Peripatetic. I'm pretty sure that's what F. Paul Wilson said after we wrapped up my interview with him. It could have been "pathetic", but as the former adjective fits my life better lately, I'm sticking with it.* It seems that most of my November was spent either wandering around the country -- I traveled every direction of the compass for significant stretches at a time, first moving to a new home in an unfamiliar part of the USSA and then attending this year's Freedom Summit and giving a talk there -- or stuck in bed sick, with my mind left to wander while my body tried to heal itself. Atypically, I've had a lot of time to devote to thinking. It's been enjoyable, but also a bit scary.
Paul's comment brought me to the realization that, in more ways than most of us would probably care to admit, we are wanderers. We travel, whether it's from job to job, place to place, relationship to relationship, or idea to idea, trying to find places that feel right. Love that we hope will last longer than the hormone rush does. A context that makes sense to us -- one in which we can create lives rich with meaning and freedom. Sometimes our travels are consciously undertaken; other times it isn't until we find ourselves far afield from where we thought we were that we give a mental shake, look around, and say, "How the hell did I get here?". While that may sound like a bad thing, it isn't always. For one thing, it allows us to travel outside of where our boundaries would normally let us go. For another, it can help refine who we are and what's important to us -- particularly if we don't care for where we've ended up. It can lead us to extraordinary people and experiences that help make us better. It also highlights the fact that things we tend to think of as fairly static -- primarily our own self-image and models of others close to us -- are in reality somewhat fluid. I know that my self-image has changed more over the decades of my life than I would have predicted, even just ten years ago. Experience and knowledge -- and yes, wisdom born of age -- keep us changing along with the society and technology surrounding us, albeit more slowly.
My realspace wanderings and health challenges kept me from visiting here last month, and I missed it more than I expected. My roving reports on pro-freedom culture help lift my spirits, as I find new and interesting things and people, and as I share those finds with our readers. I find my thoughts expanding and exploring new areas, even as I remain committed to my individualistic and voluntaryistic worldview. This month I'm pleased to offer heaping doses of culture, with two interesting, peripatetic interviews: one with the aforementioned novelist F. Paul Wilson, which has taken top honors for length away from Vin Suprynowicz and Scott Bieser; and and a fun peek into the mind of Garry Reed, he of Loose Cannon Libertarian fame. I review two books as well: Paul's new Repairman Jack novel, Infernal, and and oldie but goodie, Bill Branon's Let Us Prey. Lots of good pro-freedom web sites, including a fairly new blog, are covered in the Webby Wanderings. And, in a nice break from the holiday music suffusing public spaces everywhere, my Musical Maunderings reveal some songs that get this ol' Snake misty-eyed just about every time she hears them.
[And, speaking of misty eyes, the next time someone goes off to you about how selfish and heartless pro-freedom people are, point them to Claire Wolfe's eBay auction of a signed copy of The Black Arrow, to benefit a fellow freedom lover who's dying of cancer. A book that goes for about $50 retail topped $850. Anyone who says libertarians don't care about others is just full of it. (And if you'd like to help my friends care for Bark, you can still do so, in a variety of ways.)]
Welcome back to Sunni's Salon, where a wide variety of yummy treats and warm drinks await. The mulled wine and eggnog are exceptionally good, and the fire will help keep your toes toasty as winter's freeze reigns outside. Tom and I will neatly sidestep all attempts at political correctness and holiday hijacking, and simply say, "May your days -- each day -- be merry and bright." Please enjoy your stay, and let us know how we can help ensure that you do.
*Paul actually wrote that the interview was peripatetic in an email, but it sounds so much more interesting this way. Yes, I do have an artistic license -- don't make me get it out to show you! Well, either that or I've had too much spiked eggnog -- take your pick. [Return to essay]