Curiosity Over Pride (FYI: To comment, send an e-mail to

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Redefining Tolerable

I took a long weekend to a very isolated part of Washington state. The room at the inn didn't have a TV, phone, or even alarm clock. There wasn't any cell phone coverage.

What it did have was a group af about 35 guests and a very prepared staff. We ate dinner on a porch with long tables filled with great food and flowers. Small conversational groups formed and disbursed frequently as people wandered about taking walks or playing cards.

This simplicity would have made me insane when I was younger. It would have been prison. But now that I'm 40 it seemed like such a relief. No chasing pride or running from shame with ego-pursuits such as fashion. Just friendliness while standing next to rivers.

And with internet access and Fedex I could still indulge in the benefits of civilization if I lived there long term. It certainly gets the mind wandering with possibilities.


Debra said...

Lucky you...
I just got back from 6 days in a London youth hostel that is named after a prison (no names, I don't want a lawsuit...).
While dealing with people who turned the lights on and talked loudly at 3:00 a.m., and vainly searching for ONE ROOM in a place with 700 beds, ONE ROOM WITH NO BACKGROUND MUSIC (!!!) I DID think I would go insane.
I HATED London.
Sorry, Brits.
The place is SO SPEED that I thought I was going to hit an emotional wall at 300 mph.
HELP. ALL THOSE PEOPLE. Thank God I'm back home, holed up once again.
The problem with being reclusive is the feeling of being put upon that bowls you over when you temporarily abandon reclusion.
Glad you had fun. What a getaway.
You're right. You're getting older.
The good news is... it's not so bad, you know. ;-)

JP said...

Apparently there is a nice hotel on Ocracoke island.

One of my associates from college who stayed there said that it was quite possibly the most removed from civiliation that you can get in the lower 48 states.

You can only get there by ferry.

Dink said...

"The good news is... it's not so bad, you know. ;-)"

I agree. Sorry London was so obnoxiously populated :)

"Apparently there is a nice hotel on Ocracoke island"

Islands are intriguing. Islands with decent chefs, that is!

Debra said...

JP, I'm afraid that my allergy to "civilization" gets worse from year to year.
What's going to happen if/when we domesticate EVERYTHING/WHERE ?
I think that I will put a bullet into myself if we manage to do this...
A couple of years ago I read an article about some lost place in the Northwest where there are STILL giant redwoods that had (!!) not been seen by man for at least 300 years (until recently).
Stuff like that reassures me.
NO MAPS please. I will not scratch the itch that would make me want to head out to look for them...

OkieLawyer said...

@ JP:

What I was hoping to tell you privately was that I think we are now in the same area of law. It's just that I think it is my business to turn you (or, more particularly, your client's) down.

Of course, at my level, I am just following the Judge's orders.

@ Debra:

I guess you were referring to Centre Francais (I kid, I kid). That is where I stayed when I was in London back in 1993. Of course, I was young(er) then. And staying in a room full of bunk beds with a bunch of French youngsters (along with a couple of Aussies and Danish) wasn't such a challenge.

I would do it again, but I am not sure they could accommodate my health issues and I don't relate as much to the young crowd as I used to.

On the previous topic of HFCS, the makers claim it is sweeter.

Re: your allergy to civilization:

If James Howard Kunstler is right, you may have to just "get over" that allergy of yours.

Debra said...

LOL, Okie, I read two posts by Kunstler, which one are you talking about, and what was I supposed to notice in them ? I must be dense. (Plus, you can retire to YOUR OWN HOME (and mine definitely looks like wilderness a lot of the time...))
His novel looks like the kind of stuff that EVERYBODY is churning out these days, and his Internet posts read much better, in my opinion.
Somehow or another, I think that one has to be EXTREMELY NAIVE or credulous, or whatever to believe that America was built by upright, hardworking citizens, and that all we like sheep have gone astray in the last 100 years or so...
His observations go for WESTERN CULTURE and not just the good ole U.S. of A. (Geez, that American exceptionalism sure gets tiresome sometimes.)
As for the rule of law, it must be ALL THOSE LETTERS that I used to write about the kangaroo courts, prosecutorial misconduct, quotas for convictions, etc etc in death penalty trials for Amnesty that enlightened ME to the state of the law in the country.
But we are definitely sitting on two different sides of the fence as I do NOT believe IN the law as a modern idol.
I BELIEVE IN grace, to which the law is subordinate.
Admittedly it is a difficult position to defend these days, but Dink can confirm, I am STILL someone who would rather go down with the ship than randomly torpedo everything in habitual melancolic fashion, out of disillusionment and despair.
Last night I watched a 1975 production by French TV of "Les Rois Maudits", you know, Philippe le Bel in the 15th century, Philippe who was notorious for having spoliated the Jews, the Templiers, devalued French currency, WHILE BUILDING A STRONG, CENTRALIZED FRENCH STATE.
Very edifying. In the second episode, we watched how Philippe's achievement is frittered away and crumbles into (temporary) ruin do to his son's very bad management.
A temporary setback in the creation of a centralized French state, and increasing concentration of power in the hands of the monarchy, and NOT the feudal class. (ONE monarch, NOT a peer, an equal to others OF HIS CLASS).
Nothing new under the sun, said the man. He was right.
Recommendations to all : Barzun's book "From Dawn to Decadence" where I learned lots of stuff about the monarchy that I had not idea about before.
Plus he writes a hell of a lot better than Kunstler.
AND Washington Irving, too.

Debra said...

Where is everybody ??
On vacation ?
Where is Doctor John ??

OkieLawyer said...

I only check in here about once per week now.

The Most Fabulous Objects In The World

  • Hitchhiker's Guide To The Universe trilogy
  • Lord of the Rings trilogy
  • Flight of the Conchords
  • Time Bandits