How I Got Here

How I got here:

1959  I was born into a marriage with a two week courtship. This is not going to go well. Don’t do that.

1969  I moved all over the country creating new friends by necessity. From Hollywood to Detroit. No five year old should have a key to the apartment on a string around their neck.

1969 We moved in with Timothy Leary. I started to learn some really cool shit.

1970 Preemptive draft dodging. We moved to Canada. I helped run a campus radio station and was busted for possession with the intent to deliver in the 9th grade.

1974 Moved to Lynnwood Washington after the divorce because that is where mom’s folks lived. Fast cars and hamburger stands. To this day I am just another motorhead from Lynnwood.

1979 My first true love is killed in a car accident. I discover insanity.

1980 I woke up one morning and started wining about life to the woman I woke up with. She asked, “why don’t you go to Cornish?” I was accepted based on my drawings. I got through on my sculpture. My degree is in painting. I attended the art department, hung out with the music department, and chased the girls in the theatre department.

1984 I am a Big Fucking Artist in Seattle. Alcohol, women, and poverty. What a fabulous life it was!

1986 Struggle four years into a relationship with a piano player that never quite goes well. We were two garbage trucks colliding and still managed to build a life together.

2000 I get tired of the starving artist life and get sober. Over the next ten years I make my three best decisions. 1. Stop drinking. 2. Learn Tango. 3. Buy a Mercedes.

2004 Within a year after we finally quit, after some twenty years of trying, she was diagnosed with lung cancer. I moved back in to help take care of our parrots and she died shortly after, leaving me with a house full of “our” stuff. Three sheds in the yard and a grand piano. It takes years to get rid of most of it and move into a motor home.

Winter 2007/2008 I travel around the western us and start this weblog.

2010 I start dating. A continuous string of the most beautiful and wonderful women. None of them are the kind of crazy I am so none of them work out.

2011 I move onto a sailboat in the best neighborhood in Seattle, Shilshole Bay Marina.

Along the way I build a successful IT career I eventually learn to hate and find a spiritual path I never imagined.

2017 Realize everything I own is in one carry on bag and one small day pack. Everything. I am free!

simplicity

Thursday, September 11, 2008

“Simplicity, simplicity, simplicity! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand . . . keep your accounts on your thumb-nail. . . . Simplify, simplify. Instead of three meals a day, if it be necessary eat but one.”

Henry David Thoreau (Where I Lived and What I Lived For)

We have been admonished all along by the likes of Ghandi and Jesus, Thereau and Ram Dass. Get rid of your stuff; physical mental and emotional, and keep it simple. Here, now. At some point in my life this started looking like good advice I did not fully understand. How could I think I truly understood these ideas, embraced these ideas and still have all this stuff? A kitchen with many, many drawers full of stuff. I knew pretty much where everything in that room was. A “to do” list that scrolled onto the next page! Literally tons of stuff in a shop that required more tons of stuff outside in materials racks and sheds. Bedroom closets, bathroom closets, night stands, good god how far can this go on? A pile of plans I routinely admitted just were not going to get done. Glove boxes in three cars. How can someone with all this stuff claim to have even a glimmer of a clue what Thereau is talking about? Honesty eventually took over and I admitted this all looked like good advice, I sincerely believed these people were telling me the truth, but I just wasn’t getting it.

I developed the idea that this, as I once described burningman was “something impossible to describe from the inside and impossible to understand from the outside.” I had just returned from burningman 1999 and was standing in a small circle which included a couple people that had not been. One asked the inevitable question, “so, what is burningman like?”

I had heard things like “one cannot think their way to a better way of living, one can only live their way to a better way of thinking” and, one of my favorites, a quote from Ray Bradbury: “You’ve got to walk up to the edge of the cliff, jump off, and build your wings on the way down.” I had to live it before I could think it. How?

I have dreamed of living on the road, free, “mobile” as The Who put it, since early life. It seems to be a normal, common dream among people. We were nomadic originally. Perhaps it is genetic, primal, whatever. A friend had said, “if you want to get rid of a bunch of stuff, move onto a boat.” It was a jest but the truth was unmistakable. The challenge for me with a boat is it is difficult to step out of a boat into a grocery store. Perhaps a motor home?

So I moved into a motor home. And now I think I get it.

I did move on to a boat about five years later. More on that soon!

 

Interesting Spaghetti

Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Interesting Spaghetti
Henry made vegetarian spaghetti with smoked paprika without consulting anybody or a cook book.

Quite a lot of smoked paprika.

Interesting.

I’ve mixed stuff together that I was pretty sure would explode. I’ve been right and I’ve been wrong. Imagine being wrong thinking you are making a cake and instead having an explosive and subsequently, an explosion. There just isn’t any other way to discover something than to take a risk. Or investing in a retirement fund and subsequently living on your own private island or in a rat trap trailer. Not all gamblers win, not all adventurers found interesting things, not all explorers returned. But to never try? To see a possibility and not experiment, suspect something and not test, to imagine and not seek?

I can’t.

I want interesting spaghetti now and then.