Thursday, September 8, 2011

Home / Not Home

Thursday, September 9, 2011—Orange, California

I got back from Greece slightly more than a month ago, was then thrown into prep for teaching almost immediately—I haven’t had time to evaluate the trip much. I have decided, though, that ‘m heading back there next summer. I’m now sure that writing a book on Crete and the Dodecanese is something I want to do. It’s become obvious, though, that last summer alone has not given me the perspective I need to do this, if for no other reason than I really haven’t visited much of the Dodecanese. Next trip I plan on flying into Patmos, the northern most island in the Dodecanese of any size (and the farthest north one with an airport) and then filter my way south thru the islands until I again reach Crete, somewhere near the end of my trip.

I want this trip to be different than the last trip. First off, next month I’m going to start teaching myself Greek. I don’t expect to become anything close to fluent before heading back, but I would like some sort of baseline to help me start picking things up once I’m there. I also plan a more rugged trip this time, lots of camping, of both the legal and not-so-legal variety. I’ve decided that I simply don’t want to spend money like I have in the past (in regards to Greece and my life in general). I really don’t need much in way of comfort and I don’t want to work my ass off to save money; I want to enjoy life while I’m here too—so it’s jam econo time for be in a big way. I’m thoroughly convinced that most people I know spend their money on things they don’t need or really even want; they’re just so conditioned by society to buy shit that that’s just what they do. I want to get off that train, am getting off it—I’m thoroughly sick of capitalism in all its forms …

Lots going on here. Besides the aforementioned school, I’m attempting to revive Burning Shore Press. Hopefully it will be putting out short-runs of Dan Fante’s Boiler Room and Edgewater, a book of my poetry, in the few months. I don’t want to have to out Backwaters of Beauty or Mother Earth thru them, but I want to bring BSP back to snuff in case I have no other choice. On that subject, I’ve been talking to a few fellow writers on the agent/publishing scene and things look pretty bleak—nobody is signing anybody. Thinking of trying to get a deal in the UK first. I have a bit of a name there and their publishers might be easier to break in with.

What else is going on? I've gone more or less vegan since coming back. I just don’t digest dairy well these days and not eating meat is making me both feel healthier and is saving me money. I was originally planning the vegan thing as a one-month cleanse after getting back from Greece, but a month has past and I’m in no hurry to start eating meat again, and, like I said, I can’t eat diary. So I plan on keeping on with my current diet for the foreseeable future. The only problem is that I’m getting skinny (even by my standards): I’m starting to look like Iggy Pop from the neck down.

Feeling less at home here in Southern California since getting back: too many people, too many rules, too much bullshit in general. I’m tired of living in the twilight of the American Empire; I’m tired of being of the country with plenty of bombs and no healthcare. I want something different, something smaller and more human. Maybe I won’t come back from Greece this time.

I’m also now becoming (even more) dissatisfied with teaching. I want to be a free agent. I just want to write. As soon as I get a better handle on this semester I’m going to start researching freelance writing opportunities; I’d like to start transitioning out of the college world as soon as possible. Starting in October I’m going to make it my goal to make just a little more money from writing each month. I’ve spent way too much of my life working for others and I’ know I’ll never be fully content until that has stopped. All this ties in with my no longer wanting to spend money. It’s all about freedom, of not giving away my precious dwindling time for dollars.

Despite the problems I’ve been writing about I’m feeling good, relaxed, fairly content—Greece really calmed me down. I can see my life shaping up in front of me, can where I’m going, just not how I’m going to get there. Enjoying the second part of this equation as much as the first: not knowing the exact path to freedom is a big part of the fun of becoming free (kind of pretentious sounding, but true).

What else? Lots of reading. A relationship I bailed out of just as it was getting started, no harm no foul, I hope. Just floating thru life at the moment—in the best sense. Making big plans. Letting the little ones take care of themselves.

1 comment:

helicopter steve (Estabrook) said...

Cool, re Burning Shore. Look forward to checking out the poetry. If you think you can get up here maybe during semester break I'm pretty sure I can get you a reading. Maybe we can do the music/poetry thing.