Saturday, November 27, 2010

The year of many choices & residences

Summer leaves on a sheltered, wooden deck.
Nothing else need be said.
Winter rules.

Nature is not so cruel as mankind

"As You Like It"
Act II, Scene 7
by William Shakespeare

Blow, blow, thou winter wind,
Thou art not so unkind
As man's ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
Heigh-ho! sing heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then, heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.

Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
That dost not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:
Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As friend remember'd not.
Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then, heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.

A year to be remembered

There seems to be little doubt that 2010 will be remembered by me as one of the more unusual and, perhaps, more unique years of my life.

For nearly four months, I lived in another country as a civilian, rather than as a tourist simply passing through for a few days or as a man wearing a military uniform. I have lived in seven locations altogether. I have been in love. I sold a house. I bought a Chevrolet Suburban, sold an Audi A4 and, earlier this week re-bought the Ford Mustang that I sold last year. I might add that I bought and sold a few firearms, but that actually is pretty typical every year for me.

The year began hopeful and as one I was looking forward to experiencing. It is ending with more questions than answers, and with my road forward being one murky, muddy and a bit of a mystery. As I noted a few days ago, a situation has arisen which will require my time and attention at least well into January and, possibly, longer.

My point is that it seems I am in the midst of one of the periodic life changes we all go through from time to time -- all of us, that is, except those who spend forty or fifty years living in the same house and going to the same job day in and day out and never questioning their role or purpose in life.

The ideas I am considering pursuing when this obligation of a few months has been completed are all over the map, both figuratively and literally. I am thinking about looking for a newspaper job again; I am thinking about living in Minneapolis/St. Paul again (can you believe that, after my woodland and water diatribe?); I am thinking about returning to Warsaw or heading out to live for a time in some other European capital city; I am thinking about building a house again, on land I have in South Dakota or, maybe, somewhere along the North Shore of Lake Superior; I am thinking about moving to Florida, at least for a while. This is but a sampling of the thoughts that have been going through my mind the past five or six days.

I also am considering leasing a house or a townhouse right here, where I am, for five or six months, and writing, writing, writing without distraction.

So often, people feel trapped by the lives they are living -- jobs they do not like or marriages that are unhappy probably are the primary causes of these situations. I have no such problems. My dilemma is just the opposite. I have too much freedom and too many choices, and my nickname at this point in time might well be "Mr. Indecisive."

I do have a tendency to procrastinate, but, somewhere along the line, lightning will strike and a course will be set and all that will be visible is a cloud of dust in the direction I have gone.

I wonder if I would do better -- if any of us would do better -- if we could live our lives, say, three consecutive times with full knowledge of the first two when we arrived at the third.

Yes, I wonder .... do you?


Anonymous said...

I have wondered that actually, but I found the thought incredibly dangerous so I shook it off and trampled it to death.

See, it's not that I don't value experience, and I'm not saying that we wouldn't become more comfortable or more wealthy than we are now. However... we wouldn't make the same choices as we did our first time around; So we'd purposely stay clear of our inner needs and desires! I don't really know how to word it, but I think that if we had the knowledge about what could go wrong we'd suppress our true selves simply because we wouldn't walk the roads we instinctively wanted to walk.

Haha, blame it on my norwegianness... I can't express myself today. BUT I do find the thought scary. I wouldn't want my spirit dulled by experience.

Kaya said...

Mr. Nomad, I can't believe my eyes what I read on this post today. Am I still dreaming? It's like another detour from what you wrote before. And do you know I love it. This post gave me inspiration.

Fram is going to do something different about his life??? Fram, who couldn't imagine living in a big city and felt more secure in a wildness wants to live in St.Paul? I think that is a huge change in thinking and attitude and i like it because once in a while in your life you have to do something opposite of what you used to do and not to be immune to change.

And building a house again on a land in South Dakota???? Mr. Nomad who wants to settled down? That is unusual.

I always wondered how it felt to be free and ignore the world and have many choices like you had. And suddenly it can also be a problem.

And Mr. Indecisive would you please tell me what is good and what isn't so good in this life. What is wrong with to have too much freedom and too many choices?

Anyway, you made me think about my life, my choices and my freedom. Great post and very inspiring. Very. Too many questions to ask, too many thoughts to think, to many decisions to make.

Your writing is incredible. I am learning not only good English I am learning the way of interesting attitude toward life.

Ohhh, and Prolofiev!!!!.... He is my favorite composer. Have you ever seen Romeo and Juliet ballet? It is beautiful and touching.

Thank you for these wonderful videos. This day is promising to be very good and interesting. Great post, Fram!!!!!

Kaya said...

It's me again. I like your photograph very much because it's shows a transition between late autumn and the beginning of winter. it's a sad time for me and this photograph reflects exactly how I feel.

And a verse in a poem "blow, blow winter wind"... reminded me Boris Pasternak, a Russian poet. Have you ever seen a movie Doctor Zivago based on a book by Boris Pasternak.

"It snowed and snowed, the whole world over,
Snow swept the world from the end to end.
A candle burned on the table;
A candle burned...... (from Winter Night by B. Pasternak.

Fram Actual said...

In a sense, I always have the thought, "Which road should I follow?" lurking in the back of my mind with virtually every decision I make, Nanna. That is the basis of my question.

I have said in the past (and, undoubtedly, will say again and again in the future), that I believe I had experienced just about everything there is to experience in this life in general terms by the time I was age twenty-five.

Beyond that, my life is a constant progression of wanting to walk every road I can follow for a while, hence the nomad mentality. And, when I come to a crossroads, I always am wondering where the road I did not choose would have led me. I guess it is sort of self-imposed mental torture -- the notion of what I might have missed by not going in another direction haunts me.

I do feel I have lived other incarnations, but even that still does not solve my dilemma of living several lives within this life.

Thank you, Princess of the Zombies, for answering my question. It would be interesting to learn if you feel the same way twenty or thirty years "down the road."

Fram Actual said...

I think the response I wrote to Nanna applies to your comments as well, Kaya, so please read it, too.

It is not so much "wanting" to live in St. Paul or in Florida or any particular place as much as it is wondering what to do next. I have done this and I have done that. Should I repeat something I have done in the past? There really is nothing new to try in terms of living daily life, but, I could try living somewhere I have not lived before or I could try some work I have not tried before or I could try .... try what ?? You see my point ??

I had settled down once before, in South Dakota, in the place I call Sanctuary/Refuge. It was house on a hilltop from which there was a view for miles in all directions, surrounded by woodlands and wildlife. It went away when I was divorced, but, to be honest, I was not really content there. It simply provided a place to hide out from the world.

The problem with having too many choices is that I want to pursue this and that, and it is not possible to do all of them. Time does not permit me to do all of them and, even if it did, my income is not unlimited, and even if it were, I have obligations to others, and, add to that, I am a natural-born Scrooge. (I have plenty of witnesses who will testify to that fact, also.)

Now that you mention it, I never have seen a live ballet. I have watched a few on television, but I never have cared for dance in any form and have called it "glorified exercise" in the past. Sorry, if that offends you, but I want to be candid about it. And, I still am capable of learning to appreciate things which have escaped me, and someday hope to see one. Words have always been my medium -- whether prose or poetry or song lyrics, and that is the direction in which I "tend to attend" live performances.

Yes, about the film, "Doctor Zhivago," and, as a matter of fact, I actually read the novel. It probably was among the first twenty or twenty-five "adult" books that I read. I was born curious. Seven or eight years after I read it, I was making war against the Soviets. This world, for sure, is a strange place in which to live. I think I will find some of Pasternak's poetry to read now, and pick up where I left off with him.

You said, "This day is promising to be very good and interesting." Mine was, Kaya, and part of the reason was because of your comment here. I hope your day was very good and interesting, as well.

Wind said...

Well, I will think about!
We, all of us... somehow, are free to choose !
I will think!

Fram Actual said...

Thank you, for the visit and the comment, Wind.

Yes, do think about it, while I travel across the ocean to look at your latest photographs.

Something special ....