This week was met with delay and procrastination. Posting this week’s Journal Entry slipped my mind when I returned from the lake. So, here it is in all its grand lateness!
My Continued Hermitic Testing
Third night in my hammock outside the shed on the property that I hope will soon become my Paradise – my own personal Eden.
The roof is finally fixed from the tree fall the summer before, that took out two panels in the back and put several holes in other panels like ricochet from a shotgun. The destruction was disturbing, though could have been much, much worse.
My hope is to drop the remaining trees on the hillside to limit the risk in the future. The difficulty with leaving them – the tree in question came down in the middle of August. So, there is no rhyme or reason to tree fall on this property. It simply happens when it happens. What they liken to an Act of God.
The Blackest of Skies
It is ever so quiet at night on the deck, from within my hammock, warm and dry under my blankets and sleeping bag. I can see the stars in their brilliance against the blackest of skies.
It’s amazing to think there are other worlds out there, even some with liquid water, some that might have life similar to ours. Could there be? Sentient? Would they know of God? The God of the bible? The Christ? With quantum physics, wouldn’t it be possible for Christ to have died once, for a multitude of planets possessing life?
Not So Successful Trike Ride
I attempted a ride to one of the nearby lakes on Thursday to no avail. It was fine until I reached the hill, a long pedal up, with very little edge to the road. It felt very unnerving to say the least. I made it half way up and decided to turn around.
It was nothing like my ride from my house to the lake and back. Or the trip along the river. Which is interesting. In the future, the city has plans to build a bike path from the beach to the turn out along the highway in the valley. That’s about a 13 mile stretch and it is only a 4 mile ride from the lake to the beach. If actually built, this would serve as an incredible corridor for me to ride in the future, especially on the weekends when the lake is full of tourists.
I spent some time this weekend surveying the trees on my property and also on the ridges above me. The ridge to the west has few large trees, and most are pushed back by the terrain. None seem to be a threat. There are a few birch trees on that side I would like to bring down, but they should not be much of a problem.
On the eastern ridge, there are several very large trees, but most if not all will miss my encampment entirely. One in particular I was worried about, as it leans out, then grows straight up. But, as it is positioned, and from looking at it from all the angles, it appears as if it will come down in front of the existing deck. It may take out the kitchen deck, the gang ramp, or the ramp to the dock (or the dock itself), but this would be much better than killing me in my sleep). I will get a better feel for these trees as I start putting in temporary trails to them all.
Voluntary Homeless Thought Experiment
This is a thought experiment I’ve been working on for awhile in the past, that I now hope to finish up so I can move on to other experiments.
It proposes the possibility of living homeless in the modern era, in a particular geographic area and then assesses its feasibility.
I already know it is not the best option, though I would like to carry out the experiment to it’s conclusion anyway.
Living homeless is not as attractive to me as living on the lake and my current Paradise Eden plan. If I removed my need for writing and blog posting, thus my need for sustained power generation, then it would be a different story. But, I would also have to subtract rowing and kayaking, which are two things I really enjoy.
Of a Hermitage
For the first time yesterday, while re-organizing my shed, I was reminded of a monk in his cell, tucked into the desert landscape, invisible to the world at large, isolated, solaced by his continual communion with God. I think I can say, my current plan is pretty close to a modern day equivalent.
I’m so excited for the future, no matter what choices I make. There are so many possibilities to choose from. All will include freedom from a beholden task master. I will soon be free from the shackles of servitude, no longer required by the debt around my throat, to work for others.
As Thoreau said – do not entangle yourself with the idea of how to make enough money to sustain your lifestyle, but determine instead, how to maintain your lifestyle with how much more you can do without.
As I lay here in my hammock at 3 o’clock in the morning, I hear the movement of an unidentified critter skittering around the deck underneath me. It is surely some kind of rodent, maybe a possum or a raccoon. Most likely a rat or mouse or mole.
It’s interesting how, back at the house this activity, this creature, would be considered an invader if it ventured inside my four walls. But, here, I am the outcast. I am the visitor in their world.
I recall back to my mid twenties, when I lived in a cabin on the other side of the ridge. One summer day, I was sitting in my recliner, laptop in lap, when a strange creature emerged from the gas heater vent. It was small, like a mouse, but it’s body was elongated, as if it had been stretched out. It was a curious fellow, unsure of himself, or his surroundings. When he discovered me, it was out the open door lickety split. I looked him up online and discovered this was his home. He and his kind, they have lived here for centuries. I, maybe a year.
