Squatting in the Margin

"Squatting in the margin" is one of my Mom's favorite expressions; I think she coined it.  I thought about it a lot driving home from band practice tonight.

Most Americans would probably say I lead a pretty marginal existence.  I don't own very much; all of my furniture was free on Craigslist, and my cooking supplies were gifts from family and friends when I went to Culinary School.  I don't own a television, or microwave, or cd player, or iPod.  I'm transient enough that I don't really feel like any place is my specific "home" anymore; half of my year is spent traveling.  Still, sometimes even I feel trapped.  And restless.  There is something both comforting and terrifying in owning things, in having career responsibilities, in keeping up relationships, in just about everything that makes us feel accountable.  Today is one of those days of my year I wish I weren't accountable to anything.  While I know there are few ways around our responsibilities, tonight is a night that I will be going to sleep thinking about what I would take off and do right now if I were responsible for nothing.  Off the top of my head, I would commit to a year of:

1) Skippering a seafaring sail boat 

2) Moving into a mountain town, a small one, and getting to know myself and my community

3) Learning Swedish...in Sweden

4) Studying music modes, instruments, and tunings in Asian countries

5) Getting a pilots license and working as a tour guide

6) Studying Eastern medicines and healing practices

7) Taking dance lessons from a hip-hop guru

8) Reading...anything I wanted...as much as I wanted

9) Researching under a marine biologist

10) Baking in a french patisserie

11) Performing music on streets in the UK

12) Working on the clean-up crew of a National Park

13) Building a soap box car

14) Acting as a ranch hand in North or South America

15) Hunting mushrooms

16) Harvesting orchard fruit

17) Acting in a traveling theatre company

18) Working as a podcaster in New York City

19) Arranging a symphony

20) Organizing the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade


Well that was a satisfying 10 minute day dream.  Tomorrow morning I'll be back to the grind stone, but once in a while, it's nice to fantasize.  Sleep tight.


Be the first to respond!

Leave a comment: