Monday, July 29, 2013


Today's entertainment is currently being provided by the patrons of Serious Coffee in Sooke, BC.  Located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Sooke is a resort town, but also appears to have something of a real fishing economy.  I'm on my way up to a park to secure a camping spot after spending a night in a comfy hotel in Victoria.

There are four older guys chatting about credit cards and debit cards at the moment, and they offer instruction on the fundamentals of change.  One guy, who observes that he needs someone sitting next to him in order to successfully reply to an email, is struggling to figure out if he should use his credit card more, or what it would be like to use a debit card.  "My grandfather used to have mason jars that he buried under the apple tree back in James Bay.  That's only three generations ago!  And, of course, the generation that got screwed by putting money in banks when the banks failed."  The conversations wraps around paying off the bill right away, having businesses just scan your check and return it, which is baffling to them.  One guy uses his debit card all the time, and finally says, "John, I think you should use your debit card," in a very serious tone.  It's a conversation that is mostly light and amusing and reflective that explores the way that things change constantly.  For myself, everything I do is online, and by extension done with plastic.  As the foursome breaks up and leaves, a young women working on her Mac offered the confused gentlemen gentle suggestions as to how he might proceed, to which he replies, "My problem is that if there is any complexity I am lost."

Meanwhile, two french guys taking a break from being on some boat or other are chattering away and laughing at a table nearby as they examine the art on the walls.  A old man with a cane and a tweed jacket drinks his coffee and reads the paper, while two gals appear to be having a business meeting.  Half the patrons are online with their phones and their computers.

I am reading Steinbeck's Travels with Charley again (I started it earlier in the trip but set it aside).  I haven't actually been doing much reading on this trip.  For some reason I have been too distracted by the trip itself to find the interest in doing much reading; however, I find that I would like to have my travels be more informed by some reading, so I have drifted back into it.

Steinbeck observes in his comments about the preparation and planning for travel that, "We find...that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us."  He considers the way in which a trip has its own personality.  This has most certainly been true for me with the current journey.  As I ventured out from home, there was a plan and a vision for what would transpire, though, of course, I was prepared to be flexible.  What has struck me so far is the way that there is a natural interplay between the road, my mood, the plan, and the trip itself.  I'm currently near Vancouver, which is a part of the plan as it existed when I began, but the things I am doing, the moments that I value, are a surprise every day.  I hang onto two primary directives...walk, and write.  Beyond those two things I am at the mercy of the subconscious.

A theme that I hung on to before beginning the trip was that this was an opportunity to reboot.  What is known is that much of what is happening is new and distinct from earlier patterns.  What is not known is how, after the journey ends, new patterns will be allowed to establish.

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