Answering Some Questions

Judging from the mail I get it seems that readers are about as interested in my lifestyle as what I have to say.

These writers appear to envy my being able to drop out of the rat race...

...find myself a simple trailer (with an ocean view)...

..a cat (lots of comments about the cat)...

...and distance myself from it all.

I'd like to say I planned it.

Fact is, economic realities sort of forced the issue.

Then again, be careful what you pray for...

...or do a lot of thinking about.

I'd been fantasizing about this lifestyle for years

...especially on Monday mornings....

...after all those nights and weekends when I had to work...

...and whenever a boss would come up with a harebrained idea for increasing circulation.

I remember his goal of mentioning each subscriber's name in a story at least once a year. (Sure, boss, if you can get everyone of them to kill or maim someone every year.)

But, I digress.

The first couple weeks of this lifestyle went pretty well.

The next six months didn't.

Since then it's definitely had it's ups and downs.

After the initial novelty wore off, I started getting lonely.

Found myself driving to town every other day, buying coffee and a chocolate chip cookie in the mall...

...and sitting around for a couple hours watching people.

That got old.

Then I got into the few books I kept when I simplified, prioritized and eliminated."

Some books I read; most I tossed aside after a while.

Then I dusted off the Mac, got myself an Internet connection, and suddenly I was in contact with the world again.

In a strange way I'm now more in contact with things than I ever was...even way out here on this seaside sand dune.

Except there's a big difference.

Now mouse clicks determine what I want to know about and what I want to keep out.

Most of it I keep out.

Would I stay with this lifestyle if I could do something else?

A good question; one that given my income I'll never have to answer.

For sure, this lifestyle isn't for everyone.

...a nice place to visit, but....

Fact is, I've always been a bit of a loner submerged in a sea of people that, professionally, I had to contend with.

Now, there's pretty much no one around.

Yes, there's my old cat...

...but there's something else...

...something that took me quite a few months to discover...way out here by the ocean...

...generally very early in the morning or late at night...when things were really quiet.

A sort of Pervasive Presence...

...that, if I really quiet my mind, reminds me that I'm not alone.

Never have been; never will be...

A Something that, totally without judgment, or reservation, is one with everything.

Just watching; not interfering.

No, it's not God, at least not the god I learned about in Sunday school or church.

Nothing like it.

It goes far beyond the limited vengeful, guilt-bestowing concept of god I learned about back then...

...a god that I'm now convinced we created in our own image...

...incorporating our own jealousies and need to be adored.

I've also come to realize something else...

...that, ultimately...

...when you really get down to it...

...life's perceived problems are pretty much based on the way we view things...

...respond to things...

...and that's based mostly on whether these things meet our expectations...

...expectations based on our ever-changing, "through-the-glass-darkly" understanding.

"But the world's a mess," you say.

Okay, but maybe if we feel a need to change things...

... we'd be better off concentrating on ourselves.

It seems that when you change yourself a kind of reality shift takes place...

...and you begin to see changes in things...

...that you didn't think you had any control over...

...but you actually do.