A Simple Man’s Life

9/17/21 Friday

Tonight I write by candlelight, on a pad of paper with a child’s #2 pencil. The power is out for the first time this fall, as a strong southerly blows this part of the island to smithereens. Later I’ll hook up a small inverter to a battery, and plug in the router which should give me just enough internet juice to get this post out. It’s a wonderful evening, the perfect time to reflect on the changes of the seasons and how life has become since summer.

I live in a small country house now full time. It has heat, running water, even a washer/dryer. The property backs up to an old homestead where they raise sheep. My neighbors are kind. Sometimes my fishing buddy comes over, and we head out and try for salmon. Sometimes we get lucky, sometimes we don’t, but it’s always fun to be out on the water. We talk and give each other a hard time about who is catching the most fish and why. Every morning I drink coffee, and usually manage to carve out some time to enjoy it out on the back deck with the lovely cat. We watch birds and butterflies, and sometimes see deer and rabbits.

After-the-rain.org / Cat on the deck

Things are going really well with my new Swedish friend. She lives kind of far, but we try to see each other when we can. We take turns driving to the other’s house, where we talk, laugh, and do our best to destroy each other’s bedrooms. We have fun together. She doesn’t know anything about what happened over the last few years. She doesn’t understand why her kind words and soft touches are so meaningful to me. Maybe sometimes she wonders, but for now I’ll enjoy a more simple, quiet time, taking a break from the drama.

A good cup of coffee, talking with a friend, and waking up with a beautiful woman once in a while might not sound like the most exciting life to some, but it is for me. It’s a simple man’s life, and right now it’s my best life. It’s ok if others don’t get that. They may not understand, but they don’t know. They just don’t know.

After-the-rain.org / Morning bedroom

10 Breaths

8/4/21 Wednesday

Every day I pause to take ten breaths, with each one taking a little longer. The last inhale and exhale is the forever breath, where time stands still and the universe tingles in my ears. Usually this is in the evening after stretching, today it was at the beach.

This is where I’ve spent the last few days, my favorite place on the island. There’s no easy access, so I take the long way in with the kayak. It’s warm and sunny, and a perfect day to let go of the last 3 years of my work life. Time is spent looking for agates, fishing the kelp beds, drinking water, and just sitting. Over and over and over again.

After-the-rain.org / Ocean kayak

Days go by without wearing shoes. Everything smells like ocean. I brought food but forgot utensils, so I made chopsticks out of driftwood. I miss my son and my cat and my goldfish, but today Am Happy.

With an emptying mind new ideas take shape, and I’ve made two decisions so far about what to do next in life. #1: I’m going to start a new consulting company, just so I can have this mission statement: “Seeking a return on happiness by serving others“. #2: During each week that I do not have my son with me, I would like to not eat any meat unless I catch and kill it myself. This is just a morality issue I’ve been grappling with lately. Both of these are experiments that I plan to commit to for six months starting this week. I feel a lot better about #2 because I caught a salmon today, cleaned it, cooked it, and ate it. Prepared with olive oil, basalmic, garlic, butter, salt, pepper and all spice, and tossed with bowtie pasta it was the most delicious salmon dinner I can remember and I am grateful.

After-the-rain.org / Sockeye salmon