It’s NOT about OTG

Just had an epiphany last night:  I am not really writing about living off the grid.  I am writing essentially about being free.

Or trying to, anyway.

Of course, I am using the ‘vehicle’ of being off the grid (and it lends itself nicely) but, the more I think about it, the more the real underlying message is to describe living free of the systems, rules, obligations and agendas of others – most of whom are parasitic in their involvement in your life.

Honestly, I originally thought it was all about building, first-aid and ravens…. 

I am NOT talking about dependent family and friends (altho some, I suppose, could be a bit too too much of a load now and then…) but rather the daily intrusion of unrelated others that are a drain on your energies rather than a source of renewal or replenishment.  And I suppose I started it all (this blog) because of my experience of the forest and the ocean as just that – a refreshment, a stimulant and a way of recharging depleted batteries.

Modern life just doesn’t didn’t do that for us.  Not for me, anyway.  I worked and I got money in return.  But money does not refresh the soul or invigorate the senses. Money does not provide renewal except in material things.  Money seemed to merely prolong life rather than promote the fully living of it.  Modern-world working for money can and does eventually just drain the life out of you.

Maybe that’s why I have such a problem with the concept of money.  I have a sense of it is a major part of the BIG LIE….. but I digress…..

Working to live in the forest and making an effort to sustain yourself doesn’t empty you.  It does not erode your will to live like a job in the city does. It’s entirely different out here.  It re-fills you. This kind of work invigorates, energizes and rewards – in the moment, at the end of the day and, somehow, constantly and overall.  I found (admittedly AFTER the house was mostly built) that I just felt better.

I didn’t recognize that at first because mostly my life had been about spending my energies to gain money so that I could go back to work and spend more energy. There seemed to be no well to go to for a sense of renewal or energizing.

I have Trev (comment on a blog past) to thank for this minor epiphany.  It was he who invited more philosophy.  So, I started thinking.  Blame him for this self indulgent blog entry.  But it is so obvious now.  It’s not about chopping wood.  It’s about living as I choose to live. Doing what I choose to do. Being with who I want to be with and, best of all, being who I want to be.  It’s about freedom.

“Dave, you truly free?”

Course not.  It’s hard to be truly free in a complicated world.  I acknowledge that fully. But I am free-er.  I am definitely free of most of what constrained me before. In fact, I am so much more free now, I cannot even remember all those previous constraints because I never had the freedom or the time to look at them.  I was simply enveloped in it all – work, appointments, obligations, duties, bills, relationships….the list was endless. And NOT always rewarding.  Worse, it was habit forming.  Once one duty was done, I habitually looked for another.  That is a form of modern-day madness from this point of view.

But not now.  My canvas is mostly white these days still awaiting the colours I may or may not choose to put on it.  I may even leave it blank.  Living now is almost entirely my own choice. That is quite a statement, when you think about it.   I have more freedom and I have more choice. I feel ‘lighter’.

Mind you, I have lost a few pounds……..

7 thoughts on “It’s NOT about OTG

    • Ironic that I had to ‘get out’ first so as to be able to ‘see in’, though. Don’t you think? And, to be fair, I think there really is a difference – the forest really is healthier than the city. That part is NOT just an internal thing. That part is 100% place and time. My new environment is just better. Way better.


  1. So true, you do live in a more healthful environment. People need novelty and day to day living where you are the go to guy supplies plenty of that. Making do can be very rewarding.


  2. Work was hard, but I found value in helping children learn and succeed. First directly as a teacher and then as an administrator helping teacher make a difference in children’s lives. I did work in the inner city, so maybe that helped increase my sense of value in what I did. I do feel freer now that I am retired. Of course there are fewer deadlines (I still do a bit of grant writing) and very little pressure. But as I consider where I feel the most free, it’s up at the cabin. When I go to town I feel like there is so much to do and so little time. At the cabin each day has chores and activities, but much less pressure (unless the woodpile runs low). – Margy


    • Me, too. OTG I am busy but feel no pressure. AND I feel alive. No pressure in the city felt like a flat tire. No pressure out here feels like a blank canvas. Easy to explain to you, Margy. But you and Wayne stepped out, too


    • Well, you are an inspiration for that. Honestly. Mind you, freedom can and does make me harder to get along with. At times, anyway, but not always. Now and then, I more easily say No and just walk away. And I do. Freedom, in this sense is the freedom to say NO. Who knew?


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