Admire me, admire my home
Admire my son, admire my clones
‘Cause we know, appetite for a nightly feast
Those ignorant Indians got nothin’ on me
Because… it’s evolution, baby!
I am ahead, I am advanced
I am the first mammal to make plans, yeah
I crawled the earth, but now I’m higher
2010, watch it go to fire
It’s evolution, baby
Do the evolution
Come on, come on, come on
Pearl Jam, Do the Evolution
When I had envisioned leaving that life, moving away from that environment, changing my purpose… the vision always included a small, inexpensive house, an unassuming lifestyle, and an effort to reconnect with myself and those that I loved, current and past.
What I actually ended up with was large, beautiful home, on a large lot, in a beautiful neighborhood populated by college professors and administrators. I can’t say that I hate it. In fact, I do love it. But it failed to get me to the place I was seeking. Unfortunately, I still didn’t really know what I was seeking, I was mostly groping for something just out of site.
Three months after the move, my honey brought home a book and suggested I read it. That book was Ishmael by Daniel Quinn and in its pages, and the pages of its sequels, I began to glimpse that elusive something that I had been groping toward. It appealed to me in the first place by answering the single biggest intellectual question that I had been pondering for more than two decades. The question of How did we get here? Why is our world so broken and what can we do to try and fix it?
Within the answer to that question was the thing I had been seeking. The thing I had once had and lost. Community. The environment of my high school years: a group of people that one could depend on utterly, without having to compromise one’s self. Being with people that really understand one another and love them not in spite of that, but because of it. Being able to ‘just be’ without worrying over, or really even giving thought to, the consequences.
For a time, we discussed the ideas of these books endlessly and passionately. What could we do in our life to embrace the possibilities. But once again, practical concerns stayed our hands. We had just uprooted our kid and the experience was very difficult for him. We had no intention of doing the same thing again, so we made a pact with him to stick it out where we are until he completes school (or decides that traditional schooling holds no further value to him.)
Since then I have thrown myself intellectually and emotionally into developing relationships with other people inspired by the book: first on line, then by ‘Conference’ and now by informal get together. The people I have found in this have given endless comfort to the parts of my soul that know I am still being untrue to in my day to day life. It’s a pressure release valve, keeping my sane and focused on finding ways to alleviate the falseness that I am unable to completely avoid. And to a small degree I have that community once more where I can just be.
Unfortunately, it is a community that is largely virtual. A group of people spread all across a continent, ‘speaking’ daily, but personally engaging only a few times a year. It is better than nothing, but it is still nothing like the goal.
Meanwhile, my honey has soured on many of the ideas. No. That’s not the way to put it. He is quite inspired by some of the practical applications: self sufficiency and alternative energy, and ecological gardening and so forth. But the one thing he really wants no part of is the one thing that I find to be crucial.
So where does this leave me?
In a continuing cycle of accepting my life for what it is, railing against the fates that I can not seem to get where I want to be, fear, anxiety, dejection, hope, apathy. But now I think I understand why, and in understanding perhaps I will soon be able to cross that invisible boundary between understanding myself and trusting myself so that I may finally step back onto the path that I had always intended to follow.