Alexander Supertramp

Into the wild.  Wow…what a story!

A deep respect for Alexander Supertramp (Christopher Johnson McCandless) grew as I read of his solid character, his fierce determination and independence, and of course his stunningly daring adventures! Every person whose life he touched on his journey felt changed for the better by their association with him (That is one of my ultimate goals from the words of Mother Theresa).   He must have truly been a phenomenal human being to have touched so many lives of so many different types of people and earned their respect and love!!   Amazing!  I adored Chris McCandless (aka Alexander Supertramp) throughout this book!  His premature ending was a  tragic loss for the world.  

I am envious of the life he lived in his final two years – an entire lifetime of experiences gathered in two short years.  I felt his self-righteousness and his need to veto all the mendacity in the world and his life as my own.  I admired his ability to make such a stand and his courage in walking away from all sense of security and achieving his dream.  As I read on though, I began to wonder many things.  In spite of his angry resentment toward his father, had he not had the kind of parents and support he did for his entire life prior to leaving it all, would he have been the same person?  Would he have had such courage?  I say no.  To have such a vast sense of independence and confidence as he did, he must have been given the luxury of a powerful inner sense of stability created at his core that allowed and developed such a firm and fierce stance. …Until I read of his parents visiting the “magic bus” 10 months after his death.

 Suddenly, I was envious of the parents he so vehemently and immaturely resented, wishing I had such loving and accepting people as the main characters in my first 24 years of life.  I gather he had some major discrepancies with his father and the deceit his parents shrouded him in for so long and I certainly ”get” that.  However, some of that was standard child versus parents stuff, that period most go through when forming their own individual identity ….if they are fortunate enough to have parents who allow such growth.  With my history, I could never take such a gift as that for granted.  We don’t all have parents like that. 

My heart tore as I pictured his mother standing sentient in that dilapidated bus, among his personal belongings at the end of his life, breathing in his clothes for any trace of scent of her son to whom she gave so very much free love and acceptance.  She loved him and he broke her heart.  The movie indicated that he might have come to a place of recognition and understanding of his parents before he passed, although I was disappointed to not hear of him leaving them any kind of communiqué specifically telling them and so we can’t ever know for certain.  He owed them both a huge apology!

As a mother, my heart aches for Billie McCandless and wants to have a strongly worded conversation with her son, Christopher.  As a child of my mother, I can’t help but have a fierce envy of this boy and his wide open life possibilities which he was afforded due to the kind of parents and upbringing he had.  It’s clear he was not nearly as stifled by them as he felt he was and it’s deeply tragic to me that he passed before gaining the maturity to acknowledge and comprehend what a priceless and precious gift that was for the very life he so resented.

I ended the story feeling conflicted among feelings of jealousy, admiration, disgust and adoration for this brave and intelligent, albeit selfish and “bratty”, young man.

An interesting personal point to me in Chris’ story is that he shares the same brirthdate as one of my best friends’.  Doubly intriguing in its coincidence(?) of their very similar personalities! (I confess: I’m fascinated by astrology.)  George was such a quiet, intelligent, and reflective type who was fiercely resentful of his parents (with good reason at times) and always far more comfortable alone than in society or groups.  He spoke often of going off into the wilderness someday and living far from what he termed the “concrete jungle”.  He dreamed of building a cabin with a huge garden and just living in relative isolation, free from the deceit of government, society and materialism in the world which deeply disgusted him.  The similarities between George and Chris’s personalities are truly amazing.  This added to my understanding of Chris (and surprisingly, George as well) as a soul who reveled in nature and shunned all things which society represents and reveres.  It definitely added even more depth and beauty to his story for me, although the story certainly doesn’t lack those things entirely in its own right.  Makes me more grateful to have the opportunity to read of this unique and morally strong man and makes me miss and appreciate my friendship with George from so long ago as well.

