Bryan Lindenberger

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Seeking the Land of Enchantment

Sundays are a good day for weekly rumination and prayer, even when not particularly religious.
So I was 24 and up at Fenton Lake, NM in February. My girlfriend - very smart and quite ambitious - lived in El Paso, TX. This was my day off from that sort of long distance relationship, and I went hiking alone.
Recorded some bird calls, listened to snow fall from the pines, and quickly filled my boots with slush trying to walk across the frozen lake. My feet were cold, I laughed that I might lose a toe.
I got back to my little sports car just as snow began to fall at dusk. Rock back and forth as I might, that car wasn't going to move anywhere - digging in deeper.
Purely, inarguably, stuck.
With the smell of burning oil and rubber around me, I decided to stay the night. And the night got cold. Fast. Cold and fast as a slap across the face.
Remember thinking that there were worse places to freeze. I'd heard - sweaty as I was from shoveling - that hypothermia wasn't the worst way to go. In fact, the last thing you'd feel was sort of warmth. I liked that. I'd either see morning or experience that warmth. Foolish or not, that seemed the choice.
While I still had some battery left, I put a song on the casette tape deck. I slept for a bit, and the night fell black as pitch outside.
I woke, and simply pulled out of the space.
It must have been a Sunday.
"Someone or something watched out for me today," I thought.
Too giddy, I got lost along the drive home and didn't care. A 90 minute drive turned into hours taking weird turns around Los Alamos. There, the hum in the air puts Taos to shame.
Made it to Jemez. Chatted with an Indian at a convenience store around midnight while devouring the Lays chips he sold me. So hungry, I couldn't shovel them into my face fast enough.
Drove home to Albuquerque, got there after two, and didn't call that gal I knew in El Paso even though I'd promised, didn't listen to the messages she'd left for me. The bed was too warm, and I floated into it surprised at how hard it was to sleep.
Next thing I knew, it was late morning.
So why could I suddenly pull away from a place where I was stuck? Why had I settled into just staying in the comfort of a bad situation when exit was so simple? What was the purpose? There probably was none.
Probably just easily quantifiable and basic bullshit at work here, slush freezing to ice on the tires to take hold for that one lucky moment. Why blame God on a Sunday for physics?
But if there ever was a purpose to not freezing there, to not finding that warmth of never having to wake again, suffering fools and asking permission to turn sideways at a mundane job for which you are not suited just to keep public stock options safe most likely isn't it.
Why safe?
Who does it benefit?
What is a better way to spend your night?
Here is an image of Fenton Lake in summer.

Introverts: Never Make the Coffee

Never make the coffee. I’m gearing this short article toward the more introverted among us. Too often, we attempt to fit in by taking on tasks and “small favors” for which we were not hired or even suited. Such behavior is never good for your career.
Working at the Entrepreneurial Institute at New Mexico State University, our CEO and former state governor would, in fact, come in and make the coffee. But academia tends to have flatter hierarchies – at least among staff. They are less risk-averse and have more open communication structures than most institutions. Students and administrative assistants regularly attended high-level meetings and not to take notes. Their perspectives and experiences were valued equally as part of the conversation.
Associates know and remember you by your most immediate utility.
Most businesses, outside of more progressive industries such as high tech, are understandably more risk averse. Roles and the inherent value of those roles are starkly defined. Introverts will, in a misguided attempt to seem outgoing or even to ingratiate themselves, too often volunteer for mundane duties. If you are a young engineer or graphic designer who volunteers to take notes at a particular meeting, be prepared to find your role become that of Official Keeper of the Minutes.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Longleaf Flatwoods Reserve

Hiking Longleaf Flatwoods Reserve in Alchua County - Hawthorne, Florida.

With 3000 acres of pine forest to explore near Gainesville, this is one of those cases where maps point you to the forest without you knowing where to park, or even from which street. I added a parking lot to Google Maps to help you on your way! It is an off-street, earthen area that is fenced in and you'll have no problem with any type of vehicle.

More including map to get there, trail map, and info at: >> Live Florida Beauty >> Longleaf Flatwoods Reserve

Some pics! :-)

Longleaf Flatwoods Reserve - Alachua County

Morning Fog Hiking Longleaf Flatwoods Reserve

Sunlight Breaks through along the Hike

Hiking Adventure Begins at Longleaf Flatwoods Reserve