I sat down the other day to list the similarities between us. I wanted to understand the common threads that tie our lives together. Here is what I came up with:
- Most of us are around the same age, and share a common cultural history.
- We all have a deep-seated love for nature and take the threat of global warming seriously.
- We’ve all put ourselves in uncomfortable situations in order to live closer to nature and came away from the experience full of gratitude for life and awe at the beauty of nature.
- We all live alternative lives, where the focus of our life has been on something so passionate to us, we were willing to bear the consequences of a life not focused on money.
It is in these third and fourth similarities where the root of my sense of solidarity with these people lies. Our passions have taken us beyond horizons that we never knew we could cross, or even knew we would want to cross. Like Katie J said once, “It’s LIFE! You just have to buckle up and see where your experiences take you.”
If there is one word that sums up the sense of spirit that I think I share with these people, it would be: aliveness. Through our writing and art we transmute our joy of life into something tangible. Then we share that gift with others.
When talking with Katie and Mark of controlledjibe.com, I asked them “Why do you blog?”, which is a question I’ve been asking myself a lot lately. Our answers were remarkably similar. We both acknowledged that the things we blog about have changed as our lives have changed. For them, at first, the blog was intended to share the information they collected while planning their trip to Mexico. Later, during the trip, it was to share with others the beautiful experiences and lessons learned. For both of us, the over-arching goal was to share our hard won lessons and love of life with others. To inspire others and to educate them.
Most of us have spent a significant period of our lives out in nature. For me, my love and awareness of nature has grown to include myself and my role within the local ecosystem. It’s easy to envision myself sailing up the inside passage, catching and foraging the majority of my food, setting my daily schedule in response to cues from the environment – the sunlight, the tides, the winds, the wildlife – as opposed to the arbitrary schedule that society sets for all of us. With technology, I see the possibility of seamless integration with the ecosystem; of losing the conflict between concepts of nature and me, instead seeing only nature.
In reflection, I have to conclude that these people, my family-in-spirit, are searching and struggling fiercely for an alternative way of life. They, and I, are disillusioned with the pre-programed lifestyle that most people live and which leads to so much unhappiness, inequality, and environmental destruction. We know, at first with only our conviction, and later with our hard won experience, that there is another way to live. A better way. A happier way. We are far from perfecting it, but we are slowly inching towards it. By sharing it, we are able to celebrate our successes and learn from our failures.
It is the proliferation of communication, such as internet and social media, that makes me feel optimistic about the future. Any one of us may fail and fall by the wayside. We may lose the fire, we may stop sharing or blogging, but at least our journey up to this point has been recorded. It is shared and available to inspire new seekers of alternative lifestyles.
Many historians attribute the success of the Roman empire to their sophisticated forms of communication over long distances. I believe that society as we have known it over the last 50 years must change drastically to cope with looming world issues, and it is our modern forms of communication that will help us explore these avenues of change.
These explorers, these adventurers, these kindred souls, these bloggers are the vanguard to a small corner of this change by trying other lifestyles. I salute them for embracing an alternative lifestyle, and count myself fortunate to be among their numbers. That is why I blog.