I am here in Missoula, Montana. Hitched here yesterday: 5 rides, all from women. Women in these northern states–Alaska, Montana, Idaho, Washington–are more independent, tough and daring (judging by their willingness to pick me up). Women in general (in other states) usually won’t stop to pick me up. Considering my age and sex, this is very surprising.
One ride was from a woman from the “lower class” (right below the working class, but above the lowest class (the “underclass”) is a class of people who work and also are very familiar with prison/jail, homelessness, domestic and child abuse, violence, and mental problems in the general population. This class of people is very alienated from the mainstream, and I don’t come into contact with them very often.
I felt very comfortable with this mother of 5, but I did notice a few things. When we got to Motel 6 outside Missoula, I went into her motel room briefly (while she got her dog settled). She called a male friend, and when she told him she had picked me up, he immediately assumed I was a local homeless person. At this point I realized with a shock that if my driver thought I was dangerous to her in any way, she would probably have attacked me.
People from this social strata have suffered. Life asks more of them; the pressure and stress they face is greater than for people in other social classes. People in the lower class are familiar with violence and have learned how to deal with it, usually with returned aggression.
What may appear to be learned helplessness can, in these lower classes, be surrender in the face of overwhelming difficulties which affect them both personally and socially. The connection between the social and personal difficulties for such people is always being debated. Psychologists see the personal as the foundation for all other problems; sociologists see society as the basis.
My new hitchhiking attitude: “soft face, no determination” (from Michael Yee yoga session at Beverly’s in Green Bluff, Wa. yesterday); no fear of men; just look at people as they drive past.
All-day hitching yesterday. Long day. Five good rides–nice people.
Hitched in Laurel (outside Billings) for half an hour. People were getting off their day-shift at the oil refinery. Gene, who picked me up and who lives there (musician, my age, never oil refinery worker, has own business), said their jobs are boring and very noisy.
These folks had angry faces; some young men gave me the finger (that almost never happens). This is the proletariat who never dropped out and became American Traveller-Gypsies. This is the group from which our soldiers come, and they are angry, underpaid, and hard workers for the rich bosses. They do not like people who have dropped out.
I met Tim when I was hitching in Livingston. He and his wife live in Arizona, but they travel (big packs). Tim’s wife is in jail for a week (drunk in public), so he and Sam (?) are camped by the on-ramp, waiting for her to get out (tonight).People call us “homeless”, but we’re actually part of a group: American Traveller-Gypsies (just like the English Gypsies and the Irish Travellers).
Tim invited me to camp by him and Sam (“We’re harmless.”) if I didn’t catch a ride; he also said that under the first freeway bridge near us it was dry and there was a sheet of plywood. On his was back to camp from the supermarket, Tim gave me some fried chicken (“Are you hungry?… I know you are.”). He had about twelve beers for himself and Sam. Nice guy. I have known and camped with guys like Tim in the past; they usually are harmless.
How much about my secret, inner self can I reveal to my Soulmate? So much of it is unconscious; I’ve hidden it from myself. Much of this true material, soul material, is forbidden in society. Socially, we are required to repress this stuff and act in “appropriate” ways. These are always ways that benefit the society, but these same ways stifle the spirit.
Talked to Laura, an Irish music whistle and flute player, and she told me that my hair (our hair [hers is thick, bushy, wavy/curly, too]) is CELTIC HAIR ! I didn’t know that. I am so happy to finally know that I don’t have “bad hair.” I have Celtic hair, and I love it.
I am also recognizing (finally) and meeting more American Traveller-Gypsies. Thank you, Goddess! That is another of my Social Groups.
Hitchhiking is about surrendering to fate. I love learning how to do that. Trust and generosity are other lessons from both hitching and Couchsurfing. Important to me spiritually.
I posted this on Facebook today:
My 3 Wishes:
1.) Evolve and grow–as a spirit.
2.) Reunite in this lifetime, in the physical form, with my one, eternal Soulmate.
3.) My loved ones are safe, well, and always protected.
Next 3 wishes:
4.) The earth and all Sentient Beings are well and happy.
5.) I have a big group of friends who all know each other.
6.) My Soulmate and I will never be separated again in any way.
Appreciate others for being who they are, for just BEING and not just for what they can do for me.
Staying with the only people in Billings, Montana who are from the Czech Republic. And they are very nice people. I especially like my host’s mom, Eva.
Someone asked me recently, “Who are you?” I said, “I am a pilgrim, a seeker.”
A pilgrim (from the Latin peregrinus) is a traveler (literally one who has come from afar) who is on a journey to a holy place. Typically, this is a physical journeying (often on foot) to some place of special significance to the adherent of a particular religious belief system.
In the spiritual literature of Christianity, the concept of pilgrim and pilgrimage may refer to the experience of life in the world (considered as a period of exile) or to the inner path of the spiritual aspirant from a state of wretchedness to a state of beatitude.
SEEKER: One that seeks: a seeker of the truth.