An April Fool

This last week I began to wonder if I subconsciously chose April Fools Day for the start date of this project. Originally I didn’t think about it. I just told people April 1st. I hadn’t thought about April Fools day in quite some years. But the other day I started to feel something deep inside. That I had chosen this day for some subconscious reason, that if I looked, I could find a deeper meaning and a deeper understanding of what this project means.

Of course, I did an internet search. It appears no one knows the original origin of April Fools day. And how fitting that seems. An ambiguous beginning for a day honoring illusion. It seems so many theories exist, because so many cultures from around the world celebrated a similar holiday, around the same time of year. I found all to have a great significance in mythologizing or interpreting the spiritual depth of my journey.

The best explanation lies with the celebration of the spring equinox on March 21st. Though April 1st falls 10 days later, it sits close enough to seem relevant. The Romans, for example, held a festival called “Hilaria” on March 25th, in which people played games and dressed in disguises. The word hilarious, which means extremely funny, comes from the word Hilaria. A similar celebration exists on the Indian Lunar Calendar, on the full moon in early to late March. Many others exist.

The time of year signifies the end of winter, and the beginning of spring. Like a bird singing at dawn after living through the cold night, people feel like singing and celebrating having lived through the cold winter.

Today I went to Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge to do a sort of meditation/prayer/vision quest deal. I thought it fitting. So I set my alarm last night thinking I would get up and bike to the refuge before sunrise, stay there all day in prayer, then head home. Well, first I didn’t wake up. Then I didn’t want to get up. Finally I biked to Oaks Bottom getting there fashionably late (an hour or so after sunrise).

As I walked to my favorite spot, nice and secluded, my Converse began to collect water from the grass and mud, soaking through to my socks. It’s still fairly cold here, I think the thermostat reached 53 degrees today? But down at the bottom, things feel much colder.

I began the sit feeling refreshed from the bike ride, but as I sat my body grew colder and colder. I began to lose focus… Rather than spend that time in prayer, I began to suffer the cold. I came unprepared (realizing as I got to the bottom I forgot my rain gear at Sasha’s). Then my shoes got wet, then my socks then my feet.

I ended up hanging out at the park for 3 hours. I told myself that though I walked away from the bottom, I still felt this time I set aside would bring some sort of realization. So I headed to Willem’s house and began to converse with him about what happened. We agreed that I should have come more prepared, and that I failed on that because I have no culture of support. I need people to watch out for me, to remind me and to keep me in their thoughts out there.

This made me think about the whole project. How I need to have more support. How I need to have checklists and structure my time so I don’t lose my sanity over all the details of living in a nearly completely new way. I need grandmothers to rouse me out of bed early, not allowing me to sleep in. I need grandmothers who make me take a blanket that Mr. Tough Guy Scout won’t need (and then realizes he does and feels thankful that the grandmothers forced him to take it). I need that both literally and metaphorically.

I felt the land strongly telling me that I needed to give at least a day to it. In that same spot. I have to go back there. I promised I would. Next time, Willem can play the part of Grandmother, making me get up, and making me take a blanket and some hot cocoa.

I think the whole project reflects the lesson of the day: fulfilling the need for community. I feel I have a little of that. But if today’s jaunt forecasts the rest of this year… It’ll feel like one hell of a ride.

Aside from that I’ve also changed my mind about not structuring my time. Instead I’ve done a full 180 in that regard. I have so many projects; both related to this and not related to this, that I haven’t done much in the past month. Seeing it all spelled out and timed may work in my favor. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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2 Comments on “An April Fool”

  1. Thanks for sharing your first day of this feral journey with us, Scout. I know things would have gone far worse, if I were to try such a feat.

    I love the realization that you came to, though, about community. I’m glad that you have a grandmother Willem to spur you. I have been thinking a lot about community ever since your Just Do It post. I have been really grateful for you and the others that I have encountered online lately. Even this ethereal web that connects us has exhibited a strong pull on my desire to do feral deeds.

    I’m also intrigued by your decision to structure your time. It seems pretty counter to a feral way of life to make lists and check things off. But we are not yet feral creatures. We’re trying to transform ourselves into wild men, but until we are truly wild, perhaps the systems and structures of civilization can be tools we use to shake ourselves free of those very systems and structures.

    I recently read a quote about how you can’t use the master’s tools against his house. (I think it was in Endgame–probably pointing out how you can’t fight city hall with mere city hall tactics.) But I think if you’re stuck in the master’s house, probably all you’re going to have are the master’s tools. Some of them will work and some won’t. And, hell, if they work for you, by all means, use them.

  2. Rix. hi How are you?

    >But we are not yet feral creatures. We’re trying to transform
    >ourselves into wild

    Hm. I speak for myself, and I don’t think I fit into the ‘we’ catagory as described by the statement above. I only want one thing – to live my life the way I want to. I don’t want to confine freedom to a specific ideal or label. Today I might want to zoom and frolic round tha forest whooping and falling flat on my face in the mud, repeatedly. Tomorrow I might want to sail to Singapore. Wild? I don’t know. Does it make any difference?

    & I have nothing to say to Scout. I asked him a question and he didn’t answer 🙁 He writes public letters and I can picture him in a dimly lit room flicking off the screen and scoffing at the responses. I won’t invite him to anymore splendiferous imaginary tea parties.

    I will read his blog. It’s… hilarious?