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February 25, 2017: Here and There

When I say that I’m living a semi-monastic lifestyle, I am not kidding – this becomes most apparent to me when I go places where others are living a non-monastic lifestyle.

I then note the difference. I live in an area that is semi-residential, it’s quiet, wooded, there is a considerable distance between properties. Here, we are off the grid and have some, but not all the amenities, we don’t have a refrigerator that spits out ice and water. We don’t have a large screen television, a dishwasher, nor do I have a hair dryer. We don’t have a traditional electrical source – but we do have funky plumbing.

I might have these things and still lead a semi-monastic lifestyle. And this would be just fine. Conventional electricity comes in, and this might come to be. I don’t think that the definition of semi-monastic lifestyle includes material deprivation, but my lifestyle does, though limitedly.

My lifestyle, freed of encumbrances, does allow for time to write, create, and think about things. I would not ever want to give this up – if I did my life would have no meaning. This is what gives it meaning.

I’m doing my Bones for Life teacher certification training this weekend. I was fortunate in that one of the other students said I could stay at her place. Otherwise, I would have had to stay at a motel. It’s Fur Rondy weekend, so the area motels are booked.

I glance up out the living room window, see a cluster of houses. All are part of a quasi-cul de sac. They’re two story, mostly painted beige. The roofs are laden with snow – this has been a heavy snow year. This area has hundreds of these houses. The absence of trees makes it seem like a residential wasteland. There are numerous trucks and some cars in the driveway, road, and I suspect, garages. Gotta be able to get around.

Many want to live in Alaska and live the great north lifestyle. But some must pay the price, and the price in this instance is being able to see what your very close neighbor is doing.

Down go the trees and up go the houses. In and out of the houses go the people – there is no collective spirit here.

In time, my neighborhood will be this way. I see it happening over on Ridge Runner circle; the demarcation line – the area has power – a major draw, and is close to state land, another draw.

The trick is going to be finding ways of developing inner peace. This is going to be difficult because one’s internal and external lives are inextricably linked. But it is, I think, possible to prepare for this.

I got to thinking about all this last night, watched the movie Castaway on the big screen. Plot – man works for Federal Express, is in a plane crash. Ends up on a deserted island. Acquires a few possessions, Fed Ex packages that wash up on the beach. Includes a pair of skates, VHS tapes, the shoes of a fellow passenger who died in a plane crash. A volley ball he names Wilson.

The main character does not embrace the monastic or semi-monastic lifestyle. He can’t. He needs people. But he does come to realize what means the most to him, his woman. So perhaps there is, as those who are forced into such positions, certain realizations. He could not accept his situation, so he built a raft and fled the island. Semi-monastic to no monastic.

Odd, to watch this movie in a home where the inhabitants have so much. Perhaps the less we have, the more we have.

Next; 57. 2/27/17: There and Here

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