Letting Go

Imagine having all the middle class suburbia accoutrements… House, cars, pets, hot tub, patio bar, big screen TV with media server and 400 movies, every imaginable appliance known to man and infomercial host alike.

Now imagine intentionally losing all of it. Could you do it? More than one person has asked us how in the hell could we have just sold everything we own, and reduce a 3 bedroom house to a few suitcases. How indeed? To be honest, it’s a different problem for both Deena and I.

I’ve been a philosophical Buddhist for quite some time. The world view of the Buddhist is that nothing is permanent. I was first introduced to Zen by Hidy Ochiai back when I was a mere pup of 17 years. He was the first of a few incredible teachers that I’ve had in my life. He introduced me to a philosophy that has stayed with me and influenced the direction of my life.

While I immensely enjoyed my possessions and activities, I’ve tried to practice non-attachment. I recognize that every possession is a gift. It may stay, or it may leave at any time. The same is true of friends and lovers. Each is a gift to be appreciated for the time that I have with them. We cannot own our lovers. Each of us comes into this world by himself, and eventually leaves alone. In between, if we are fortunate, we share our path with another. It’s a gift. Likewise, we cannot own our possessions either.

There is a Japanese school of artistic philosophy called “wabi-sabi.” The principles of wabi-sabi are: Everything is impermanent. Nothing is ever really finished. All is imperfect. Yet, everything is beautiful. Not just art, but people too are not permanent, not perfect and not finished. That perhaps, is the art and beauty in each of us.

Deena, on the other hand, has been through an “involuntary” letting go. In the past, she had lost everything she owned in a house fire. Twice! Does that make it any easier? Ask her.

The Trip So Far

On Wednesday, October 16th, we hit the road. We spent that first weekend at Magnolia Fest. Then, after a backtrack to Gainesville, Fl for an axle repair, we set out for Toronto to give Deena’s daughter the rest of the household appliances and goods.

Why We’re Leaving

Some time around November 2012, a series of “events” happened. It started with a major server crash. The RAID 5 disk storage, that’s supposed to be tolerant of hard disk failures, decided to act more like Raid The Fabulous Bug Killer, and crush all my drive data dead. All my hard drives were upside down with their legs in the air. No memory. Nada. Oh sure, I could re-build it from backups, but it wasn’t easy and it certainly wasn’t instantaneous.

In the aftermath of recovering my server, when I certainly did not have the time to fix things, the appliances started their revolt. One by one, the washing machine, the refrigerator, the car and the air conditioner joined the “Appliance Spring” revolution. I’d no sooner fix one thing when two more would break. My entire life was consumed by fixing.

Appliance Spring Revolt

The political backdrop to my sea of chores was the obvious and purposeful destruction of the Bill of Rights. The one tattoo that distinguished the United States from the rest of the world is being slowly deconstructed and destroyed.

The United States(, IMHO,) is rapidly descending to the status of Third World Country. Yet, we’re still paying First World prices. WTF?! Given that I’m somewhere near retirement, I decided that the United States is neither a viable nor desirable place for someone on Social Security.

Deena and I are of like mind, of course, so we set about the task of Where In The World Does Waldo Want to Live. Off to the web browser we go! There are a few good places in Latin America and apparently, Chiang Mai, Thailand has a huge expat community. While in the process of searching and evaluating, Deena came across a gaggle of expats that live no where in particular but just keep moving. What a concept!

We decided that’s for us. We’ll set off to foreign lands without an agenda and keep moving until we can’t. The adventure has a map. It’s a globe.

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