The last few years I have been nomadic, fortunately something I’ve got a knack for (otherwise I’d have killed myself around 2008 and just been done with it till the next go). Traveling constantly for years, I learned how to live out of a (granted, grossly over-stuffed) Northface duffel bag, in daily-uprooted bivouacs in the biggest, meanest – and holiest – deserts on the planet. Meeting the natives in that big former-ocean bottom made a fast fan out of me for the tribal lifestyles of the Bedouins and Tuaregs who could live in a small burlap, open-air tent literally in the middle of the Nowhere that is most definitely the Sahara, with efficiency, complacency, and an abundant self-reliant satisfaction with the now, never the “then,” or the “when.” “Now” was all that registered and it was palpable to me, the Westerner with a blissful ache to understand them and learn from them and not rub a single smudge of ugly want or need onto them from my American core.
My mother wanted me to be domesticated, at least a little. And so, I do both. I live in the 107-year-old house my great grandparents built, which has a huge wraparound porch from which you can rock and see Woodlawn Cemetery directly across the street – and the headstones of everyone who has ever lived here. (Will someone be sitting right where I am someday looking at mine over there? Not if I’m cremated…)