LJWorld.com weblogs Dakotah Drives

Dakotah - Agent of Change


http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Jan/27/Dakotah_At_Peace.jpgcat•a•lyst (noun) an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action.Since I have been covering the travails and travels of Mr. Ron “Dakotah” McElvery, I have come to know that he is a simple person living within simple means; traveling at speeds (4-mph) that make his existence other-dimensional.By this I mean, Dakotah lives among us; yet he passes by nearly unnoticed until we take, for just a moment, our eye off a destination or goal and see someone out of ‘our’ ordinary. I am witness to a change of consciousness where people, responsible and dutiful people, stop and say “you (Dakotah) are living my life; I only wish I could do what you are doing…”http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Jan/27/Officer_McNelley.jpgLike the lyrics of a popular song, I have heard this comment recited by a chorus of Police Officers, cowboys; moms and dads; retirees; writers; successful business people; wealthy and those of modest means; irrespective of gender.During one of our recent conversations, Dakotah said “…we are living in a time where the greed finally caught up with us. We just had to have ‘it’ bigger, better, newer, faster, prettier. We borrowed against a future we did not own and it is sad that many are now faced with those consequences. But the truth is, folks really only lost what they didn’t have in the first place and now they don’t have it again. I hope we learn this time”I have a few axioms by which I live, and one such states that: Show me a person who nothing to lose and I’ll show you a bold person.” And by reason, those who have nothing to lose stand to have everything to gain. A few bold people showed up this week and I have to say I admire their courage. If it is true that “Many are called, but few are chosen” then I recently met a chosen few.http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Jan/27/View_from_Anns_House_1.jpg(Picture by Ann)Going on ‘The Road’ can be literal or it can be a metaphor for leaving a place of surety toward an unknown adventure or life-change. Ann is from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her New Mexico home offers breathtaking mountain views from her kitchen window and rainbow vistas over her luscious flower garden.From Ann’s MySpace blog, she states “…in the spring, as the melting snow water comes down the hills, the first meadow larks are such a pleasure to hear! Sound at last, after the silence of winter (though there is still silence otherwise, which I treasure!)” http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Jan/27/View_from_Anns_House_2.jpg(Picture by Ann)Yet, amidst all of this comfort and identity, Ann is leaving. Her last blog comment is in the spirit of the ‘Road’, “… I will miss all this, as well as the wild iris, the summer rain and thunder storms, the rainbows and sunsets. There is something about the big puffy clouds here.....maybe the arid atmosphere or the high altitude.......that I will not see in the new home I hope to go to. But I want a year-round garden, a vintage cottage, a beach walk and to be near my children......so one phase of life must be let go of before a new one can begin…”Another traveler that has come into the life of Dakotah for the last few weeks is Lauren. Lauren lives in Pennsylvania and has had the dream of driving a wagon and team of horses for over twenty years. She has been writing Dakotah for advice on several issues relating to building her own wagon and assembling a team of ponies to pull her across the northeast. At age twenty-seven, and after two years of symptoms, Lauren was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Hemosiderosis (IPH). “… I was 27 when I was diagnosed with IPH and was told I would have about five years (to live), and since two (years) where gone, I waited to die. When I was 31 and death didn't take me I went back to work. And here I am today, almost 18 years later; alive and kicking, a bit slower, but still here.…”When I asked Lauren why there was so much passion in her quest, she simply stated, “…my life has been one journey after another, but this one has been in my mind for over 20+ years My IPH isn't going to ever get better, slowly over time it will kill me or at least try. So it's now or never” and so it is.http://worldonline.media.clients.ellingtoncms.com/img/blogs/entry_img/2009/Jan/27/walt-whitman3.jpgWe see Dakotah on this land-locked ocean of highways and roads that intersect our coming and going, and we’ve often wondered why? I came across a poem by Walt Whitman (Aboard at a Ship's Helm) that sums it up best:The bows turn, the freighted ship tacking speeds away under her gray sails,The beautiful and noble ship with all her precious wealth speeds away gaily and safe.But O the ship, the immortal ship! O ship aboard the ship!Ship of the body, ship of the soul, voyaging, voyaging, voyaging.Drive on, DakotahOther stories about Dakotah can be found here:http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/dakot... http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/dakotah-drives/2008/dec/07/dakotah-drives-part-2/http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/dakotah-drives/2008/dec/14/the-heart-of-dakotah/http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/dakotah-drives/2008/dec/21/inside-dakotah/http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/dakotah-drives/2008/dec/23/a-dakotah-christmas/http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/dakotah-drives/2008/dec/31/dakotah-a-place-in-time/http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/dakotah-drives/2009/jan/01/willits-redux/http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/dakotah-drives/2009/jan/05/dakotah-the-drive-ends/http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/dakotah-drives/2009/jan/10/dakotah-the-winters-end/http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/dakotah-drives/2009/jan/13/dakotah-remarkably-unremarkable/http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/dakotah-drives/2009/jan/19/dakotah-a-yin-and-yang/http://www2.ljworld.com/weblogs/dakotah-drives/2009/jan/23/dakotah-powered-by-light/


