How many years can a mountain exist
Before it’s washed to the sea?
Yes, ‘n’ how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free?
Yes, ‘n’ how many times can a man turn his head,
Pretending he just doesn’t see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind,
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.
Bob Dylan, Blowin’ in the Wind
Life has been weird lately. In so many ways that I am really not ready to talk about yet. But there is a key to it all – a growing sense of impatience in me. A need to do something. A need to stop talking, planning, imagining and dreaming. Impatience.
Now, I know myself well enough to recognize a few things here. I’ve got this big project I am trying to finish for work – but I am terrible at finishing things, so when better for me to jump ship and decide to do something else instead? But that is not an option, so I just need to buck up and get it done. I also have been doing a lot of introspection, trying to figure out exactly where I want to be in life, and I often find it easier to throw myself into a situation and trust my instincts to lead me well, than to make an intentional choice from the get-go. There’s also the whole family conflict, holiday angst and general stress I am experiencing right now. So it’s no wonder I feel ancy.
But I’m not convinced that this is the whole story.
How much of our life do we spend doing the safe thing, the easy thing, the expected thing? How difficult is it to zag when everyone around expects us to zig? How much courage does it take?
Can we afford to not act when the courage is there?
I am sitting here today, my body literally tingling deep into my bones with this overstated sense of anticipation. I don’t want it, I just need it – to feel, to breathe to know I’m alive…
I want to sell my house. I love my house – don’t get me wrong – but I can’t do the things that I need to do, here. And so it is an anchor, weighting me down and restricting my movement. Requiring me – and moreso, my honey – to do things that we really don’t want to do. Things involving stupid jobs – unfulfilling, dead wastes of time. (At the same time, I see that it is an opportunity: a chance to experiment with permaculture techniques and ideas before I have to depend on successful results.)
I want to find and buy property – property that will allow me to do what I need to do. Even if we cannot live there yet (some obligations I cannot abandon) – we could still start to prepare it for when we could. After all, trees don’t grow in a day, or a year, and trees are only the beginning. As we started to build the physical aspects of our property, we could also begin to grow the intangible components of our community. After all, we would suddenly have a nexis around which all of the rest could begin to form.
At the same time, it is still terrifying. If we did this, I would be locked in. That would be that, there would be no more opportunities to reconsider. This would be my life.
Maybe that’s what the tingling is: the conflicting desires of wanting to be in movement and not wanting to pick my destination. Process, not Act. As I said before: I prefer to throw myself to the wind and see where it takes me, trusting in the the gods that I will end up right where I am supposed to be.
(Originally Published November 29, 2006)