I also discovered that laying out on the dock in winter is entirely possible, given a hammock, hammock stand, and clothing covering all surface areas. I laid out in sweatshirt, sweatpants, socks, etc for hours today. Soaking in the warm rays, though never overheating due to the cool breeze that swept along from the north. This will certainly be a tactic this winter (if the sun ever ventures to the dock, that is). But, I will be able to go to where the sun is, now that I have discovered the versatility of hammocks, something I did not have last winter.
Yesterday I heard the bugle of a bull elk in the distance. It was just before dawn, soaked in a beautiful silence, before the sun broke free in the east and brought to life the world.
Then, from out of nowhere, the screech came from the direction of the field. So close.
It left me wondering and dreaming of what this place must have been like hundreds of years ago. How wild and pristine and untouched. Back then, this lake had been a slough for the ocean, salt water, with an abundance of fish and wildlife abound. Ancient stands of giant, lumbering trees. Wild….
The people here then, came and went on the spiral of life and death like a breath of wind, remembered only for as long as their memories remained, only to be dispatched into the void, ever forgotten now like the sands of the sea. All that remain now are their bones up north, their burial grounds turned interstate highway. It is a sadness so profound beyond comprehension.
What I Hope to Focus on Next Week
This next week I will not be venturing back out to the property, as I have family coming in for the day.
This I find rather disappointing, though it is beneficial, as it is motivation enough to get the house finally cleaned up and emptied of the extraneous material goods that have somehow found themselves collected on tables, in chairs, in piles on the floor.
I would like to empty the house out entirely except for what is absolutely necessary, and to align my civilized life with that of the life I hope to lead in future solitude.
As for research proper, I would like to focus on finishing the two library books I have checked out: What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About Getting Older, and Beyond Quantum.
They are both interesting enough, but I do think I will eventually abandon print reading in lieu of all digital. Between my laptop text-to-speech capabilities, and the ease in which I can read ebooks on my smart phone (always in large print, which is easy on the eyes), I am just more comfortable with digital.
Likewise, the only real appeal to print at the moment is the availability of titles not sourced in other places (which are the only books I’m checking out now).
The real challenge driving the digital focus is notetaking. With both netbook and smart phone, it is relatively easy to extract information via copy and paste and put snippets in my private learning notebook.
With print books, I am using small sticky tags as I read to mark some piece of information, then I have to go back and fumble between book and laptop to retype all the info. It is cumbersome to say the least.
If it proves more of a struggle than the value of information I am receiving, I may just forgo print books entirely.
My Current Reading/Resource List
Academic Article Review of Black Bear Behavior – 1%
Academic Article Review of Cougar Behavior – 0%
Desert Solitaire – 12%
Biocentrism – 5%
When we Die – 15%
Where I Lived and What I Lived For – 1%
In Six Days – 0%
Celibacy in Crisis – 25%
The Hour of Our Death – 20%
Through the Wormhole Episodes – 1%
Death Yale Lectures – 1%
Joe Rogan Experience Podcasts – 1%
Terminator Connor Wars by Some Fan – 10%
Ninja by Lustbader – 30%
Fountain Creek Trilogy – 1%
John Updike Early Stories – 0%
Dexter by Design – 10%
Mammoth Hunters – 45%
The Goldfinch – 0%
The Regime (Left Behind Series) – 2%
What Your Doctor Won’t Tell You About Getting Older – Returned Unread
Beyond the Quantum – Returned Unread
Astrophysics for Busy People – 100%
Hermits: Insights of Solitude – 100%
Before the Fall – 100%
The Testament by Grisham – 100%
Hopefully I’ll be able to get a better habit formed in posting these journal entries.
I’m still nervous about this coming winter and the cold. Though, I will have to say, I built a large fire in my tiny wood stove this weekend and it really produced some BTUs. It boiled my rice, and raised the temperature on the deck by 5 degrees, with no tarps on the walls at all. The small tarp cabin I’m building will have 5 foot walls, a 6 foot roof, and it’s only 7 foot x 9 foot. I think my little stove will do just fine.
We will see.
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