going places

Everything That Matters

And I'm out on the edge of forever
Ready to run
I'm keeping my feet on the ground
My arms open wide
My face to the sun

Yesterday was the best roadtrip of my life! Allow me to elucidate for you. First, I was with my truly amazing friend Leah, whose company and person I adore, for an entire day of awesomeness. Second, I got to drive for hours. Third, there were awesome places and people to see and never a dull moment. Of course, there were lots of relaxing, low pressure ones. Living in the moment.

And I'll taste every moment
And live it out loud
I know this is the time,
This is the time of my life

On the way down, I pumped the tunes in my newly fixed stereo system. (Dave and Isaac had done some soldering, and turned the bass down, but it was still too high, so when I dropped off some paper for recycling, I turned it down even further, so it's better now.) Then she and I talked at length about stuff that's been happening in our lives, and I was telling her about a couple of really major journeys I've been on. We began a mental list of extremely specific commonalities - like that we'd love to go skydiving or windsurfing, but bungee jumping looks totally painful. We have so many things in common it's kind of awesome. Our entire lives are based on art and music and information gathering. (More to come later this post.) My car developed a worrying hiccup that came up every once and awhile, but it carried us the distance. I have an appointment to get it checked...

Our conversation on the way led me to say something which Leah wrote down, "They have things in common, but nothing that matters."

We got into Moose Jaw and found a parking spot directly in front of the Tunnels of Moose Jaw lobby. We plugged the meter, bought tickets, and went on the first tour, which was a moving experience. It was about the Chinese emigrants to Canada and how shamefully they were treated by the Canadian Government and the people here. Our guide was very mild mannered, but then he'd go into character as a white supremacist and yell at us, calling us "coolies," a derogatory term. His acting and background knowledge were excellent.

Our second tour, directly afterward, was more fun than thought-provoking. Moose Jaw in the early years of last century was the Sin City of the prairies, and there was a direct train line from Chicago. It's very likely that Al Capone himself hid out there and smuggled booze into the States from there during prohibition. The tour guides we had were stunningly excellent actors, and Leah and I were very impressed. Especially with the cute guy who played Gus. Acting skills are hot. =)

The whole thing was a totally awesome setup, and worth the day trip just for that. Afterwards we took off down the street to explore and find some food. We went looking for a tank top for Leah, because it was HOT outside (a high of 26°C). I also have a sweet tan already. We ended up at a little restaurant with absolutely heavenly sandwiches (though not as good as the one I had later) and great ambiance. We sat and talked there for awhile, then took off for some more adventuring. We checked out a store and gallery specializing in glasswork. I nearly bought a jewelry set there, but refrained. Leah found some rings she really liked, but they didn't quite fit, so she exercised restraint as well. We checked out a scrapbooking store, where the lady recommended a mechanic for me to take my car to. He test drove it and pronounced it fine, saying I should just baby it on the way home if it started doing that again.

We called to try and get ahold of the Burrowing Owl Interpretive Centre, but they don't open until May and nobody was around for our call. Instead we went swimming in the Temple Gardens spa pool, which opens via water-tunnel into the outdoors. So we sat in the sun in very warm, non-chlorinated water, full of good minerals for about two hours of total relaxation. After we finally emerged from the pool, we went back to a place we'd seen briefly on our way to the beginning of a Tunnel Tour, and I had supper - possibly the best sandwich of my life, a chicken bacon pesto on that triangular kind of bread. It was amazing, melt-in-your-mouth good. I also had a raspberry creme ice cream cone which was totally fantastic. We sat on their comfy couch and relaxed until after they closed, then got some gas and drove home.

At various points during the day the idea of, "...but nothing that matters" kept coming up. It fit everything, it just fit life. Leah was telling me how she didn't want to be able to come to the end of her life and realize she'd done all the things she wanted to do, but nothing that matters. That life was about figuring out exactly what matters and sticking with it. We talked of miracles and the will of God and how he'd been so gracious in showing himself to us. My voice got hoarse and I got really congested on the way home, which kind of sucked. I'm adding it to my list of life slogans, along with "I never want to get so busy living that I never really lived." my second slogan is now, "Live for what matters. Don't let your life story be, "I did everything I wanted, but nothing that matters. I had a relationship where we had things in common, but nothing that matters. I gave it everything, but nothing that matters." Life, my life, has to matter.

