Saturday, May 5, 2007


As I took this picture I remember thinking, "It's pretty, but the picture does it absolutely no justice." The rims that you see are lime deposits which make the pools and cascades. You can see that some of the lime deposits have plants growing on them. Do you see the brilliant red flowers growing on those plants? Probably not, they are too far away and the camera didn't capture them. I figured that would be the case when I took the picture. Do you see the red rock in the upper right hand corner of the picture? Noticing that and the fact that the picture is taken in the shade you may be able to guess that this pretty little place is surrounded by red cliffs that are hundreds of feet tall. At certain points you can see beyond the confining red cliffs and see more cliffs, some red, and some white that extend more than a thousand feet above where I stood to take this picture. The fact that this picture was taken in the shade makes the colors far less brilliant than they were in real life. While a picture is worth a thousand words, it limits our vision that is experienced in reality.
My last post was on being offered a plastic bag and Gewilli commented that plastic bags can be recycled and paper takes a considerable amount of petroleum to produce. She's right, and that is why I chose to use my backpack that I won in a bike race 15 years ago. (Trek makes a good backpack). She (I don't know why I'm assuming Gewilli is a girl, but I will continue with that assumption) also suggested that I find an electronic source rather than the books... Well, I tried, but as a doctoral student I needed all the info possible and only one of the sources I needed was available online (and I will use it online without printing it). See, I didn't give the whole picture because that wasn't the point of my story. I agreed with everything that Gewilli had to say about bags, except that plastic is recyclable. Yes plastic is recyclable, but reuse is better and not using the plastic (or paper) bag is really the best. Just because something is recyclable doesn't mean that it doesn't impact the environment. I would guess that Gewilli agrees with me that reusing canvas bags is really the best solution, but that wasn't the point she was making so she limited her vision. I think we often limit our vision to reflect the point we are trying to make.
I recently wrote that I liked it when people called me "sans" because I do without and am proud to do without. An anonymous response indicated that I should call myself the French word for more (davantage). I agree completely with what he said (I don't know why I think he was a male, but we'll go with that). I really don't feel like I'm missing anything by going without a lot of the things others have. In fact I believe that I have a lot more in my life (immaterial things that are far more important than stuff) than I would if I allowed stuff to accumulate in my home. I agree completely with Mr. Anonymous, but I haven't figured out how to rename myself using "davantage". I don't want to have more stuff, I want to do without. It's just a matter of how you look at it. I think I have to refer to myself as Sans because that is my distinguishing characteristic. I will always profess how much going without brings me, but I haven't found a way to include it in what I call myself.
Having less brings more to my life, that is my vision. We strive to get rid of stuff. Not only do we not want stuff, we have a sincere desire NOT to have it. I don't think people understand my family because of that. Everyone wants more, it's America's vision... It is completely contrary to our vision. We find far more value in life without the stuff. Our vision is based on our experience.
The media portrays its vision. It is not the "truth", it is a view of the world. It is the view that sells. Corporations portray their vision. It's not truth, it is what will make the company money. Al Gore portrays his vision. It's not truth, it is what will help him (or his party) get elected. There is a truth. There is one and only one truth, but it is blurred by the multiple visions that people try to force on us. I appreciate it when people comment and leave their views. Maybe you will change my view. Maybe not. But hiding your view may be hiding the truth. I blog to let my perception of the truth be known.


emily said...

During our recent crisis in the middle of the woods, I came to appreciate some things I take for granted. For instance, shelter, warm food, and a way to transport myself from place to place.

As we were sitting and discussing our experience afterwards, one of the things that impressed me the most was that we (as humans) take large advantage of what we have. The comforts of life are easily obtained.

The challenge I see for us is simply using everything we have to its greatest degree, and balancing our time according to what we know to be good and what is best for us.

Living a simpler life, or a life without excess is comendable. I often find that most of the things I have to "fill" my apartment or life with are simply things that I use to compensate for other parts of my life that are unfullfilling.

I look forward to the day when I am able to do what I want to do, and I don't find it necessary to fill my life with things that simply let me cope with life, rather than thrive.

I have been searching for that balance for quiet some time, and I think I will find it when I am not driving my car everywhere, I have a home, and I am not working full time.

Emily said...

P.s. I love your pictures.

Anonymous said...

I like what you said about living according to truth, and that there is really only one truth for every circumstance. We harm ourselves, others, and our environment when we think we can ignore the truth and consume whatever we want--whether it is for food, posessions, transportation, or entertainment.

gewilli said...

I'm a Dude...

Disagree that plastic is recyclable? On what grounds?

Matter cannot be created or destroyed correct?

Why can't said polymeric compounds making up the plastic be re-arranged into other substances?

Patagonia is certainly leading the way in 'reusing' materials.

Which, technically is the best definition of recycling. no?

Jack Johnson's song the 3 Rs is well worth memorizing the lyrics or just buying the CD.

Also, i'd suggest you check Feltslave's last two entries...

You ain't alone brotha, Sans you ain't alone.

And if people bother you about the french... tell em it is Latin :)


sans auto said...

I know that you can recycle plastic, but I question the efficiency and I think there are better alternatives (like not getting it in the first place). Patagonia is doing great things, but there is a limit to the plastic bags that they need. I am in no way trying to discourage people from recycling, but I do think there are better options. while it is good to melt down a product and reform it to be used again, it takes a lot of energy. It would be better to simply not use the item in the first place.

Sorry about the gender confusion, I recently learned that my mother in law often comments as anonymous and I thought "anonymous" was a man. I've got a 50/50 chance and I'm batting .000

Thanks for the link... there's some good stuff there.