Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wishes and Freedom

(picture, 1997-ish, age 20 -- Tunica Hills, LA.)

Do you ever feel trapped by the flow of your own life? Things are going just as planned, in fact you might even be getting some of the things you wished for... and of course when you get those, you wish for more things. Or say nothing is going as planned, it's a big mess and so you want to escape.

I have noticed that humans (myself for sure) tend to go from day to day building up a life, building brick upon brick, foundation, into walls, into personal castle. It seems as though we are building something great, it feels quite safe and accomplished to have something worked on for so long. It's your inner self, the castle... your beliefs, your lifestyle, all your choices, your personality and day to day reactions. And you are really invested in it, of course.

But I... don't know if my castle matters. My opinions are like the wind. I don't know if having the goal of being perfectly stable and predictable is healthy, worth it, or even fun. I don't know if once my castle is all built if i even care to decorate the inside or move in... maybe i just like to go from place to place building new castles, trying out new things, taking risks. Rather then get attached to what i built.

It's not that i don't like myself, or that i don't like my lifestyle. It's that something inside me, some soul-like substance is always driving me to new experiences and I can't really stop it. I have spent the last ten years working on living a sustainable life in the woods, and I have accomplished more then I ever thought I would. It started because I was sick with horrible health problems and then I fell in love with every blade of grass, every wildflower, every rock... i had slowed down enough to merge with nature. And nature taught me how to truly love. But now... i want something else -and i am not referring to city living, but more a coming out of the foggy patterns my health put me in. I want to merge with nature, people, reality, the world, my own health, my own potential - the full picture. I don't have to focus only on one wish, i want a bigger picture,

i want freedom to seek the picture and all it's contents.



paleotool said...

Go west! or go go somewhere. Maybe you can find a community of like-minded individuals or at least make some new friends and see new sights. Just a thought : )


Teresa Evangeline said...

I have always sought new adventures and it has brought some outstanding experiences. It sounds like you've received the call to go. Don't hesitate to heed it. All roads lead to oneself. Just go with it and see where it takes you....

Peace, Quiet, Joy said...

You're already free. Invite your community. Build it.

Anonymous said...

Your writings are inspired and witty but indicative of the real problem. All of your focus is on you! Of course, your health may have contributed to this narrow focus. But you never will be happy/satisfied/content as long as you continue to focus on yourself so much.

When was the last time you volunteered to help someone else? When did you do something nice for someone else? Giving to others (human beings) is the way to find true inner happiness. The old saying is true- 'it is far better to give than to receive'.

Leslie's Gone Oko said...


well, it is my blog first of all - and i am the writer and its not fiction...
and i am writing about my own personal journey. If you want to read about the world, there are newspapers and stuff for that.

also... i have done many things to help others throughout my life (volunteer, organized and random) and many things in small ways everyday - but why would i sit around on my blog listing, bragging about every person i ever helped?

Your comment seems judgemental and assuming.

Ray said...

Does this mean you'll be leaving the woods?

Jenny Dicks Ward said...

I think the "anonymous" person is a tool and obviously has never met you in real life. You help tons of people everyday. You inspire people everyday. How many people can say that about their life. Maybe they should take the time they spend writing fiction and help other people. Maybe they need to "focus" on themselves on figure out why they are such an asshole. But hey, that's just me.

You are living your life and building a new sustainable life in the freaking forest. You didn't choose to be there by yourself. But it's what happened and you are dealing with it. Like a rockstar.

So anonymous, you can shove it. If you had some balls you's sign you name.

Anonymous said...

I think about two things when I read your post. First is the seeking, searching, instinctual nature to experience variety, and with that, an almost striving compulsivity to accomplish or change the inner or outer condition we find ourselves in. This feels a little dull to me, even though the "experiences" change.

Then deeper, there is a natural expansion, and that expansion is a function of wisdom and soul. This level of experience is similar, but more subtle than the first, and therefore takes more of my attention to feel and follow.

May we have good discernment!

Andy from Oregon

Mary said...

I'm a regular reader of your blog and enjoy what you share with us.

However, I think both you and Jenny Ward are missing the point of the previous commenter. I think the comment seemed to be written as a helpful tip rather than as a attack on you. Or that is the way I took it. And even if you think it was a personal attack, it would be worth considering the message which is that by concentrating on others rather than ourselves, our lives become enriched and blessed.

And second, all of us can stand to benefit from suggestions from others. And to handle constructive criticism with grace and thankfulness is a sign of emotional maturity. Being overly defensive is not really the way to learn and grow. Not only does it keep us from quickly learning from others, but it also prevents others from being willing to share difficult truths with us.


Jenny Ward said...

I understand that the written word can be misunderstood (without hearing and seeing non-verbal cues) we all use when we speak.

However, I found the author of the anonymous posting to have written the post in an condescending tone. The way the post was written can be taken either way but I feel that the author intended to accuse Leslie of being singularly focused on herself.

Leslie is by nature a teacher, and always has been since I meet her in the late 90's in college. Her blog provides an outlet for her and a glimpse into her world. On her journey she's written many "how to" guide's for other people. Leslie in an invaluable resource to all of us who need her help, myself included.

