Monday, March 4, 2013

The Way of a Dirtbag

The dirtbag moves from place to place, often attracted by light or heat, food or restroom; a familiar and known face, or the opportunity to meet anew. Sure, there is a home space that the dirtbag returns to sometime before bed, but in the time and space between, the dirtbag finds comfort in the prominent and abundant around her or him. This is not free-loading as some may seek to to title-strap, but more a way of full expression. Take for example my current situation: I'm sitting at the coffee/book cafe in Edwards. here is a hot cup of Jasmine tea issuing steam to my left; a large collection of other customers to my right, and a computer using complimentary WIFI to my forefront. I, like the others gathered in this space, am a paying customer. In this cash-for-service agreement, I am taking full advantage as my privilege as a dirtbag to live-up in the prominent and abundant.

I've heard from others in my past that to be happy the basic needs of survival in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs must be met: air, water, and food; clothing and shelter; sex, sleep, and homeostasis. While in current reality my sex life does not exist, the love and attention from females does, so perhaps that allows me to move through for the time being. Anyways, tangents bent on explaining misplaced knowns aside, I am in a content place.

I am continually amazed by how comfortable I have become in a relative short amount of time. I've been living outside in a tent for 6 nights, counting tonight. I am well-fed, employed, and relatively cleanly; though, not always timely in the later. My four months spent outside on the Appalachian Trail, plus the 2 months of couch surfing post AT, have trained me well. I am not an original; no, only a unique replication of a living and breathing formula being applied countlessly across this nation and world. Though, I would throw in a disclaiming word: I live ample and in robust wellness; not all dirtbags can be as fortunate. Though, choice is a a large precursor to the lifestyle any individual dirtbag chooses to live. I am a well-kempt, uniformed and nameplated Bellmen for the Ritz-Carlton by day, and a full-fledged dirtbag by night or non-working hours. I take pride in my lifestyle. Perhaps, I am out to prove something to myself: that it takes very little to enjoy life fully. That we, in our current society's trendings, are over-consumed with things, when what we truly need boils down to very few things.

I like to think that the essence of what life is about is in the fringes of our popular society; that the essential ingredients to a happy and full life aren't going to be created by some Silicone Valley tycoon, or in a scientific lab. But, created or re-created inside of ourselves once we re-synthesize the synthesized: meaning, take what you've learned all your life, divide all the things you've added to complicate it, subtract that sum by the additional 2 to 3 things that you've held deeply onto, then add back in the things we've had since we were young that were relatively free, easy, and commonplace. You should be blessed to discover a simple sum of happiness in the robust essentials remaining.

***

I don't have an ownership to a gym, I ride a bike or ski up and over mountains to work; I don't own a car anymore, I snowshoe to my bike and ride it to and fro. I used to own a smart phone until I felt dumb for owning one,  barely using it to it's fullest. I place a minor faith in technology to provide me with entertainment and a means to communicate and connect with those I know and love, but I don't depend on it solely. I enjoy writing letters and reading the written word, and a visit with a friend or loved one is sure bliss! I like to think I am at peace with not having health insurance or a 401k to retire upon one day. To me, the act of daily living is substance enough for what I need now, or possibly in the future. My daily actions are my investment, barring the intervention of a higher power to guide me through its teachings. I have a faith in said unknown processes leading and guiding us in life. All my belongings fit into a car, should I require one to move-on from this current location. But, that is me.

I am grateful that I am a unique person, much like all of you possibly reading this are! I realize my life is not something desired by many, yet, there is something deep, perhaps primal or egotistical that you desire in the way of a dirtbag. I understand that; that's why I became one. To push through the sand castle walls to a seashore of pure imagination. So, how to become more steeped in the robust essentials brewing?

Well, that is something that you'll have to explore. I know that it is sometimes easier to continue on around the circle, easing into the spot you want to be in on the next rotation around, rather than backing-up through your previously placed paces. Yes? Ha, well you can answer that for yourself.

Lots of love to you in your travels through this crazy spectrum of life and living. I hope that you discover something simple and beautiful that doesn't cost a thing; well, maybe just the cost of a cup of hot tea or two.

Smiles,
Alan


inspiration to me: the former Freedomobile of a dear friend and indeed, our American freedom. 


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