There is danger in doing nothing.
As glad as I am to have some free time, I am never so much a danger to my own well being as when my mind is idle. And on a day when it is merely pouring rain, as opposed to the upcoming six months of sometimes crippling winter Maine is notorious for, this fact should worry me a great deal as I strongly consider this place as a potential new home. But it doesn’t. What’s worrying me now is that my programming is beginning to kick in again. My mind is starting to tell me stories about being practical and safe. It is telling me that there is no greater hubris than to want your life to be extraordinary, at least in the sense that it resembles what you want and who you are and doesn’t conform to collectively decided upon ideals of what success means.
But maybe the reason we so often fall into the trap of idealized goals is that they are predefined for us, and we as a species are profoundly uncomfortable with the unknown and undefined. We are so uncomfortable with unanswered questions that some of us have invented outlandish stories to explain (and apologize for) our existence and many of us have gone along with these notions for fear of being wrong when we reach the state of the ultimate unknown at the end of it all. Or maybe we don’t really believe, but find it easier to go along with what the majority says, in any case, than to examine things for ourselves and formulate our own ideas about what the hell the point of all this might be.
But I think there is no single point. I think that the minute we stop questioning and changing and growing, whatever that looks like, we are as good as dead. It’s the primary reason I am not convinced of anything better than the here and now. Some great reward does not exist for me. Seeing the good and beauty and hope in every day is my reward for having evolved this far. And still, the hardest lesson I have to keep working away on for my own education is the lesson of latitude. Giving myself the permission and time and space to take each day as it comes; to put one foot in front of the other and see where the road goes rather than trying to make myself end up somewhere.
Somewhere and someday are elusive and illusory. Here and now are the only tangible, given things we have. All else is furtive and figment. The end game is today. So it’s better to do what I can today and not start stressing about getting some chickenshit job or settling when and where I am not necessarily sure I want to settle.
This past year, we’ve run the gamut of ideas about what home looks like for us. We’ve researched becoming expats in sundry locations. In an effort to give our own country the benefit of the doubt, we’ve now traveled through and spent some time in 9 different states and will have done the same in about 20 more by the time this journey is done. I’ve just taken the Find Your Spot quiz for the umpteenth time and, some random spots in oh-hell-no Arkansas aside, it has given me a very nice list of places in the Pacific Northwest and in northeastern United States to mull over in terms of how much and what form of precipitation I want to deal with for how much of the year. And, when I think about it now, what we’re really looking at in a new place to live is the most essential element of life. The desert, while beautiful in its way and terribly convenient to navigate most of the time, no longer feels like a natural or responsible place to live. Most of what grows there does so by force and with water that comes from somewhere else. And so I must seek to find a place where I and my veggies will receive both enough sun and water so as not to wilt and wither.
Add to the above requirements the need to have means of exercising the body and mind, the need to nurture and feed the soul and self, and, you know, basic shit like having good beer somewhat handily available, and you can see why the question of Where (one among many W’s and at least one H) becomes a daunting one indeed. Most people move for work or family or both. We are concerned with naught but that we are together, can grow food, and are near to naturally occurring water and more trees than concrete. The rest, I think, will sort itself out. But maybe I am oversimplifying. Or over complicating. I can never tell. 🙂