Monday, September 1, 2008

Here-a-bum, There-a-bum...

So I am starting a new blog... to commemorate my new (economic/employment/social) status -- a bum.

"Bum" has such a negative connotation. The word itself sounds senseless. Curt, terse, hollow, empty. Much like an afterthought.

The word apparently first appeared in a German-American context, from the word bummler, which means "to go slowly" or "to waste time".

How very apt. For in that case, I am proud to carry the title of a "bum" for the last 3 months -- a beach-bum for some of the time. I believe I have lived out the definition very well. For that is what I have been doing (or is it "not doing"?) all this time. I have learned to slow me down. I have wasted a lot of time, albeit my own.

There is no regret here for during those times that I went slow, it was to wait for the sun to rise from beyond the sea. It was to wait for the fishing boats to come to shore so we can get the freshest catch of the day for lunch. It was in excahnge of long walks or bike rides to the beach, and not hurry back home even with the evening catching up on me. I spent hours, and sometimes whole days, picking weeds in the garden or re-arranging the furniture. I would do nothing else for the rest of the day. And that's okay.

There is a certain dignity to being a bum, to not being constrained by time, to throwing out plans and not controlling things. Some people might see that statement as an excuse for living a life without obligations, without responsibilities. But to leave a person with his own thoughts is a dangerous thing.
Being a bum invites more oppportunity to question one's life. Being a bum forces one to face the most diffcult judgment from her/himself. In the space of forever and timelessness, one's failures are magnified and successes are diminished. Isolation can be so easily mistaken for loneliness, and silence for emptiness.

In my next entries, I will share more of what I did (not), felt, thought, imagined, dreamed, dreaded, anticipated, and actually experienced. Some will be long and boring, others very dramatic; there may be a sprinkling of poetry or idle prose. Maybe, just maybe, some wisdom thrown in. But mostly just random notes...

0 side-notes: