LJWorld.com weblogs Dakotah Drives

Dakotah - Remarkably Unremarkable


Life is not usually a series of monumental events; rather, our life is summed by the total of the small, seemingly insignificant and often unnoticed moments that never make the lead story of the day.http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Jan/13/ept_Test.JPGThe wonder and amazement, at the realization the home pregnancy test you are holding in your hand just indicated ‘yes’, or the gaze from your fiancé as you take their hand as the minister declares, “Dearly Beloved”. Words may not be spoken, but at that moment, you knew you life was about to change.http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Jan/13/Wedding_Photo.jpgSuppose you’re traveling upon any road or highway and you come across a tattered 1983 motor home, stopped alongside the road with the owner sitting outside the vehicle. The paint on the motor home has faded, the tires do not match, and the bumper is held on by duct tape. I suspect the thoughts one may have would most likely not be benevolence and awe.Yet, everyone with whom I have had the pleasure corresponding, without exception, (after meeting or seeing Dakotah) feel not only admiration, but a sense of kinship; and I am no different. It is as though, by merely seeing Dakotah, we are transported to a place where the road diverged and, as Robert Frost wrote, we did not take “...the road less traveled”. So, we are compelled to stand alongside this road and cheer for the one who has.http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Jan/13/Officer_McNelley.jpgWhen I approached Willits Police Officer, Mark McNelley, the day he regrettably had to tell Dakotah to leave his temporary camp (due to city ordinances against camping on city property), Officer McNelley stated that “he (Dakotah) is living the life that I have fantasized about all my life”Folks from small towns all along Dakotah’s journey, (the names of which no one, with the exception of cartographers and the town’s residents have known) come and visit at the first opportunity to shake the hand of one of their own; living life outside the collective conscience of society. Don and Marijanne are two such folks from Lockeford, California.http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Jan/13/Don_and_Marijanne.jpgI asked Marijanne what it meant to know of Dakotah and his lifestyle. She wrote, “In his (Dakotah) travels there is a restfulness that I am sure not too many can identify in these fast paced modern times. Folks nowadays want instantaneous gratification of their hearts desire and the thought of working for that doesn't even enter into it... like meandering down the road at a walk and stopping over the crest of a hill to gaze at the sight before them or sitting down to a campfire to cook”Not too far from where Dakotah is currently traveling, just off Highway 80 is El Sobrante, CA. This bedroom community sits unnoticed by the freeway traffic that eclipses the area’s perimeter; however, to its twenty-thousand or so residents, this is home.http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Jan/13/Lisa.jpgOne El Sobrante’s resident, a single mom, named Lisa, is recovering from a near fatal injury when a semi-truck crashed into her vehicle. After reading Dakotah’s story, she wrote to say, “I am a big advocate of children and having two of my own, I couldn't help but seeing it (the lifestyle of Dakotah) as a means of making history come alive and in a sense a tool to show people of all ages, the value of what was and what people of his generation truly have to offer us in wisdom. Thank you so much. He is a hero in my eyes. Heroes are said to be ordinary people who didn’t shrink back when thrust into extraordinary situations. They forged ahead without concern for personal well being. In this current time and place in history, we could use a few heroes.In one of our recent conversations, Dakotah remarked: “…we need to be merciful to people, even when they annoy us. We only get to be on this earth for a short while, and I have to remind myself of that.”As the story of Dakotah unfolds, I am astounded by the simplicity of the fact that he is remarkably unremarkable, in every way. He is not on a mission, nor does Dakotah adhere to a dogma that is rigidly guiding him. Dakotah is living his life without pretense.http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Jan/13/Road_Friends.jpgMy photographer (and wife) Jennifer Edwards put it this way, “Most of us are so busy maintaining the facade we want others to see; but, when we see people like him (Dakotah), we get a little hope we too can be real, and besides, the façade isn’t making us happy anyway.”Today, we need someone who does not hide the good gifts, but shares them with anyone. The gifts of a kind word in the face of alienation, or compassion in a time of struggle; both of which are dispensed freely by the man with his wagon.Drive on Dakotah


tangential_reasoners_anonymous 9 years, 4 months ago

"... our life is summed by the total of the small, seemingly insignificant and often unnoticed moments....""... at that moment, you knew you life was about to change.""... benevolence and awe....""... a sense of kinship....""... this is home." Just one question, Charles, are you channeling me, or am I channeling you?

Alia Ahmed 9 years, 4 months ago

Charles, you used by favorite poem by Frost to describe Dakotah's journey, The Road Less Traveled. As your wife and photographer, Jennifer, pointed out, Dakotah definitely has taken the road less traveled and it has made all the difference. As Frost says, way leads on to way and we don't often go back. Dakotah seems content to follow the path he has chosen and allow the map to unfold in front of him.

Charles Edwards 9 years, 4 months ago

Thanks, TRA; I guess great thoughts circumnavigate the universe searching for a open vessel from which to be poured. I love being such a vessel.Peace

Charles Edwards 9 years, 4 months ago

Alia;My former mother in law owned an old LP of Robert Frost reading his poems; a precursor to "books on tape" I suppose.I so enjoyed hearing the words spoken by the author himself. (by the way, he was a much better writer than speaker - just in case it seemed like some people have all the gifts.:-)

Ronda Miller 9 years, 4 months ago

Charles says,"we need someone who does not hide the good gifts, but shares them with anyone. The gifts of a kind word in the face of alienation, or compassion in a time of struggle", and it seems that Charles is bountiful in his ability to share the gifts that Dakotah has to offer. How remarkable that in this time period such a simple man as Dakotah can be appreciated the world over....but maybe that has always been the case when someone as strikingly different and special as Dakotah comes along.....word passes quickly among strangers...and soon they no longer are strangers.

Charles Edwards 9 years, 4 months ago

Ronda, I could not be in more agreement. The anonymity that our society provides insulates to the point where so many people, thou not being alone, find themselves, lonely.My musician friend, Bob Bennett (http://www.bob-bennett.com/) said it best in his song, Lord of the Past;"...so I picked all these pieces, and I built a strong deception, and I wrapped myself inside of it, for my own protection. And I sit alone, inside myself, and curse my company; for these things that have kept me alive so long, are now killing me..."May that never be our epitaph.

Ronda Miller 9 years, 4 months ago

Charles, I loved, "Carole of the Moon and Stars". Very nice...good quality voice as well as beautiful lyrics. Thanks for sharing.....

Charles Edwards 9 years, 4 months ago

Ronda;Bob has been an inspiration to me since the early 1980's when I played his music as a DJ on KCMS - Seattle. I was a DJ there before I moved to Southern California.Today, Bob is just as significant in my world, as he lives the music he writes; warts and all, but to the glory of God the Father.I am so glad you sampled his music.

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