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.