THE HAZE OF SUBURBIA

I wasn’t going to publish this. I’ve been feeling a little uninspired as to where I want the direction of my blog to go. But it’s my blog after all, and these are my own words capable of wandering down many a good tangent, or so I like to believe. I wrote this entry a few mornings ago, after waking early and feeling much inspired, sitting outside with a delicious cup of locally roasted coffee. But then, after re-reading it, two or three times like my predictably compulsive and addictive self may be, I thought it was a bit too negative. I saved it as a draft, put my computer to sleep, went for a walk, and then pedaled into work. Now, a few nights later and driven by the push of some dear friends, I have reconsidered it in an attempt to fall head over heals back into love with writing. Cheered on with a good bottle of Deschutes’ Twilight Summer Ale, I thought it best to click the turquoise no-going-back button on the right side of my screen. And published she is.

“Ugh. I haven’t written in a while, which I am sad for you dear reader, but also for myself as writing is therapy. It’s inspiration and motivation and everything in between. But like many things in life, when you fall of the wagon, you just need to pull yourself together, collect your thoughts and start again.

I have to thank my co-worker and friend, Tina, for giving me the inspiration to wake early enough to warrant a Patagonia Re-tool. By noon the digital thermometer will read 92-degrees. I also have to thank another co-worker and friend, Krystal, for regularly inquiring about my writing. It was enough of a push to get the thought wheels moving again.

This morning I want to address what it feels like to be a person like me, a person who constantly looks to the mountains for escape—including this morning where I can peer at the still snowbound flanks of Tumalo and Ball Butte—and a person who is now living in what I define as suburbia.

Every person has their own opinion of suburbia and what components are needed for such diagnosis. The average dictionary will list its most basic definition as: a residential district seated on the outskirts of a city or town. But it’s so much more than that. And for someone who’d often rather spend their time adrift on a route farther and even farther from the luxuries of town, it’s hard to see through the haze of suburbia. It’s a monotonous culture that eradicates the original beauty of an environment that first brought such people to the area. It’s a deja-vous grid of roads and drives and a lifestyle that encourages a vicious cycle of overconsumerism, materialism and the need to show off the latest mass-produced crap to your neighbor. Manicured yards. Manicured dogs. And why each and every person needs to own their own lawn mower in addition to an arsenal of other lawn care items, not to mention have a total disregard of a more ascetically pleasing and natural wild yard instead of supporting some sort of neighborhood collective in which those items can be shared, routinely maintained and shoot, even employ a few neighborhood kids, is once again beyond my guess. It would without a doubt be less taxing on the environment, encourage neighborly interaction and free up many people’s sunday mornings. But of course THAT idea is just downright silly. And then, on a different note, one of the things that boils my blood, and one that I see first-hand on my daily commute through the suburban sprawl, is the evolution of the agro driver. Insert small, barely inaudible growl. My bike ride to/and from work and the lessening amount of play due to a slight depression that has set in from such a task, has become a little, well, unhappy. A part of that has to do with the fact that I am genuinely worried that I am going to meet the front end of some know-it-all agro driver who is racing to get to know where of importance. And as you can imagine, it’s also not the most scenically pleasing ride passing the sprawl of Bend, where the aroma of gas stations and fast food replace that of the aromatic bliss of barley, hops and water making magic in the kettle.

But I have to remember why I’m here. And that’s the opportunity to save a whole months rent. Money saved is the fuel for the next adventure. And that’s enough to keep my growl to a minimum. The free spirit in me will never quite understand this whole unnecessarily lavish lifestyle. But life is too short to let myself get too caught up in the thought of it. After all, there’s a plethora of adventures out there, each one sitting just outside the suburban sprawl.”

So that’s what came of my mood the other morning, and by writing, I did feel a little better. And that feeling has only grown more positive knowing that I am soon to move into a new home, one located in the heart of downtown, near all my third homes like the riverside cafe’s, afternoon brew scenes and ample amount of free music. Good bye suburbia. I hope we don’t meet again…

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