An Excerpt from Jim Conrad's
NATURALIST NEWSLETTER
of June 5, 2011
Issued at Mayan Beach Garden Inn 20 km north of Mahahual
on the Yucatan Peninsula's eastern coast just north of the Belize border,
in the state of Quintana Roo, MÉXICO

ON LIVING THE NEWSLETTER LIFE

When you run into someone who's lived a different kind of life -- such as the one the past ten years of my Newsletters describe -- it's natural to ask, "What's it like being that way? What have you learned?"

One insight into the first question is provided by this fact: The trajectory of my last ten years was directed less by intelligent and wise decision making, than by the process of elimination. During those ten years I wanted a simplified existence focusing on Nature so badly that I didn't mind ending up living in tents, unused trailers, people's barns, the ruins of buildings, Maya corncribs, thatch-roofed huts and the like. And though I wouldn't have chosen such homes over more comfortable ones if I'd had a choice, somehow once I began living where I was I always found my home experience happy and enriching in ways I hadn't anticipated.

With regard to what I've learned, the first thing coming to mind is that I've been mightily impressed by the irrepressible diversity of people, their societies, and the natural environments people and societies are rooted in. The all-encompassing evolutionary drive toward diversity is so compelling that it's clear to me that the Universal Creative Inspiration wishes it. In my system of spirituality, then, that makes diversity "sacred." I have learned to think of myself as a disciple of diversity.

Finally, what does it mean to me that I've been the one seeing, thinking about and having feelings about all the things chronicled in those ten years of Newsletters? More than anything it's this:

That, exactly in proportion to how much I've experienced and learned, I feel that much dumber and inadequate. All around me, all the time, the ever-more mysterious and majestic Universe increasingly leaves me stunned, feeling immature and unsophisticated.

If I manage to live a few more years of this Newsletter life, I can hardly imagine how utterly ignorant I'll become, and how useless and embarrassing normal humanity will come to find me. Facebook Icon.