I wrote this post yesterday afternoon, and intended to edit it before posting so had it sitting in my drafts folder. Now it’s the next day, and I couldn’t sleep last night until I took a pill at 4 am. The general feelings of contentment and tiredness that I’d had at bedtime were completely hijacked by anxiety over what I’m doing with my life. It all seems ridiculous in the light of day, but sends my mind racing at night. Kinda makes life on a remote alpine lake all the more appealing. Le sigh.
I’ve been reading a lot lately, as part of my work to regain an attention span and enthusiasm for all that life has to offer. For the most part, I need to stick to how-to manuals at bedtime, so that my mind can carry my love for planning and making things right into my dreams, without a plot or any characters to create tension or feed anxieties. Novels do this to me, especially if I identify with the protagonist, and a late-night read can get my mind racing into an insomniacal fit like nothing else. So instead, at night I read about building stone walls, canning caramelized onion relish, and identifying wild spring greens.
My exception to this rule is non-fiction memoir, because though there’s a protagonist, the fact that they’ve survived to write the book apparently quells the subconscious worries that could stop me from sleeping. The most recent of such books I finished this morning, and it went beyond entertainment into inspiration. Titled Diary of a Wilderness Dweller, it is Chris Czajkowski’s account of building a life at the edge of a remote lake in the Coast Range mountains during the late 1980s, with only her dog for company and the plan to start a business guiding artists and backpackers on hikes through the region. I absolutely loved it, not only for the author’s vivid descriptions of building cabins and clearing trails, but also because it made me feel like I can anything.
As soon as I finished reading it, I looked up the name of her business and discovered that it’s for sale: http://www.nuktessli.ca/nuk-tessli-for-sale.html
How awesome that Czajkowski’s still out there, and how wonderful that she’s moving on simply because she wants to see new things!
Now, as the daughter of two Torontonians who tried to make it in rural Ontario during the back-to-the-land movement of the late 1970s, I stand well-prepared to deal with my inherited love of wilderness adventure, and admit that I’m very tempted by the chance to run a business like Nuk Tessli… Especially for the incredibly low sum of $195,000! But I’m afraid that I’m currently too committed to see my electrician career get going, and I don’t know how Oats would feel about living somewhere so remote. She’s a great one for hiking, and would certainly love the chance it could afford her to spend time working on her paintings and illustrations, but it would still be very different from what either of us are used to. Even Mo might hate it, given that he’s scared of water and wind. And the cat… Well, she’d just never leave the cabin, so may never notice.