One of the walls of the box

A reader:  “Are you OK?  It’s been six days since you last blogged!”

Answer:  “Really?  That long?  Not much to say, I guess.  But thanks for the prompt.”

Which is not entirely true.  I always have something to say. But right now all that I would have to say is ranting.  And people don’t like that.  Even I don’t.

Rant #29:  Syria worries me.  But Harper worries me more.  Harper may commit Canada to a war in Syria.  And Harper may do that without even having a conversation about it in parliament.   Stephen (the) King may just rule us into a massive tar baby.  He is proroguing parliament again and consulting only back room boys.  Another horror novel.  Great!

Yeah, I know...’for evil to be done, good people only have to do nothing’.  From the Holocaust to Rwanda.  From our aboriginals to Wiebo Ludwig, we Canucks have a pretty good track record of doing nothing.  Canada is often evil in it’s absentia.

But sometimes, taking time for second thoughts is a good idea.  This may be one of those times.  I think it is.

And this rant is about exactly that.  This is mostly about reacting to unproven political claims.  And, worse, there seems to be an impatience to getting involved without waiting to have those claims substantiated by neutral UN investigators who are in the process of doing that job!  It just smells.  It stinks, really. Canada, the Johnny-come-lately of politics, is hot to trot!

Methinks something is in it for Harper.

And that is why I haven’t written.  That little rant above has little to do with living off the grid.

But this does:

We have guests of course.  Our current guest is an old friend.  Haven’t seen him for years.  We barely recognized each other at the ferry pick-up.  Two old guys staring at one another to be sure if the person was who we thought they were.

He’s a committed city guy.  Invested heavily there.  In every way.  But, as he is getting on too, starting to weary of the grind.  Wondering what comes next.  Looking around to see what others have done.  That was the main reason for this visit.  It is a reconnoiter for the soul.  His.  Friendship counts, of course, but more importantly, we had embarked on a bigger leap in retirement than most and were worth a visit for that reason alone.

His eyes bugged out!

Mind you, everyone’s eyes are bugged out the first day.  It is all so ‘different’ from urban living, the conversation often turns to what similarities there are.  “Sheesh, this is hardly wilderness living, is it?  I mean, you have a freezer, dry wall, milk for your tea and OMYGAWD! You even have a large flat screen to watch movies!  Holy!  I kinda expected bears and outhouses, ya know?”

“We got bears.”

Eyes bugging out, looking around the property quickly, “Where?  Where?”

“They come down in late fall to the local orchards.  Some of our neighbours have bears in the garden every year.”

“Do they come here?”

“No.  We don’t have an orchard.”

“Wow!  Geez, I really like the rocks, too.  Weird, eh?  And I really like your site.  Perched on big granite.  Cool.  Would it be safe in an earthquake?  And the view!  Geez, I really like the view.  Boats.  Eagles.  That’s pretty neat.  How long could you live out here without having to go to the store?”

And so it goes for awhile.  I enjoy it.  I like to describe our life out here.  I like to show people.  It’s always fun.  But I have to watch what I say.  I am a bit of a preacher by nature.  And now that I have discovered nature, I find myself preaching.  “Yeah.  You should consider chucking it all in and buying a splitting maul and moving out here.”

“Ohhhhhhhhhh……I dunno about that….ya know… Starbucks.  My life is back there, ya know?  I like my work.  And Peggy likes her routines, you know.  She’s got her life there, too.  And she doesn’t like bears.  Or the water.  I don’t think this is the kind of place for her.  She likes to shop.  We aren’t like you guys.  I don’t think we could do it.”

I used to argue that we are indeed like each other and that they could, in fact, do it but that was not the real discussion.  Not really.  Mostly they were here for perspective gathering.  We were visited to dispell the notion of going feral rather than to confirm it.  People come to see us and feel good but they feel even better going back home.  That is the role we play.  That is the way it is.

And we have come to accept that.  We are simply one of the boundaries from which one bounces back toward the middle.



7 thoughts on “One of the walls of the box

  1. It is easy to live in a city surrounded by beautiful distractions and pleasant interactions, as long as you understand the costs and consequences of dwelling there, as well as the price to be paid in the near future. It’s quite pleasant and convenient living in the apex of the hydrocarbon age. I think people are starting to get an inkling of a not quite so luxurious future, and maybe your friends wanted to see it up close.


    • His conversation was interesting. He’s a smart guy. But part of it was about the constant and insidious incursion into his privacy from having his car towed from in front of his house (he was a couple of feet too close to the corner where he has been parking for 26 years) to various bureaucratic hoops and paperwork for the simplest things. Standing in line at Strabucks while somebody ordered a ten-ingredient coffee and then paid by credit card and took forever. He was getting old enough to balk at the constraints that his ever-growing impatience was fighting against so that he would remain civilized and NOT tasered by an ever increasing security presence. Losing battle, methinks. I sympathized. But I did not empathize. I had left all that behind. And he can, too. And he is thinkng about it. It was a good visit.


      • On a similar topic, today some F-18 Hornets did a high speed, low altitude pass over the city while I was outside. It used to be with a thrill and pride to see them do that, for some reason now when I hear military jets, I look to see if they are carrying cluster munitions and are attacking a ground target. With military type police helicopters constantly patrolling overhead 24/7 and occasional fighter bomber flyby’s, living in the city is getting decidedly scarier. Maybe we’ll all end up being Palestinians.


      • Interesting….when we see fighter jets overhead our first thought is: Are they Canadians? And, if so, where are they going? No sense of pride. No sense of connection. Only wonder at the incredible insanity of it. Having said that, when we see the Coast Guard go by, we are proudful. They do a good job.


  2. One bright spot in this Syria thing…some ironist told Obama that the cure might be worse than the current dictator Bashar Hafez al-Assad. Seems there may be truth in old saw better the devil you know than the devils you do not. The Americans want to kick Syria apart without a clue as to what follows Bashar Hafez al-Assad. Appears Obama might be listening reasonable doubt.


    • al-Assad is an Alawhite or something….a member of a minority religion in a country 90% all something else. That kind of thing matters, it seems. He can gas them without losing sleep and they can shoot him without thinking it a bad thing. Tís the beauty of group-think. Them and us. But that sort of mindlessness is ours to enjoy as well. We tend to think of them-all as ‘them’ and us-all as ‘us’ and there is all sorts of hell to pay for that. The trouble is that we are all in this together.
      We should at least think it over before invading, I think.
      I have a theory. It is paranoid. It is crazy. Don’t quote me. But who benefits from this Syrian civil war? Who wants it to happen? Who might even go so far as to throw a little gas on both sides?
      I dunno…………I don’t believe most of the crap they tell us. This is just another mis-told story, I think. But, of course, I have no clue as to what the real story is. It is just that I have been lied to by government(s) so consistently for so long the only truth I have is that their version is a lie.
      Call me crazy.


      • The Syrians fought on the Golan Heights with Israel and I’m sure they will fight there again.
        The struggle in Syria has been continuing since the fall of the Ottoman Empire.
        Syria has become the site of a great powers proxy war.
        No one can predict the end game.


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