Doing the prep work for being utterly useless.

our lake

I’m going to the mountains next week. My daughter Pearl and granddaughter Maggie and I are driving up to our cabin at the lake, where we will have multi-generational Girl Time and Mountain Time. We’re off the grid up there in the High Sierra, and away from stores, so we have to bring everything we need…

I have never been the one to load a car rack before, and now I need to know how. So I’ve been watching YouTube videos and practicing tying knots, both on a contraption I rigged up with chairs and boxes next to the computer, and on my car itself. I think I am prepared… I know I am pleased with myself that I could learn this knot, because beyond knowing my right from my left pretty well, I am not gifted or intuitive when it comes to visualizing and remembering spatial arrangements.

gl cabin 13
guys using knots at the cabin in 2013

gl knot practice

One thing that added to the fun aspect of my project was running across this music video that doesn’t purport to teach the knot that the singer and I both required, but does capture the emotional tone of my own efforts and made me laugh out loud — and want to dance.

The other fun thing was that after my practice sessions with the old rope, my hands smelled as though I had been camping. πŸ™‚

I have so much to do to get ready, I don’t really have the time to write a blog post about it, but I can’t help myself – and now you know why I’ll be away from Blogland, gone to a place where time will be in abundance. I will probably write, but on paper in notebooks. And we will all sit on the deck reading, I’m sure of that. So I’ll just leave you with a nice quote from Philip Connors, and hope to see you here again next week.

β€œThe greatest gift of life on the mountain is time. Time to think or not think, read or not read, scribble or not scribble — to sleep and cook and walk in the woods, to sit and stare at the shapes of the hills. I produce nothing but words; I consume nothing but food, a little propane, a little firewood. By being utterly useless in the calculations of the culture at large I become useful, at last, to myself.”


15 thoughts on “Doing the prep work for being utterly useless.

  1. Life is too beautiful to have make all those cultural calculations all the time…life is too short to have to check and crosscheck all the “facts” that tumble around us from almost every direction. I am glad you are going to “truck” on to knottier problems!

    Enjoy and may you be mightily blessed.


    1. When Connors says, “being utterly useless in the calculations of the culture at large” I think he means that the world “down below,” that he is not participating in while he is away in the mountains, cannot make use of him in any way, figure him into its whole system of values and comparisons, its “calculations.” It’s not his own calculations he’s talking about.

      I can guess why you naturally thought he was escaping from the unpleasant job of fact-checking, from our conversations of late. πŸ™‚


  2. The quotation from Philip Connors reminds me of Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s “Gift From the Sea” — not any particular passage, but just the book itself. It’s wonderful reading for a time away like yours. I believe I’ll find my copy, and have another read, too.

    Enjoy yourself!


  3. I love it! Writing in a real notebook, reading, drawing…ah! Sounds magnificent! BTW, I loved the music video. Even posted it to Facebook, lol. Have a great time…out there!


Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.