On the way home "we seen two mooses" (an inside joke), technically three if you count the giant one outside the city, we saw and heard and stopped the car beneath several clouds of thousands of geese flying in the early stages of a totally picturesque prairie sunset (pics to follow) and an owl flew over the car later, and we saw several red-winged blackbirds and various ducks and some other beautiful prairie fowl as well. Highlight reel, to be sure. The sunset over the prairie was slow and dramatic and I was totally in the moment and loving the prairie more than any other kind of landscape. Always have, and always will be a prairie girl.

My car started hiccuping again, so we stopped in Davidson at a little diner with sparkly red seats and gave it an hour's rest while our conversation became very spiritual and exciting as we discussed God together.

I ended up dropping Leah off at her place on the way into town, which I'd not yet seen. I got to meet her Mom and a couple of her cats and a large piece of her artwork and her room. I found out a lot of things she loves today - red-eyed tree frogs and rainbows among them. She, like me, operates on a system of giving other people points for things that have no apparent purpose other than to be points. I got 25 points, I think, over the course of the day. Most of them due to my knowledge of (10 points) and appreciation for (a further 10) XKCD. I can't remember what the other points were for. We're both synesthetes. We both like wood burning as an art form. We both bought the same Kermit the Frog stuffie from Hallmark while feeling guilty that it cost $30 "because Kermit's just awesome." It's kind of scary how close the parallel runs sometimes. We are such dorks, too. And prone to doing silly, random, and occasionally absent-minded things. But I was forbidden to speak of them at the risk of my life. ;)

There was one moment in the car where Leah randomly burst into song and I joined in and then we went into a movie quote-a-thon, and it was so perfect because we both knew every reference. Every once and awhile one of us will be aghast that it took us so long to make this friendship gel, since we've known each other from practically before the dawn of time. We have been fading in and out of each other's lives for almost the whole time. We had a brief spate of friendship from 2000 after the Sage Hill, but eight years later we are much better friends and glad we finally got on that.

In conclusion, BEST. ROADTRIP. EVER.

Looking for that magic rainbow
On the horizon, I couldn't see it
Until I let go, Gave into love
Watched all the bitterness burn
Now I'm coming alive, body and soul
And feeling my world start to turn

And after all the roadtrip stuff, there's still more to say. It would be impossible for me to even shortly give a proper account of the numerous changes that have been happening in my life since the beginning of this year. There are about 4-5 really major, serious areas in which I have changed dramatically and I am starting to love myself much more. Things are changing for the better. Relationships are healing. My friends are all amazing and I am feeling better and better about who I am right now.

Today I went for lunch with a woman who apologized to me for a 2007 event that I have always desired an apology for, though it was forgiven. I desired the apology to renew a relationship that was often mutually beneficial, if not in any way easy. Today we discussed things, and I felt vindicated again for having made the best decision I could have made, for doing the best I could have done in that situation. Beauty from ashes. It was amazing, and I came out giving God the glory for the vast changes in myself and my life over the last few months.

I may be a fixer-upper, but I'm still one of God's favourites. Today when I came in to my Mechanic's front office to discuss my car's issues there was a '58 Cadillac in red and white up on the hoist. I saw it briefly through the door to the shop and commented on it. It was a beauty, but it needed fixing on the inside. Somewhere inside me there's a Cadillac just waiting to drive, free and purring on an open road. And I'm going to be here to see it happen.

And all that I needed
Was there all along
Within my reach
As close as the beat of my heart

Also, in case I needed more awesome, I had a friend say, "I'll catch you on the flipside, homeslice!" today on Facebook chat. Love it. I may have to use that.

Everything is beautiful right now. Thank God.
  • Current Location: Home
  • Current Mood: okay on a high
  • Current Music: Time Of My Life - David Cook
I just wrote an essay about a novel about the coolies and the Chinese Canadian situation in Vancouver.

"That triangular kind of bread" is focaccia (foh-KAH-chuh), and it's my favorite too :D (So I should really take this opportunity to learn how to spell and pronounce it.)

"stuffie?!" is this a new word for plushie that I have never heard of?!
Stuffie is the British term, I believe, which I got from Helen.

I was sure focaccia was the wrong term... But I don't know. I though focaccia was somewhat flatter bread baked in rectangles...

Interesting about the essay.
I just heard this song, and it really reminded me of your philosophy. I'm sure you'll enjoy it. :D Go to Grooveshark and listen to Superchick's "Cross the Line."