A Day on the Road

Embankment On that day, September 12, 2014, I leave Tain L’Hermitage (Drôme department) towards Hauterives, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. On both sides of the road D109 vine crops widen to the borders of the left bank of the Rhône. The other side of the bridge, the city of Tournon-sur-Rhône, which belongs to the Ardèche department. There I spent the night in the outskirt of the urban area, on a embankment builded to prevents floodplains of one of the largest rivers in Europe. It is a gravel pathway shared by cyclists and pedestrians, as those four youngster around my tent that are seeking to kill boredom.

Sunshine“How do you do?” asked the female who seemed to be a natural leader. When sitting on the floor a huge tribal tattoo on her right leg was revealed by her pleated skirt. We shared ideas for about half an hour and by the end of the conversation I felt relaxed. There is a widespread illusion among the young that they will make a long journey when they become independent from the nest. The positive fatigue led me to sleep smoothly until the early morning when I heard the footsteps of some retirees already out to meet the first glimpse of the sun.

Before leaving for my daily adventure, the couple, who had kept my bike in their garage, invited me to their table to have a substantial breakfast. She worked for the government in Valence, he at the local Bank. Son, Martin, prepared to go to school. They signed my journal, made ham and cheese sandwiches to go, expressed, once again, amazement at my lifestyle, and recommended visiting the winery of Tain.

At 9, in front of the Champion Supermarket, I work laboriously to change the wheel of my second trailer. After this operation, I turned back toward the same street I took it to get into the city center. Now I was about to cross that bridge visualized from the beginning.

The Shiraz vineyards, a few kilometers later, are abruptly replaced by cornfields and bushes that leaning sideways by the action of the noon wind. Suddenly it’s very rare to see a vehicle in this inhospitable road. To the confluence with the D53, everything is very monotone: Some plots are already plowed, waiting for the load of manure that will water its surface; the sound of a iron hanging on a zinc roof that balaRural Mailboxes nces upon bales of fodder; neat grown plants fences protecting some rural residences; metal and plastic greenhouses covering vegetables; community rural mailboxes installed in the middle of nowhere as if they were guardians of a territory where abounds silence and solitude. Some dog barking in the distance.

Suddenly I see a great place to spend the night and decided to stop right there. It is a neat grass yard outside the perimeter of a mansion that houses the life of a retired couple. I introduce myself in the way as I have been doing for years: I telling them who I am showing them at the same time the newspaper clippings and a couple of IB (Institutional Books), the main element which builds trust and confidence. I am a foreigner and they the owners of the house. When I ask for something, I try to do always considering the maximum respect for these people and do the minimum to bother them.

Tent “Can I set up my tent in the vacant court which is outside the fence of your house? Just for tonight, tomorrow very early morning I will leave without any disturbances”. The lady asked a couple of minutes before deciding disappearing into the house. A big dog is lying in a corner of what would be a dining room. I can heard, in the next room, when the lady is on the phone talking with her daughter. For my part, I ask permission to wait outside. Three minutes past when the lady comes out again: “Do you want some tea?”.

BoulangerieThe next morning I enter the village of Hauterives. I see a bakery half a block by turning the side of the Church. I decide to go there. Again, all the protocol showing up my newspaper clippings and institutional books. Hélene and Alain, this time, are the great benefactors in help me out. A new day of adventure has just begun.

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Clarifying the concepts

On “...felt relaxed.” [why?]

Because the rule is that almost every day, when I decided to spend the night in a place, are the kids, the kids who come and asks and such, which to me is a real nuisance.It doesn’t leave me relaxed when I fall asleep. Sleep is what I need to rest from the fatigue of the day. Sometimes I think that will come back and commit an atrocity just for the sake of fun. My perception of the youngsters (brats in Spain) in general is very negative.

………………

On “There is a widespread illusion among the young that they will make a long journey when they become independent from the nest.[why do you say that? was it something these kids talked about? are you saying that lots of young kids think they’ll travel but rarely do?]

This is something to do when I say “I felt relaxed”. Kids hear my words carefully and they give the impression that approve what I am saying. Means they would not come to commit atrocities at night, when I’m already asleep. They see me telling them what they want to hear, things related to freedom and independence. A kind of fellowship is established.

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On “The positive fatigue[what is negative fatigue? – being tired from staying up late on the internet rather than from good physical labour?]

