Sunday, January 08, 2006

Thoughts to ponder from Thoreau

from Walden, Chapter 2;

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential

facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to

die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so

dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to

live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to

put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into

a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to

get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or

if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in

my next excursion. For most men, it appears to me, are in a strange uncertainty

about it, whether it is of the devil or of God, and have somewhat hastily concluded

that it is the chief end of man here to "glorify God and enjoy him forever."

It seems to me that the times in my life when I have really lived, and really felt connected and at peace have been the most simple; backpacking in Yellowstone National Park on my days off from working in a restaurant in the park; living in my (spartan) cabin in the Absaroka mountains of Montana(where there was no plumbing and I had to walk 100 feet to the shower/potty building); backpacking in the Blue Ridge mountains on a part of the Appalachian trail.

With much recent reflection, I am realizing that the more contrived my environment is, the more artificial and removed from nature it is, and the more unhappy and fragmented I feel.

Cement, processed/manmade foods, air conditioning and electric heat, a completely automobile-dependant commuter infrastructure (cannot get anywhere by walking), Urban Sprawl, pavement and cars and exhaust fumes, industrial air pollution, shopping malls galore, tinted glass, clothing that is totally not purposeful for using one's body in or moving freely in made out of artificial fibres which are biproducts from the petrol industry, makeup, dyed/bleached/permed hair, and everywhere you turn the message is "buy ____, buy____," or else how could you possibly be happy???! What else is there to do?

I need to sit down with Dervish and make a plan to get rurual, or at least in a more person-friendly/pedestrain-friendly environment in the near future. I can deal with living in this environment, but I can't change the fact that this is the way it is!

Definitely a harsh aspect of living here that I am really not dealing with well. Got to get out to Dahl-al-Hammam park daily and walk, at least there is green grass and vegetation!

I miss living in Clearwater and walking my son to school every morning...being able to walk to the library, to downtown and let them chase the birds while Dervish and I could sit and drink a Latte, then walk them home. I miss the Pinellas Trail. Walking with my daughter to the pier on the intercoastal waterway after we had dropped my son off at school, and just watching the men catch fish. Seeing the thunderstorms roll in from the Gulf of Mexico. I miss Crabby Bill's oysters on the half shell, and fresh boiled shrimp for $8.00/pound. Oh, I can smell the saltwater seabreeze now. Clearwater always has a seabreeze.


madcapmum said...

I know what you mean about being unable to sink roots into concrete. Even here, which most folks consider pretty rural, I find there's way too much development and noise, and far too little dirt.

So, maybe you'd consider moving to Canada? It's more accepting of other cultures than the US, and southern Alberta's a lot like Montana. You could even have an outhouse if you're in the boonies!

I was pretty impressed with what you're doing with your container gardening, btw. Makes me yearn for spring and some light.

Rockin' Hejabi said...

Light? You mean it's dark there a lot? Wah!

We are in the thinking stages right now. Yes, Canada is a big contender, along with New Zealand or somewhere in Europe.

Qatar Cat said...

That was a beautiful post... your blog is always a delight to read.

Eid Mubarak!


Rockin' Hejabi said...

Oh Madcap, btw the toilet/shower building was just that, and modern too, not an oldfashioned outhouse.

Apparently the cabins we were all living in had been moved there and it was easier for them to make running water etc. in one central location than to run it to each individual cabin.

madcapmum said...

Is it dark? You're making me giggle. It's quarter to eight in the morning as I write, and it's pitch black. The sun will come up about 8:30 a.m. It's black again by 5 p.m.

HOWEVER, in the summer solstice, the sun doesn't go down until 10 p.m., and is back up around 4 a.m.

Feast or famine. It gets a little more equitable if you're further south, but not a great deal different. Still, I think we're a pretty nice place to be, all things considered, especially if you're willing to coddle your plants a bit at the beginning and end of the growing season. I'm beginning to get myself psyched up for that now.