At the library right now. Totally exhausted, but feeling good.
I underestimated just how long the trip from mid-town San Francisco to the Golden Gate Bridge and across would be. I mean, I looked at the mileage and thought, “Ummm…yeah that’s a bit of a trek.” But you don’t really KNOW until you do it.
While on the way to the bridge, I really started to feel the weight of my bag and I thought, “I have to get rid of the drum.” It felt right…as if I’d known it all along but just hadn’t admitted it to myself. I needed to start letting go of the things that I didn’t need. The drum had served me well, but it was time to let it go.
I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and tried to give it away, for free. Three people said, “No thanks.” The fourth one was a musician who said he needed a drum for one of his bandmates, one that was smaller than the one they were using. He said this one would work perfectly. I got really emotional and almost started crying as I gave it to him. He said it would have a rack in his studio, all to itself. That made me feel better.
I felt much lighter and stronger after that. I think my mask might be next. But not quite yet…
I knew that the pedestrian path on the Golden Gate Bridge closed at either 5:30 or 9 – I wasn’t sure. But it was going on 4, so I tried to move as fast as possible.
Finally reached the bridge and was greeted by a Threshold Guardian in the form of a bike cop. “Hey there, buddy,” he said, trying to be courteous. He pointed to my walking stick. “What’s that stick for?”
“For walking,” I said.
“Just hiking and stuff?”
“Okay. Have a good one.”
He rode off.
Made it across the bridge, dead tired, and collapsed at a nearby lookout point/park. I think there was something psychologically satisfying about crossing the bridge – like things are really beginning now.
I continued on down the road by the side of the highway, spoke briefly to a hitchhiker and his dog. He’d been waiting at the on-ramp for an hour, trying to hitch a ride. I thought about following suit, but as the sun was going down and I was tired, I felt the wisest thing to do was to seek shelter before it go too dark.
I found a little valley by the side of the highway. Took me about an hour to set up my tarp shelter, because I was on a slight incline and couldn’t get the configuration right. I was stomping on a lot of vegetation while I worked and felt really bad about it. I addressed the spirits of the land, asking for forgiveness, and I made a water offering to the tree I was setting up shelter under. Not sure if that made a difference, but I hope it helped.
I had trouble sleeping as I was constantly paranoid about someone finding me down there. At one point, I heard tires screech and a loud CRASH on the highway. It sounded bad. I hoped no one died, and I also prayed the cars didn’t tumble off the road and land on top of me. Then I saw the flashing police lights across the ceiling of my tent, and I muttered all kinds of curses. But I was in a fairly concealed area and nobody noticed me. I just made it a point not to leave the shelter or use my flashlight.
I did hear some moving through the bushes nearby and that set all my nerves on fire. I didn’t think I’d ever fall asleep. But I managed to doze a little and had some rather intense dreams.
A little after the sun came up, I broke camp and headed into Sausalito. I’m really beat today, not sure if I can do much heavy walking. May try to find shelter at a church this afternoon. But we’ll see. As the Lord wills.
The fear is still there. Still learning to just ride it out. I am realizing how tense I am all the time, how I don’t like to let myself feel anything. Trying to do more of that and just surrender. There is a lot of grasping that mind is doing: “What will I eat? Where will I sleep tonight?” I keep wanting the people I pass to stop and say, “Hello there, traveler. You looked tired. Where are you headed? Do you have time to stop for a hot meal and a shower? Maybe even a nap?” Trying not to judge myself for that, but just observe that as well.
In a way, having the spirits with me is enough. Last night, while I was tossing and turning in the tent, they were working on my energy body, particularly my legs and buttocks. It was extremely painful, and I was constantly gritting my teeth. But I think it helped. I’m not nearly as sore today as I should be.
I couldn’t do this without them.
All and all, trying to just be, to feel the flow of the Tao and not grasp too much after things. I keep running into places that have free water. My food supply is lasting much longer that I predicted, now that I’m only eating when I need to (which, for now, isn’t too often). The greatest source of my fear is finding shelter and getting adequate rest. But I suppose that will come when I need it as well, just as long as I stay in tune with the Spirit.