I’ve been off cruising aboard Peanut for the last few weeks and It’s given me a lot of time to decompress and think and be. There nothing quite like warm sea breezes and a moonlit night to start wondering about your place in the cosmos. It’s been a good time.
It occurs to me that It’s funny to find oneself in a place without dreams, and I wonder if this is the universal way of things as we reach the denouement of our lives? I’m glad for the dreams, and that I’ve had the luck and privilege of having pretty much achieved what I set out to do. But dreams turned out to be funny things: we have this idea of what we want, where our paths should lead, but once we arrive we discover its not at all what we had imagined. This isn’t a bad thing as dreams work really well at motivating us to walk down unknown roads, but don’t expect to find your destination to be what you thought it would be, because, after all, you’ve never been there.
Dreams take us to all kinds of strange and wondrous places, just not the ones we expected, and in the end, that’s half the fun. But after striving and arriving so much, you eventually realize that there’s no more pursuing to be done.
I’ve done it before; this time I swear it’s different. Making a living, that is. I suspect this too will pass, but meanwhile I’m busting my ass trying to be a capitalist.
I’ll back up. Many years ago, before the current millennium, I was a wage slave like most people – getting degrees, attempting professional careers, but it didn’t work out very well for me; apparently I don’t play well with others, especially when the others are nincompoops. I need to hew my own path. So I dropped out and became a writer.
Now trying to live on the west coast on one person’s full-time income isn’t easy, and being an artist essentially means the cash isn’t happening. Still, I lived a wonderful and simple life on our sailboat Fainleog and I was very happy even without a lot of options. But life changes as it does: we moved ashore I got back into what I call turd polishing – restoring old yet desirable vehicles, like VW campervans. Mostly as a kind of a hobby, but occasionally making a few bucks. Just recently I made a colossal windfall on one, and with that capital I’ve decided to give up turd polishing – I’m getting too old and it’s just too wearying to spend week after week restoring vehicles.
Thunderbutt in the weeds
Another new direction. Perhaps. I’ve recently assisted a new friend with a bus project, a converted school bus that someone has more or less abandoned and gave to her for free. This friend lives an alternative lifestyle, and gets by with her writing and house-sitting. A rather precarious existence due to the inevitable gaps that appear between house-sitting gigs, and the offer of a home (plus a place she can park it) seemed a boon almost too good to be true.
Which of course it was. I cautioned her that gift RVs are usually a source of massive expense and enormous amount of work, especially the self propelled type like a bus or motorhome. I’ve polished more than one of these turds myself, and know how quickly they deteriorate when not being used, how expensive parts can be, and how much very hard work it is repairing medium-duty trucks due to the size and weight of components. Finding a gem in the weeds like Thunderbutt is exhilarating, and yet requires one to step back and consider very carefully what they are getting into.