Blue Jeans and a Rosary

I just love this song!  It’s strange how music can sometimes say it so much better than any description you might try to place on something.  It’s so validating to hear something that defines your situation and think, “That’s it!  Gosh, maybe I’m not so misunderstood after all!”  Well, I probably am, but it’s at least nice to tell myself maybe I’m not……

Not sure what’s the sitch Dave…  You’ve thrust me back into time.  I seem to have taken a hundred steps backward….not sleeping again, smoking way too much, distracted, confused…and yet not quite so much as the way it was.  Funny how you can do that without trying much at all and what shakes up my whole world is a scarce pebble in your pond.  Life seems so funny that way.

I wonder who is better off?  You, with your ability to hide everything, lie whenever it makes things seem better, and just deny what’s difficult?  Or me, with my heart on my sleeve, my over-emotionalism and over-analysis of every detail, every mistake, every hope, every tragedy?  I truly think the happy, healthy aspect is smack in the middle between our extremes, but I still wonder whose better in the interim?  My guess is you, as someone like me longs for the ability to hide and deny, even if it’s for 5 minutes just to fake-believe that I’m handling it all well.  I’m certain you don’t ever wish to be more like me, with emotions and sentiments running amock, the heart hanging out there for every joe-shmoe to take a stab at. 

Yet while I long for your hardness to escape myself for even a minute, I also wonder who experiences life more fully?  You, in your denial, hiding yourself from the world?  Or me in my agony, trying to just get through each moment, but feeling every little stumble along the way…  Hmmm….it’s questionable.

I’m still here, you know….  I’m just staying back for awhile, regrouping and trying to get myself together.  I know you know I’m here and yet I still worry like you never do….  Are you okay?  Do you need anything?  What can I do?  What should I do?  In your apathetic nonchalance, you don’t struggle with those questions.  I’m jealous that you have the comfort of that security.  I envy you that.   I’ve never known it except the five minutes I believed it was there with you.  Otherwise, it is just some radical concept in my mind of what should be in the world.  Anyway…

She wore blue jeans and a rosary….

More peace (thank you!) and still chaos (??!$#?%$)

Our new house has beautifully nurturing, loving energy.  It’s strong enough that a few visitors have even commented on it.

“Gosh, there’s such a cozy feeling here!”

“Being at your house makes me feel good inside.”

There is certainly something. I express my gratitude several times a day both to and for our house.

The only down-side of this is that I never want to leave home anymore!! Heading outside into the rest of the world feels like an annoyance when it’s so safe and wonderful  here.  It’s become mildly challenging to force myself out and I’d really like to find a work-from home job!

He has followed me here.  Within the first week we moved in, here he was.  Seemed on a different basis for awhile though, almost as though the whole situation was shifting into something kinder, more respectable, more comfortable for my heart.  This was getting almost down-right regular up until last week.  Perhaps we are now on an anorexic wave?  No contact at all.  I never really know what these waves are, or why they come, or what they mean, if anything.  I am learning to remain somewhat more peaceful of mind during whatever wave we’re riding.  That’s a blessing too.  I can’t decide if I give the peace of the house credit for that or if it’s my own doing from all my desperate practices of begging for deliverance, or is the whole thing just settling into its chaotic state and so feels more peaceful in a relative way?  Who knows?

I do still have those chronic images and thoughts which include him into  everything, present or future.  Those throw me off still and I still wrack my brain trying to figure what that is and how to relieve my head from them.  Walking in the house, feel I should call out to him.  Thinking about painting something, mind picture of me consulting with him. Planning dinner, feel I should ask him.  Vacation thoughts run through my mind, he is there on the trip too.  Think about the holidays – he’s there when my mind pictures the day(s).  Have an issue with my daughter, I think instantaneously, “I’ll discuss this with him when he gets home.”  Everything…every thought, every imagining, every feeling, every challenge, every dilemma, he’s there or I expect his assistance or guidance, his input.  It’s WEIRD.  I don’t do it intentionally.  It just comes that way from the recesses of my mind.  WHY?  After this long and no spoken change, why would my mind still do this as though it’s two years ago and nothing has changed?  I went through this type weirdness right after my divorce, but that seemed normal and it wasn’t still happening two years after the divorce!  It faded off in only a few months and my thoughts returned to the reality of that present.  So, this, with him, is truly confounding!   It must be an indicator of my absolute unacceptance?  If so, how do I rid my head of it?  I’ve done so many mediations, prayers, and actions to encourage and even force acceptance.  Is it just his repeat appearances causing this lack of acceptance?  Gosh, I wish I could figure out the answers!

