Let there be light!

I am reading a well written book.  Country Driving.  About China.  By Peter Hessler. Sal recommended it and said, “He is good. Seems to tell a great story but doesn’t insert himself into it too much at all.”

Which – for those of you still uninitiated into the world of fem-speak means: “Your blog is too self centered!”

Hmmmm….if minimizing my self is the definition of good writing, I am doomed.

Off the Grid is all about me.


I suppose I could write more about building, living and just experiencing living off the grid…in the forest….somewhat remote…..trees….birds…whales. But, like, without the subjective side, is there anything you don’t already know? Do people/readers really want more about building? Planning? Logistics? Do you need to read more about wildlife? Dirt?

Or is it the subjective experience of this kind of living that is of interest?

To be fair, I am not even that well equipped to write about that. Not anymore. Jump out of the frying pan and into the fire and it is not long before you have forgotten the frying pan. There is enough new stuff to keep you focused on that in which you are now immersed. So completely. Comparing one’s life to the other past one gets increasingly difficult the further in time you are into the new one. I have forgotten the cul de sac to a large extent and, even if I haven’t, the cul de sac has also moved on. My view of urban life is now ten years old. I am no longer hip.

Evidence of life passing me by is also painfully undeniable. I don’t even have a smart phone. I am spending very little time in front of a computer screen and all the new music on the radio sounds the same – bad. I guess it is true: The mountains are high and the emperor lives far away (Chinese saying). And I don’t work and contribute to the system. It all serves to keep me in the margins. Of everything.

Or does it? Maybe I am just seeing more……..?

I don’t care. Not very much. I should. Maybe. Sometimes the news will flip me out. I am getting increasingly exercised by the frequency of police-caused deaths, for instance. And our collective acceptance of that. There is something very wrong with that.

I do care about that.

And I am appalled at how insulated and isolated the average person seems to be from what is happening in the hinterlands. It is environmental annihilation on a grand scale in my mostly uninformed opinion. We are killing ourselves and doing it gladly and unconsciously. ‘What we don’t see can’t hurt us, eh?’

You should see Weibo’s War (a documentary that is so hard to watch that I could only see the first, easy half. The burial of his dead grandchild made me turn it off). Living remote isn’t enough to escape Big Brother it seems. Certainly not if you are near a gas and oil field. But living urban seems to make it easier. You know….out of sight…..?

Sounds Machiavellian cum Orwellian-Nazi to me.

I know, I know….this is verging on a rant. And I try not to do that. I am trying to keep it light. Hah ha. You know. People like light. And there is no doubt that I have more light in my life than anyone else I know. Especially now that Sal is back.

So……………..at 6:45 a.m. the barge showed up with my required lumber. That was fun. Soon I will be back being a contractor-guy, hammering and sawing. Bleeding. Breaking stuff. Making mistakes. You know? The ‘light stuff’. And it is fun. It is. Truly. And, while I am doing that, Sal will help and we’ll have fun. And tea. And we’ll stop to watch the whales go by. Throw a stick for the dogs. It will be good.

And somewhere in Canada some kid will be tasered to death. Some dark-skinned person shot nine times. Some vast area of the country will suffer an oil spill. A salmon run will be wiped out. A species will go extinct. And some nut-bar will slaughter a dozen people at a fast food restaurant. Politicians will continue to revel at the trough and the BIG lie will continue to get bigger.

And I will do light.

It is starting to feel as if there is something very wrong with that…………………………


6 thoughts on “Let there be light!

  1. Are you part of the ‘what’s the next stage’ generation wondering what will be the next source of meaning? A soon to be retired friend said the other day,
    “I’m looking for a part time job so that I’ll have some thing to do so that I’ll not be bored in retirement.” What’s next a personal retirement guide?
    I think you are very sensibly placed on that promontory with a jobs list in your hip pocket and as little or as much stimulation as you choose to experience.
    The chairman of the republican national committee Reince Priebus is stirring the pot by suggesting that news and entertainment are one. Lion kills deer or officer shoots to death a suspect. All nature shows have scenes of animals being killed and how many killings per news programmes?
    While many of us are infront of our media stream of choice wondering what’s next in life your meaning is in your hip pocket.


    • Well, true. I do have meaning. Most of the time. Today I schlepped lumber up the hill in the heat of the day til I almost dropped! There is no meaning there. But it felt right. Good exercise. So, I’ll call it the Zen of lifting heavy things. The sound of one heart bursting…..


    • You are very kind. But I have to hold back. Lying is so ubiquitos now that one could spend their whole life pointing and shouting at the liars. But here is a truism if ever there was one: whatever the name of the legislation, the opposite is true. The Environmental Protection Act? A list of rules to follow without fear of enforcement when polluting. Health Care? Health INDUSTRY is more accurate. Freedom of Information? Access to didacted black lines at great expense is the truth. And so it goes.
      Most thinking people know that. I Just get frustrated is all.


  2. I have come to believe that the meaning of life is learning. NOT canned education but real, in-the-field, interesting, dynamic, exciting, put-it-use learning. And learning-from-doing is the best. Like sex. All the guidance teachers on the planet can’t teach that! Ya gotta do it to know it. And that is the same for life, I think. Stop learning and you may as well chuck it. And, honest-to-God, I think Priebus is right on. You learn as much from the news as you do from a Bruce Willis movie. Infotainment. If you are passively learning, ya ain’t learnin’ nuthin’.
    My friend, BB is a great example….he reads about a new invention and the next thing you know, he is building one! Airplanes, 3-D printers..whatever…………have box o’tools and he is on it! And I think he is right!
    Well, that is what I think but I am still learning…………..


    • “Like sex!” With practice till perfect. But there is still something to be said for the hammer on the thumb or the hand on the stove as promoting learning as directly as possible. And maybe that’s why we keep electing wing nuts that end up screwing us. Once we are totally screwed over as a society perhaps we will learn to elect some one who will do more than hump us. If society keeps doing the same thing the results will probably to the same


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