Seattle, Washington The Earth is Fixed. You’re Welcome.

Tonight, we celebrated Earth Hour with a candlelit dinner in front of a blank TV.

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The inclination to flick a switch was almost overwhelming at first, but in time it dimmed, and once we got comfortable with our books, we decided we wouldn’t mind making it a daily routine.

…maybe weekly. When the clock struck 9, it was back to Mario Galaxies.

I like holidays that involve sacrifice and suffering. They seem to me the only ones worth celebrating (yet another reason why I should’ve been a Jew). They’re harder to commercialize, and I think they tend to be the ones that bring people together more.

I caught a flight back up to Fairbanks two days ago on the spur of the moment — one of the benefits of having a few frequent flyer miles lying around. The aurora was back out and the forecast promised clear skies, so I gave it another shot.

I landed at 1am, rented a car, drove out to the middle of nowhere, came very close to hitting a moose, then sat for several hours in frigid, arboreal solitude.

The lights filled the horizon. Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t find a way to capture them on camera with my off-the-shelf equipment, but at least I got to see them unobscured and in their full brilliance. After an hour of toil, I finally just put the gear down and watched the show.

I caught a 7am flight home.

It was an unusual night.

I’ve got a few more days at home before I head off to the Middle East. I really don’t have much of a plan for this leg. I’m just winging it at this point. I get asked a lot why I don’t just stay home. The video is filling out nicely and my travel fatigue is becoming more and more apparent.

It’s tough to explain. This isn’t really about me having a great time anymore. It’s about making something. It’s a grand undertaking, which means I’m not necessarily going to enjoy every moment. I think that’d be easier to understand if I was painting a mural or, say, dog-paddling across the Atlantic. But the nature of my enterprise implies perpetual bliss, and I guess it’s disappointing to hear otherwise.

As of Tuesday I’ll have been working on this project for one full year with 3 months left to go. I may be tired, but my sense of purpose hasn’t dwindled in the slightest. And as the end result starts to take shape, I’m finding a whole new kind of satisfaction, different from anything that’s come before.

The wheels are now turning with the music. Garry has been writing and he’s starting to bring musicians in to record their parts. We’re both finding the new video hypnotic, which seems like a good sign. The big day is about a month away — a full orchestra. Can’t wait.

I finally got the map up of my 2007 travel. This should be of interest to no one but myself, but if you want to know where the hell I was last year, here ya go.

21 Responses to Seattle, Washington The Earth is Fixed. You’re Welcome.

  1. Stephanie

    Hey – I love your site and your videos. I check in every day to see if you have a new post.

    But, don’t you think it’s a bit ironic that you spent a few hours sans lights to help reduce greenhouse gasses/bring attention to global warming/whatever, but a day earlier jumped on a plane and flew several thousand miles for one night? This is the problem with today’s “green” trend, I think. Having a candlelight dinner to save the earth is fine, but actually making any meaningful sacrifices that might cause inconvenience or change in lifestyle isn’t.

    Oh well, I’m glad you’re jetting around the world so we can watch your videos. This post just struck me as ironic – maybe you should have split it up into two posts so it wasn’t as jarring!

  2. Stephanie, are you trying to say he’s like all those Hollywood stars that own Priuses but still fly to Zimbabwe on a private jet to adopt a child?

    Matt! You’re EVEN BIGGER than I previously thought!

  3. Sandy

    Haven’t you grown tired of running all over the world yet? What exactly have you accomplished to better our world? You seem pretty selfish to just travel for years and not help anyone. Join the Peace Corps, build homes for the poor instead of dancing all over the world. I’d say you are a big loaf.

  4. John

    Sandy, relax. Seriously. Let the man be happy and continue to make people smile and inspire others to explore, learn, and understand. That’s a great contribution to the world. Go do something better with your time than take digs on a guy’s personal blog. Your negative digs to someone innocently enjoying life and bringing insight to others makes you really, really pathetic.

  5. Sandy

    TEll me what insight he is bringing to others? So he can smile and inspire others–explain to me how that works? All I see from his website is that he likes to travel and do his silly dance–how on earth is that helping the world? I see him as selfish and very self centered and to think that he is sponsered to travel around–gee, wouldn;t it be nice if we could all do that? Imagine not working for a living and still getting to see the world? Wow–what an inspiration!

