). I'd have to say that, even with some amazing high points and even a few accomplishments and spiritual and psychological leaps and bounds and revised satisfactions, June 2003 to June 2006 were the worst three years of my life. My mind floundered. Hope seemed naive.

Even at the beginning of this year, just a few weeks ago, I was counting pocket change to buy 59 cent cans of tuna -- and scrambling to sell stuff at auction on eBay, putting out little tawdry fires as others sparked. And this in a cold house where I huddled next to the fire in the fireplace, otherwise down into the 30s in other rooms.

But that night of ideas and that day of the 5th, I felt a new energy and excitement and focus and inspiration like I haven't felt in years. I decided to write about resolutions here at ABN. And I announced the idea that I wanted to hike M2M, Manhattan to Montreal.

It is amazing how latching onto such a goal seems to have an effect on other aspects of one's life, not necessarily revolutionary but not naive, not of the rut but of a fresh surge of endorphins coursing through one's veins, sharper and more spritely than Prozac could ever be (at least for me).

In the two weeks since that first Friday post of 2007, the M2M 'dream' has become a more solid goal, and though some of my moments and glances so far this year are still tinged with that amorphous specter of melancholia, I am still feeling the excitement of that goal, which seems at once simple yet grand. I think I am really going to do it.

I've contacted trails clubs in the Hudson Valley and in the Adirondacks of New York. I've poured over books about Manhattan, a place I know somewhat well. I am delving deeper into the woodsy realms of the Catskills and the Adirondacks, places I've hardly seen. And I am starting to look at maps of Quebec and books about Montreal, places I have never been and never even really considered before.

I've never backpacked more than a few days at a time, going perhaps no more than 40 miles in the wilderness. Now I am looking at 600 miles and two months. I intend to head north from Battery Park on or around Thursday, June 28.

This spring, to keep the focus and the M2M epic ahead of me, I will write here about my Manhattan to Montreal hike of a lifetime every other Friday, letting you know how it's going. And during the hike, I will keep an in-depth blog of the journey, here at ABN or at a blog site all it's own.

Thanks for reading.


At 1/21/2007 6:31 AM, Anonymous RQ said...

I've been thinking lately about multiple lives. I think I've already lived 4 or 5 different lives. I guess reuniting w/some high school friends recently brought that into focus. My teen years and formative period was definitely a different life. I'm not that person anymore. Neither are the people I knew then. It was fun getting to know who they are now, and deciding whether I liked that new person now. I'm just a year or so into my 4th or 5th life. It's a new beginning and I look toward it with hope. I don't have any lofty goals to propel it. I'm just going to let it unfold. This summer I took a little side trip that ended in a dead end, but it was a lovely experience. I want more. Here's hoping. RQ

At 1/21/2007 10:27 PM, Blogger Lawrence said...

RQ, how about multiple chapters? I DO see myself in that 17 year old I once was and that 23 year old and that 38 year old. Age is a continuum for us with sometimes little change and sometimes more notable changes but no real breaks. Even the mentally ill are themselves at all times. We are all ourselves at all times, so I'll go for the notion of chapters. What's that line from "Six Feet Under?" Something like, 'we go on living as if we are going to live forever, until the end.' Something like that.


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