It’s Thursday today. On Monday I did a few morning chores and had my last day at ARC, and left with Misty for Minneapolis. Monday also happened to be the day of the March Snowpocalypse, and we had to turn back. I spent the rest of Monday and Tuesday happily snowed in, with just me, Misty, and another community member named Medora bouncing around in a 10,000-square-foot log cabin.
Misty and I had plenty to talk about, and the extra two days were good for getting us to talk about it. We’re going to be apart for at least a year: Misty has committed to be there until March 15th, 2019, and I’ve committed, to, well, nothing specific. Except to living this year authentically.
I chose to believe that this would just be a year spent apart, and we’d obviously get back together at the end of it. Misty was the one who pointed out that if I live this year as a sailor’s wife, I’ll be locked in stasis. That revelation tore me in two, and at the same time shone a bright light. The light was welcome and unwelcome. But it made so much sense. I can only grow if I’m growing for myself. If I’m trying to grow into someone Misty likes more, I won’t grow at all. This is a year for me to grow however I will. If Misty still likes me when I come back, I guess it really was meant to be. If not, I’m young yet.
With the freedom to do whatever I want, I’m going to make this year different from the last two “Years Of”. I’m not sure exactly how yet, but I’m going to be spending a lot of time listening to the universe. A lot of it probably atop a bicycle. Misty’s not much of a cyclist, but I’ve always thought it’d be amazing to bike around the country. (I’m also informed by people who’ve done it that one can fit a bicycle in most types of foot-passenger-rideable freight train cars, for a somewhat faster trip. And when you get off the train, if a cop wants to bust you: “I’m bike touring. Freight trains? People ride those?”)
I plan to act, paradoxically, both more and less for my own sake. More, because I’m going to be acting on my own sense of what’s right. Less, because I can see already that when I best understand that sense of what’s right, it leads me not to be a thrill-seeker but to go help. One thing I’ll be listening to the universe for is the answer to the question, “How can I help right now?”
I’m going to stop abstractly laying out the principles for this year now, though, because I can also see it’s going to be a year where plans I make will have even less use than usual. I’m going to take it as I come. But I can at least say that I’m going to make it the Year of Listening.
It’ll probably be lonely sometimes. It’ll be difficult. I don’t know what it means to find myself. Working without a plan makes me nervous. And those things are all okay. It’s only through solving problems that we grow.
Recently I clicked on a link that got me, a little unexpectedly, to one of the obscurest corners of the internet. There I came upon a fascinating question:
The Nothingists [Nichevoki] was a group created at the end of 1919 in Moscow … echoing the internationalization of the Dada movement, although they didn’t like using that word because in Russian “da, da” means “yes, yes”, contradicting their nihilism. … [In] Decree No. 6 [of their manifesto “The Decree about the Nothingists of Poetry”, they issued] four calls to nothing: “Write nothing! Read nothing! Say nothing! Print nothing!” An attitude that explains the minimal number of publications by this group over their short period of existence. They stopped all activity in 1923. “Nothingists”, from UbuWeb (emphasis added)
…Did they thereby achieve their ultimate goal?
You may, possibly, be interested to know that I’ve updated my Lists page with “Obscure but Amazing Things I Like”, as well as another “Special Moment in Music”. I’ve also rewritten my “Wait Who” (about me) page to be more useful (and I always thought it sounded a little pretentious anyhow).