Friday, July 25, 2008



Here are photos of the rigs that surround me. The people in them constitute an accidental, temporary community; the kind that full time rvers experience often. We have much in common and generally bond easily. Beyond needing the social fix, we are eager to learn new tricks of the trade from each other. Pictured is yesterday's watermelon party with Ed, Paul,Bob, Ron and myself.

Consider the savings represented by the 12 rigs here: Camping fees @ $10 a night =$120 a day and utility savings @$5 a day = $60 minimum. This amounts to $180 a day, $5,400 a month or $64,800 a year. We each save on average $5,400 a year. This kind of frugality just might catch on as the national financial meltdown affects more and more people.

Consider also that we are now as electronically connected to the wider world as any city dweller yet are pleasantly removed from the city's stress and noise. I count my blessings!

Saturday, July 19, 2008



PART 2(Read part one first so this will make sense)

I went on a long journey with my lovely, eccentric oracle. While she drove, I did odd jobs like navigate and make sandwiches. Now and again an aphorism would spring from her mind and I would record it. When not in oracle mode the lady was still a fascinating companion. She loves music, especially Eagles songs with a heavy message. Her audio equipment was state of the art.

Here are a few more gems that should persuade you she is an oracle.

On Talking: When no one is listening, stop talking; Compulsive talkers delude themselves.
There’s more to life than speaking your mind–there’s cultivating relationships.
W.A.I.T. Is a useful acronym to remember and ask yourself: WHY AM I TALKING

Mind Clutter: When your mind becomes a pest, give it something else to do.

Maturity: is knowing where I can get my needs met.

Forgiveness: Is about moving forward; taking your energy off someone else; creating space for
something new.

Emotions: Pay attention to your emotional reactions, they tell you who you are.
Let the MOTION in emotions remind you that they should MOVE through you.
Searching for their explanation stops the flow.
You’re a civilized human being; No one needs to know you’re angry.

Relationships: Are about seeing another person for the gift they are; the other stuff is just detail
and not as important.

Hope and Permission: Ultimately we have to give them to ourselves.

One day I asked why she chose me. She said “because you showed interest in my journey.”

Oracles are not peaceful souls, perhaps because they have glimpsed a could-be world and yet must live in the world that is. Perhaps there’s no appropriate mate for them–only temporary companions like myself.

On our last night together, my oracle gave me my biggest surprise. Perhaps as a parting gift or as a mischievous demonstration of her power, SHE REACHED INTO MY HEAD AND TOUCHED MY G SPOT. I melted into ecstasy dramatically altered and still am. Now I know specifically where the male G spot is located and in a future blog will reveal the secret.

That experience so moved me that I went searching in my literary memory banks for an apt expression. I remembered these lines from Coleridge’s poem Kubla Khan where the guy is similarly affected, so noticeably different:

“That all should cry beware, beware,
His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice
And close your eyes in holy dread,
For he on honey dew hath fed
And drunk the milk of paradise.”

She drove away into the West and I likely will never see her again. I grieved awhile then utilized the wisdom she left with me.

Thursday, July 17, 2008



She was gorgeous! I asked her out. As we sat for coffee I asked about her plans. She replied: “People who fill up their dance card take away their options; and often don’t recognize their own hand in having done so. Wow! I extracted pen and paper and wrote that down. I know wisdom and poetry when I hear it.

She graced me with her presence for the next month or so and I continued writing down her words, though she sometimes made fun of my efforts to catch truth with words.

I had stumbled across an oracle, a source of wisdom arising unpredictably from a mysterious and mercurial personality.
There may be only a handful of oracles in the world and here I am temporary companion to one. Read on and I will prove the truth of what I say.

Oracles are made, not born. They are people who somehow rise, scarred, but undefeated from great psychological turmoil. They assemble a personality from emotional scraps found in a disfunctional family. Not surprisingly, they behave oddly at times and are fragile. Ordinary life events sometimes throw them. They discount their special powers and struggle to be normal. They are a classic case of one who knows and knows not that they know. (classical advice: They are asleep---wake them)

The silver lining to such a background is extraordinary survival skills, unusual insights and just occasionally a “grand vision” about life.

This my oracle has but is unable to give comprehensive voice to. Instead, it burps out now and again in golden aphorisms like these:

Journey mind is being awake to the fact that I’m at the helm at the center of my life. What everyone wants is a journey worth taking, a journey without a destination. We want to participate, to contribute, to be used up.

Desiring a specific outcome dilutes effectiveness.

Our path consist of this moment, these circumstances, and the choices we make. Journey is what we see when we look back.

Movement is stimulated by putting something on our horizon, and requires stamina, support and constant revision.

Living to get what we want causes us to live always with a sense of deficiency. A better choice is to explore how to be adequate to the challenge of this moment.

Everyone needs to create for themselves a buffer zone, a shield against intrusiveness so that we get to have all our thoughts and feelings.

Seeking to be right is a paint-by-numbers approach to life.

Problem lives are misapplied talents. Reacting to pain is what causes addictions, it’s an inability to be with our emotions.

We have nothing to give till we take care of ourselves.

Help that works is throwing a lifeline, Not pulling them in. It is creating space for people to help themselves.

End of part 1. In part 2, I will share what the oracle said about Relationships, Forgiveness. Emotions, Hope and Permission, Talking, Mind Chatter, Maturity.

I will also share why she chose me to receive all this and the dramatic climax of this association of a poet with an oracle.

