consistent obsessions

Looking up Youtube videos with “wilderness” as a search term, I came across this movie.

Watching it, I realized just how long I’ve been obsessed with this kind of lifestyle.

( I have “smarty pantsed” friends who right now are probably tweeting something like, “What?! What kind of lifestyle?! Sitting in front of a computer watching bad videos about some dude living in the woods?! What?!!#youngbilbo” ….I don’t really know how twitter works yet…so that’s the best I could do.  What is a hashtag, anyway?)

It’s been a long time that I’ve lived under the umbrella of a “Jeremiah Johnson” type fantasy.

I’ve thought about living “way out” for a long time. I wonder what fostered that idea?

When you have a family, your priorities change.

That’s a good thing…I could think of a lot of wacky places I could drag them.  Into the woods, up to Norway…some Italian villa to refurbish a cheap old house…some other place that might make things weird for a while.

My head is often full of “thoughts of away”.

And “away” never takes place in an urban setting.  It’s always out in an area that might be just a big green space on the map. I don’t have any interest in living in a city.

But, when you think about it, maybe a “grand adventure” might be the kindest thing I could do for all of us?

( I’m not the only one in the family with an interest in adventure…Jenny has a lot of ideas about interesting ways to live, ideas about new experiences.)

This movie is kind of long…but see if you can stick with it long enough to hear the Leonard Cohen song.  Who would have thought that Leonard Cohen would have a song in a Canadian movie?

The thing about a “consistent obsession” is that it probably starts out as a dream, and then over the years turns into a marker for what you haven’t done yet…or maybe a reminder of what you might never do.

Maybe a “consistent obsession” becomes a “realistic interest” at some point.

“That’s not very realistic now, is it?” is a real dream killer.

It seems like I get more realistic about things as I get older….like “the more I know, the less I do” or something.

Maybe that’s what keeps us alive when we get a little older and start to “slow down”.  It’s probably a survival mechanism to get a little “wiser” about what could happen when we jump off the cliff.

I took a bus ride from Minneapolis to Spokane when I was 18.  I’d spent the summer working on a crew that put up big power line towers in Minnesota…and this was a trip to visit family at the end of the summer.

I sat next to a college student on part of the trip and we talked about the homesteading act up in Alaska.

It might have been the last year it was still in effect…1978.  I can’t remember when they stopped giving away land up in Alaska.

I was pretty obsessed with the idea of homesteading up in Alaska.

Pretty unrealistic.  I don’t think I’d ever even used a chainsaw at that point.

The only real skill I had was the ability to dream.

That counts for doodleysquat out in the woods.

I guess it’s really a blessing that I couldn’t act on every goofy dream I have…no matter how long I’ve been obsessed with it.

Being lazy and scared probably saved my life.










About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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