Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A moment of question

January 9, 2011 –

In recent days, as I’ve walked paths along the Pacific coast of Vancouver Island, bearing witness to the ferocious and unrelenting power of the ocean, as I’ve analyzed the direction to which I’ve thrust myself through the publication of this project, and as I’ve sensed an element of self doubt, a feeling of anxiety has been creeping through my veins like tiny elongating fingers -- as a network of mycelia creeps through substrate.  I’ve now been on this fishing boat for twenty six hours. 

Just before writing this entry, I stood at the front of the wheelhouse on the top deck of the boat, staring into frigid January wind and a solemn glimmer of the crescent moon’s reflection on the throbbing, rippled surface of the dark ocean.  Ocean spray lightly pelted my face as the hull of the boat forced its way through slowly rolling, moderate waves.  I pondered my predicament:  I have just ramped up the intensity of my life…for real.  I am now standing on a floating tin can, miles from land, where nature shows no mercy.  Things can get real – very quickly – on the big, bad, cold ocean – especially during the winter and her storms.  Respectfully acknowledging the gravity of my whereabouts, I moved on, my thoughts turning to the rapidly approaching trip to Peru.  I suddenly, also, felt the reality of that incoming experience-bomb, and it made me a bit nervous.  For, I already know how "real" life can get in Peru.  I experienced that only months ago, as I stared down the wrong end of a machete whilst my pockets were emptied of their contents.  And I’ve had no shortage of reminders that my body is susceptible to the forces of nature – gravity, momentum, and blunt force having been the most impressive upon me.  In addition to the physical dangers I have presented for myself, the main directive of this project is to boldly navigate the dark and cavernous depths of my own subconscious, using Ayahuasca as a guiding light, hunting and confronting what wretched, persistent, and frightening creatures of the mind exist there.  Not only will I confront these monsters, I have publicly committed myself to exposing my findings...or, at least, what surpasses the threshold of just too damned personal. There I thought “have I bitten off more than I can chew?”

For a moment, there was worry…even fear.  But then I recognized:  of course there is worry and fear!  That is what propels me.  That is what I seek.  That is what truly excites me, down to the elemental core of my being.  Fear is what makes an adventure real.  Then I ordered myself – “use it!  Let the fear fuel you!”  Feeling slightly more confident – yet, not quite fully exorcised of anxiety or self doubt – I was, at least, compelled to come inside the boat and verbalize my thoughts with this entry. 


  1. Dan, it's almost comforting to know that you had some feelings of self-doubt and fear that shows that you're human. I always wondered how you could go on these adventures with out any question or concern. Over and again you begin new adventures, leaving the familiar and going into the unknown. I admire that ambition.
    You may not always be certain about what you're doing, or the outcome, but like you said, that's what drives you. That is what makes you Dan.

    You do not follow any path some one has laid out for you, you create your own. Stay true to that.

    It's okay to question yourself sometimes, we all do.

    Peru is another stepping stone of your journey, it will lead to something big, something wonderful.


  2. Thanks for the comforting words Cat. It means a lot.