Challenged, Confined and Escape from Fort Collins

by Shannon McArthur

Wee, the idyll we started out on has rapidly descended into a challenge of a mighty sort. The van has coughed choked sputtered and died for the second time. She is being assessed for the second time as I write this (at least originally; I know I will edit it a few times (that’s what I do!) I really want to keep up to date – there’s too much going on… On the other hand (OTOH), editing out some of this would certainly be a favour – I think that’s one of the first things we’d have to learn if we ever were blessed with global telepathy – how to not overwhelm others with details. So many details are simply moments that support other moments; necessary but not especially noteworthy except in retrospect, in relation to a current important now.)

And that’s what I would usually edit out – that rambling digression completely diverging from the point of the piece, which I have now forgotten, so I’m going to review… brb (be right back).

I’m back. I put in a missing parenthesis and held myself back from changing anything else. I’m allowing the challenge to help me create a new way – that’s what i believe needs to happen. This is, I imagine, a “welcome to my brainstream” style and I’m just going to let it happen… let’s find out together!

Uh oh… where was I?! Hahaha! Ah yes, the van… I would prefer to forget it. Except I need it to do the things that I want to do. There’s important stuff that I have to do (and I almost stopped myself from saying that – it’s not “right” to think that way, but what if it’s true?) and I’ve had the evidence clearly provided. I’m not going to go into that right now; just wanted to be clear up front – I am a spiritual woman with a mission. I have been convinced by Spirit despite being a well trained member of the Rat Race, having survived 40 years slaving away in cubical hell – and I play with that term… taking myself away from the flow of the document, my speaking to you, to play with words. I like to do that. It’s one of the things that gives me pleasure. I like to help others find the right words too. Editing others’ documents is one of my favourite ways of learning about something, or someone. 

Another way of learning about someone is to spend a huge amount of time together. That’s what’s happening to JJ and I. I’m very happy with the speed with which we are learning each other’s ways and how to “play within the rules”, respecting the other’s idiosyncrasies. We are enduring this challenge with good humour, for the most part. We are both feeling very vulnerable and stressed by scarcity and imagined outcomes. 

My solution is this – writing/ talking to you (JJ’s not much of a conversationalist; he listens really well but not when he’s driving, sleeping, etc.). I started playing Gummy Drop but found it empty, still and again. I think back to a Private Group in FaceBook (FB), that professed to be about going “deep” as women, in which I stated that I wanted something deeper… I found some very deep stuff in Rotterdam and deep people online in the last 5 years. You’ll hear about it and them. You’ll also hear about my life before then – lots happened and, the way I remember it, it’s amazing how it all brought me to here, now. 

And why here? There’s something important happening but I just can’t see the pattern, the trail, the clues. Do you ever feel that way? I love it when I have a moment of clarity, an epiphany, a realization that if I do/don’t, I won’t be able to be who I am, or who I thought I was. Those are the easy decisions – though they’re not always easy to live with. And, usually, you don’t have them till you’re old enough to know who you are. You have to make enough decisions to have you sketched out in your experience and convictions, who you are, what you stand for…

And that’s something else I do – slide into some wisdom that arises out of my stream of thought. I’ve learned a whole lot about a whole lot of things but never enough to do anything with it except maybe give you a taste so you’ll go find out for yourself what is the truth for you. 

Ack! I just caught myself editing that – and I promised I wouldn’t! So, ok, if I did edit it, (I just can’t resist!) what would it end up saying – let’s see…

  • That’s something else I do – slide into sharing some wise words that spring from my stream of thought. I’ve learned a lot about a whole lot of things, maybe so I could give you a taste, open up tracks to those trains of thought so maybe you’ll go find out for yourself what is your truth. 

Well, what do you think? Which is the better version? You don’t have to answer; I’ll just rattle on, opening up those tracks, but if you’d like to respond, it’ll be a lot more fun. 

Check-in with the reality in which I find myself: I’m sitting on a red sofa in the back alcove of McCormicks Automotive Centre in Fort Collins, Colorado, with JJ, my friend from Rotterdam (nee California) (I don’t care if it’s not the right term; I believe you will “get” what I’m intending – and that is the purpose of communication, after all – to help others understand what you are trying to convey). (Sorry to be so blunt – I feel it’s important to be real right from the start.) (You’ll also find I thank and apologize more than others, and more than others are comfortable with sometimes. I’m sorry!)

All of this rambling – if you’re still with me, I salute you! The van has been moved into a parking spot and it’s 1:03 so I have to assume lunch. We are comfortable and I’m getting this done. Can’t be all bad. Not at all. A little Guess Who on the radio… coffee’s ready… brb

Everything is better now – it seems the van’s repairs just need to be written up and we can be on our way… crisis endured successfully. And I have a sweet lovely coffee! Blessed be… let’s hope this time the van is fixed for good and we’re on our way south. They have been kind in their manner, apologetic in their demeanour and helpful in picking us up. I wonder if the electrical issue caused the fuel pump to fail in the first place… I suppose it really doesn’t matter… It didn’t/wouldn’t work when it was tested so needed to be replaced in any case… Going forward…!

We are! (Oh lovely, a toll road.) Wenda is wonderful and waiting… no, not waiting – she’s up to her ears in crises of her own, but she holds packages that I need and a hug, that I also need. This has been a challenging time for both of us. Great comfort is present in a good hug.

I’d just like to end on a note of gratitude – Arjan and Allison were wonderful generous Couchsurfing hosts during our time of confinement. Even with a new baby, they were thoughtful, considerate and a great example of the delightful people you’ll meet, should you choose to travel in this new-paradigm way. Check them out at

Also, stay tuned – I’m expecting to open a page on – I like their platform and their values. You can also follow our travels and flow in my brainstream on my blog – oh, that’s here! Just click on that Follow button, k? See you next time –