First things first: I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season! The snolfs and I continue to enjoy our quasi-Scandinavian winter solstice celebrations... even though this year’s festivities were a bit more subdued than in years past, largely because I was still busy with massage-related work.
And I (for the most part) did better than I expected to. Of course, there were some important nonacademic things learned along the way as well...
Not that I’m counting (but I totally am counting!)...
Well, not really gestating. One could say (I obviously do) that I’m gestating in a metaphorical sense.
Well. I have had a challenging three months. And things will continue intensifying through the beginning of June. Read on only if you can stomach my self-absorption...
Not just food treats, either. It’s proving to be more of a challenge than I anticipated.
The local food movement has been big out here long before it really became a thing—which shouldn’t be surprising, since this region has a lot of agriculture and a fairly long growing season (and a lot of hippie types of all ages). Newly ensconced in one of the oldest sections of town one year ago this month, we were very happy to see that several homeowners nearby had converted their boring lawns into prime gardening spaces. A few have really invested in their urban gardening, constructing attractive raised beds and filling the area around them with warmth-hoarding rock.
And I have a mission for 2013.
I don’t recall if I’ve mentioned it here previously, but two years ago the snolfs and I started celebrating the winter solstice. Since I’m not a Christian, it seemed silly to celebrate Christmas, and to me personally New Year’s Eve is nothing special, since it’s simply a marker of time on one of many arbitrary calendars. I turned to my Scandinavian heritage and—not surprisingly at all—discovered that the winter solstice was a very important occasion for my ancestors. That made the decision to celebrate it very easy; but it hasn’t been until this year that we’ve been fully free to create our own celebration.
Yow. Another large block of time away from here—completely unintended, yet utterly unavoidable.
I should have known that years of hearing “I pay the bills, so what I want goes” would have some effect on the snolfs and me—and perhaps I did, but only now that I’ve been clear of that environment can I fully appreciate the effect it had on us.
And I am long overdue in acknowledging three stalwart gentlemen whose shoulders have helped carry me further than my grownup self sometimes thought I could go.
Long past time, actually, but all who venture here know that. All who’ve ventured here over the years also know that the drumbeat I’ve marched to most consistently has been that of personal liberty, as contrasted to economic and political freedom, although as I recently observed, they cannot always be neatly categorized.
When I first got online and began exploring pro-freedom sites, I was very fortunate—I somehow came across Greg Swann. His ideas and the words he chose to convey them were oxygen to a sputtering spark inside me. If I have helped anyone understand the importance of individual liberty, if my words have helped bring eudaimonia to another’s way of being, then he deserves credit as well.
Today—not at all coincidentally—Greg has released a new book, Man Alive! It is short, it is available in its entirety at that link, and it is another heady hit of oxygen.
I have much more to say about the book and how it has affected me already, but that can all wait. For now, I want to thank Greg for—yet again—creating and sharing something that has resonated with the very fiber of my being... and again, at an enormously critical juncture for me.
Please, go read Man Alive! It truly is that important. I welcome any comments, questions, and/or observations you care to make in response.
Not unexpectedly, reverberations from my new circumstances are making themselves known. However, some of the impulses I’ve had are a bit surprising to me ... and I’m not sure how much weight to give them. As one of the major areas of uncertainty centers on this place, I thought it wise to share some of my thoughts with the three visitors who’ve hung on here.
I find it extremely interesting that two of my dearest friends—neither of whom are going through an upheaval similar to mine—recently wrote me, musing about the intricacies of the different types of freedom. In reading their words, I realized that a choice I made a few years ago has created challenges for me today.