And Knitting Around an Evening Fire….


I decided to rest my hands for a minute and thank all of you for the great support you’ve shown me. The kind emails and comments are great to see. I truly appreciate that. It’s a great way to start the day. Life ain’t always sunbeams and joy. So, be sure to praise them when you see them. Haven’t felt well the last few weeks, but great comments and the morning sun made me feel so much better. I just sat there and knit as the warmth of both you and the bright rays came to comfort me. Thank you, again, for being so kind to me, for sharing this life with me.

Phillip and I have been talking about possibly leaving the city when our lease expires in July. Maybe it’s time to head back to the woods. It would certainly be less expensive than the city.

It seems the cheapest way to respond to the financial pressure is to leave the city. We’ve thought about going as basic as getting a little camper out in the woods. That’s pretty much what we can afford right now. Trimming out all the unnecessary fat may not be a bad idea. And we often feel that we don’t truly belong in the city most of the time. Despite the expense, there’s just a rule of life that is more aggressive, more “take before someone else does” and a competitive “kill or be killed” philosophy that really doesn’t apply to the way we behave, nor wish to live our lives. My agoraphobia takes me from here to the grocery store two blocks away. Outside of that? We don’t go to movies and restaurants and clubs and bars. No, we prefer sitting at home, listening to music,knitting, writing, having a beer and playing cribbage. Kara comes to visit. But, outside of that, we don’t get much company. And somehow, we like it that way. It’s just WHERE we are dig it is just far to expensive or us to handle.

I imagine in the hierarchy of needs food, clothing, and shelter must be followed with companionship. And I’m hardly lonely. I have Phillip, Bacon, Mario, and all of you. So, I don’t worry to much about having no one around with me. Before, when I was homeless….I had no one. That was much different. I’ve learned a lot more sense then. I’m appreciative of the values that I learned since being out there the first time. I don’t think I would mind at all being out there again…as long as I had my little family of my one broad strong man, two cats, and all of you. Once we get to the woods I can still write and knit to bring in money. We’d have to get Phillip a little car to get him to a job somewhere close by. He’ll continue to work up his Strange Friends in his downtime, and keep those tomatoes and pole beans growing. We’ll have to start finding a way to squirrel away a little money to get that little camper.

We actually romanticize about it lately. Wading through morning flowers covered in dew to get eggs from the chickens. The faint smell of Phillip chopping firewood for us to cook with. Boots covered in the dust of dirt roads. Screaming cicadas announcing the arrival of summer nights. Knitting around an evening fire….

Life would be less expensive, yet more valuable. Life would be remembered again in all the things you forget when you’re in the city. You tend to forget about compassion in the city. You tend to look down when you walk. I want to look up and see every star reminding me of every soul of whose pass I’ve crossed. And as each star brightens and shimmers, I’ll be reminded of how my own spirit has done the same with every one of your embraces.. In the city, you tend to turn away from the anger of man. But, I want to stare it down with every word that I pen, with every bear that I knit. I want to be able to change the world with these things my hand can command: my knitting and my writing. And leaving the city might be the only way to do that. Moving out the woods may be the only way we are going to survive.

But, I’m ok with that. I’m better with having my little family held together, rather than see the stresses of finances pull us apart. We don’t need trendy and flashy. We need only each other and a purpose that is well rooted in the reality of what human connection is supposed to be: caring, giving, compassionate. As E.M. Forster wrote, “Only connect.”

And when did this revelation come about? Sometime early this morning, as we verged on the first of the month when I realized we still need to sell  two bears, one of Phillip’s “Strange Friends,” and few books to finish paying the expenses for this month. One day, I won’t have to write that anymore. One day….. And not because we’ve become massive millionaires and are able to buy more things, but because we stepped back and shed the world of the unnecessary expenses of life. We looked towards having nothing, in order to gain everything in the world that is true.

I day dream: just us and a little camper.

Maybe by stepping back, I’ll be able to look forward to one day having my own Howard’s End.

… own Howard’s End.

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  1. Many of us are trying to live more minimalist these days. I wish I had been wise enough to realize things don’t make you happy years ago. Best of luck in achieving your dream.

  2. Greg, if that is what your heart is telling you then go for it. You are a better man than a lot of people for not letting material things rule your life. My own brother could learn from you. You two go find peace where you know you’ll be happy. No one can dictate to you that your happiness depends upon living in the city and being a part of the selfish competitiveness.

  3. I hope you start feeling better soon. Money worries are hard. Hang in there with your positive thoughts. I downsized and moved to Florida from Virginia. I have a simple lifestyle here in Kissimmee /St Cloud. It’s not as busy as Orlando.Check it out sometime.
    I knit everyday and opened a little yarn store in Kissimmee next to the bus station.I would love to meet you.You really have inspired me. Another one of your moms. My son is probably about your age and in Virginia. Miss him.
    It guess with your agoraphobia you would not be able to come out here, but I wish.

  4. And while it isn’t the same path you’re suggesting, the Dervaes family has proven it is possible to have a thriving homestead completely off the grid right in the heart of the city. They grow and raise everything they eat, they generate all their own energy, and with the exception of water draw nothing from utility companies. They have come a long way to proving that life can be lived closer to nature no matter where you are. Just thought I’d share one of our local treasures with you. Have a good week…

  5. Every word that you write could so easily have been written by myself …. from the agoraphobia/anxiety to the dire financial situation….it is hard to carry on at times and if it wasn’t for the knitting community, well, let’s just say, I really don’t want to contemplate that. I hope you find health and happiness and a safe haven and that your simple dreams come true… Sending you love and strength. xxx

  6. My dear, you are a very good and expressive writer. Perhaps you could a small town area where you would be able to write human interest stories for the local paper. Although you, unfortunately, have a variety of health opportunities, you know you have the potential to grow and become even more. Not saying the a Knitter is not enough, but you are also a thoughts, and so much can be done with that.

  7. Time for you both to have the space to breathe in nature. I hope for you somewhere with a loving community who embrace you with big smiles and generous hearts when you go to get groceries… who invite you to toast marshmallows around an open fire. I hope you find somewhere with big trees you can sit and commune with while you knit and write.

  8. Small camper: this came up on another thread recently. Suggestions were to watch Craigslist and other local listings in rural areas at the end of hunting season. That’s when folks want to get rid of campers and small trailers. One writer got a 24′ trailer for $700 that way. Good luck to you.

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