I draw the I-ching for advice and suggestions, but I only end up more confused.  Things are bad; persevere.  Tings are  good; persevere.  Things are not what they seem; persevere.   Or: Patience and persevere…  What the heck?  That’s not any answer…  How long does one persevere until it’s become absolute absurdity?  Persevere is all I’ve done and other than little changes, which I don’t know if they mean anything at all except maybe that the situation  has gotten more comfortable over the years (which seems inevitable after two years of this).  Nothing has really changed and I persevere.

I wish him safety and joy and peace of mind, comfort of heart.  I wish not a single bad  thing to ever happen to him.  And I wish he would leave my life or commit to re-join it.  I’m numb from hanging in limbo so long.  And possible deranged from that as well?   Gosh, how I wish I could find an answer that worked or made sense or even just that could lead me back down from limbo!

Radical acceptance

To instill anticipation and forget about it?  Hmph!  I don’t have the freedom to make a choice in the matter.  Just random anticipation, which is like a watched pot.  It will never boil.  Or it will when I’m not looking.  How to stop looking?  It’s as though I can’t help myself but to keep peeking!  Again, no control.  Self or otherwise.  I never wanted control until I realized how much I didn’t have it…

My new rules, for the most part though, have been respected.  Daytime only  except once and I didn’t give in for that one either.  Given the schedules, it put strict limits on the situation.  Guess I’m just not used to having them respected.  Now that he’s not drinking, if he’s not drinking, that certainly will affect a great deal.  If I had any choices at this point, I’ve no clue what I’d do with that.  Feels a little like childhood.  It’s all random, so just take what you can get when you can.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t even want it.  Might not have any options when/if you decide you do want it.  Absolute lack of stability.  Funny how we do recreate our earliest challenges and choose to continue struggling through them.  And anticipating only brought disappointment…or worse yet, resentment.  Two things nothing can be done about  Blame doesn’t help.  Neither blaming self or others, that only generates more negativity to the situation.

So here I am again, wishing for consistency, even if that mean consistent cruelty.  It’s so much better than the whops from out of the blue.  And kindness and consideration just create that uneasiness waiting for the cruelty.  One could never relax in kindness.  One could never relax in cruelty because of the pain it creates.  Yet accepting the pain, anticipating that, always eventually does occur, so it seems far safer than any other inner options. 

How does pessimism jump in and permeate the self?  Suffocating that inner light of hope?  When  the only consistency is cruelty, yet you’ve allowed yourself to anticipate otherwise.  Knocks the breath  out of hope.  Slowly smothers it with every act of kindness that opens the heart to hope for another kindness.  And heaven forbid when you’ve let yourself go so far as to think kindness is becoming the norm!  That’s a sure path to the ultimate death of the optimistic light which carries one through the darkness and helps alleviate the pain of cruelty.  Acceptance of what is.  Count the majority and ignore the other sporadic instances of what must be just moments of sheer confusion, creating happenstance kindness.  With such radical acceptance, doesn’t death of the spirit of hope instantaneously occur?  Unless you’ve figured a way to stop believing or caring anyway to protect yourself from it, it seems inevitable.  Radical acceptance and pessimism (that tiny little death of spirit) are married.

