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Adventure with electrial outlets

George,

Each of us has a choice not to pursue that one thing, but that choice leads to a pitiful and miserable existence. There’s nothing special about redemption. When it becomes special, it becomes a commodity. As a commodity, it ceases to be redemption.

Making the moves you have really is a wonderful, wonderful thing. Most people are afraid to walk around the corner and so have to take the security of the car with them. At the same time, many of them would do just about anything to be able to face the risks you’ve taken.

Taking that risk. That’s difficult for Westerners. There are places where one can really fall off the map. But when people, particularly middle-class Americans, think of taking a risk, they are not thinking of giving up anything. They think more of where they are going to buy groceries and plug in the computer.

I’ve put a lot of thought into this recently. We have a comfortable house here in Kansas City. (I hope you can make it sometime.) We have stuff. But I came out of shithole. What my wife and kids take for granted, I see as outright opulence. I mean, think about it. Computers. Internet. Televisions. Stereo. iPods. Lamps. Tables. Comfortable chairs. We use too much electricity, gasoline, food, etc. We actually need very little of what we have and could do with a lot less than what we might think is absolutely necessary.

I’ve wanted to escape the constant pounding of the senses our world entails. A simple place, like your blueberry farm. But I love these people and they have their priorities, which don’t include being comfortable in just the clothes they wear. Plus, I still have some things I need to do in terms of my research and writing, as well as teaching and building bridges.

So, I grow grapes, hack at the yard with a mattock and shovel, and try to put in a good day as a working dad. I’d be a liar if I said that were enough, because enough means a whole lot less than what I have now.

Yours,
Patrick

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