Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Great Hunting Road Trip - Final Thoughts

1. It's good to be the king retired.
It's getting tougher these days to retire. It's a balancing act between finances, health, and a political system that seems hell bent on making it as hard as possible to enjoy a life of relative leisure while maintaining a reasonable standard of living. But with a little effort and foresight (and luck) it can be done. Of course, I'm only five months into it, but so far, so good. Knock on wood...

2.  Getting away from it all is worthwhile - maybe even essential.
The Germans have a word for the tranquility that comes over one when getting close to nature: Waldeinsamkeit.
Waldeinsamkeit consists of two words: “Wald” meaning forest, and “Einsamkeit” meaning loneliness or solitude. It is the feeling of being alone in the woods, but it also hints at a connectedness to nature.
Ralph Waldo Emerson even wrote a poem about it.
I do not count the hours I spend
In wandering by the sea;
The forest is my loyal friend,
Like God it useth me.
In my case it wasn't Waldeinsamkeit in the traditional sense, but a combination of Waldeinsamkeit-lite and disconnecting from today's intrusive and overwhelming technology.

Actually, technology isn’t the problem. The problem is our inability to step away from it - the cell phones and texts and emails and games and Internet trivia and all the rest of that claptrap. I was essentially disconnected from the digital world for ten days. It was beyond refreshing. It wasn't until I got home and plugged back in that I realized how immersed I had become in a seemingly endless morass of bad news, pessimistic articles and stories, and angry, bitter commentary. All that negativity wears upon one. Over time it erodes optimism and objectivity. Granted, there's plenty of things wrong in this world. But there's also quite a bit that's right - good and uplifting and even inspiring. I fear we're in danger of losing sight of that, to our collective detriment.
Stay positive, my friends...

3.  It's a great big wide wonderful world out there. Get out and experience it.
On this trip I covered 3000 miles and four states. I had a great time. I saw scenic and historic sights. The people I met were universally warm, welcoming, friendly, and helpful (with the exception of a few asshole drivers in the Denver area). I came home with a renewed faith in the people and future of this great country.

I hope I'm right...


Toejam said...

I'm of the age where I find using the so-called "electronic technology" a pain in the ass. I do visit certain website to comment on ocassion, but I haven't a clue on how to text.

It comes down to: I don't want to, nor do I need to communicate with faceless keyboards 24/7.

I thnk back to my youth and remember my main addictions: laying in the grass for hours at a time on a nice spring day, watching puffy clouds drift by on a canvas of azure blue. Smelling fresh mown grass in the spring and burning leaves in the fall. Climbing trees in the woods that surrounded our house and listening to birds sing their hearts out.

I pity today's generation. X-Box, Play Station and other computer tripe can't come near my rich, albeit inexpnsive, experiences.

CenTexTim said...

Toejam, you have the soul of a poet. You're also 100% right.

Old NFO said...

I'll be SO glad to get rid of about half the tech crap... sigh...

CenTexTim said...

NFO - freeing yourself from the digital leash is very liberating.