Saturday, April 14, 2012

Jung, Native American Ancestors & the AT Trail

Jeff has gone back to the Americas before Columbus.
When he signed the register at the beginning of the AT Trail, the backpack, weigh-in site in the Amicalola Falls State Park, Jeff  chose the AT name,  Loner. 

 I would give Jeff a Native American AT Trail name, mostly from the Algonquin's of Maine, who are in his ancestral line on his father's side dating back to maybe his great-great-great grandmother, from the time when one of the British Gray's of Gray, Maine married an Algonquin girl.   
In the Algonquin language the most fitting name for Jeff would be,  Enkoodabaoo which means one who lives alone.  I see his hike as a quest of self-discovery.  So far I haven't found an Algonquin name for turtle, which is his totem animal and has been since his days in the cub scouts when he found his first box turtle and then his dad built him a massive 8X6 foot waist high turtle habitat which had sand for turtles to bury themselves in, lots of vegetation,  a pond for the red-eared water sliders, which his dad rescued from a construction site where the turtles were barely surviving in a mud puddle. The pond had  logs and rocks where they could stretch out their legs and sun themselves and Jeff could push it in and out of the garage in bad storms. In the winter he released them all into the wild so that they could lay their eggs next spring in natural surroundings.
Like a turtle, Jeff travels with his house on his back.  He has lived in a camper for years and it totally suits his simple nomadic lifestyle.
 Jeff  knows himself more than any man I know.  He's an internal guy, always thinking, analyzing his dreams.  His whole life he's navigated the Jungian approach without knowing it, learning who he is, becoming 100% Jeff full of muchness.  He's as authentic as they come - full to the brim with the essence of Jeff. You can see it as soon as you meet him, even beneath the shy surface and subtle humor.He's done more psychological inner work than most people I know and I've worked in the psychological/psychiatric field off and on for many years. Jeff has kept dream journals and spent more than his 40 days in the wilderness starting from when he was a kid about 12 years old (pictured right) when my then boyfriend, Steve, a mountain man to be sure ( he caught rattle snakes in pillow cases for Clemson University as we hiked) would take us off trail in the Blue Ridge Mtns and show us the ropes.  So 90 or 120 days plus won't seem like as much to Jeff as it would to city folk (like me now).  He currently lives in his camper on the road mostly on back roads in the sticks and mountains. So he's familiar with the woods and enjoys his own company.  He's a deep thinker and profound person in touch with the world on a natural level like the Native Americans.  He doesn't buy consumerism sham and lives a minimalist life - and when I say minimal - I mean it.  All his worldly belongings would fit in a couple of trunks and he recycles and sells them often as he takes up new ways to connect with Gaia. All except for his arrowheads which he's collected since he was 12 - but that's another blog all together.
Now he's taken another cycle on his quest in a spiral way over the 39 years of his life, as he's been circling around this unknown goal for many years in the wide range of activities he's become obsessed with - all of which I imagine he shall discover has taught him the skills and given him the mental tools to reach whatever goal he has for this most unique and adventurous experience.

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