Basically a blog is a journal and, in an extended form, a kind of memoir. Or partial memoir at the very least. What started out for me as an exercise in writing discipline a few years ago has morphed somewhat into an ongoing journal of my last few years.
As if that was interesting to anyone…………..
But it was interesting to me, of course. Me, me, me. Having admitted to the narcissism, I still truly believe the life I was living off-the-grid was sufficiently interesting and different to others that I could commit to sharing it…especially if my writing improved enough to convey it. That was the theory anyway.
And, to some extent, I was right. People love Orcas and Ravens. And women-people seemed quite intrigued at Sally’s increasing wilderness-living skills. They relate to Sal. “Cougar-Sally, you go, girl!” (Or something like that.). Men readers are interested in the lifestyle but more in a vicarious way. Like arm-chair lumberjacks and carpenters. They relate to a lot of it even if they don’t particularly relate to me.
I, on the other hand, am more committed to telling it as it is.
And thus the long introduction for this entry.
And here is how it is right now: We are in the city and it just isn’t as interesting. Sorry. I have been trying to ‘see it’ through new eyes but I can’t. Old is old. The city is dull for me now. Of course, there are some things that I find interesting enough to write about – although I confess that most of those things are inclined to the negative (and I apologize for that) and a few things, of course, are pretty neat (mostly meeting new people) but, by and large, the city has come to mean driving the car, lining up, working-for-a-buck and shopping. And TV or a restaurant is the reward.
It is not enough. Not by a long shot. I can’t really explain how much richer living off the grid is. I can say this: there is a similarity in description difficulty with sex. Pictures, pornographic movies, talking about it….nothing compares to the real thing. And so it is with living off the grid. The words and pictures just don’t convey the reality.
I also have no real explanation as for why hammering and sawing and digging and doing it all for yourself and at your own pace in a beautiful setting with wildlife breaking into the work-space now and then is so special. But it is.
Part of the answer to that question is rage reduction. I know that sounds silly but both Sally and I are finding that we are on the verge of getting angry so much more while living in the city. Bad driving, stupid store clerks, delays, urban confusion, sensory assault, wastes of time, advertising everywhere and the in-your-face presence of the BIG LIE is aggravating us. We are just not in our happy place. Worse, I see very few others in their happy place, either.
The people are ready and willing. They want to be ‘nice/happy/content/relaxed/slower paced’. But they can’t. They are usually pretty busy, they can barely focus on the task at hand and they seem to have a cold urban social veneer so that they can cope. A little conversation, a few jokes and a human ‘tone’ goes a long way and quickly to ‘flipping them’ back into ‘real people’ and we have enjoyed a lot of new connections as a result. But the initial response is almost always mechanical. It is often like dealing with a phone tree. “Just press three and let me get on with my day, please sir. No jokes. We are urbanites here and my smartphone is ringing!”
“Dave, what is your point?”
I don’t think I made it very well but here it is: our days here are a blur. Little stands out as memorable. This is NOT the stuff of memories. But I do remember living in the forest. I remember the smells, the breeze, the birds and the sounds of the wild. That, it seems, is the stuff of memories and, like all good memories, I long to return.
Like you gallery…excellent addition to your blog.
I like your new gallery too.. When are you going home? We find it difficult to be off island for more than a couple of days.. its seems you have been gone a long time… Time to get back to your happy place!!!
I know you have been busy, and probably need a ‘feets up’, but 7 days is a long time without, and you may lose some readers?
Based on the reviews, I am very much anticipating purchasing and reading your book.
Does this blog post mean you gave it all up and also moved back into the brain addling city?
Hoping not, for your sake.
Would it perhaps still be possible to live out of the city, even if not OTG?
If, as you mention, there may be a need for rage reduction, this is just a suggestion: You may want to consider suppressing your smart meter with an industry grade sine tamer in your circuit box and a Faraday cage on the meter, which is essentially a cell tower on the home – We got a Sine Tamer to neutralize inverter pulses. It’s is a sine wave tracking frequency attenuator that stops the pulses and surges from coupling to the electrical wires in the home and causing all kinds of attendant harm, raising the cost of energy,and assuring invasion of privacy –
Going hard wired and not living near any cell towers is one’s best choice to reduce health harm and aim for survival.
From a OTG-er who defected from the grid in my 70s while already living in a rural setting, done rather than accept a smart meter, (as warned about by Edward Snowden)
No, no, no. Good Gawd, y’all! We are here. In the forest. Wilding and savoring the time. Virtually ALL the time.
This post was back in 2014. We went to help a friend and stayed the winter (3 months) in the city. And so I wrote about it. But all I culd wrote about mostly was ‘whinging’ and no one wants to read that.
Thanks for reading but know this: we are back where we belong. Happy. Putting in the winter’s wood right now.
Thanks. Truly appreciate your reply, I had misunderstood.
To me there is NO going back.
We keep a giant log pile handy. Cut and stack, usually three to four years ahead. Solar runs the low watt electric splitter to save the ageing back.
A touch of “terminal”stage three cancer 7 years ago led to a complete change of all diet habits. That worked, much to the disbelief of the oncologist.
Adaptability and willingness to change seems to be the lynchpin for more than one kind of survival.
Next step was a radical change of energy habits, which made a minimalist solar system affordable. Being a natural born iconoclast doesn’t hurt either. Better half is a wilderness guy, can do without most things, far more than I can, but we are happy, comfortable, while not totally Whole Earth Cataloguing it.
We sound like we are walking the same path. Sal and I won’t go back. The only difference I hear is that ol’ Sal is more inclined to the wilderness minimalism than me. I am a softy. She’s a tough cookie. And fearless. A real lumberJill. Get the book from the library. Cheaper. And you’ll see….ol’ Sal is to the wilderness born. And, here’s the amazing part: she never expected any of it. This world was a complete surprise. Watch the you-tube. All true.
Forget what I said, just found your more recent blog posts, glad to see you are still out there OTG