might be about life
might just be about sailing
I’ve sailed upon this wilderness all my life
This sea has taught me everything I’ve learned
It’s taken from me everything I ever had
And all I ever had has been returned
Hard weather howled horizon to horizon
Tackle overboard and lost for good
Fearsome creatures prowling in my wake each day
Sun and stars still found me when they could
So many islands green and fair crossed my bow
So many times I thought to go ashore
But not one held the port I knew awaited me
One by one they fell astern forevermore
The time has come to furl my sails and ship the oars
Time to end this life on brine and foam
My time’s been spent in just the way it should have been
And now’s the time, and now, oh now I’m home
In Vagabonding traveler and author Rolf Potts talks about choosing how we define wealth. Rather than assuming that “wealth” and “money” are the same thing, he suggests measuring wealth in what we value. Wild concept, I know.
I would love to have more money for things like a trip to Ireland or new tires on the car or a new instrument (still deciding between octave mandolin and mandocello, but it looks like I’ll have plenty of time to ponder it.)
It’s not what I value most. Every time discontent creeps in I remind myself that I have plenty of the stuff live is made of: time.
I rarely wake to an alarm.
Nearly every day, I play some kind of game with my daughter, the last of our 7 children still at home.
Every day, I cook three interesting meals for my wife while she runs the business.
Every day in February, I’ve written a song. Every single day. And recorded a demo thereof.
Deadlines are almost unknown around here. A day off only requires balancing personal needs or desires with what’ll have to be done tomorrow.
Want to spend August in northern Wisconsin (highs in the low 70s) instead of southern Arizona (highs in triple digits and humid as an old sock)? Arrange our work schedule to allow it, plan for gas, the primary expense, and go. (Our travel requires two other factors, a location-independent business [check] and oodles of friends to stay with to avoid expensive hotel bills [check] but those didn’t happen by accident either.)
Today I’m worried about money. Ausoma has lost two big clients (they love us, but need to get other things done before they come back and work with us again) and for the first time, rent for the 1st of the month isn’t a slam dunk. It always works out. Always. We both have faith, Best Beloved and I, and it always works out.
So today, I’m going to enjoy the time I have and not worry about what I don’t.
I registered my first domain name in February of 1999. (It was spinhead.com, the one I use for my web design company and my primary email.) I’d already been designing websites for 4 years prior, and working with computers since I first went to work with my Dad sometime in 1976 or so.
For the past 20 years I’ve spent more and more time online.
And less and less time in the real world.
I’m trading the deceptive ease of online relationships for the messy complications of infinitely more satisfying connections in real life.
More time out in nature.
More time playing music.
More time with Best Beloved and our Little One.
More time sharing meals with friends. And taking my cooking from good cook to creative chef.
More time writing and studying the craft of writing, novels and music.
More time out in it and less time in my head.
Some Things to Note
If you know me in real life, you know how to get in touch. Do so, or wait till you see me later in the week.
Otherwise contact Sue (Sue@Spinhead.com or 715.296.0347) and she’ll know what to do.
Here’s what this is not about:
- Nothing is wrong. Honest.
- This is not a reaction, it’s an action. A choice based on deep thinking, meditation, and conversation with those I trust most.
- It’s not about you. You didn’t offend or hurt me. Not now, probably not ever.
- I’ll still be writing. A lot.
- I don’t know when, or if, I’ll resume my previous online shenanigans, meaning posting everywhere, emailing like a dervish, living in social media. But don’t hold your breath.
P.S. from Sue – I fully support Joel in this decision. As his Chief Social Media Officer however, you’ll note that I’ll be managing his social media accounts on his behalf. So if you see his tweets or posts on his Facebook Author page, that’s me behind the scenes. ;)
fall the leaves
fall the mercury
fall the crisp carpeting dead to begin the blanket
fall the snow another blanket to hide beneath
to lie beneath
what lies beneath
I searched for the word mercury to see if I’d posted this poem here before. I didn’t find it, but I found an amusing bit I wrote about the end of the universe, inspired one morning as I tried not to listen to the feed mill 100 yards up the street from our home in Wisconsin.
Jonathan Fields writes today about a spiritual conversation around the comment “It is said that if our intention is to help others…we will never have any regret. Regret is a result of trying to make ‘me’ happy.”
Another great spiritual leader said there was more happiness in giving than in receiving; that a life of service was the path to contentment.
Years ago, I started using this as a touchstone for my online comments. “Is this about me, or is this about the conversation and the other readers?” Helped me decide between worthwhile comments and just adding to the noise.
It works in life as well. I’ve lived part of my life in unhealthy giving to meet others’ demands (which is really about me, not them) and a bit of it in selfishness, but for over a decade my life has been about the question “How can I serve?”
And, as every great spiritual mind ever has told us will happen, I’ve been more content and had more peace.