Wednesday, 29 December 2010


OF COURSE YOU DO! EVERYONE WANTS TO BELONG TO SOME KIND OF TRIBE---ITS ONE OF THE 5 UNIVERSAL HUMAN IMPULSES. I'll show you mine--celebrating Christmas and Thanksgiving. Christmas first (it's an afterthought) Here we are camped just outside Yuma, Az on free BLM land.
Christmas day gift exchange---a hilariously fun process of selecting and "stealing"
Now I'll return to my origional story about our Thanksgiving gathering: Hwy S22 in California---my tribe is assembling near the base of those mountains near the lovely town of Borrego Springs.
Down there are the early arrivers---our numbers swelled to a hundred by Thanksgiving Day. My rig is at the bottom--for some wierd reason I always choose to park on the edge. This tiny triangle of land is famous among RVers---it's called Peg Leg Smiths ---it's free and only 5 miles from town.
We assemble mornings and afternoons to organize our group activities. Two volunteer host bring focus and plan events.
One of which is morning hikes. I'm always amazed at the general vigor of my retiree companions---able to hike 5 miles or more before breakfast.
One day this bold coyote sauntered by on a morning hunt I suppose.
Another morning, I hear music on the mountain.
It's "Fast Freddy" practicing for a performance. He follows the fiddlers circuit.
Thanksgiving day--all set to serve. (we all chip in $10 for the basics and supplement pot-luck style---it's enough for 3 meals.
Everyone was served in 22 minutes. We are understandably good at this ----been coming here more than 10 years.
I became intrigued by that lady on the left--a newcomer--with true grit---asked her out.
She accepted and we toured the area looking at these marvelous sculptures which dot the landscape---more than a hundred of them----comissioned by a rich guy named Avery. (of Avery labels) He owns the land where they are situated and allows free camping for 3 days at the site.
Together we marvel at this prize winner---seemingly a story or metaphor of some kind---mother eagle brings home a vicious snake----to feed the chicks? or to scare them out of the nest and into the air? Don't know!
The day after Thanksgiving I perform for the crowd--and hopefully to impress the Lady, I poetized:
Something grand and dear is happening here
The world could not have expected:
The mobile domicile---and a new lifestyle
right here---are being perfected.
We're the sprouting seed of a brand-new breed,
living simple and light and lean;
living happy and free like wild cherokee
in our cozy little living machines.
A life that is bold, with ourselves in control;
with clustered friends ---in affection;
reinventing the tribe---helping revive
our long lost natural connection.
Choosing sunlight's glow over ice and snow;
acceptance over sorrow;
adventurous games over riches and fame;
and today--over iffy tomorrow.
We'll never grow old--so long as we roll
onward---till our roadway ends;
expressing our talents and keeping the balance
'tween solitude and friends.
It must have worked---she went with me another day to see more sculptures.
This one perhaps the most elaborate.

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES: I've been a member of this tribe (Wandering Individuals Network ) more than 10 years ---camping with them beyond a thousand nights. I think it is the best singles RV club in the nation---surely the most active because we travel year round--hiking, biking, kayaking, dancing. Its structure is a quirky blend of for-profit enterprise and volunteerism. The club is owned by a single individual who handles the difficult details like newsletter, directory, policy for a yearly charge of $60 per member. Volunteers plan and host the approximately 52 gatherings---a 6 month winter circuit and a 6 month summer one, with an average stay of one week at each place.
This is NEO-TRIBALISM at its best; unlike old tribalism because it is not geographically based--avoids a strict heirarchy; is based on common interest rather than birth; holds common values but not common myths; and of course one is free to come and go at will.
Einstein needed a tribe and so do you. (his friend sorted out the complex math of relativity for him and he worked hard to convince the scientific community--his tribe) We are grievously incomplete without others to communicate with---growing bizarre as we recede from human contact. Even St Anthony--the first Christian hermit / monk had contacts that relayed his message to the world. The trick is to select an inspirational and nurturing tribe--mine has helped me in a hundred way to discover and express myself. I eat better, live better, write better, behave better for my association with them. I hardly need say that a tribe can also drag one down--like street or motorcycle gangs--distract, dilute and waste one's time and energy (like churches). As with Fire and Forceful personalities---good servants--bad masters.

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