Odyssey Day 10: Portland; pizza & reflection

©2022 Michael Raven

I don’t think I’ll be walking around today. It is raining off and on, and part of me doesn’t feel like doing much of anything at all. I’m in a contemplative mood this morning and to hell with feeling compelled to “maximize” my time.

I’ve had my fill.

I did get the pizza I mentioned in yesterday’s post, although I ended up not getting the pentagram on the pizza for no other reason than I forgot until I had already paid for the pie. Not that I was left wanting for entertainment, mind you.

The prerequisite for working at the restaurant seems to have been that you needed to be a fan of industrial and/or gothic music and fashion, and it tugged at the heartstrings when I saw a shirt on the guy taking my order that I won’t discuss here, as the band name could be offensive. But all the same, it was one of my favorite albums by them and, by far, my favorite album cover and if I thought I could get away with wearing it in public without triggering certain people, I would get one and wear the shit out of it. That said, I am careful these days to avoid triggering people of all walks of life for the sole reason that it makes life all that much less stressful.

I waited for the pie the to be cooked and that’s where I received my entertainment. One of the other gothed-out employees stuck her head out to call for a pickup name and she looked towards me, eyes asking if it was me who this order was for. I shook my head and she asked, “Oh! Your’s is probably ready, too!” She looked at the printed order name, her face scrunching up behind the mask as she puzzled out something. “You’re…. Michayeo….? Mikaio….? Mich — what’s your name?”

“Michael,” I replied.

Now, I’ve never seen a sun-deprived goth glow quite so red before. “I know how to say Michael,” she said defensively. “They screwed it up on your order! Here, I’ll show you!”

I honestly don’t blame her, that looks like a doozy of a name to figure out. But I will say, the blushing that went on was cute as hell and I wish I wasn’t masked up because I was sincerely sympathetically smiling and it might have helped with her embarrassment. Not as much fun for me, perhaps, but I hate it when strangers feel awkward on my account.

For the record, that is the name of the pizza, my title is assuredly not “1 reg. Pig Destroyer”.

The pizza itself was tastier than I even was lead to believe. I’m an unabashed carnivore, so I got the pizza with pepperoni, bacon, and meatballs. After “dining” in all week, it was refreshing to have a solid meal for less than $20 that tasted better than “acceptable”. All of my food on this trip was merely acceptable or inoffensive. This was such a great pizza that my mouth is watering at the thought if possibly getting another before I go.

They even charred the crust, which is essential to having great flavor, if you ask me.

And I followed it up with a cheesecake slice I’d purchased at Whole Foods earlier in the day.

I made my first attempt at crocheting something and got the very basic hang of chaining the thread until I got to the point where I needed to turn and create a second row and, by then, all the blood had rushed out of my head and into my digestive system and I couldn’t be bothered trying to figure it out.

And then… I mostly crashed for the night.

This morning has been about repacking things and maximizing my luggage to avoid overflow and carrying anything that is not 100% essential or a gift for the kiddos. Then… coffee before I pick up a few things to get through the next 24 hours. I had a terrible craving for herbal tea last night, I’m tempted to pick up a sketchbook to jot down notes, and do some thinking and research on a couple of insights I’ve picked up over the past few days.

All of this is rather vague, so bear with me if it doesn’t make much sense.

I’ve been avidly digging into a great number of things in an attempt to understand. This has been a decades-long process and there is always the unsubtle allure of following someone else’s understanding in the hopes that, if it worked for them, that it might garner some understanding for me as well. Usually, however much they are assured that it is a pattern of thought that will help out other people, it is almost assuredly not something that can be transmitted from person to person quite so easily as plopping it down in words in a book, or on a website, or in the local guru-at-expensive-fees sessions. It’s easy to slip into thinking they have “got it” because it tickles a few synapses in a familiar manner. But so much of it is superficial when you start to dig. They haven’t considered counter-arguments to their stance more often than not, because they don’t want to expose to themselves the relatively fragile nature of their understanding.

This isn’t to riff on those people who think they “get it”. It’s to point out that they may very well get it for themselves, but not as a universally applicable kind of thing that can be shared with social rejects like myself who are always asking “why?”.

During this trip, I’ve seen my own fragile grasp on what I still clung to wither away and I need to think hard about what that means. I was prompted to ask those hard questions of myself that most people avoid because of that thin thread typing them to their anchor.

Part of these ideas that linger, thoughts that are scattered and incomprehensible are a few snippets that seem to be treasure maps that I’ve overlooked or not examined closely in the past. They all are part of a trend I have been experiencing in the past few years, more so in the past single year… And, for lack of a better term thought this one is fraught with connotation as it stands is the concept of what I’ll call rewilding. This word has been used in a number of contexts, all with similar conceptualizations, but I am explicitly tying it to spiritual matters in this particular thought process and it is not directly associated with the books on shamanism that talk about “rewilding your soul”, but I think the authors do mean something similar to what I am trying to get at.

I’ve been making mention of associated ideas along these lines aplenty, but what it gets down to is that I strongly feel that the wilderness within is where the answers I seek lie. Several concepts I plan to consider in the near future include this as well as: wabi-sabi soul/spirit, kintsugi of self, underworld journeys, becoming spirit, death as liminal experience, soulwork/alchemy as movement and craft, etc.

I may or may not write on any of these things here, but these are the themes I plan to really dig into — so it seems likely to be reflected in the other writing I do.

And another thing that seems critical at this time is make or find a small pouch to carry with me those things that might help me understand what I’m trying to grasp (such as a small notebook).

3 thoughts on “Odyssey Day 10: Portland; pizza & reflection

  1. Ah, the small notebook – I was just sharing with someone this past weekend how my brain can’t handle not having this magic item somewhere nearby. I’m in awe of those who can create and ponder and grow without one.

    Liked by 1 person

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