As a rule you’ll never see them nor meet them. They aren’t among the homeless on the streets because they don’t interact with society or need to depend on it.
They live in the deep forests, jungles, mountains, remote deserts and other wilderness areas where people never go because those places are deemed inhospitable, and they are except for the fringe dwellers who’ve managed to survive where most others couldn’t. Paved roads, public utilities and services don’t exist nor are they needed or wanted. They have traded conventional living’s conveniences for time amongst nature, they are only governed by weather. No time restrictions, stress or difficult social interactions, they have merged with nature where they have become part of a mystical experience in being. Unlike Thoreau’s Walden pond they don’t do it for a year and then write a book. They quietly stay for 40 or 60 years or more because that’s what it takes to experience the magic that comes with surrendering to the mystical winds.
There are many reasons that contribute to such a lifestyle from wretched abuse, physical and mental inability to a simple desire to experience life alone absent of the restrictions that accompany the presence of others or societies dictates. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a conventional life and there’s nothing wrong with being a fringe dweller the only thing that’s never made sense is the people living conventional lives and complaining rather than taking that first step into the unknown of change.
Some of the animals above could kill you but always remember, they can sense your intentions. If you welcome them they’ll welcome you.
Everyone on this planet should have a deep sense of gratitude to Greta Thunberg. What a remarkable young lady who mobilized the world for climate change with a humble determination and truly brilliant strategy.
Everyone who has destroyed this planet for their own self gain should be very afraid, this is your worst nightmare the masses are in motion, led by an individual equally to Gandhi.
Sometimes to see where you are you have to look back at where you’ve been. Don’t linger there, just take a quick glimpse, fill in any unaddressed hollows that could haunt you into the forevers.
Introspection while steeped in solitude is the best way I’ve found for unraveling the knots of self misconception.
In 1997 when I moved from the west coast of California to the high desert mountains of Arizona I traded seagulls and the ocean for ravens and the high desert sky.
I traded people and the city for the life of a recluse and the wilderness.
I spent 9 years in solitude.
It took 3 years of just sitting or aimlessly wandering the hills like an unteathered camel to wash away forty eight years of accumulations motivated by fear.
Almost half a century held captive by fear.
It took another three years to trade anger for compassion, sorry for joy and the intellect for intuition.
And another three years to end reification and set myself free from me.
Nine years facing the wall of introspective solitude.
Because I believe if you don’t take the time you forfeit the rhythm of simply being.
People have asked me how can you spend nine years in complete solitude.
The further out you go, the longer you stay and the longer you stay the less likely you are to find a reason to return.
Words words words echo in the wind
Then Bounce back again and again.
Beliefs are words lodged in the dangerous convictions of mind wrecking havoc on human behavior creating atrocities that pull the thread of humanity out of the fabric of being.
Such is the way of the mystical winds that scatter the once was of us.
I just received an e-mail from wordpress, I’ve been blogging for nine years. In that period of time I’ve had about six different blogs. Some of you know how it goes. You get enthused about a subject that winds up either running out of steam or it takes a radical turn into something else and you feel compelled to start another blog.
At this point in my life I seem to be finally letting go of taking it too seriously. That began with the nonsensical name ‘bongdoogle.’ It’s completely dysunctional because it’s nondescript but that’s what I liked about it. It was fun to say and lacked meaning.
Then I fell into my old trap of academic philosophy which is okay but there are a lot better scholars and writers out there than me. So I started doing sub-par cartoons, the humor was there but the drawings were tedious and terrible. No fun.
I also found myself becoming tired of using words, I’d rather read someone else. So I let this blog wander like an untethered camel, and enjoy the freedom to express myself through words and a variety of image styles.
In my old age I’m no longer seeking a rhyme to the reason, I’m spending my time frolicking in spontaneous whimsy.
43 years ago when I was 25 and still a hippie artist, I lived in an old chicken coop that I converted with scrap wood and old windows into a 1200 square foot studio.
I painted in oils and carved stone.
Sometimes someone walks into your life and transforms you with one simple statement, Bender Wall Banger did just that.
As I’ve posted in the past I grew up on the streets without family, something that I now consider a gift that made me who I am. But back then I was uptight, depressed and angry, and most of my paintings reflected that mood. Dark colors, overly serious depressing subject matter. When people who had a normal middle class upbringing would comment on the dark colors and subject matter I ignored them, what did they know about life on the under belli of the beast.
Then I met Bender.
Bender had moved down from San Francisco to escape the tenderloin ghetto and try to clean-up her life in a Santa Cruz mountain cabin. She had lived on the streets since she was 13, she was an alcoholic, a junky and made her living as a hooker. A mutual friend (Diane) asked if I’d help her move.
When she came to my studio and looked at my paintings she asked why everything was so grim. I was floored. This ladies life had been even grimmer than mine, I couldn’t fall back on the old “What do you know about grim?” She forced me to see that while my life was currently very good I was stuck in the ghetto frame of mind. While I was standing in the light I hadn’t left the darkness.
The next day I built a 7 foot sculpture out of scrap wood. A colorful circus ring master with a big smile and his arms in the air. I put it by my front door and joined the circus of lightness.
My paintings became colorful humorous cartoons, in a mystical instant I left the grime behind.
A few months past and Diane stopped by and commented on the radical change in my work. I told her it was Bender’s questioning my grimness, if she could see the light there was no excuse for me not seeing it. I told Diane how Bender changed my life and would she tell her that I’d never forget it. She then informed me that Bender had shot and killed herself.
Sometimes you never get to verbally thank the people who have influenced you the most, but you can do it through actions. So I’m still painting colorful cartoons and every one of them says “Thanks, I’ll never forget you.”
Bright Blessings Bender and may we Merry Meet again.