Monday, April 30, 2012

The Lucky One

No, this isn't about the new Zac Efron movie. 

First, while I think Efron is a gorgeous sort of cyborg who has been sent here to destroy us with his flawless skin, amazing hair and striking blue eyes, I don't buy into the plot of the movie. The thing is, walking from Colorado to North Carolina isn't going to cure a soldier of what he sees at war. Nor will a picture of a chick with the words 'be safe' written on the back keep him from dying. The truth, PTSD isn't romantic at all. And it can't be cured. It's something the person deals with on a day-to-day basis. Some days it is easier. Other days unlivable. In the end, it really isn't fair to hold one person responsible for 'saving' another when it comes to this illness. Probably because, one day, the person might wake up back in the darkness and leave, simply to escape it and in their wake only questions are left behind. 

But then, what do I know? Women loved the movie and book. It probably wasn't written with me, or the likes of me, in mind. Like I said, this post isn't about the movie. Or book. Or even about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, soldiers or loving someone with this illness. No, this is about me and us and the world and how we are lucky. To simply exist here.  

We're lucky. Even when sad, miserable and broken, we are lucky. Through the bad times, when the world's trials and tribulations are piling on our back, when life is weighing us down, it's hard to see how lucky we are. Death, loneliness, darkness and distractions, I've touched on them all in the past little while and they are what make it difficult to take note of what surrounds us. It kind of makes me sad that people miss so much, because the world is an amazing place. Beauty abounds. And sometimes it takes my words from me.  

This last weekend I drove down to Montana to meet a friend. She was well worth the thirteen hour excursion. I started out on Thursday and returned home Sunday. So, I didn't have a lot of time in the Big Sky State. But, I have to say, what I experienced left me feeling lighter. In the country, away from the city I live, I feel free. Like my wings can stretch farther and I can go further. On the way back home, we were zipping through Spokane and I noticed the sky. The clouds, which hang over our heads every day, mesmerized me. With the sun, their formations, how vast and endless they seemed. I took notice.  

I don't know how many times I said it, but I repeated "The clouds are crazy" at least ten times. I'm sure my passenger wanted to throttle me. But, like I said, they were crazy and you could see for miles. And then I got to thinking, I'm lucky. Not only am I an able bodied girl with functioning eyes, ears and nose to take my surroundings in, but I also have the tools at my fingertips to make things happen. To enjoy what's around me.  To see, feel, smell and love. 

I'm lucky I'm awake to experience things. And not just physically awake. But mentally.

Back in January, I started a plog (picture log) to detail the beauty around me, the things I love. The hitch was that the pictures all had to be taken by me and I am to post one a day for a year. This little project has been a real eye opener for me. It is a constant reminder of the little things I move past every day. And, in fact, it has proved to me how much the little things truly do count. Sure, my bills are piling up, but look at the sky and smell the rain. Those are the things I'm to here to experience. Those are the things that make me feel lighter. The ones I love.

And they are the things I am going to fill my life with from here on out. Not the negativity or fear or anger or hate. Just simple love, for simple things that surround me every day. 

So, I am lucky. Even though I am a poor, single, struggling writer with two friends, an evil cat and an absent lover who is constantly on my mind. Because I am awake. I am surrounded by beauty. And you are too. We all are. And the truth is, it doesn't matter what we have done. There is time to wake up. To change. To spread our wings and take flight. 

And there is time to love. I truly believe that. 

Anyways, enough hippy talk. Here are a few more pictures from my travels:

 I wondered why the Bison kept watching me. 
 Hot Springs.
 More hot springs. Sort of Tim Burton looking, no?
 Other side of the last hot spring. 
 Waterfall in the distance. 
 The Yellow Stone of Yellowstone. 
 Up Close & Personal.
 Grazing in the grass. 
 Winter storm means lovely trees. 
 Beautiful View. 
 My Wagon Broke.
 Broken Down Tractor.
 Ghost Town - Bannack.
 Bannack State Park.
 Train Station - Not Functioning.
 Peek-A-Boo Sunset. 


wishywash27 said...

Yes! I agree. With basically EVERYTHING you said in this post.

Tyson said...

I like it when people agree with me. :D

Rob Zimmermann said...

I'm very jealous of you. I recently saw some pictures of Montana and it's now in my head that I HAVE TO GO THERE....someday. I live in the middle of the woods in Upstate New York, but from the looks of Montana I have nothing compared to that state.

As for the brief bit about The Lucky One: Did they really change the story that much from the book? He walks to North Carolina from Colorado (doesn't matter much, but all Sparks books take place on the coast). And I don't remember much talk about PTSD in the book. That wasn't really a main thing if it was there, so if they added it into the movie, I don't know what they wanted to get at. It is a common and serious thing for a soldier to come home with, I just don't remember it being in there.

I'm not trying to turn this into a discussion about the movie or book. Just wanted to add my impression about what I read when I read the book. If they changed it when making it a movie, then I agree with you, I agree with what you said either way. I could have forgotten those elements in the few years since I've read it.

As always, enjoyed your post and those pictures are great too :D I wish I could go on adventures like you do.

Tyson said...

Well, he sort of attacks the kid and then she says something about there 'being help' for soldiers to adapt when they come back. Which there really isn't much help at all. It's implied and it is in the book as well, because I took a read before I went to see the movie.

Montana is lovely.

Rob Zimmermann said...

Ok cool. I guess I just forgot about it. The book's been out for a while. And you're right, help for stuff like that is the priority it should be. It's like that with too many things in the world :-/

Also, I really like that picture of the bison laying down. It looks like a GIANT dog :D And that first Ghost Town pic is amazing.

Tyson said...

I find the camera does not do nature justice. But this will serve as a reminder to me of something truly unique that I witnessed. :)

Rob Zimmermann said...

A camera will never capture the experience in a full enough capacity. But what I've seen in your pictures comes very close to showing the true beauty of a place. That's all you can hope for. It definitely makes me want to experience it for myself one day :D

Rebs @ Book-Rants said...

Those clouds were amazing! Almost astronomical!

Tyson said...

They were crazy. :D

Patrick Kelley said...

Damn good pics.

Petre Pan said...

Wow. It's awesome that you got pictures for those clouds. Every time I see crazy clouds and want to post pictures, I find that the camera somehow stole their fluffy souls.

Tyson said...

Lucky to have seen them. And not had my camera steal their fluffy souls. :D