I’ve always moved around a lot. At one point I lived in seven states in three years.
Partly because I have a tendency to solve problems geographically, and partly because I just like moving. There was something about that time between leaving a place and arriving at a new place when my life just sat in my own hands, waiting to be molded. I love that feeling. So now I live in a van and most of my life is made up of those in between times.
I’ve always thought this was kind of dysfunctional. Everyone says geography is not a solution and you’re supposed to stay in one place and be stable. I tell them I’m young, implying that one day I’ll grow up and get stable even though I have no such intention. I’ve been dissapointed with my own leaving, sometimes, thinking that I’d have to stay in one place all the time to be rooted. I don’t want to leave Alaska ever again (or at least not for a long time), but I also don’t really want to stay in one place.
The other day Davka and I were talking and she was lamenting the tragic loss of nomadism. When we were hunter gatherers, we were nomads. Now the culture tends to hold us stuck in one place. How could I have forgotten that it’s natural for humans to be nomadic? Of course natural nomadism includes visiting the same places every year, seasonally, and developing relationships with them. Ultimately, I think, one has a greater understanding of their ecosystem when they are intimate with the interlocking bioregions that it’s made up of.
So I think I shall be a nomadic barefoot alaskan stripper forever. 😀
Thinking back to everything I’ve read about the natural ethology of humans, I don’t think there’s been much about nomadism. Hunter-gathering and tribal living, yes, but seasonal travel, no. I think there may have been something in Konrad Lorenz? But I don’t remember it. It makes sense to me though that as much as humans need the identity and stable attatchments of a small tribe and a landbase, we also need the openness and possibility of constant change.
What do you guys think is best for humans? Wandering, seasonal nomadism, or settling down and sticking in one spot?