You said it.

——

On “They signed my journal, made ham and cheese sandwiches to go[for you?]

Yes.

Detox

Once a year (actually, as often as possible), go someplace you’ve never been before ·

~ The Dalai Lama.

A refreshing shower, a delicious dinner, a warm bed. These three things are supreme values in the immensely present of a nomade. Today I have all those things and more in a daily basis. I don’t need to do much to get these benefits, these amenities. Slowly my ability to feel surprise, passion and gratitude are diluted. My body reflects a state of apathy. I’m getting fat. I feel bored.

onceWhat is happening to me? I know it’s the necessary (necessary?) period of adaptation to a conventional, stable life – that I’m now sharing with Nuria-, but I must not plunge into depression simply because traveling aren’t the option right now. That will come, hopefully, early next year. Meanwhile, I must do something to intercept the routine effects.

I know very well the way to achieve it: physical exercise. Actually, it’s the only way. Then comes the rest: meditation, concentration, discipline, goal setting, spirit of sacrifice, perseverance, avoid excessive procrastination, patience…Yes, I know, it sounds great in the ear but the reality is that I got to do it mainly because I want it.

Sometimes I see in social media testimonials of other nomads like me who are immersed in certain actions almost desperately trying to replace those experiences of wild freedom on the road.They go to the beach, made short trips beyond the city border by bicycle, collects mushrooms in the surrounding forests, built teepees in a secluded location in the mountains; practice zazen near an abandoned railway line, bathe with cold water at dawn. Things like that. Something that makes them to breathe the intensity of the Pure Life what apparently they can not easily find it in the corners of the Stable Life.

Suicide definitely isn’t an option either although we are quite similar to some war veterans who do indeed take such a extreme determination. The truth of the matter is that we have chosen to take a trip without return ticket, literally. What we do, what I do right now, is adapt myself to this life because I do not want to end up being simply a man who travels endlessly. It has already been proclaimed that travel, a long trip is addictive. Today is like I am in a detox center. Little by little, day by day, minute by minute.

Please visit my Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/omarglobe

BAR LO MITA

Bar Lo Mita

Now I’m in front of my computer. I read about Isabel Allende. She lives in Sausalito and every January 8 she turn on her computer without knowing what book she going to produce. I would like to catch this magic rhythm.

I born in a small village called Santa Rosa, in the Misiones province of southern Paraguay. The periodical corporal punishment that I received from my despotic mother doesn’t blocked me to remember beautiful things about my childhood. Apart of that domestic terror, life in Santa Rosa was quite interesting. The town had a Bar, right beside the Plaza del Pueblo. The Bar “Lo Mita”, which means “We the People”… sort of, had a black and white TV at the top of old gas-fueled one time white refrigerator. The owner, who put his music loudly every day in a two old, huge speaker at the top of a TV antenna, usually charged five guaranies or so to watch Tarzan or the World Cup sequences.

That time, Paraguay was under the complete influence of the worst dictator in Latin America, Alfredo Stroessner. He was so distant and provoked fear even when someone mention his name. (to be continued)

Back in 2006

  • IMG_2580August 13th, 2006, 01:11 pm

Sunday in Vancouver

Inmense blue sky and awesome day. Hot. Searching about Fort McMurray though. Someone lives in FMM and can tell me what is the reality over ?
  • CURRENT MUSIC
    Gregorian Chant

Zazen

Yesterday I did zazen after so long of spiritual dryness and I used this video to mark my time. At one point, Nuria, who accompanied me, tells me. “Something is going on with that video. I doesn’t play nothing…” I replied her that silence is the proper ambient sound when practice zazen and that was right.

From now on, I hope push myself to make this practice a daily routine.

When I stayed a while in the vicinity of Cartaya (Huelva), in the winter of 2010-2011, in taking care of a rural farm, I have built a Safu. Here’s the picture:

IMG_3247

No one lived in the house. There was also no neighbors, except some farmer houses in the area that were visible beyond the road. Sometimes I crossed that road and picked vegetables previously designated by the owner to do so.

Take these peppers that’s touching the ground and tomatoes which are rotting. Those cabbages, these lettuces…

Then I would return home to look at the pool without coverage, the palm trees drawing a messy things on the gray sky, the house of a BBQ unchanging in one corner, the wall that divided the olives. The silence was overwhelming.