Thursday, November 20, 2008

Back From Qatar!

Hello SuperForest!!!!

Oh man, the United States is an amazing place to return to.

Qatar was an incredible adventure!

SuperForesters Andrew, Nicholas, and myself worked liked wildmen. We were up with the sun every morning, hauling photo gear from place to place under the merciless Qatari sun. Multiple photoshoots every day, work until sundown, download cards, and clean and organize gear, repeat.

The work was hard, but the adventure was as rich as a mousse.

You know those trips where you know at the end of it you'll look back on the experience as one of the highlights of your life? This was one of them.

The gig was in the middle of nowhere, with a huge dessert across the road and the lights of Doha on the horizon. That dessert was absolutely tantalizing to me. I felt absolutely that to not spend at least one night in it would be criminal. But I was a bit afraid...

Then, on the second to last day, I got an email from the incandescent SuperForester Christine. It is a quote from the actor Sterling Hayden, (who is soo excellent in Dr. Strangelove.)

Here it is:

"To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea… cruising, it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.

"I’ve always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can’t afford it.”

What these men can’t afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of security. And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone. What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all - in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade. The years thunder by, the dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed. Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?"

-- Sterling Hayden

I'm not so sure about the need for financial unrest, but the need to not settle for security rang very true for me.

So, the second to last night I was in Qatar, I borrowed a sleeping pad, jumped into one of the Land Cruisers and drove into the darkness of the Qatari dessert.

I drove until the lights of our building were quite small on the horizon, stopping to pick up a load of dry branches from dying dessert brush.

Soon all was dark. Only the moon and the lights of Doha.

I dragged a few rocks into a circle and within built a fire, teepee style, like the boyscouts recommend. To protect myself from dessert carnivores, I did a hilarious side-shuffle dance in a big circle around my fire and bedroll, peeing as I went. It is good to let the desserts full-time citizens know that you are there. I was merely saying, chemically: "I'll be in this little circle. You can have the rest."

Then, wrapped up tight in my blankets to keep out the cold, with the moon and stars above me and my fire at my back, I called my father and brother to tell them that I loved them and that all was well. It's a trip to have full bars in the middle of nowhere.

Here's what it looked like:

The next morning:

Adventure is the spice of life. Get it when you can.

So glad to be back! Stay tuned for more info!

Love to you all,

SuperForester Jackson


spoon said...

Wow. That is amazing Jackson. I cannot wait to hear more. Glad to have you back!

jackson said...

Glad to be back, hermano.

carla said...

Adventuring is always a great way to spend your time...Always. Reading this post put the biggest smile on my face I am so excited you were able to experience this and I cannot wait to hear more/watch the videos.

Peace Brother, SuperForest and America 2.0 missed you.

Christine Norrie said...

Sounds like the dessert was tasty in every way possible...

Welcome home welcome.