Sunday, April 19, 2015

TRYING OUT A BIT OF SOLITUDE

I THINK I'M READY---HAVE BEEN HIGHLY SOCIAL FOR SOME WEEKS--- NOW I WILL GO DOWN THE HILL FROM PAYSON TILL THE TEMPERATURE FEELS RIGHT AND SETTLE IN SOMEWHERE. A companion will accompany me for a day or so---then must go meet her family.  I will be left alone with my chattering mind.
Beeline highway--Az 87--is one of the great highways in America.  4 lane expressway through beautiful mountains---with many opportunities to stop, sightsee or boondock camp.

Our first effort to find a campsite came to an unexpected halt--the road to Sunshine is blocked with a huge pile of dirt--for no obvious reason.

Beyond the dirt--a perfectly good road continues.  We are not discouraged--there are many more opportunities.

We pick this side road near mm217--go out a mile or so and settle into a relatively flat pull off.  Can you see us?--(middle slightly right)
Here's a closer shot.  This is a 5 star boondocking spot. 1.scenic 2. free 3. flat enough 4.quiet 5 has cell service.

The view out my door.  

We walk the area left and right---up and down.

She doesn't allow picts of her---so here I am---rockhugger...

And stalk holder of a century plant. Fascinating plant---with a lifespan of 10 to 30 years--during which it quietly stores up energy for a grand finale.  When conditions are right, it spends all the energy it has saved in one glorious blooming stalk raising---sometimes 30 feet or more--then dies. The stalk grows very rapidly.  I fancied that I could feel it growing in my hand. Read about it here.

And then---I'm all alone--fully stocked with essentials---nothing particularly nagging at me to be done.  It felt glorious---unstructured time to fill anyway I choose.  Started reading a novel.

Went for a walk---saw this near my rig---always a sobering discovery.  Can you see what it is?  It's the track of a large rattlesnake crossing the road. I wondered if you could tell which way it was moving from this pattern.  I'm guessing a good snake man would know.

Poppies---my favorite flower--(mainly because that is my nickname). They are everywhere.

As are these magenta cactus flowers

Then--one of these--like a poppy anomaly. 

And then one day a strange creative impulse seized me.  I began to do some long delayed projects--like installing led mood lighting up front. 

And replacing this worn out dry-erase board that will no longer erase.  Guess I've cleaned it once too often with alcohol.

I've had this spare for 2 years---finally put it up---took all of 5 minutes. That's a picture of my mother.
(I reflected on a poem she had me memorize when I was a boy_

As I was walking down the street the other day
I heard a little urchin to his comrade turn and say:
Jimmy let me tell you--I'd be happy as a clam
If I could be the fellow that my mother thinks I am.

She thinks I'm a wonder--she just knows her little lad
could never mix with anything that was ugly, mean or bad.
etc
And then I was on a roll.  Here's a problem that has annoyed me perhaps 20 years:  the thump thump of that vent in variable winds--taking, then releasing its slack.  There must be a million rv vents thump thumping like mine.  Suddenly I saw how to solve it.  Took me 10 minutes to build two of these for my two vents.  Can you see the solution?  A chord attached to the thing and wedged inside..
I fashioned  the wedge from plastic.

And that's not all---I managed to do a long delayed blog entry: (the previous one) It takes me about 3 hours to write an easy one.  The hardest part--ironically is the title)

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  I WAS ALONE FOR 4 DAYS.  THE LONGEST I'VE EVER BEEN ALONE IS 5 DAYS.  I think I need to do more .
THE BIG LESSON IS THAT SOMETHING WOKE UP IN ME.
MY CREATIVITY WAS ACTIVATED.
I BORED MYSELF INTO ACTION.
PERHAPS WERNER ERHARD WAS RIGHT: CREATIVITY SPRINGS FROM NOTHINGNESS
As quickly as I was delighted with solitude---Just as quickly I was done with it.  I was gone in 10 minutes flat. Drove to Mesa--slept in a field beside Mckellips rd. 

Delacroix (famous Fr. artist):  "in solitude ones inner voices become audible"
Kierkegaard: "there's great value in being idle in ones own company".
Bertrand Russell:  "the rewards of fruitful monotony"
Philips: "productive solitude is essential to the healthy psyche"
(thanks Anita for the reference)

9 comments:

pizzadad said...

Good sailing Randy. Enjoyed the post.

Pete

Anonymous said...

I'm an introvert so naturally like solitude. That being said, I don't know if I've ever gone 4 days with no human contact as I live in a city.

Would be great to try it out where no one would interrupt my solitude.

i also like how you rode your wave of productivity and kept moving from long-delayed task to long delayed task. So crazy that we all put off so many things that take only a few minutes to complete...

Thanks for sharing your experience!

Anonymous said...

Randy, you can't really experience the effects of solitude in a mere 5 days, it takes much longer to really start to feel it. I suppose everyone's different, but you really should go out alone for at least a couple of weeks, as I think it takes at least that long to clear one's head of civilization, maybe longer. I've gone for literally months and it's interesting to see how your perspective changes and how much more clearly you can see things for what they are.

Randy said...

Thanks all for your support and insights.
I think anonymous may be right about extended solitude being necessary to escape the clinging (mind fogging?) effects of civilization. Maybe when my courage is high, I will try it.

Randy said...

And p.s.---I wish some clever tracker would tell me how to determine which way the snake was going. On occasion it would be useful to know.

Wayne Wirs said...

Re the rattlesnake: Just an educated guess, but I'd say the snake was moving toward the camera. The tracks form a sort of "wave" as the snake PUSHES itself forward. So the direction from crest to trough (of the sand wave) would represent the direction of snake's movement.

But that's just a guess.

Mike said...

Hi Randy Well done. Love the pitchers especially the pitcher of your mother.What a view to wake up to. Stay safe out there my friend

Al Christensen said...

Q: Why did the rattler cross the road?
A: To get to the other hiker.

wildsider said...

Excellent deduction Wayne, you are correct. I would add - rattlesnakes are to be respected, not feared. They play an integral role in a healthy ecosystem.