Well, almost the Winter Solstice, the year is up, my refrigerator drawers are once again filled with greens and citrus, just where I began in January. It’s been a year of learning my limits, not necessarily all I’m capable of doing, but the limit of what I’ve chosen to do. And what I’ve done, is what I’ve lived.
And that is the essence of Life lived period: that it’s always ALWAYS lived Near; it’s always, always what we’ve actually done. And by that, what I mean is, is that life is the reality of itself, not the wishful thinking about the future or wistful thinking about the past.
Let me explain, using this tale I heard somewhere:
Once upon a time, a man decided to leave his house and move to a faraway island. Three years later, he was still in his same house in a small town.
What’s the moral of the story?
Well, the original moral is that a Decision (his decision to move) is not the same as actually doing something (moving). Quite true, of course. But in Life Lived Near speak, I not only want to address What Isn’t, but What Is in this story.
What isn’t moving to a faraway island is not the saving, nor the researching, nor even the packing for such a venture. In the three years we see our fine fellow, I’ve no doubt a few other people have found themselves living on islands who never saved a dime, researched the place, or packed a single thing. The Internet, Media, and as a consequence, even our conversations, are filled with limitless tips and resources for planning things. Moreover, there are countless outlets for discussing the accomplishment of things–blogs, vlogs, Instagram accounts, etc. But while all the chatter is about doing or having done, the reality is the living of chatter. At least the majority of hours. That’s not not living either. It’s just that for people doing the chattering, living is, well, chatter.
And that brings me back to the man in the story. In the three years’ time, while all those other fellows were moving to faraway islands, the Man Who Decided may have lived a happy life despite staying put. Perhaps while saving money, he started a coin collection, or simply saw the numbers in his bank account grow. While researching, maybe he found out about interesting island botany or how many intriguing ways islands are formed. Perhaps he “downsized” his possessions and found his own home, less cluttered, more of a paradise than he’d at first believed. Or maybe he did none of this things, but watched a lot of television while he tried not to think about the overwhelming task of moving to an island. Whatever he did, he lived.
And whether you like it or not, like the man, plans great, or small, shunned or accomplished, we live what we live, our breaths are inhalations of stale atlases, astonished whistles upon seeing our financial worth, a sniff as we say goodbye to our old homes, or a grunt as we push the remote button and find nothing interesting on TV for the 1,095th day in a row. We are our breath. It doesn’t get much Nearer than that.
Finally, if you find you still need information on all things Food, I highly recommend The Kitchn And, of course, if you’re in San Francisco, do yourself a favor and visit the Saturday Ferry Building Farmer’s Market, if you can. You won’t be disappointed at the sight and flavors, especially in Spring and Summer, of course.
And speaking of Spring, though that time is a whole season away, in that warmer days, I plan to take Big Douglas, my wonderful cart, my own Rocinante in this online sally, and give him the good polish and wheel greasing that such a loyal companion deserves.
And to you loyal companions, for that’s what readers truly are, you too deserve a little something for resting your eyes upon these pages. I have only this to offer–a wish, a prayer rather, that your remaining breaths be filled with only delicious, fresh scents, be sighs filled with contentment, be gasps at the surprises of beauty ever available not in things far or past, but even at your very feet.