It was really hard to leave New Orleans, real hard. Toma told me when her and Dan picked me up, “People come here and they never leave. Don’t be surprised if it happens to you.” And again the night before I left I had a walk with Grace and she asked, “Matt, are you going to end up getting trapped here in NOLA?” A quarter of my heart was like, yea I might; but the rest said keep it movin’. I was supposed to ride out with Renee’ when she headed for Florida, but she caught a bug and was feeling under the weather. I was starting to get antsy. I think it was Thursday, not sure, lost track of what day it is a long time ago. It has become completely irrelevant to me. Anyways, that morning I woke up early because Tiffany (a friend I made through Renee’) was going to take me to sacred space and do a clearing of the blockages affecting my chakras. I have been looking for a spiritual person to do this for a long time and it was finally happening. I was way more excited then I let on. As soon as I walked into sacred space my body felt light and my head felt tingly. I laid down on the table and opened my heart and mind. I had know idea what I was in for. There was no words exchanged and every place she touched I felt something that was beyond me. There was a point when she touched my stomach and I could feel something being pulled out of me. After she was done I laid there for awhile and just felt completely light as a feather. I tried to sit up at one point and had to lay back down because there was a huge surge of energy to my head, hard to put the experience into words to be honest, really doesn’t do it justice. We drove back to Renee’s and had breakfast and I began to pack. It was a sad time for me. The whole time I was just recapping mental images of the days prior, the conversations, the people, the experiences. I will never forget my first Mardi Gras.
Trent, Macy Claire(Trent’s pooch), and myself hop in the truck and get ready to head for the Mississippi border. On our way we made a detour and drove through the portion of the 9th ward where Brad Pitt had built some awesome solar homes. The designs kept the feel of a New Orleans neighborhood but were a bit futuristic at the same time. The different shapes and angles that the houses protruded where really cool. Why he called it the Brad Pit “Project” is beyond me. It seems like that specific word would be left out. Trent and I got back on interstate 10 and headed east. Once we got to the border of Mississippi Trent pulled over we both got out exchanged bear hugs and said good bye. I hopped on the highway and started walking. It is much like the highway in Louisiana, lots of lush dense woods on both sides of the highway and because it has been a exceptionally wet winter the woods look almost like a swamp with water surrounding the woods floor. I knew I had a long walk ahead of me so I cleared my mind and tried to settle into the trip. The surge of energy during the clearing with Tiffany had taken a lot out of me. By the time I started walking it was already about 3pm. I knew I wanted to clear at least five miles before I started looking for a place to set up camp. As i felt myself getting more and more tired i began to look to the side of the highway to look for a clearing in the woods where I could set up. After awhile I came up on a bush that almost reached out to the road and when i walked beyond it there was a clearing. Perfect, it concealed me from cops view and was enough clearing to pitch my tent. I took my pack off and sat in the grass glad to be resting. There was still about 45 minutes left until it was dark so I pulled out the note book out and started jotting I didn’t want to set up the tent to early and have a copper come and tell me to kick rocks. As night fell I set up crawled in the tent and munched on a few almonds and cranberries for dinner. I read a bit and decided to crawl in my bag and put on my favorite podcast Snap Judgement. If you have not heard this yet I highly recommend it. It is story telling to a beat. People from around the world submit stories of triumph, love, defeat, ghost stories etc . Amazing and they from time to time have spoken word pieces which is a forte of mine. Anyways check it out snapjudgement.org and if you have a smart phone download the podcast “Snap Judgement”. I slept like a baby! Woke up took my time packing up and got back on the road. I cleared about ten miles and came across a bridge and to the right of that bridge was a big clearing right besides a beautiful lake. Done and Done, that feels like home. I set up my tent, dug a fire pit, gathered wood and threw my line in the lake trying to catch some dinner. I felt so peaceful and comfortable. The setting was magical. There was big trees hanging over my tent, the view from my front door was a long stretch of lack with willows on both sides and tall grass swaying in the wind. A better picture could not be imagined. As it got dark I still had not caught any fish; but I did have canned mackerel that Rudy had given me back in Jennings, La and I had some rice. This was going to be the first time I had cooked rice over a open fire. Needless to say I burnt it and the rice was mad crunchy. I was hungry as hell and I needed to replenish what I used earlier in the day. The oily mackerel made that rice bomb.com and hit the spot. I washed out my dishes with baby wipes and crawled in the tent. As soon as I laid in my bag I felt the sickness hit me like a ton of bricks. I realized that the bug had jumped from Renee’ to me and there was nothing i could do about it. My body began to feel weak and and a coughing attack hit like no bodies business. When I was close to falling asleep the wind picked up. I had forgot about those trees that were above my tent and it sounded like someone or something was scratching at my tent, momentary freak out, grabbed my knife tight and got my e-trenching tool(collapsible shovel) tight and ready to knock a mother F-er out! After awhile I calmed and passed out. When I woke up in the morning I was hacking like someone who has been smoking for 50 years spewing out green gunk and feeling like I had zero energy/strength. Guess I am camping out in paradise one more day. I was in and out of naps all day. At one point I wake up and the sky is a nasty grey looking like the sky is about to dump buckets. I remember a lesson learned in the Army and I muster up the strength, pull my ass out of the tent and dig a trench around my tent so that when it dumps it will flow around me rather than through me. I figure I am good to go. No sooner am I done with the trench and it begins to rain. I crawl back in the tent and begin to read/sleep. Later in the evening it stops raining just long enough to start a fire. i had stashed some wood under the bridge earlier just in case I had the chance to make a fire and cook some rice. This time I tried a different technique with the rice cookery and was successful. It came out moist and fluffy, dumped my last can of oily tuna over that bad boy and I was feasting. I was really hungry but I know my body was fighting and I needed to fuel up. Plus the fire light made me feel good inside. After I ate I went back in the tent and started to write a bit. I quickly feel asleep to the sound of light rain on my “roof top”. That awesomeness lasted till what I am assuming to be about 3-4am. I was awakened to the sound of crashing thunder and heavy rain. I put on my head lamp and looked around the tent, it was starting to leak in certain places and the lake was actually starting to rise. My body is saying,’ awe screw it go back to bed deal with it in the morning.’ My brain is screaming, ‘Get your ass up and make some shit happen quick before you are in a world of hurt.’ I knew for a fact that the next day I would be back on the road and wet gear makes for heavy gear. I put on pants, boots and a coat and get to work. The bridge was about 25 yards from where I was camped out. I started packing quick and moving my pack under the bridge and had to go back for the tent. There is no way I am taking this tent apart to set back up again, I’m beat! I drag the tent to the bridge. Underneath this bridge is all large jagged rocks. I set the tent and empty my pack. i take all of the clothing I have which isn’t much, and I lay it where I will set my sleeping bag. I get as comfortable as I can with rocks digging everywhere and to my surprise before I know it I am asleep. There is a saying in the Army, “A good soldier will sleep anywhere and any chance he gets.” That is what I did. More to come real soon… LOVE!!!!!