“Before I could fall asleep the rain began coming down like thousands of marbles hitting my tent, so loud it was almost deafening. Then the sound changed; still intense but more playful and sounded like a bunch of people were running around my tent, each footfall splashing in a little puddle. This was so weird. Why would anyone do this? It sounded like they were throwing little rocks and sticks on my tent. I wondered how could they do that, in the dark, without tripping over the cords strung between the tent and the support stakes? The sound was so loud and strong, and brought up such imagery that, though I couldn’t imagine anyone actually going to the trouble to play a trick on me in this weather, I couldn’t shake the idea that people were running around my tent, stifling giggles, engaging in some sort of hazing ritual! This was Trackerschool after all. I had heard stories of Tom and his tricky coyote teaching! Would Tom really send interns out to do this?
After listening intently for at least 30 minutes, I just had to look. I would either catch them in the act, or know I was wrong and finally get to sleep. I scooched my way over to the tent flap, avoiding the wet spots, unzipped it, and peeked out. It was dark but I could see the outline of the blueberry bushs’ craggy bare branches against the dark sky. The rain was pelting down in fat heavy drops, hitting the wet leaves on the ground and the roof of my tent. That was all. I felt a little silly.”
After many tries and blocks and giving up, I am now working with my first ever coach, Teresa Haag, who usually coaches visual artists, and I am getting past all my hangups. My book is about how I went from miserable, hopeless, confused, and helpless, to a better state of mind feeling excited about life, full of faith, clear headed, and capable! My journey took over a decade and involved experiences I had at Tom Brown Jr.’s Wilderness Survival School “Trackerschool”. This first snippet is from my first week of writing and talks about something that happened my first night at Trackerschool in October or 2005. This snippet has only been edited by me so far, so… yeah.