a mooring ring
fixed ‘gainst untied tide —
the captive spy
There’s something . . . secure . . . about being moored to one spot. In so being one can assume the solid self-confidence and high-hung wisdom of being an established part – a fixture – of everyday life in their place; of being knowledgeable about the past, thus having a better ken of how the future will play out; of having the singular opportunity to watch things change as time passes in the same place, day-to-day, until one can look back and celebrate that though many things and people have come and gone, we never allowed the wider world to take hold, old as we are. With the ending ding of Life’s bell, we are reassured (as only the established eld are) that we wasted no time in searching for anything else, anywhere else.
I’m reminded of one of my favorite literary characters, whose family “had lived in the neighborhood . . . for time out of mind, and people considered them very respectable, not only because most of them were rich, but also because they never had any adventures or did anything unexpected”
(The Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkien)
Of course I’m kidding. There’s no place like home, they say – the old cliché that only clearly says that where we find ourselves at home is unique. It does not posit that one’s home is superior in any way to any other place in the world. So why stick around for too long?
Here’s an interesting question: does it frequently seem like the precision-engineered wiles of modern life are designed to keep us reigned in? Sometimes I wonder if it isn’t (some shadowy) somebody’s agenda to manufacture a certain level of fear in our lives to keep us all busy as bees, working at building walls that don’t need building: walls of debt; of education; walls of financial and physical security, job security, et al. — walls that hide the world from us, and that hide us from the world-at-large. We push and push, giving modern life that incessant essence that keeps us tethered to the ground below our feet, and how often do we bother to step outside of those walls to explore the outside world?
Not often enough?
Tell me, are the walls really worth it? How much of what we do is mindless and automatic? Do we need all the things that tie us down? The smartphones? Cable TV? Video games? Various tchotchke collections? The job or career? The mortgage (gasp!?)
How many of us are willing to sell the homestead and strike out for contrasting-hued pastures? That’s a bold move, I know . . .
But how much do we really need these things? I mean, if you’re going to put down roots, shouldn’t you be able to roam the world and pick the appropriate locale for you and your family? Why be a mooring ring, a perpetual victim of the modern security complex, ex machina / in machina, never really safe and never really threatened?
What’s the risk?
Further, what if we tried it — ditched all of our safety nets — and failed? Would we be able to come back and pick up like nothing happened? Same old grind, same old channel? You can never go back, they say.
Damn right — keep pushing forward.