Wassail, traveler, and welcome to The Gable Grey -- a place of retreat, of renewal, and of resistance: a tree-shaded refuge in Dark Times. Now pass the threshold, and rest from journeys! For a cold wind is blowing; and here, if you wish, you may hear tidings of the world without...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Canned Doomer

There is a kind of serene incredulity that, like a heavy curtain of velvet, descends silently atop one who is at last visited by the very thing upon which he has spent so many hours musing.  Losing my job has been, for me, rather anti-climatic.  Collapse found me waiting patiently; even if I was unaware it had paused at my door, I'd known it to be in the neighborhood, having seen its calling-cards here and there for a few years now.

I stand on the threshold of a new life.  There have been many who have gone before me; many, many more will follow after.  Any lingering illusions about certainties will fade in the glare of reality.  I feel the grip of society's collective denial, already tenuous upon my shoulders, loosening more every day.  A rather terrifying feeling, to be sure, but also a reminder of the simple primacy of being alive and aware.

What comes is a Leg Down in expenses, expectations, and the widely-held, general misconceptions known as Quality of Life; years of cobbling together income from disparate sources, most likely part-time; and generally learning to Make Do.  I have been working on the latter for some time; now I shall be put to it in earnest.  This is not the job market, not the economy, and not the society of my father when he was my age, around 1986.  For that, I am somewhat glad.  Things are becoming simpler.  Harder, in some ways; but better, more meaningful.

Living on an acre and a half in a small town setting will begin to show its advantages.  There is work to be had, if low-paying, within walking distance of my house.  I have found that nobody seems to give a damn about my stealth flock of chickens, since we live somewhat near the city limits.  There is ample room for gardening, which I have been taking advantage of.

I no longer have to buy gas for my mower, since I got rid of my riding mower and got a Fiskars reel mower a couple of months ago. 

In some respects, my life is looking less and less like 2011 and more like 1911, all the time.

Wassail, friends.

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Whiles carried o'er the iron road,
We hurry by some fair abode;
The garden bright amidst the hay,
The yellow wain upon the way,
The dining men, the wind that sweeps
Light locks from off the sun-sweet heaps --
The gable grey, the hoary roof,
Here now -- and now so far aloof.
How sorely then we long to stay
And midst its sweetness wear the day,
And 'neath its changing shadows sit,
And feel ourselves a part of it.
Such rest, such stay, I strove to win
With these same leaves that lie herein.

-- William Morris, from
"The Roots of the Mountains"