Sunday, July 13, 2008



Paul Styles is a man made smooth by much thoughtful living. Though he could afford a luxurious bus camper, he lives in a modest rig costing $8,500. His money philosophy: “ I will spend no dime before its time. He has been everywhere and done everything including several world tours as a dance host on cruise ships.
A lawyer by career, an adventurer by choice, he won his economic freedom and chose to wander the US, retreating periodically to the forest where I met him near Flagstaff.

Last night he hurried us off to a singles dance. Wearing black slacks and a black silk shirt and seating himself, I watched as he slipped on a pair of black patent leather dancing shoes and glided into action. In minutes, a host of ladies hovered around our table waiting their turn to be whirled by the master. It’s a beautiful thing to see a waltz done properly. I shuffled obscurely on the sidelines. At one point the music turned hot and Paul opened full throttle, doing the Charleston, hopping and kicking so energetically with an enthusiastic 30 yr old that the floor cleared and cheered them on. Of course he won first prize.

Today the Philosopher emerged in a four mile walk. I carried pen and paper gleaning a few gems for you.
1. “We live in a field of dreams. All we need do is point our desires.”
2. “Time is more than money; Time is everything!
3.”I’m here as a witness and I haven’t seen it all; I keep going!”
4. “Since I do not know where I’m going, any road will do.”
5. “I book passage today to a fabulous isle—my someday I’ll “

He’s a joy, a treasure and now a friend. I have his permission to show his picture and e-mail address:

Friday, July 11, 2008


I'm in the midst of perhaps fifty thousand acres of pristine, beautiful,cool, free-to-camp-on land and I count only 12 campers scattered miles apart. Why in heavens name are there not hundreds taking advantage of this paradise?

The answer came to me: NO FACILITIES--No water, no toilets or prepared parking places. Only the truly self-contained can enjoy this cool beauty day after day. That's good news for us full-timing, solar powered vagabonds and regrettable for those captured in the hot and the hectic.

One of my early poems celebrates our good fortune and good sense:


I travel full time with a full set of stuff;
Not less than I need or more than enough;
All safely-stashed within easy reach,
Ready for desert or forest or beach.

I have food, fuel, a good fly swatter,
Stove, fridge and plenty of water,
A potty, skillet, four kinds of soap,
A swiss army knife, a strong tow rope,

A satellite dish, a good TV,
Tools for any contingency,
Cleaning supplies, things for the bed,
Sunglasses, towels, needle and thread,

Flatwear, flashlight, several hats,
Air pump and plugs to fix my flats,
Toiletries, spices, bolts and screws,
One bicycle, five pair of shoes,

Credit cards, books, several bags,
Saws, brushes and cleaning rags,
One inverter, lots of clothes,
A stash of money, a water hose,

A mirror, medicine, compass and maps,
Scissors, twine and two mouse traps,
A shovel, sandpaper, a nice towed car,
A clock, some cards, a VCR,

Stamps and envelopes, parts to spare,
Pans and dishes, an outside chair,
Paper and pens, solar panels,
Summer cottons, winter flannels.

Well, you get my point; this full set of stuff
Is all I need to smooth the rough;
I can cook, eat, wash my hair,
Watch TV or make repair.

I can sleep, bathe, read or dig
With just the stuff in this small rig.
Where tourists gaze and rush away,
This traveler parks and stays the day.

Down back roads by lazy brooks
I take a nap or read my books;
Chase the wind, drift and roam;
Let night overtake me everywhere home;

Live my life in a thousand places;
Share myself with a thousand faces;
Drink-in life till I've had enough;
Thanks to my rig and a full set of stuff.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008



Everyone you relate with wants something from you and you want something from them. Every one of us comes to the social marketplace to do business; We come bringing our “selves” to trade with other “selves.” We are complicated beings and “trading” is extraordinarily subtle because we do not often know what we have to offer or what it is worth. Nor do we know what, precisely, we want in return, having only a vague sense of our needs.

Occasionally, transactions are fairly clear as with prostitution, though even this trade is fraught with complexities.

I come to the marketplace bringing me–a hodge podge of talents; some are good trading material and some are not. I have a vast knowledge, a huge repertoire of memorized poems and quotes, a bare sufficiency of wealth and an assortment of useful skills . All of these hard won values I have found are not valued at the marketplace. This philosopher, poet, fount of wisdom and craftsman that I am goes empty handed home from the market. It doesn’t sell.

Luckily, there is more to me or I would have starved. I have things to trade that are valuable: skills that grew from the turmoil of my childhood. I learned to be pleasant and pleasing to others–how to listen. to respond, to scratch the incredible itch we all have to be heard and understood and appreciated. Most valuable, I learned to call forth and play with the child inside others. This is easy for me and I love to do it.

These latter skills, to my constant amazement, are much in demand at the market and I regularly come home with full baskets. Indeed my basket has overflowed for most of my life. Friends care for me, ladies have loved me.

I say all this to make two points: Marketgoers , all of us want value for value–however contorted they may see the exchange. We must trade for the goodies we want. It helps me immensely to learn what “sells” and what doesn’t. The things that came hardest to me, my data, does not sell. The things that came natural to me proved to be most valued in the marketplace. I suspect this is true for you too.

The second point is this: Childhood was troublesome for all of us and we all learned certain adaptive skills. I’m suggesting that these skills hold the seed of our unique genius–our most marketable skills. Oprah Winfreys’ powers were surely ignited in her troubled childhood.

I once lived with a lady who was actually raised in a chicken coop by a poverty stricken family. She grew up with a fierce passion for social justice, became a lawyer and defended death row inmates.

Now days when I’m doing poorly at the market I reflect on my childhood talents.

Randy Vining 7/8/08