I found the author to be offensive in assuming that Leslie doesn't help people. Had they read her blog (in it's entirety) they would see the value of her words and how her words are changing the world.

I believe in constructive criticism with a purpose. I just didn't feel that the author knew (or cared to know) the whole story. Leslie is the one bravely sharing her life experiences. If the author was trying to provide feedback they should have signed their "suggestions." She isn't hiding behind an anonymous thread.

Peace, Quiet, Joy said...

I also read that comment. It didn't seem condenscending - just some food for thought - an idea - a suggestion - the Golden Rule. There is something to this Leslie. I think you need to get into a community and be that instrument of service - in whatever capacity you can. To be with like-minded others and to have that common goal will bring you to that *place* you seek.

William Blake said...

1I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity. 2 I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it? 3 I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was that good for the sons of men, which they should do under the heaven all the days of their life. 4 I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards: 5 I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits: 6 I made me pools of water, to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees: 7 I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me: 8 I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts.

9 So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. 10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour. 11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.

Solomon, The King
Ecclesiastes 2
King James Version

Bort said...

I think you just need to get the fuck outta dodge!take a big ol vacation somewheres and meet some new peeps.

Anonymous said...

Whoa there kiddies! I never meant to offend or accuse anyone of misconduct. I was just sharing a time proven idea with you.

Of course you have helped others with your sustainable writings! But I am talking about a different kind type of 'volunteering'. The type that Peace, Love and Joy mentioned.

Just something to think about. We never are too old to learn something new!

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

anon -

i have volunteered plenty, like i said i dont see any reason to talk about it all in detail.
I do however have certain health restrictions in my life... so there are things at this present time i can not do. I do what i am capable of, and that is more then write sustainable thoughts.
I have been the person in the wheelchair as well as the person who pushes the wheelchair for someone. I am also certified under the ADA (american disabilities act) to help people.

If my posts are read more broadly, (as i think many people do) they would realize i am not refering only to myself. I am refering to human nature. and Nature itself.

to Jenny - thank you! xoxoxo
William Blake-- that is a bit what i was thinking...
Mary -- i get tons of critisism all the time, so to be honest i would like to enjoy my life instead.
and to Bort,
exactly. I need a vacation.
in summary -all i was trying to say, all humans get attached to our idea of what life should be... but maybe it's OK to let that go and try something else.


Peace, Quiet, Joy said...

I see you never seem to reply to my comments. Are you biased against Israel? Maybe that's the problem right there. I think there's some kind of delusion involved here. And you can quote me on that.

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

this is getting more and more bizarre. Peace, Quiet and JOy, i don't even know where you are from but i will assume now it's isreal.
I don't have a clue what to say to something so off the wall honestly - except i stopped responding to alot of comments back in the winter, and i don't pick and choose who i repsond to based on anything but spur of the moment..
And I don't have any predjudices against any race or countries, including Isreal - I am certain i have never given any indication that i do.

If you think it's just you Peace,Quiet, and Joy --- look at the thread again and notice i did not respond to everyone.
Let's list them in case you don't see:
Paleotool, Teresa Evangeline, Ray and Andy From Oregon....

WTF is with this blog post? It is making people have really odd reactions!

Gratuitous said...

You already have the "...freedom to seek the picture and all it's contents." It's precisely what you've been doing all along. You're still young; your picture will continue to change, and how it does is partly up to you and partly up to circumstance. In other words, fate combined with our abilities to alter it.

I think the reason this series of comments seems unusual is because you've struck a chord with your readers. You're at another crossroad, and everyone (including me) would like to influence your direction somehow based on our own perspectives and experiences. Although it's not up to us, nobody can communicate with anyone else without having at least a little bit of impact. So what do you do with all of this feedback? What you've been doing; cherry-pick the nuggets that apply and discard the ones that don't. It's what we all do anyway. Don't reply if it doesn't resonate. We don't have the time to engage with disrespectful or irrelevant or adversarial relationships if we want to live a life that is more good than bad, as there's no such thing as a life that's only good; we're defined that way. All we can do is strive to tilt the balance toward the positive; two steps forward but only one step back.

Not to get too new-agey or philosophical, but whatever you decide to do is exactly what you were meant to do; live in the moment with no regrets. The past is gone to us forever (except for its lessons), the future doesn't even exist right now. The only thing that's real is the now.

Do what you gotta do. Take the advice you want, but please don't let it bog you down.

Naccho said...

Is Morality a Matter of Taste?
Why Professional Ethicists Think That Morality Is Not Purely "Subjective"
by Theodore Schick, Jr.

"Subjectivism claims that what makes an action right is that a person approves of it or believes that it's right. Although subjectivism may seem admirably egalitarian in that it takes everyone's moral judgments to be as good as everyone else's, it has some rather bizarre consequences. For one thing, it implies that each of us is morally infallible. As long as we approve of or believe in what we are doing, we can do no wrong."

otiesassy5 said...

keep on truckin Leslie

Leslie's Gone Oko said...

Ethics are for the conscience & betterment of life, morals are for the self absorbed.


Sean said...

All this talk about morality and ethics makes me want to go outside in the sun. L8tr :-]

Anonymous said...

all this talk of ethics and morals makes me want to drink beer and watch the high school girls