Saturday, March 14, 2009

departure draws nigh, doubts run high


My departure date draws nearer each day, and I find myself constantly amazed at the doors that are opening to me - sometimes it feels as though the universe is conspiring to fulfill my dreams...

I am meeting writers, filmmakers, activists, volunteers, philanthropists, visionaries ...the world gets smaller each day...and, on other days, the world seems vast and inaccessible...

...these are the days when my electricity gets shut off and I have to come up with $400 that I don't have to pay the entire bill and turn it back on; the days where I speak with the buyer of my house and can hear the doubt in his voice as we drag this transaction further and further along in this limbo we "in the biz" call
"escrow"....3 months now, and the guy is having difficulty getting financing from the bank, even though he has perfect credit and is putting 50% down, yes five-zero....HALF OF THE PURCHASE PRICE...towards the purchase of this home....

These are the days when the chatter starts in my mind:
  • "WTF am I doing??"
  • "How the hell am I going to pay for this??"
  • "Who do I think I am anyways, who am I kidding?!?"
On these days, this blog seems like a bad mistake, an out-house of misplaced dreams and hopes, a mish-mash of unconnected ideas and threads that make sense to no-one but me....and maybe the 4 people or so who read this [thanks Mom]. The whole idea seems absurd, how the hell can you travel around the world without any money??

Is TheGreenBackpack a travel log? a journal? a spiritual diary? a "green" resource? Are these personal rants relevant? Does anyone even care? Am I writing for an audience [that doesn't even exist yet], or am I writing for me?

One of my best friends left this for me the other day, with the handwritten note
"for your blog" scrawled across it:
"Our environment, the world in which we live and work, is a mirror of our attitudes and expectations."
- Earl Nightengale-

Why did he leave this for me? What about it grabbed him that made him think of me? I'm thinking it's something along the lines of "To Think Is To Create", but there is something else about it that is toying with me, tugging at my mind like that shadow that disappears when you turn your head...

Especially after having spent much of the week with a guy who has decided to devote his life to the fight against climate change, funding trips out of his own pocket to China and India and all over the world to educate people. Passionate, angry, and driven, a reformed Financial Planner with a top 10 firm and later a Professor of Statistics [in former lives] ....and now, he is a self-proclaimed Eco-Soldier.

Tears well in his eyes when he comes to certain parts of his Al-Gore-Inconvenient-Truth-inspired presentation that he shares with me, and the conversation breaks off in moments of despair as he pauses to gather himself when the data gets too heavy.

I can't remember the last time I was that passionate about something.

Comments like
"If we're still here" and "If it's not too late" pepper our dialogue, and he speaks with such fervor that I find my own temperature and concern rising.

Why am I concerned with things like art, and photography, and literature... when the glaciers are slipping off of Greenland into the sea? Why am I frolicking in the mountains and valleys of Oahu while humanity is poised to destroy itself, and Honolulu may very well be under 10 feet of water within a few years?

Is global warming a product of our mass consciousness' attitudes and expectations? And if so, then what does that say about the race of humanity....and our chances?

Am I really about to set off to travel the world while the impending doom of our species and planet lurks around the next decade?

Will I embark on a journey of trivial discovery, or can I really use my Ninja skills to help save humanity?

My life has turned into a surreal dream of late, each conversation I have is from two perspectives: talking me, who is engaging in said conversation with subject, and observer me, who watches the whole thing with a bemused smirk and the detached air of someone who is watching a really bad soap opera.

Of course I met this person now, just before I am about to depart. Of course, they have a contact in [insert exotic future destination here] that they would love to introduce me to. Of course, of course, of course, it's all synchronicity, isn't it?

Especially when you risk it all in search of your dreams....who am I kidding, I've got nothing left TO risk of the perks of "losing it all". And, look what I've gained access to:


...if we can keep it.


  1. This sounds familiar, at at some point I was on both ends... but you must remember task-at-hand... the model.

  2. One things for sure, you can probably get some kind of tax break for being "green".

  3. here's what i know: never compare your journey to someone else's. there's always another person who SEEMS to have it more together than you. yet, if we use external yardsticks like that, we only feel small, insignificant, or as you say --- trivial. you are not trivial. what you're about to do? NOT TRIVIAL. it will inform the man you will be in five years, ten years, twenty years.

    keep hope alive, Matthew. there is certainly a time for activism, but there is also a time for peace, for going-with-the-flow, for adventure. the world will take care of itself; be your own world for awhile.