Sweaty, Bloody, Battered, Bruised and Generally Grimey


God, I so needed this vacation. I just got done with four days at Bloody Bear Paw. (It’s what I’m calling the area I stayed in.)

Over 72 hours without another human being being seen at all. 4 days, 3 nights, over 40 miles hiked, over 100lbs in equipment and supplies carried roughly 8 miles in, and 75lbs or so carried out. 8 miles from the next human being, 8 miles of rock, river, mud, roots and nature letting me be alone.

No clocks, no time but the movement of the sun. A life about simplicity, survival, and independence from the world, from it’s pressures and cares.

Just a man alone with his thoughts. The same thoughts largely as when I went, but by the time I left, peaceful, calm and content, not angst or nervous energy, just peace. Indulgent.

Sitting on Bloody Bear Paw Rock, reading, playing harmonica (or at least learning), watching Hurricane Crick flow then retiring to the fire. Nothing amazing, just a little fire, but it feels good to make a fire from nothing more than wood pulled off the ground and the lighter in your pocket (Hey, I ain’t McGyver here. I believe in being properly equipped, or at least trying.)

Maybe I don’t need to learn anymore about how to get by on my own, I’m pretty good at it already, but it feels good, powerful, manly, (but manly is such a loaded word that it’s wrong,) to live life on my own on a more primal level.

More thoughts to come, more images to come. These are, at best, a rough start, and not the creme, not the creme by any means, but merely a humble beginning.

4 Responses to “Sweaty, Bloody, Battered, Bruised and Generally Grimey”

  1. Zeepdoggie & GringO says:

    If anybody needed it, it was you. I hope to find the time do so before I begin the student teaching thing.

    Nothing wrong with the word manly. Fuck feminazis. If you don’t mean any harm, then there’s no foul.

  2. Josh Hawkins says:

    “Manly” is wrong, not because of the feminazis, why would I care about them all of a sudden? It’s wrong because well lifting everything you need to live off of on your back around for an afternoon or two is manly, there are so many pre-qualifiers to achieving this “manliness”. Also the word can be interpreted differently than my grasp of the word.

    I don’t consider lifting something heavy manly. I do consider helping the elderly couple next door bring their groceries in manly. They are essentially the same thing, it’s just the context.

    I don’t consider carrying stuff in the woods manly. Any overgrown boy can do that. I do consider doing it in a way that is respectful of and honoring of nature manly. At the moment, I’d say it’s the most manly thing a man can do, but I may be biased.

    It’s not just the ability to do something that’s manly, but the intent, method and context of the act that make it manly.

    Also I think we must acknowledge that to some degree the word has been co-opted by parts of our culture to accept that any act of building or lifting or hitting something can be call manly. I know my use can be very different than some sub-cultures “standard” uses. Or at least what I fear are some standard uses, and more widely accepted views.

    In some ways the word has been stolen like the flag has been. The flag is a sign of being a good American, often conservative American, even if you let the police ease drop on conversations without a warrant, which I don’t believe is what the framers of the constitution had in mind.

    In both cases, the flag and manliness, a complex construction of ideas has been taken and over-simplified to the point of being moronic. I just don’t want that moronic definition to be the one people think I’m using. And in both cases it’s those that the words apply to who are responsible for distorting their meaning. (Meet the word “frustrating”.)

    Anyway, this is why I feel the word is loaded and must be acknowledged to be loaded and perhaps inappropriate depending on an individual’s interpretation.

  3. Josh Hawkins says:

    Of course as soon as I get done writing that I think of an example that simplifies the whole idea.

    I don’t want to be associated with the word “manly” as used by the gubernator (Swarchenegger).

  4. Zeepdoggie & GringO says:

    I think you’re talking about the division of “manly” from hypermasculinity, which is entirely admirable and I wholeheartedly encourage. While the Governator would most likely destroy me with one solid blow, it would be fun to kick him in his shriveled testes, no?

    As for cultural messages implied in verbiage, I wish that discussion was accepted enough in this nation that, should a word or term come under scrutiny, that a dialogue would be initiated and the INDIVIDUALS INVOLVED IN THE DISCUSSION (not their handlers or spin-doctors or “fellow pundits”) and a clarification come to light that is either accepted by both parties, or an acknowledgment of each person’s right to expression and speech is honored. Just as every person has a right to speak, all have a right to be offended and speak of that offense. That doesn’t mean that those offended have the right to inflict their views on others.

    In the immortal words of Jayne Cobb, “If wishes were horses, we’d all be eating steak.”

    In short, if you don’t like what you hear, ignore it. We all did it when our parents talked to us as teenagers, we can do it when someone is talking shit.

    Like right now.

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