The beginning of the Jewish New Year of 5779 coincides with this transition in my life from the city to the desert. Having been born in LA, to leave is to be reborn. I thought I could live here but I can’t. Life is very constrained in the city, everything working according to schedule so the efficiency of the system can make the most from the production of each individual; as a result the individual is diminished until becoming a slave to the System keeping him warm and fed. The System does a lot of good but for a very large price, the price of our freedom. There is a middle ground.
The Tree of Life is built upon three pillars, the Right Pillar, the Left Pillar and the Middle Pillar. The Middle Pillar, which goes from the very top until the very bottom, is said to also go completely around the four conners of a box. The System is life in a box or a glass of water constraining what is a natural flow into a container; to live in the wild, awash in the stream of life is also untenable—there is a middle ground somewhere between the two where we can be independent yet have a supportive environment.
The young in life struggle with this dilemma, struggling for independence while requiring support during the process; also as one gets older, the person requires support while wanting to keep independence. Between youth and aged is when independence drowns out support—capitalism; or when the support overrules independence—communism. The secret to stable life is in balancing the two extremes. Either extreme is not a win for anyone. The ship of state is on an oily unstable ocean of unpredictable circumstance, best we keep the ship steady and directed into the wave. A good advice to man and country.
As for me, next week I load up my ’86 Volvo station wagon and by the end of the week, hit the road and once again go back to sleeping in my vehicle. Perhaps by bedroom is small but when I open the door to a new panorama everyday, a unique view of the world rushed forward as each day unfurls before my amazed eyes. The instability of living on the road helps to focus on the present situation which is that Middle Pillar wherein lies real stability. Each of us has our own balance point that we seek which time constantly erodes.
One big difference this time, I am leaving with a couple of bucks in my pocket. I have always been a poor person on the road but as a result of my year in Los Angeles I am leaving middle class; feeling more buoyed than downtrodden—looking forward to the future. For who I am, there is nothing more satisfying than seeing everything I own in this world able to fit comfortably within my vehicle with room for me to sleep. When I need something I will get it and when I leave, I will leave it.