Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Living on the Edge

View from the edge of Melstone, MT - July 2013

"If you're not living on the Edge, 
you're taking up too much Space."

I think walking less-traveled highways off and on over two months fits the idea of Living on the Edge. (You can catch up on the end of my recent journey by reading previous blog called Back from the Edge.)

But, I have taken the Edge adage for my own and expressed it for many years regardless of walking expeditions. I believe more people should make it their own motto, or at least spend some time pondering on its possible meanings. It may be useful and important because more and more of us surely will be living on the edge in the coming months and years.

Like the Edge of

* Credit Limits
* Financial Stability
* Social Comfort
* Physical and Emotional Safety
* Western Superiority

Some are there already. But overall, thanks to a plethora of government generosity, most of us don't appear to have suffered too much. Still, it seems clear that government handouts - bailouts, stimulus programs, quantitative easing, welfare, grants - and many other gifts are about to run out or be reduced.

The recent government shutdown and impasse on raising the debt ceiling should be clear warnings of things to come. The whole scenario will be revisited in just a few weeks and remind us again that the days of living "high off the hog" are coming to an end. The "chickens are coming home to roost," as my old Mother used to say.

Many of us will have to learn to live much more frugally than we have since the Depression Days of the 30s. Anybody remember the 30s?

We also may have to learn to

* Cooperate and really work together - the era of rugged independence may be over, time for group effort may be upon us. The Age of Aquarius which is slowly evolving will be one of Group Consciousness.
* Share more freely - we are used to buying all we want and more than we need. When we run out of credit or the store shelves are depleted, we will be forced to share with friends and neighbors.
* Care for each other - mercenary days of paying for all kinds of so-called expert services will be replaced by DoItYourself options which will ultimately be for our betterment.

I find it interesting that the Richest Country in the World and All Known History worries so much about lack, poverty, and "not enough." How much is enough? Those who live in 21st century America have MORE than 99 percent of humans living on the planet past and present.

We are standing at the Edge of the unsustainable Past, worrying about living with less. But, the real abundance lies within waiting to be drawn forth. Within our world and nations, communities and families and our very selves.

We all can prepare a bit for the Trying Future ahead. Let's give a little more, share of our talents, and make the coming change not just more palatable, but also a real Adventure.

Get ready to Live on the Edge.

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Amity and Unity to you, Robert

Monday, October 7, 2013

Back from the Edge

"What Edge?" you might be wondering.

Well, there are a number to recount, like -

* The Highway Shoulder might be thought of as the Edge. The Buggy, Flag and I covered nearly 700 miles of it. That was a lot of miles, though just a bit more than last year. Still, only half way to Arizona.

* The Borrow Pit might fit Edge as well. We spent several nights - not worth counting - resting in the highway borrow pits. The Buggy couldn't jump fences, so we generally just looked for a flat, maybe grassy place along the highway to rest at night as well as during the day.

Resting under a tree was a preference. But, highway planners have decided in many western places that trees in the right-of-way are too much trouble.

Miles and miles of western highways have no trees for miles. The sight of a tree along the highway was sometimes a real thrill.

* How about the Edge of Civilization? I have to say much of eastern Montana and western Nebraska are still pioneer country. Miles and miles of space - real big sky country. Lots of territory, sagebrush or grass, occasionally wheat or hay country.

Fortunately, we didn't meet the desert this time. Detouring to South Dakota kept us out of the worst of the heat. But, there was still plenty.

I might also make mention passing through a few ghost towns. Ardmore, SD, and Angora, NE, come to mind. Ardmore - on the extreme southwestern edge of SD - was once a busy spot on the railroad. Now, there are still many - dozens - houses and buildings standing - or leaning. Although there was traffic passing through the town, I didn't spy any residents. I was told later that there may be one of two occupied houses in the town. It was a bit scary.

* The Edge of Wellbeing. I gave up the Walk on my 65th birthday when I arrived in Bridgeport, NE. I thought I might keep going. My legs were fine, especially with my Keen walking sandals - which Brother T bought for me to replace the Tevas which Neighbor Loren gave me before starting the journey. Even now, I just put the Keens on my feet and my legs want to get moving and cover ground.

But while my muscles were still in running order, my bowels were running as well. And, I was getting tired of stopping often to hide behind a tree, bush, or hillock to "take care of business."

My intestines and solar plexus are still not quite settled. But, bleeding always stops and "it all comes out in the wash," as my good mother used to say.

I now trade one Edge for another which I will explain in the next blog. That will be based on a saying passed to me by an old friend - one that resonates:

"If you're not living on the Edge, 
you're taking up too much Space."

Dave and I shared a room at the Rainbow Motel in Alliance, NE.
Dave's been living on the Edge for most of his life.
If you want to know more about his story, ask me directly.

Thanks for reading. Post a comment below, or send a note via email to if you like.