OTR, Take 39: We All Owe Death a Life

A short OTR this morning. I'm sitting in the nicest log cabin I've ever been in at 8200 ft elevation in the Rockies. Yesterday I moved 13 miles by foot and the plan today is to move another 24-28. Together with 11 other guys, from three countries and seven states, we're going to cover 480 miles in a 48 hour window.

If that doesn't sound like something I'd normally do, you're absolutely right. I walk every day, usually 3-6 miles, but this is something outside of my comfort zone. That's one reason I'm doing this – but not the only, or the most important.

I realized over the summer that I'd become habituated into a crisis and survival mode of living, and I've been in this since at least 2018. That's...a long time. And yet, one of the things that never ceases to amaze me is how human beings are capable of getting used to almost anything. We can adapt to nearly any circumstance we find ourselves in.

And I'd become used to being in crisis and survival mode, always, always looking for the bear that's chasing me, for the next surgery the doctors order for me. And my horizon was a matter of days or weeks. I might plan for years out, but as I was doing so, I consciously put an asterisk next to those plans.*

*This is an interesting intellectual exercise.

It's a bit hard to see, but the Milky Way's up there somewhere.
It's hard to see in the photo, but the milky way's up there.

There's something about a clear night sky unpolluted with light that drives home how just how small we all are. I find this to be remarkably soothing. It's easy for us to go through life thinking that everything we do is so very important. And that's a lot of headshit pressure.

I really dislike superhero films that have universe-saving implications. They send entirely the wrong message about our place in the world. Give me a street-level story every day of the week. That's where all of us exist.

So I'm here as a step toward moving out of survival mode. Toward finding a sense of normal that isn't looking around corners for the next crisis to be dealt with. Toward building a life that is designed to win the street-level fights that impact real people and making the impact that we're able to make on the people within arms length.

Here's to finding your tribe.

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