Do not ask why

Why does he go to her?  Why does he come to her at all anymore?  It can no longer be the “good sex” since she’s not had sex with him the past four times he’s arrived for his little late-night random visits.  The last time they had sex was over two weeks ago and it was disastrous – a first for them and she thought perhaps that might be a blessing, although it was horrifyingly embarrassing at the moment.  She actually believed it possible that after such an experience he would no longer find her sexually appealing.  They haven’t had sex since, so maybe she was right…  she didn’t think so though.  He definitely wanted to this morning and she has been the one to avoid those uncomfortable situations, trying to keep away from him that way.  This is due to doctor’s  orders  (“No sex for two weeks after surgery.”) and she was finding that it’s helping her frame of mind after his visits.  Her heart still reels some and she obsesses a little bit, but nothing at all like before!

Yet, it still made her wonder more and more, “Why?”  He has been blaming it on the sex for years…claiming no feeling whatsoever aside from that…so, now what?  Is it because he can’t believe she won’t give in?  Is he coming back just to double check?  “Hmmmm….maybe  now?  No?  Okay, well, what about now?”

He came over last Sunday night before he left for Canada vacation on Monday.  Drunk and claiming concern over her first surgery.  Plus, reminding her that the second surgery was unnecessary….She was “the most beautiful girl” he’s ever seen.”  Etc, etc…so very sweet and yet noncommital… and then waking up being an absolute jerk.  She told him not to come back there anymore if he was going to act like that, but he came back last night, not being a jerk at all, but being that precious, adorable guy she adores.  He made her smile and laugh.  He showed her his pictures from Canada and told a few funny stories about his trip.  He seemed to have forgotten he was there the night before he left, although of course he claimed he did not forget…  Alcohol really is not a friend to either of them.  Or maybe it is his only true friend?  Sometimes she thinks he might lose his mind if he wasn’t able to get drunk, feel things for a change, speak from his heart, and then claim to forget every moment of it all?  And the forgetting was key…or at least the convenient ability to claim he had forgotten.  Well, it isn’t hers.  It hasn’t been ever, but especially not since the unforunate incident 9 years ago and the heinous break-up two years ago.  The longer she didn’t drink alcohol, the less interested she became in drinking alcohol at all.  Oops, got off the subject…

Why?  Why was he coming to her if not for sex?  Why was he sweet as a hot fudge ice cream sundae this morning?  Rubbing her back, fondling her hair like a delicate flower and playing cribbage with her, while getting no sex at all.  Could the sex thing really have just been an excuse all this time, like she used to think?  or had she now become just another conquest to him…a mission to again possess the previously accessible, now frustratingly unobtainable girl who loved him?  What does he want from her?  And why does he come to her to sleep off his drunkeness?  After two years, he had no where “better” to go than to the psycho ex girlfriend who broke his heart with her allegedly trampy ways and certainly loose morals?  No where better?  Really?  That’s fascinating!  Yet, why else come  to her?

Even more fascinating to her was how loose his hold was slowly becoming…  Without the element of sex, she somehow didn’t feel badly at all about him coming there for “whatever reason”.  She was holding onto her own morals again and not compromising herself anymore, not even for him in the name of twisted love.   Even if it wasn’t  of her own free choice, she liked feeling she had power over her own choices again.  As pathetic as that sounded even to herself,  she felt grateful that she was getting the strength from somewhere… even if it is just from doctor’s orders!

She should not ask why,  The why’s don’t really matter at the end of the day.  Unless she was figuring out some scientific theory, the why’s serve no purpose to anything except when desperate for a sense of understanding and a deep desire to remain in denial.  Do the answers to the why’s actually bring any peace ever?  They seldom get answered and when they were, she realized the answers were never all that reassuring or satisfying anyway.  They usually brought more why’s and just added to her overall confusion…or again, serve some self-serving purpose to feel better about something that doesn’t feel all that great either way.

She asks why here because she wants it to be what she’s believed all along and only the definitive answers to the why’s could give her that.  But even if the why’s gave her the “right” answer, still she doesn’t get what she wants from any of it.  Even the best answered why’s would only cause more frustration into how far gone it really was….  It could never be what it was or what she had wanted to preserve and protect.  Is there ever any such thing as a second chance?  Are they ever valid attempts or are they just pathetic demonstrations of beating the dead horse, disguised in a dreary cloak of unauthentic hope?