Jan.1, 2009, USA
We are born with a clean slate, but for the rest of our lives it is up to us to keep it clean. When we become adults we must clear it, again, from
everything put there when we were children and from that day forward keeping it clean it is our sole responsibility. This is a daily task.
I set out on this journey to find my way home. It was not so much a physical place I was looking for as much as it was a feeling. People who I've met would
often say "good luck finding what you're looking for" or "I hope you find yourself out there." What they didn't understand was that I wasn't looking for
myself so much as I was looking for a place where I could be myself. Having to relearn how to be completely honest like a child was the first step then finding
a situation where I could be this honest was the next. Being completely honest is not as welcomed by others as one might think. Being willing to sacrifice
many comforts and work as
hard as I've needed to with no security or structure other
than my own ethic has granted me passage down this road, but what I've learnt is more than money could ever buy. However, permission to be somewhere comes at a price.
You can't drive a car,
live in a house, sit in a restaurant, or just take a break from the road without having to pay someone else to do so. And if you're not curled up in a
sleeping bag hidden in the forest, yet you think there are many other places that don't cost money to simply be it just means that someone else is paying
For me, this price has been too high to risk not being able to keep my slate clean. I've learned it and said it a hundred times since this journey started.
"The most valuable thing in life is a clear conscience and the most valuable thing in the man-made world is money. And, it is becoming more and more
necessary to sacrifice one in order to have the other." I chose life. This has left broke, cold, tired, and hungry many times, but harder
than these conditions the threat of losing myself has always been far greater. Having to accept that I can not live this lifestyle forever if I want
to have more to contribute to my community than an uncompromised view from the outside looking in or more to offer another person than time and an
ear to listen, I've spent the last year trying to come off the road and not lose myself and everything I've learnt in the process.
I've built a straw
bale house on a remote mountain top up in the Rockies
worked as a mechanic in the hot city streets of LA
ate like a king
, stayed in fancy hotels
and rubbed elbows with overpaid politicians as a government broadcast producer
pushed a cart full of tools down the roads of a progressive town with my own pollution free landscaping business
spent hours upon hours
at the end of a hoe weeding acres of row crops on a migrant worker's wage
had offers to dance with devil (and the federal government) making ridiculous amounts of money in the hidden economy of "legalized" marijuana
got paid ridiculous amounts as a construction worker on federal government jobs ,
a beekeeper, sheepherder and many others.
All, some more obvious than others, came at price of having
to turn a blind eye towards what I know is right. Life has become a business in this country and there's no escaping it. The purest of pure undertakings
are no exception. If you're a painter, you're not a painter, but a business person who sells paintings. If you're a musician, you're not a musician, but a
business person who sells music. I am, we are animals trapped in a machine. My only saving grace
is that I am not a machine. I am a work horse, so I'm back on a farm digging post holes and flinging hay workin for peanuts until the bend in the
road becomes more straight and I can see what lies ahead.
Honesty is a two way street. Reminding myself of my own personal issues that attempting to come off the road has brought to the surface is just as
important as the worldly issues I use to justify my path in life. Blaming anyone or anything else for our own failure to make ourselves happy only keeps
the focus on the symptons of a problem rather than the source which is us, or in this case, me. I'm working on it and it pays.
May 14th, 2009
Nestled in its wooded surroundings, sits my new home. A state park to the west, a small counrty road that winds along a creek out to the ocean to the north,
77 acres of conservation land to the south and to east a hill that overlooks it all. A friend of the folks who ran the farm I was helping out on owns this
property and was in need of someone to caretake on it. It's been somewhat neglected for the past five years or so and subject to trespassers and vandals.
Trash, old furniture and graffitti littered the area when arrived, but with a couple days work
dignity was restored and Job and I are "off the grid" in beautiful surroundings once again.