Sunday, December 03, 2006

Free will

Opened my eyes after 8:00 and quickly knew there would be no magical mandate to drive me forward. I languished in my aimless state.

So, where does this path lead? Nowhere good, that is clear. On the radio, I constantly hear of people pursuing noble goals, which only serves to increase the depression.

After washing some laundry and hanging it outside in the weak midday sun, I left the house and drove over to “Flying Goat”, if only to not be alone. RSSI’s wireless was transmitting, but was clearly not actively hooked to a network, so I couldn’t connect. (The connection at home was too sporadic to work on-line.)

People like Russ, and Robert, and Jeff and Drew ask when I’m going to join society, hook up like normal people. I like being at the fringe, with a sense of independence. I seek to avoid some of the things that submerge people in today’s corporate quagmire. I still am unable to escape contributing to the oil companies. That remains the strongest corporate force in my life. Notice how powerless we feel to control the price of gasoline. In truth, virtually every corporate commodity has become the same. Whether it’s gas, electricity, water, telephones, food, medical and dental care. We have entrusted these necessities to those who have no particular interest in our well-being. The ideal of a “free marketplace” is tenuous at best.

So I exercise my “free will” by trying to minimize the amount I must engage in this marketplace. (A pretty funny concept coming from someone whose life for the past thirty years has been focused on “purchasing”.)

Anxious that the BMW might not turn over in the quickly cooling afternoon, I left my coffee shop office and turned homeward. (This is not going to be acceptable, having to be home before it turns cold and dark.) As soon as I arrived, I hooked the bike up to the trickle-charger.

On the way home, I detoured a bit to buy groceries at “Oliver’s Market”. Though not particularly convenient, there is pleasure in shopping at a locally-owned market. And the quality of products here is generally better than the “Whole Foods”, which is succumbing to the “efficiencies of scale" mentality which often leads to compromises on quality.

Finished reading “Breaking the Limit” tonight. I was surprised how many places my own journey intersected with Karen Larsen’s North American adventure five years earlier, though she was much more diligent in avoiding interstate highways and large cities. And the lessons she describes so well are all familiar.

There’s one thing very apparent from her story, however: a woman traveling alone is subject to very different social phenomena than a man traveling alone.

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