Monday, August 18, 2008

A touching discovery...

This morning, I was googling an image for my post. I wanted to find an appropriate image that would encapsulate my sentiments of watching my husband leave for his field-job which will keep him away from me for 6 weeks at a time. As I browsed the images, I stumbled upon this website:

It is a website I haven't been able to close all day. I've been at work since 5:30, and I've been doing paperwork, and taking brief breaks to read the website. Before you click the link, be warned... it's addictive.

Christopher John O'Connell Cocorochio is a young man who has for about a decade, been traveling on foot and by many other means, scraping by with odd jobs to keep himself and his dog Job fed as he journeys on itchy feet all over the country and the world. He started in New England, and has walked through a number of states, touching people's lives, documenting these moments on his spartan website. There are a few poignant images that capture his travels, and narratives that bring you through his joy and his heartache, and he names the people who've reached out to help him and Job. He had been taking footage of his travels in the hopes of creating a documentary. Now he's working on a book. His latest entries bring him through Oregon and into Northern California. He had stayed a while in Astoria.

You follow him from the beginning, when he decides to drop his workaday life; and chooses the road. He begins with his old dog Bandit and continues on now with his new road companion, Job. It is a tremendous tale in these few web-pages. Too big a story almost; with little gaps that leave you wanting.

Why does he do this? In his words:

"To protect the only thing I've ever been able to count on...

Growing up I was told:
~ pollution we are creating is poisoning the atmosphere creating acid rain which kills plants and vegetables.
~ chemicals found in aerosol cans are causing a whole in the ozone layer, a part of the earth's atmosphere that allows life to exist on the planet.the world's rainforests which provide a major portion of the oxygen in the air that we breath are being cut down at a rate of something like an acre a minute.
~ our president lied under oath.
~ nuclear weapons that we and other countries posses could blow up the planet several times over.the greatest cause to all global and social problems human beings face is our uncontrollable population growth.
~ the United States makes up something like 18% of the world's population, yet we consume 60% of it's resources.
~ nuclear power plants create radioactive waste that is extremely poisonous to humans and all life forms and will be for thousands and thousands of years so we bury it deep underground.
~ cars, trucks, factories and oil burning furnaces used to heat most homes pollute our atmosphere making sunlight harmful to humans causing skin cancer while at the same time altering the global climate causing unpredictable and catastrophic weather conditions.
~ the global oil shortage is causing international conflict and war killing thousands of soldiers and innocent civilians.This list could continue, but it's too negative to continue with.

As I was becoming an adult I saw none of these issues being addressed or even being taken seriously, (oh wait, I think we fixed the aerosol can thing.) yet I was suppose to forget all this and drive a car, get a job, make money, buy a house, get married, have some kids, let them learn all the same stuff then expect them to forget it all, too. And, adults wonder why our youth are so disenchanted.

If being dependent on electricty can harm people that aren't even born yet then I won't be dependent on it.
If being unable to live without a car causes war and pollution then I'll live without one.
If making money our number one prioroty keeps us divided then I won't make it mine.
....the earth.

Whatever his motives are; be it as simple as what he has listed there, or be there reasons beyond that; things to run to or from, things to seek, to hide; perhaps he feels that he alone sees the state of the world, and that he must do this on behalf of the rest of us; all that aside, I cannot but see how brave he is. How pure a soul to simply cast off the things we all think are so important, to do it with dignity; to have his pride and allow himself to be perceived as something other than what a really noble creature he is.

And most of all, he's taking care of his dog Job, which that alone, speaks volumes about the man's character.

In this time he's lost Bandit, his mother and friends. He's been there when it counted but he can never be still for long. Like the wing-footed Hermes, he takes to the wind, carrying his message to complete strangers. Where will he end up? Will he ever find the peace within to stop at last? Who knows. All I know is that I find so much depth in his story. So much loving and joyful and tragic things.

It sort of put my whole morning into perspective. My husband took a job away from our small family so we could have a home and some means of comfort... and Chris John has shucked it all to find some peace with himself. It makes me think. Is it all worth the stress and pain?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, as I let our a big breath. Thank you for sharing your find. I agree with your thought and think I would like to try his way. I just don't think the six cats will follow me and the dog!




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