  6. Matt

    Oh I don’t know Sandy, seems to me people find Matt inspirational in his pursuit of his dream. I think that’s a pretty big thing. Seeing the kids dance in Ruwanda was uplifting. I think it’s exposed people to cultures and places that most people only see on tv slickly edited for channels like Nat. Geo, or discovery with Samantha Brown. His blogs offer insight and perspective that anyone can identify. You come across as jealous and bitter. I’m sure you have done tons. Built houses in Guatamala, Given vaccines to children in Indo. Brought school supplies to those wanting in Africa. Let Matt do his thing. Have you read all his blogs? Here’s an idea, go be useful instead of arguing.

  7. Jessy

    Matt,
    I disagree with Sandy completely as I’m sure most visitors to your site do. I enjoy your blog tremendously and check often for your posts. I would love to travel more and hope to soon. Your blog gives me information and insight that I might not have gotten otherwise. I hope you continue to travel and share your experiences with us. You’ve been given an amazing opportunity to experience things most people never will, so stop and enjoy the moments and don’t just think of it as a grand undertaking and go back to the point where it was just about you having fun.

  8. Sandy

    No I am NOT jealous because I have traveled quite a lot but I pay my own way. And I do have a job so I contribute to society –no I don;t make kids laugh in a foreign country due to silly dancing but I do make kids laugh as I care for them while their parents work. I go to nursing homes and help them create their hidden talents, I volunteer at Hospice. If Matt is so dedicated to his “cause” why doens’t he do more for these various countries then ‘dance’? Why doesn’t he help build some shacks, teach some kids, do some art projects? But all he does is hop from one country to another–how can you think that is such a cool thing to read about? What he is doing reminds me of the kid who ran away from home to go to Alaska to live his dream of being alone in the wild and then he dies and they make a movie about it.
    Samantha Brown is another sore spot for me-why should she get to travel to all the pricey hotels, cruises, fancy places all over the world just to tell those who can’t be so fortunate to have the money to do what she is doing for free? If I want to know about faraway places I can read a travel brochure.
    Matt needs to grow up and give back to society instead of having all you read about HIS adventures. I personally could care less.

  9. Dave

    Sandy, you claim you could care less and yet you’ve posted here three times in one day.

    You claim you’re not jealous, and yet you make a point to reference that you have travelled but on your own dime. Are you suggesting you’re not jealous that this one individual got sponsored to do this?

    Why is your definition of giving back to society the only way to give back? Shacks and art projects are going to save the world?

    And get your facts straight. Christopher McCandless didn’t run away from home. He was done with college, and had a number of different options in front of him. And in the end, how many people have the luxury of being surrounded by people they love when death comes knocking? Come on.

    And then you make another reference to a woman who has a seemingly sweet gig. Why do you care about Samantha Brown? People are opportunists, admit you’re jealous, but don’t knock them for taking advantage of what the market offers when they aren’t doing anyone any harm.

    We all have areas for self evaluation and growth. So perhaps Matt has areas where he needs to grow up, but that’s for him to decide. In the meantime, do everyone a favor and look in the mirror before posting here again.

    Wait, I get it. Sandy is actually Matt and this is an April Fools joke! Good one Matt!

  10. jdhoskinson

    Matt, don’t you have a plane to catch or something? Great April Fool’s joke. (Nice catch, Dave. Or are YOU Matt, too?)

  11. Rob

    Six months ago I captioned a photograph of Matt as “Matt ponders how his spontaneous dance of youth, playfulness and joy became an Internet phenomenon; touched the hearts of millions of people; bestowed on him a quantum of fame that is at once puzzling, intoxicating and fleeting; and serendipitously brought him a livelihood and a role that he continues to define.” It now seems that among the ways Matt defines that role is to find value in the craft of making his video, even as the travel itself becomes more of a series of business trips and less of a lark.

    The two previous videos were great, but I look forward to the new video in which Matt’s jig takes a supporting role to the real subject, the connectedness of people. And I continue to observe with pleasure the journey of this admirable young man not only through the continents but more importantly through life, as he seeks (as we all do) to find his place in the world.

  12. Rich

    This comment log has gotten pretty wild. Sandy really doesn’t know much about you I’m guessing. Good for you for not letting a crabby Sandy… I mean Patty get you down. Good job saving the earth Sandy. We are not worthy.
    You’ve already brightened my day by telling Matt what a brat he is. That bastard is a real scourge on society…
    It sucks how a guy like that with rich parents can just flaunt his world travel in front of everyone!

  13. Rich

    BTW, if your going to blame Matt for all the evil in the world you should start with “Destroy all Humans”. :/ That must make you happy, huh Matt. :(

  14. Huh? what in the world was all that I just read in comments? I am sitting her so very very confused.

    Can’t wait for the new video!!!!

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