tangential_reasoners_anonymous 8 years, 1 month ago

"... so one phase of life must be let go of before a new one can begin…."I never cease to be amazed at how much of myself I find in your words of others on this unexpected odyssey--the catalyst an equally inexplicable echoed dream.

Charles Edwards 8 years, 1 month ago

Tang; we find ourselves at the same precipice surveying a well understood landscape.I am encouraged to know so many are 'living' their life; I think, at the end of the day, we're going to okay.

Charles Edwards 8 years, 1 month ago

The Modesto Bee ran, as a lead story (with video) about Dakotah this morning that I thought you might like to see:http://www.modbee.com/local/story/578511.html

Alia Ahmed 8 years, 1 month ago

But the truth is, folks really only lost what they didn’t have in the first place and now they don’t have it again. I hope we learn this time” That is profoundly true. Write on, Charles.

Ronda Miller 8 years, 1 month ago

While it seems difficult, or almost impossible, for some people to let go of one life before a new journey can begin it is something we need to do in order to grow, change, pursue our life's mission. It is also important to remember that letting go doesn't mean the influence of that former experience isn't with us still.....it is an acceptance...once we reach acceptance of any situation we can begin to move onward and upward.Simple things are so complex........Ann is leaving a beautiful place...I hope she is able to remember it through visits, pictures, and memories that become alive to her when she closes her eyes....we'll be thinking of her on her journey as well.

Alia Ahmed 8 years, 1 month ago

BTW, I like Dakotah's shirt in the first photo.

Charles Edwards 8 years, 1 month ago

Ronda;This poem came to me after I read Ann's blog:As always is, the letting go, That from our heart we fear; Shall I move beyond the now, Relinquish that which held dear? From apprehension of where I'll beTo elation of, that which I'll see;May paths be straight and narrow honed And peace come as freely to me.Thank you and Alia for your insight. Ann wrote back just now to say:"I feel really honored that you were inspired to quote me and use my photos! I feel that I was heard, and that isn't a frequent experience for me. We(you, Dakotah, and I) are surely kindred souls.....thank you for that.Love, Ann"The funny thing is, it is I who is honored to tell these stories. I sit in a grand a spacious theater of life.

Ronda Miller 8 years ago

Nice poem, Charles....it states many of those feelings of holding on and needing to let go well.We are also kindred souls of Ann and Dakotah and Charles and Alia and multi and tange......etc., etc., I almost broke into song just now..seated song..."We Are Family".....luckily I stopped myself.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 8 years ago

Ronda: "I almost broke into song just now..seated song…'We Are Family'…..luckily I stopped myself."( Thank gawd. ),;-)

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 8 years ago

ok... don't know what to do with that image...not even sure what that image might be... hmm....

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