Liberal pinch of salt please

Fri Apr 16, 2004

Since I don’t have a lot to write about these days I hope you’ll forgive me if anyone reading this happens to feature in any of my rants. I do it purely for entertainment value only and it’s nothing personal.

Well, what about ‘these days’, you may be wondering? Oh, elusive reader, what little of significance there is to tell. My life at present may be envied or condemned, depending on your particular outlook. I freely admit that I’ve been living a life of leisure these past few weeks. Not being particularly social, my endeavours more often than not indulge the imagination. I continue to read Tolstoy and immerse myself in the life of the Russian nobility. I watch eagles hunt for fish over the Pitt river and imagine with a sense of wonder what life must have been like for the Inuit who lived here once not so long ago. Hunters and gatherers who felt a connection to this glorious landscape of rivers and mountains. Whose understanding of their environment inspired a love in them for everything in it. A sense of belonging, of community. On my long rides or treks into the depths of the wilderness I contemplate beauty, simplicity and harmony.

At the same time I condemn these Zen-like practices and feel guilty for retreating inwards instead of striding outwards. Our society is in love with beautiful people who move and shake and make money and marry and win you over with a winning smile. It seems that ‘Ambition’ can be conceptualized, broken down into acceptable desires in the framework of our culture. To be ambitious in our society actually means prescribing to a set of ideals, conforming if you will, to a structure already in place. I’ve long since given up being a radical, but I do challenge the concept of what constitutes fruitful and positive action in our society. On the other hand, who am I to question the social, ideological and economic templates of a society I have to ‘succeed’ in whether I like it or not? It’s not like I can pack it up, pick up my bow and go live in the Kalahari with my San brothers. Anyways, this is a huge topic that has been ever present with me but is still somewhat unclear (and thus confusing to read about I’ll warrant) and unresolved in my mind. I’m also sure it horrifies some people and it’s easy to write me off as a rampant dreamer who just likes to pass off wishy-washy nonsense as intelligent musings about life but will never actually ‘get anywhere’. I’m aware of that, I am, I am, I am.

So anyways, on to more concrete matters, our trip to central America was touch and go there for a while. A situation arose where numerous students, including Angela, were unfairly accused of plagiarism by their professor and the case was passed on to Senate. A possible court appearance to abate the ruination of her career would have meant losing completely non-refundable and expensive air-tickets. Fortunately, at this point, the situation seems more-or-less resolved. Besides, we are determined to kick it in the Caribbean next week, come hell or high water, or a disgustingly bureaucratic judicial system. Now all that remains is to convince Angela that trekking through a malaria-infested tropical rain forest will involve some preparation and that she won’t “look hideous” in a rain-poncho…

In the meantime couch-surfing at the ‘rents, while I’m eternally grateful for it, hasn’t exactly been very comfortable. Don’t get me wrong. I gladly help dad with his outlandish DIY projects and am happy to put the toilet seat down every time ‘cause mom says it disrupts the Feng Shui… I appreciate that I should clean the shower with Comet every time I use it and that I shouldn’t walk on the floor with my slippers on at night because it makes a clack clack sound. But I’m used to living by myself and gone are the days where I can prance around naked, play Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan at full blast and eat my dinner straight out of the pot to save on washing up.

Anyways, such is the life of a travelling gypsy I suppose. At this time next week I’ll be catching a tan in Veracruz and thinking about how to get down to Puerto Escondido to do some surfing. It doesn’t get any better than that.



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