I’m on a hedonistic, city-level capitalistic bender of an adventure. It’s not productive at all. It’s not well thought out, and is completely indulgent. I have lots of things I could be up to at home, but I lit out on this adventure to make the break from working decisive. It is that. Since it’s not really underwritten by a mission, it’s kind of relaxing.
Work was hard this March and April and my response to that for decompression was correspondingly extreme- going to Montreal to catch a UFC fight. Hitchhiking home would have been productive, to spark more book work, but my awesome brother ferreted out that VIA was having a 60% off fare sale, and so I’m going home on the train. Another tick off the list. I’ve always wanted to take this train.
But I’ve spent a lot of time in the last week surrounded by people, walking around Canada’s biggest cities, navigating the undergrounds, shopping, and searching for nutrition in concrete jungles. It’s not only a sharp contrast to how I intend to live my life (and do), but it’s an immersion in things I morally disagree with.
I’d like to call it a binge that balances asceticism, but the reality is we have been on a collective decades-long bender of excess and consumption, and what’s required for balance now is very clear: to be satisfied with less.
There’s something very human about wanting the best of what we see others having. Our culture has taken it to a new level of self-expression through purchasing, making mass-consumption part of personal identity. But if someone else is doing or has something, then why should we deny it to ourselves? That’s the short term monkey in us. Why save a banana now for anticipated need later, when it could benefit all the monkeys?
Since selling my house, though, what I want has all turned to indulgence. For seven years I’ve been working on the house, working to pay for the house, tied to the house, and being severed from that has made room for a flood of desire to play like I’m making up time. Not so much to consume but to explore. I don’t mean to miss anything. To compound this, I feel the impending end of all things. The end of my window of youth’s opportunity, the end of oil, of the ability to travel, and the end of civil peace.
In response, I want to gather up experience and gorge on all I can get and have before it’s over. I sense I’m not the only one with the now-or-never motivation. If there are any twinges about that little bit extra plastic or jet fuel, well, we all know we’re well over the brink already.
I’m letting myself go. I’m making tracks towards sustainability, but I’m also traveling, I’m dancing, I’m saying yes to anything I feel like. Plus gardening. This is the summer of play, and I mean to play hard, so that when I dive into farming, I’m there without regrets.