where there’s always music in the air

How to keep a blog kicking when you’re trying to learn how to balance infant raising and sanity, sleeplessness with productivity and when the internet feels like the last priority? Why not revisit some old Click Clack Gorilla posts?, I thought to myself. If you’ve been reading since CCG’s humble beginnings back in 2007, then I apologize for the redundance. But there do seem to be enough new faces to make a few retrospective’s worth the while, so when I was re-reading my archives to weed out bits for the next Click Clack Gorilla zine, I picked out a few things to re-share. And by the looks of it, I’m going to make it a once-a-week thing for the next month or so.

This post is a little ode to the ups and downs of Wagen life. One of the perks of blogging is having an easily accessible log of events (and writing styles) past. Want to know what you were doing three years ago today? Take a look in the archives. Hard to believe I’ve already spent so much time in Mainz. (And in Germany. And while I’m at it, it’s hard to even believe I’ve been alive for as long as I have. Whoa.) Where were you two years ago? Was your life a lot different than the one you’re living now? From the looks of my archives so far, mine wasn’t so different, except for the whole bit with the baby…

where there’s always music in the air and the birds sing a pretty song, march 2009

We no longer have the internet in our trailer, which means that now when I want to visit happy shiny internet land, I have to walk a few minutes and sit in a painfully white, painfully windowless room at the university. Is it day? Is it night? Is it sunny? Is it raining? Who knows! We’ve got theses to write and emails to check! I shudder, remembering the days when the pressure of classes and grades kept me in rooms like this, writing for 48 hours straight, popping Ritalin, chugging coffee, having nervous breakdowns…

(This just in! Attending college is hazardous to your health. May lead to emotional instability, drug dependence, and the zombie-like symptoms of systematic brainwashing.)

When I leave the computer lab reality hits me like a brick wall–strangely, a transition more surreal and jarring than that to screen and internet–and I squint so that reality can only get in a little at a time. It’s a few steps outside of the building before I’m human again, not just words and pictures on an LED screen. And I wonder, will there be a day when I don’t make it back out? And I think to myself, thank cod we don’t have the internet at our house anymore.

Digging up the front garden last week, Karlsson says to me, “You know, if you live in a stone house (that’s what we call the places that aren’t wagons), you don’t notice the changes in the weather so much. All my co-workers keep complaining about how cold it is. I mentioned that it had gotten a lot warmer in the last week, asked them if they had noticed, but they hadn’t. At least in a wagon you’re closer to that, closer to nature.”

I nodded. From my bed (desk, couch) I can hear the wind, the rain on the roof, and the birds sing- ing in the bushes outside. I wake up, I get dressed, and I go outside. There’s no ignoring the weather. If it’s sunny we drink coffee and tea outside and pray it’s rea- lly spring this time. When it rains we curse the clouds and look longingly out windows. When it’s cold there are fires to light and no dial set perm- anently to “pleasant:” just you, some logs, the woodstove, and the chill of the season.

On the nights when you’re sick, it’s minus 10 outside, and you don’t fucking feel like chopping wood and lighting a fire, maybe you long, just for a second, for that dial. But then your friends help you out and you light the fire anyway and you sit in your warm cozy wagon trying to convince yourself that summer really will come again, reminding your- self of all the good things, how much you normally like chopping wood, how much you like being outside all the time, how much you like getting by on almost no money, and you think, keep your dial! To hell with convenience! All that hundreds of years of convenience have gotten us are melting ice caps, dying penguins, a viral-monoculture, and a Starbucks on every third corner. Give me the birds and the rain, the woodstove burns and dirty fingernails, the cold mornings, the wood, and the dirt.

0 Comments on “where there’s always music in the air

  1. I love looking back at what I was doing X amount of time ago – I keep all my day planners so I can even see the mundane activities of each day.

    Two years ago we were living in this same house, N with his same job, me with my soul sucking insurance company job. Every day I’d think to myself “this fucking sucks, what am I gonna do with my life?”. I don’t wake up and think that anymore, only look forward to morning cuddles with my girl. Life is so much better now.

  2. I was going to come here to say something very similar but also quite different than what FVM just said. Your wagen life has, in a lot of ways, remained pretty unchanged it seems–the same place, basically, the same routines in a lot of ways. When you choose to live without the modern “conveniences” of technology etc, years can go by without much change there.

    So it’s just the human things that have changed.

  3. This, this, THIS! If the price of convenience is life-long debt then no thanks, I don’t want it. (Not to mention the brain dead parts of conventional life…) I dropped out of school a few years ago and have been figuring things out ever since. It’s been far from easy, but so worth it! Now I’m finally building my own tiny house, using environment-friendly, recycled and dumpstered materials. Thanks for the inspiration. 🙂

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