Today, I read an editorial about what the Chinese government probably says about the US behind our backs. The point of the article is that we our a country so divided by petty arguments and our perhaps major differences that we can't get anything done. Final result is that China is gonna buy us if we don't become a more functional and united nation. I soaked this all in as I rode the bus out to the village to go skiing for my sixth day in a row. Fixing the countries problems isn't my top priority these days but I'd like to do my part. Embracing my new ski bum ways I settled on these two thoughts: 1) It's a bummer man. 2) All good starts at home. I'll just try to be more understanding of those who are different than me.
All thinking was then tossed aside as I got my ass in gear to ski what looked like it should be some fluffy new snow. Riding up the gondola I was confronted with my first tourist of the season. The gondola is series of little boxes that fix eight people max and bring out about two thirds up the mountain. It was just me and two sixty-something year old bussinessmen from Pennsylvania. One was already complaining about his knee and the other was cheerfully gazing out the window, seemingly trying to pretend he came alone. The ride up take only seven or eight minutes, but I've learned in the past things can get awkward quick. Feeling benevolent from my reading earlier, I decided to be nice to the poor saps. The complainer turned to me and said, "This is what happens when you get old." Instead of saying, "No, that's what happens when you get fat and only use your body once a year for twenty hours of skiing." I replied, "No, that's what happens when you use your body. I have bad knees too." The conversation went the normal course. Where are you from? How long have you been out here? Where do you work? This is where the conversation always either goes one of two ways. Either you will be talking to a tourist who respects your life choices and believes that there are ways to find happiness outside of a bank account, or you will be talking to the asshole I was talking to today. I gave no signs of unhappiness or a lack of fulfillment. I also didn't indicate that I ever planned on leaving Jackson. This guy went on to say how it is a dead end environment and the people who stay here too long end up lonely losers sitting at a bar watching videos on computers of other people drinking beer. As he said, "It's no life." His friend, who could sense I was feeling belittled argued that there is a richness inherent in living out here. The complainer just sited more examples of ridiculous living in a ski-bum life.
This is a divide that I can't find peace with either. I know there is a world of work out there, and a large part of me wants to show the world that I can make it. Another, slightly more dominant part of me is stoked that I'm probably going to ski over a hundred days this winter. After the skiing, I will then go into a job that I enjoy, pays me well, and allows me to travel. After all that I will come home to a big, handsome man and we will love each other. The whole while, all of this will be done in a healthy, well fed and exercised body. To me, that is a life. And while I want us to all come together in peace and love, if push comes to shove, I may just move to Japan. China seems a little too competitive and Japan has the better skiing.