Monday, June 22, 2015

WHAT DOES "HAVING A LIFE" LOOK LIKE?

MY SISTER WONDERS IF I HAVE A LIFE---A MEANINGFUL LIFE.  In dark moments I have asked myself----and doubted.  Yesterday I asked a busy ant (I really did)if she had a meaningful life. She said that she never considered the question---and would I excuse her---she had much to do. And off she went to gather the bird seed I had strewn nearby.  Ants can't and people rarely do consider whether they have a meaningful life.

I've not posted lately--not sure why.  Anyway, here's what I've been doing: Here's the life I have:
Met a fascinating lady---Kat--who astonished me in a hundred ways.  Not least in her culinary arts but also in her dancing.  (beautiful--unselfconscious)  She may be the sanest person I've ever met.  She introduced me to her set of friends: "Freethinkers" they call themselves and allowed me to sit in on one of their sessions.

She is certainly an "autotelic" personality--because she generates her own meaning. Let me illustrate!

Her back yard is a fairyland.

As is her small apartment.  Not shown is her flower garden and her party/meeting area. She organizes events with hundreds of people---leads seminars all over the country. What a pleasure to get to know her.
What surprised the two of us is the extent we shared values.

One day we went to Sedona where I revisited this famous statue of Sacajewea

She has no money problems but as a hobby makes and sells jewelry

On another day I took my friend Laurie to meet my friend Pat---she played guitar for him.


And he returned the favor.  I enjoy connecting people with common interest.
One day I  explored an abandoned ranch.
Came face to face with a young coyote who stayed awhile and looked at me.
see him in the center?
OOPS--that's a fox--not a coyote--thanks Ed.
Then it got hot in Cottonwood so I went about 40 miles and 3000 ft uphill to Flagstaff.  (sooo much cooler) This view from my door shows Mt Humphrey with snow--elevation 12,600 ft---highest point in Az.
Several of my friends assembled here to enjoy the cool.

Two weeks later, some of us moved to this historic spot---Cinder Lake.  It really is a lake of volcanic cinders.
And right here is where Neil Armstrong and other astronauts practiced for their moon landing.

And then one day another old friend arrives .
Yes it's my guru friend Wayne Wirs.  
I note the latest  tweaks to his live-in van,

One of which is this easy chair replacing the passenger seat. (a table slides out for convenient dining)
He wanders the nation in splendid comfort and lives under the radar of public notice.  For practical purposes he is invisible. 
He's a slippery and unpredictable guy--so I quickly assemble some friends to  "catch the flavor" of him".  He obliges with an hour interview and previews his latest book.
check him out:  here        He stayed one night then vanished.

These folks were living in the woods nearby and I managed a short interview as they were leaving.They have 3 dogs and a lot of gear--including 8 gallons of water.  They mostly walk their bikes back and forth to Montana--about 1400 miles.  She is a Cherokee maid  and he a retired riverboat man.  They've been traveling together for 9 years.  I say that they "have a life"--and a fairly rich one at that---challenges to cope with--daily changes to experience--reasonable comforts---and most of all THEY HAVE EACH OTHER. 
Saw this odd sight in South Phoenix--knew I'd found a "meaning maker"---A man with a life.

Sure enough, he has a life---a busy one--what with collecting cans--keeping his carts functional--making camp in a nearby draw.  Was something of a philosopher:  told me he would not work for another because the arrangement is inherently exploitive. He wakes up with things to do---places to go.


RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  I suppose one has a life if they are attempting to do a thing they want to do; go a place they want to go; be with a person they enjoy.

I have a more detailed answer in a post dated June 4, 2007: How to generate meaning




12 comments:

Sooper Edd said...

That might be a Fox Randy.
A few years ago the "Freethinkers" posted a small piece in our local weekly Liberal rag; it was the first thing I read every week. I miss that.

I've been wondering lately why we compare things so much? Wouldn't we all be happier if we were content with what we have and just be happy for what others have?

"Having a life" is whatever gives it meaning to each of us.

Randy said...

OOOps---you're right Edd---that is a fox---thanks. I also agree with your comparison point. A line from the famous poem Desiderata says a similar thing: "If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter----for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Sooper Edd said...

I wonder in what ways our constant comparing serves us? We do it practically non-stop; we compare things like hair color, size of trailers, our jobs, how many children we have, our sense of humors, the color of our houses and on and on.
It must serve us some benefit Randy.

VtChris said...

I recently saw a documentary featuring Richard Dawkins and when asked "well then, as an atheist, what is the meaning of life" his response was that the question was a nonsensical one, like asking what is the color of an emotion. Somewhat paraphrased. Does one have a life? Maybe it is just a stupid question. Not all questions need to asked. Nor answered.

Randy said...

Hi Chris: I'm a big admirer of Dawkins but he could have answered better. I would have said: No one, seemingly, knows the ultimate meaning, if there be any, of this situation we find ourselves in. But we can make some headway on the question: HOW CAN I CREATE MEANING IN MY LIFE?
I have addressed the issue in a post dated June 4, 2007 entitled: HOW TO GENERATE MEANING---the conclusion to which is:

The space we have won for ourselves is also our challenge: How to meaningfully fill it. We do this by letting the space “speak to us” of our real “fascinations”; out of which we create “games” to get us moving through experience; which lights us up with meaning; radiating our contribution “out there.”

A Question to Ponder:

Whose games are you playing? Your own or someone else's?

VtChris said...

My own, most definitely my own. Well, on second thought, since I was raised and live in a society, a more honest answer would be....as close as possible to my own.

Nancy1340 said...

Great post. It makes one think about just what they are "doing".

Al Christensen said...

There's "having a life" and there's having a life one enjoys, that brings contentment. Contentment is harder -- and therefore more enduring -- than happiness.

Cory Moody said...

Hi there mr Randy! I'm Cory Moody, 21, currently living in New Orleans! I just watched the Without Bound video on YouTube from November 2014! I have lived in my jeep cherokee (custom outfitted) on and off for 9 months and it has changed my life! I really enjoy your posts and will be keeping tabs now! I hope to one day make it west and I know I'll meet you some day! I have a couple YouTube pages but the one i posted a video of my Jeep is here https://youtu.be/8eF4dwM1zng

VtChris said...

Well there Mr. Randy, if that comment by a 21 year old doesn't make the point that your life has meaning I don't know what does! You are a trail blazer!

Randy said...

Thank you Chris High compliment especially from you. (This lady is literally THE QUEEN OF THE ROAD---read about her here: http://mobilecodgers.blogspot.com/2012/08/meet-queen-of-road.html

And thank you Cory: Kudos for the Courage to cruise ---for the resolve to roam-- for refusing the rule of ole devil rent. Every dollar you save will purchase a bit of freedom---and every day of adventure builds character. We million already living free salute you and look forward to engaging you. You may be inspired by the blog of my friend Glenn Morrissette---TO SIMPLIFY.

Andy said...



http://iheartintelligence.com/2015/06/25/hunter-s-thompson/