Friday, November 12, 2010

Falling Leaves and Winter Migration

Chasing the Setting Sun Over the Sea

It looks like I'm blowing out of Moab soon for the winter, heading west.  Every year I talk about hopping a boat to Hawaii without money, but I never quite get inspired enough to do it.  This year all my talk infected my friends Isaac and Jen, and their passion to do it pushed me off the fence.  So we plan to hitch to San Diego and wait around until we can hop a random boat!  It's a shot in the dark, but I know of people who have done it.  Last winter was like Siberia here, so I'm itching to go to warmer climes.  Another person might be coming to join us (but I won't give his name until/if/when he actually comes).

I decided to bring the guitar that I found in the dumpster.  I can't believe how into playing it I am (since I was not much interested in it in my youth).  This old dog is learning.  I wrote down some Woody Guthrie roadie/hobo songs that I'm wanting to master as we go west.  Maybe I can write a few of my own when I get better. 

Gift Economists' Cyber-Meeting 

Since I last blogged, quite a bit has happened.  Twelve of us moneyless folks  in the world had our cybermeeting on Oct 27th.  We were, besides me:
Heidemarie (Germany)
elf Pavik (Germany)
Offie (Germany)
Mark (UK)
Sonja (South Africa)
Adin (South Africa)
Tomi (Finland)
Hugo (Brazil)
Raphael (Germany)
Benji (Holland)
The 2 girlfriends of Raphael and Benji (who just joined them. Sorry, can't remember their names).
     (Raphael, Benji, and their 2 girlfriends are currently traveling in Central America)

To see links to websites/blogs for some of the above friends, see

Lifestyle Gift Economists

We spent a lot of time trying to figure out how the cyber thing worked, so there wasn't much substantial conversation.  It was mostly a chance to see some moving faces of our clan with a bit of chatting, and it was fun and heart-warming.

We couldn't get some faces (like Mark's and Heidemarie's) to show up, but here's a few:

(L-R) elf, me, Sonja, Adin, Hugo
(L-R) Adin, Raphael & Benji's partners, Sonja, me, elf

It turns out Hugo, Sonja, and Roy are no longer on the moneyless path.

New Friends Joining Me, Coming and Going

Roy didn't get a chance to join our cyber-meeting (he was busy hitching moneyless into Mexicali, Mexico!).  It also so happens that, shortly after, Roy quit the moneyless path and decided to settle in LA and be with his daughter.  I think it's a good decision.  He's one of the few who actually gave up all his money to join me.  He then hitch-hiked out to the east coast and back here without money, then to LA and back and back again, then down to Mexicali!

A mellow dude named Braedyn came down from Canada for about a week with his guitar.  I was looking forward to getting to know him better, and have him join us in our go-west adventure, but it seems there were some family complications calling him back to Canada.

Shortly after that, Carolyn left to see her family for the winter.  She plans to come back to Moab in the Spring.  I'm also hoping to be back here then (If the Hawaii *cruise* happens and we find a boat back!).  Carloyn spent 7 months here, and added sparkling joy to my life.  I did a lot of fun and unique things I don't think I would have done had she not been here.  She was also by me through some intense, down times and helped keep me going.

Freegan Ponderings

Free Meal in Moab has also been a total joy, on both ends of it: eating and preparing.  It has brought a lot of people together in Moab, like a daily party.  New people from in and out of town meet all the time.  Just like Food Not Bombs in other cities, I am often pleased at how close I feel with people there.  You can go to clubs and churches and jobs and organizations, supposedly to meet people you have things in common with, but it's not the same.  What we have in common is food, and it's freely given.  That's it.  That's what Communion, (Eucharist) really is.  All food is my body, your body, one body.  No ideologies, no trend stuff.  Free Meal is not classist or hand-down like your classic soup kitchen or welfare program.  It is hand-across.  Folks from all classes and needs and no-needs show up and sit down together for food that would otherwise be thrown out.  

But I do think there's a certain kind of person who is willing to go to eat at something like Free Meal or Food Not Bombs.  It's a person willing to forget class and ideology and sit humble on the grass with everybody else and just be sincerely human.  I'm realizing that that's what's the only real common among us all: simple human-ness.  When we try to find people with things "in common" with us, trying to find people who "think" like us, that's not the common I'm talking about here.  Our common-ness isn't in what we think.  Our common-ness is when we give up thinking.  It's not about belief, it's about Being, which is the True Faith.  This is why I feel so passionate about the freegan path (freely giving, freely receiving), the path that every natural creature in the infinite universe follows.  That is the One True Church, the One Mind.

It sounds like I'm idealizing.  But idealizing is seeing Idea rather than Reality.  Realizing is not eutopic but is just Being, accepting the bad and the good, the downs and the ups.  Commerical civilization is base upon eutopism, trying to eliminate the negatives and stockpile the positives.  Realism is based upon Reality, accepting the negatives and the positives as they naturally come.  Realism is balance, peace, contentment.  Eutopism is a pipe dream that shatters.  Realism, ironically, feels more eutopic than any eutopia we chase after.

Free Meal, like everything in the universe, is precarious and could end tomorrow.  But there's a principle there that is the essence of all life.  That's what doesn't end and what we can every day cultivate within ourselves.

Catching Cynical Comments Before They Come Yet Another... Yawn... Time

Some cynical joker with a stick in his or her hinder parts will invariably come along and say all these free things couldn't happen without the businesses that create them and caste them off.  Never mind that few say anything when enough food is thrown away in the US alone to feed the entire starving world.  [Note added Nov 13: My statement probably is exaggerated, and even if it were accurate, I should have references. Now I'm dealing with the consequences of quickly writing a post without editing or fact checking before I hit the road. I won't be able to rectify this for some time, so I'll just leave this disclaimer for now. But what we do know is that the waste in both this country & in Europe is beyond obscene in a world where millions are malnourished. I recommend Tristram Stuart's writing to get these facts straight.]  Never mind that few consider that businesses couldn't exist without the sun and the clouds that freely give, expecting nothing in return, sending sun and rain on both the "deserving" and the "undeserving", or without the earth which few seem to have problems taking from beyond her capacity.  And a separate entity like free meal wouldn't need to exist if we didn't have commercial civilization.  Again and again, I say, freely giving and freely receiving, without thought of credit and debt, is the essence of all of nature.