Monday, November 28, 2011


Canyon country under Mesa Arch

Funny thing, how I now have all my stuff back, and how little most of it means to me. Sure, I have a ton more clothes, but most of them just sit in the dresser. Sure, I'm reading some books I had bought and not read yet, or simply missed. Actually, that is one mistake I've made-- I dug out my Everett Ruess books (A Vagabond for Beauty, and The Wilderness Journals), and now I gots the itchy feet again.

I thought that by reading this stuff, I'd satiate the urge vicariously, but it's having the opposite effect. I mean, I've been feeling dissatisfaction about Florida since I got here, but now it's taking shape into a real urge to wander again. I know one thing, that for a man who loves mountains, I'm in the wrong state, boy. And what I really miss is the desert and canyons, the Colorado Plateau of Utah and Arizona where Ruess did much of his journeying. Red rock country. I also came across this quote, which reminded me how much I hate the unspeakably boring flatness of Florida:

From there we pushed on faster because the passage over the blackened plain was easy. By eleven o'clock the highest of the hills rose above the blue of distance, and between us and them lay a bush of shimmering peacock leaves. After so many weeks in flat land and level swamp, the sudden lift of the remote hills produced an immediate emotion and one experienced forthwith that urge to devotion that once made hills and mountains sacred to men, who then believed that wherever the earth soared upward to meet the sky, one was in the presence of an act of spirit as much as a feature of geology... -The Lost World of the Kalahari, p194

And all this talk about simplicity isn't helping. There's nothing simpler and more true to my heart than living out, hiking around in beautiful natural areas, with thoughts only of where I'll sleep tonight, where's water, and how much food is left. All else is taken care of, or dispensed with. There's no daily grind of work. Remodelling homes isn't bad, as jobs go, but so much of it seems futile. Sometimes, for example, I'm amazed at just how much time goes into dicking around with outlet and switch-plate covers. Details that people require in their home that I just can't fathom. Why does the screw slot in the outlet cover have to be perfectly vertical? It's so meaningless, and is a waste of time for all involved. I mean, we do a lot of more important stuff too, but that one always irritates me. The fucks should just be glad they have electricity and leave me the hell alone. No, I'm not bitter.

Zion Canyon
In all seriousness, though, I just can't see why I need to waste my life at work if it doesn't make me happy doing it and don't have a family to support. No joy, no obligation... I figure it'd be better to walk away from it. I've always felt that as long as I can keep myself fed and clothed, there's no worries; and its remarkable how easy it is to achieve that. Earning the necessities of life isn't terribly difficult, at least when you're living like a vagabond. And homeless poverty isn't a huge deterrent to me, per se, so long as I can do it away from the cities, which make one feel poor rather than free and easy. I can earn my meals, or live a bit off the land, even, and stick to the backcountry, much like Everett did for his short life. I always wanted to know more about wild edibles, and I already know how to fish. I can learn trapping and hunting, and dipping into the money economy when I need to is alright by me. I just don't want to be a slave to it.

Alright, I'm being a bit extreme, for effect. Maybe I don't want to do this forever, since I do want to have a little farm someday, but I think it's going to be a while before I get this restlessness out of me for good. I've certainly seemed to decide against a career, thus far, though the thought of returning to school still bounces around in my head from time to time. Right now, I'm starting to consider a move to Santa Fe, Durango... or maybe Moab, which I always liked. Not gonna make any decision now, but I mean to return to canyon country sooner or later.


  1. I have a friend who foreclosed on a condo some months back and has most of her "stuff" in storage. Personally I miss some of her artwork when I'm in her home, but I also envy a certain simplicity, stripped to basics, she is living right now. My own home is becoming a little cluttered -- well, a lot-- but I neverseem to find time to clear it out; layers on layers, and oddly I know where everything is.

    I think I like Hawaii because it has so many ecosustems and geological variety; mountains and sea; desert and rain forest all within sight of each other. I detested Florida except for Cedar Key, up on the Gulf Coast and the nearby Suwanee Wildlife Refuge and Shell Mound. That I liked.

    Perfectly vertical screw slots in the outlet plates...hilarious!!! Some people need to get a life.