The Pursuit

Chili is about the only thing created and then cooked in this cabin. So, while a general recipe is used, there are always changes. A little more of that, a little less of this – that’s the way it goes, never tasting exactly the same from time to time. The dogs aren’t provided samples and so there is no judging aside from the creator – except maybe the time when beans were increased by 50%, which seemed to cause a reaction from the dogs, perhaps, in that Izzy decided to sleep downstairs. Who knows why she was so inclined, though. Maya didn’t seem to care.

The percentage of the ingredients comprised of various beans could be a way to diminish social interaction, if one had more interaction than they wanted. Too many beans might reduce connections. Nick Nace, a Nashville, TN, singer/song writer, wrote a song about his friend, Jack, entitled “The Pursuit of Loneliness.” The song did not involve bean consumption, but talked about how his buddy lived his life pretty much to himself in what he called that pursuit, which was the only thing that made Jack happy.

Sometimes that approach has merit – not the beans, the pursuit.

That aim isn’t one for the gregarious. Maybe the desolate. Likely a harbinger of the woods – or not. People out here in the woods tend to be here for various reasons and with myriad dreams. There are the recluse, maybe more sheltered from the road than my cabin, down lanes that curve and behind trees and bushes. Some make it obvious through signage that they desire peaceful living without you being a part of it. There are ones in touch with nature, perhaps with the same setting in appearance as the recluse, but with a different purpose. A few may just want that solitary existence to be at one with nature. Certain plants grow wild here that might be desirable and best used privately. Maybe the setting itself is the call – perhaps on a hill with a view. The perspective could be the beauty of trees or gardens or a meadow or a pond or sunsets or any number of natural settings appealing to a variety of likes.

My setting has a view (if you like trees or the woods), but is also accessible to the outside world in that the cabin is unobstructed, aside from a few trees, to those driving by on the main road up the hill. Depending on where you sit to gaze, it’s as if you are in a dissimilar location, transported from watching the few cars that go by to watching only the trees, hawks, other birds, squirrels, deer, and whatever else is wandering around out there. And you can make that change on the porch by merely looking far right instead of straight out. One could enjoy solitude or wave at the walkers, runners, drivers and passengers meandering by. Aside from the occasional vehicle, including bicycles in warmer weather, most sounds are rustling in the woods, bird songs or calls, chattering from squirrels, or other sounds of nature – unless the music is pumped up.

Loneliness is on a continuum, maybe. There are degrees. The woods of Brown County, Indiana, give you that and, as described for my cabin, can be on a scale even in the same location. You can be all to yourself or interact. And there are days with each is appealing and each is pursued.

Variety is – what is it? – the spice of life or something like that. It’s off to the store to get more ingredients for the pursuit of the next batch of chili, maybe with fewer beans this time if Izzy has a vote.