Cape Overlook

    We arrived at our campsite by way of the moon lit sky after a day of exploring and surfing the Oregon coast. Throughout the night we each slowly drifted away from the campfire to our tents to sleep while our dog attentively stood guard of our campsite. There was something beyond what the fire light could touch, watching us from the forest. From time to time our dog would dart off into the darkness barking at the unknown. We joked by the fire of what it could possibly be. It was getting late. Exhaustion came over my body along with a half bottle of whiskey. I was one of the last to call it a night. I get in my sleeping bag and begin to wander into my thoughts.

      It's fall now and things are beginning to slow down in the city. Rainy days are ahead of us and everyone is getting ready to hunker down for the winter. My work is not immune to this natural Portland occurrence. I don't have any jobs booked and what money I have saved is beginning to run low. This was expected. It doesn't go without saying that it is extremely stressful. A fellow freelancer described the feeling to me as "fudge cracker shit bad stressful." The stress stemming from the fear of the future that is unknown. The fear of no work, no money, not be able to pay the bills... a future completely manifested within the imagination. A pessimistic one at that. So I laid there in my tent thinking about how to get rid of this "fudge cracker shit bad stressful" feeling, this fear of what hasn't happened and probably will never happen. I dream on immersed in all my axienty... 

      Not fully asleep, not fully awake, I open my eyes to darkness. The sound of a loud sniffing noise wakes me up. There is something sniffing my ear through my tent. My rainfly is covering my tent so I can't see what it is. I become more awake and begin to hear more of what's going on outside the tent. I hear loud banging and people yelling from a few camp sites over, but I can't quite make it out. Adrenaline fills my body. The first thought out of my Californian imagination thinks "bear!" I don't move a muscle. If I move, it will probably crush me inside my tent. If I yell out to my friends who are sleeping, it will probably eat me. If I peak outside to confirm it is a bear, it will probably eat me. My imagination plays through different scenarios of what to do about this present danger outside of my tent. In this moment I wasn't rich nor was I poor, handsome nor ugly, a nice guy nor an asshole... none of that mattered. I was simply food. My breathing gets heavier as my heart begins to pound its way out of my chest. For the first time in my life I am experiencing a primal fear. I breathe to calm myself down and try not to think about what is outside. Trapped in my own fear I was stuck. I slow my heart beat down. My body relaxes. I fall back to sleep... 

      "Matt! Bacon is ready!" A friend calls out to me. It's morning. I come out of my tent to the morning sun beaming through the tree trunks of the forest. Beams of sun light become their own as the smoke from the cooking breakfast gives them form. It was beautiful! "How did you sleep?" a friend asks. I divert from the fact that I was scared to death and say, "Pretty good, slept like a baby! How about you?" He responds, "I didn't sleep at all! I just laid there full of anxiety the entire night!" I wasn't the only one, we all had the same experience. My nomadic friend Joel Driver who was sleeping in the back of his truck was the only one who saw what was outside of our tents.

      It was a gang of ten raccoons that went from campsite to campsite in search of food. My imagination had got the best of me and created a debilitating fear based on what I thought was outside the tent. I felt powerless to what I had THOUGHT was outside the tent. When fear is present, courage is demanded in all of us. Without courage we will never find out what real danger is present beyond what we can see. Without courage we will remain stuck, helpless in our tent of imagination. Of what will never happen because action was never taken. The only real danger is ourselves. 

      

       

 

        

     

Joel Driver

Joel Driver

Cape Kiwanda

Cape Kiwanda

Blow a bubble for a child and their imagination will run wild

Blow a bubble for a child and their imagination will run wild

Our neighbor at the Cape Overloop campsite

Our neighbor at the Cape Overloop campsite

Surf weekend with friends for Darrin's birthday

Surf weekend with friends for Darrin's birthday