Walk Around
Walk Around
10 - Wellbeing

10 - Wellbeing

Thoughts on interdependence
Elk Creek in the Coast Range, Oregon. Late Summer, 2021.

Wellbeing is a net.

And we are a strand in the net. The strands around us are made of people, places, what we consume, produce, see, feel, experience.

I think of this in the fading evening. The leaves and hills have changed slowly this season. The tops of mountains have snow. Distant hills disappear in morning mist. To the south the valley is hidden by mountains. The air cold in the morning, the grass gold or brown, the trees bare, the geese moving and honking. The water of the river reflects the clouds, turning silver. The pebbles darken with morning dew.

Most evenings I go running. During the day I study sleep, neuroscience, nutrition, plants—just to pass the time. I write and organize. Life is but people and places and things, and what you do. Wellbeing is a net.

I notice that experience compounds as my life goes on, but my gathering basket has holes. Most times are forgotten, those that matter stay. What matters is not always good. What matters is what impacts, changes: for better, or worse.

I wandered Elko, Nevada between work days, talked with a friend, and we both agreed it might be impossible to even understand one thing fully, in one life. And so many regressions.

The great task is to be here for it. To not run, to accept, compress, and take care, pay attention, and receive instruction from what occurs.

The good and bad, the things that matter. To forgive and realize: the wounds others carry make up part of their net, one of their many strands. And isn't it amazing that individual neurons can live over a hundred years? Maintaining, connecting, remodeling, constantly in connection with others around them, or they die. The sense of ourselves is encoded, somehow, in the form and waves of activity that science has revealed are less based in parts of the brain, but the interconnectedness of them all—and the neurons themselves are nets with strands: axons, dendrites, synapses. Yet there's a difference between knowing and feeling. And physiology doesn't explain everything. And we have known this intuitively for thousands of years. Yet as there is more powerful ways to study, the "truth" eludes. There is still, and always will be, mystery

Wellbeing is a net. We are a strand. There is no separation between ourselves and wellbeing. The things that come together, or move apart, are part of us. They produce thoughts and feelings that become us. This is what it means to be a strand in the net.

The geese and trees know this. Or better, they feel, or produce it. There are human cultures in my dreams that greet each other by saying:

"I am you, But,
I am myself too"

I wish I could throw a rope around certain feelings that would never fade. But wellbeing, and life, are a net, and the strands are manifold, moving, changing, uncovering, disappearing—never staying the same. That's the beauty of it.

Thoughts come and go, come and go with the currents of the mind.

I wrote this once. Then I wrote again. I write my present and my future, and I write my past. It is written into me, my thoughts, feelings, my "amygdala", my "neurons", my strands, and what is beyond—my friends and relationships. The future depends on how I feel, and what I have, or what I choose to do even now. To think, to be, stay or change, are for me to know. But I am also you.

And we are: together,
little gossamer strands.
Glowing in the sunlight.
Growing and changing, severing, or explaining.
Rippling in the wind.

Wellbeing is a net
And we a strand

Walk Around
Walk Around
We Are All A Part. Writing and recordings about nature, existence, and wildness—at three miles per hour.
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Hudson Gardner