Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Way: "Who will prefer the jingle of jade pendants if he once has heard stone growing in a cliff?" - Lao Tzu

Early 1976

As I proceeded with construction on our homestead, it was easy to stay focused. Working where I lived isolated me from the distractions of the outside world and I was able to pursue my work and nurture my mind with an eclectic mix of life paths. Taoism and Native American philosophies, in particular, kept me on that path. Fantasy and magic from authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien and Alfred, Lord Tennyson kept me from taking myself too seriously.
Aside from all the building, what was our plan? One important piece was to home school our children. We even considered joining forces with some friends and neighbors in the area to start a school. To get approval from the local school district was an obstacle we wanted to be prepared for. With some money available for education we set out to get teaching certificates at the local University of Maine in Farmington (UMF). My partner was the first to start the process by studying Elementary Education.  It was my plan to study Secondary Education.
Things were moving along fast. We had friends and sometimes family drop by to help with some of the larger aspects of construction. I began work on the house while my partner attended school. The other piece was to actually start a family. Personally, I did not have much respect for marriage or what it represented. But my partner felt it necessary to be married to have children. I felt our commitment was there already, but "oh, what the heck," I agreed to the prospect of marriage. In keeping with my lack of respect, we had a ceremony that was about as simple as it gets: just the two of us with some witnesses and an attorney who was certified for the task. We stepped out on a path into our woods and there it was done with a quiet dignity.
Summer 1976
With all my talk of magic, it was strange that I didn't get more behind what could have been an inspiring ritual. I did not ask the spirits for their blessing. Now, I can only regret my lack of enthusiasm, but perhaps, this was a sign right from the start that this was not the correct path. Unaware of what the future would bring, we moved forward with our grand plans.