Thursday, June 20, 2013

Throwback - Early Cabin Reflections

So I was cleaning up some things today and came across a bit of writing I did early on during our time at the cabin, probably mid fall 2011. I decided to share it here because so much of the blogging I do is very much "Look at these things I did, or am planning to do" and little of it actually gets into the sensation and experience of living the way I do. So, some of these impressions still apply, although I live in a very different environment, much less isolated now. Anyway, here goes...

"There's something about the enthralling rhythms of living at the cabin, surrounded by water, insects,  birds, sunlight, shade, wind, rain, and trees, that makes me want to write. My thoughts take on a poetic bent, and I imagine them collected, connected.

"It's not that I feel that I am more at home here among the trees than I am among other humans. (Although this is not necessarily untrue.) It's something more to do with always having felt a little distanced, slightly strange, not the same shade as the people around me. This is likely some mix between a superiority complex, years of being told I was different and special as a youth, and the condition of postmodernity acting on western culture's doctrine of individuality. Call it anything, but it has manifested in a life-long sense of being askew. Of identifying more with being the odd one out than with being part of a coherent unit. Of being comfortable only by being at least somewhat aloof. Not mysterious, just... other. Even in the close connections I have and have had with people, there is often an underriding shared sense of out commonality being a resistance to the norm.

"Living at the cabin makes it abundantly clear that I am other. The prevailing presences are the steady solidity of plants, the whimsy of rain and wind, the chatter of squirrels as they crash from branch to band to palm frond, the clear directionality and movement of the black river, and the swelling crescendos and climaxes of choruses of insects.

 I am drawn to all these expressions of life. I identify with them. But I am obviously different. I am a fleshy sac of water and tissue, I hate being bitten by mosquitoes and ants, I get pruny if I sit too long in the water, most of my food comes from miles away, and I think more than I act. As I've written this, the wind has picked up around me, reminding me of how glad I'll be of the roof over my head if wind is followed by rain. I am not of this environment, however much I intend to tune myself to it. The tuning will never be perfect, and I will always be distinct, in ways both comforting and challenging. I will always be other. I appreciate the peace that living here gives me in my otherness. I am not like most other people in my society - I choose to live apart, where culture and social life need not always prevail quite so strongly. I choose to live in the woods. But I am not like the woods either. I am set apart from all that surrounds me. I am neither wholly in one world, not in another. I am in between, in a liminal space, just where I like to be. this is where I am most comfortable, but paradoxically so, because straddling worlds and ways of being is challenging and taxing. It seems strange that a place of in-betweenness requiring continual and repeated acts of balance and flexibility would feel like home, but then, I am a strange creature, so perhaps it makes sense."

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