I will do my best to keep this lite. Which is not easy to do. There is a story here that ties in a large percentage of the fuel that drives me to do this, which is also a story of deep regret, sadness, anger, and a journey of understanding.
There is a song by @kingbuffaloband called Loam. Which hits me like a freight truck. It essentially sums up everything about the never-ending voice in my head to keep pushing forward and keep working to understand my past which may have had to happen the way it did, to do some good for other people and build something meaningful with purpose. I can honestly say I was NOT a good person in the past, there were many years in my life where I was dragging myself through the dirt for so long, and eventually, I became the dirt. I was selfish, rude, arrogant, confused, dishonest, and downright cruel.
For many years on end was living only for myself and being destructive to the well-being of my family, others, and my own health. Some of the memories of the things I did I can’t shake, and I have learned to channel them as fuel to try and do some good. One particular memory which brings tears to my eyes, and anger/frustration that I try to channel is the disappointment on my Dad's face when I showed up still smashed to a father and son fishing day, and 2 hours late. The image of my Dad waiting patiently for his son at the fishing shop, looking at his phone probably concerned I was not making it or something happened. Just absolutely gutting for me, especially now that's that he’s gone.
So many years wasted, not appreciating my Dad and time with my Family. Prioritizing myself, and all of the selfish habits and ways I was living my life. Just wrong and a pain that I will live with forever. You don’t just forget something like that. Especially when that is just one of these memories. In the song Loam, there is a line “I’m shedding the burden of restlessness to rise from the loam of nothingness” and then drops into an absolutely crushing riff.
Every time I ride the trail loam I try to time this line at the start. Weird? Probably! Honest and pure, Yes! There is something to say about staring down your past... Part 2 soon.
- James MacDonald