Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Doug, Hi-Blade, and Soren

One of my favorite 'book children' (for clarification see My Profile under Favorite Books) is Doug Lindstrand's Alaskan Sketchbook, which, after being purchased during a summer spent in Alaska, hitched a ride in Tom's dusty, overstuffed backpack in 1980.

For some reason (unimportant to the moral of the story) this poetic journal entry from Doug's book keeps coming to mind causing me to smile.

Scribbled in Goose Creek and dated March 16, 1976, it goes like this:

"Hi-Blade Johnson (a now deceased friend of mine, who was, too, a man of constant dreams and far-fetched notions) wrote when he was in his 70's a poem that pretty well sums up the whole picture of material possessions. It goes thusly:

I'm a slave, I'm a slave, I'm a slave to my home
I'm a slave to every darn thing that I own
When I own a home I can live at my ease
But when I leave the place the plumbing will freeze
Who'll feed the dog? Who'll feed the cat?
I'm stuck with the chores like a mouse in a trap
I'd like a boat and a home by the sea
But if I get these things I'll never be free
I'm a slave to women, I'm a slave to my booze
As there's no way of winning I'm certain to lose
I don't learn my lessons, I'm not very bright
Tho the sun's shining brightly I can't see the light
When I get my paycheck I rush straight to town
To buy some more chains to tie myself down
I'm a prisoner indeed in my very own home
The prison bars are the things that I own
I'm caught like a fox with his hand in a noose
I'll never be free until death turns me loose."

Ah, the joys of home improvement which bring such literature to mind.

Had no electricity for 8 hours today, part of home improvement. We could still run errands, water the yard, and keep an orthodontist appointment. After that, though electrically disoriented, we found other occupations. The kids pulled out the Monopoly board. Me? I picked up good old Soren and began my readings. Nothing like Kierkegaard to put the finishing touches on an already 99% fried brain!

Surprisingly enough, SK was good medicine for me!

I'm thirsty for more...



Cecily said...

I love the poem... can i add that i'm a slave to my work, my church and my own foolish notions of what i should be?

No. I can't bear the weight of those chains!

Question - did you feel free without electricity? Freed to do all the things you don't normally get to because electricity calls you!?

Cherie said...

I know what you mean about not being able to bear the weight of the chains, Cec. You made me smile.

Yes, strangely enough, I felt free to read which, stupidly, I feel ashamed to do in the middle of the day. Funny, as I was reading, and such a noble book mind you ; ), I thought, "How downright ridiculous that I ever think that such reading is not as important, or more so, than doing laundry, or dishes, or washing the car, or or or well, lots of things." It was an eye-opener.

To answer your question, yes, I felt freed up, and it was good!

tshsmom said...

That's THE perfect home improvement poem!

I think that's why I enjoy camping so much...guilt free reading, game playing, and napping. ;)

sufferingsummer said...

I'm adopting that poem to make me feel better about not owning a home...even though secretly I sorta want the chains.
SK...I don't know if I could ever relax reading him...he spurs just a little too much thought for this tired brain however nothing that a good discussion here and there can't improve...

Cherie said...

Yeah, it's a pretty good poem isn't it tshs. And yes, camping does let one let go - well except for Tom who chops wood constantly. Crazy man. He LOVES to chop wood. Me, I read, I lay around on the shore of the lake, play, take slowww walks. Nice to not be tied down.

Summer, good! Good that it can balance you out about not having a home for there really IS a lot of responsibility that renters don't have to worry about. Of course, the perks that are 'chains' are worth it in the end...I think. ; )

And SK effects me the same way he effects you. My brain was 100% bona fide fried after the first 10 pages for he put me over the edge, then, I settled in, defried, and began to drink in pure SK and think and it was a good diversion, the way thinking about REALITY diverts from, say, laundry and dishes and stuff. Oh the endless stuff that distracts.

I'm a slave I'm a slave I'm a slave..... ;-D

Katey B. said...

What a funny poem! True too. Is that log cabin in Alaska? I adore log cabins.

Cherie said...

You are right, Katey B., the poem is funny and that cabin is in Alaska. Haines, Alaska to be exact. It's a restaurant quite a way from town, which serves the best hamburgers and fresh homemade pie around. And it smelled so good and log-cabiny inside, know what I mean? The food smells were a bonus!

tshsmom said...

LOL, that's toooo funny Cherie! L is the same way when we're camping! If the fire danger is high, and we can't have a campfire, L won't go camping.

Pam said...

Whenever our power goes out, I always think, "I know, I'll bake a-- oh, wait, I can't. I'll do the laundry! No, can't. I'll vaccu-- nope." It's like once I can't do any of the things on the running to-do list in my head, I get the urge to do them. Once the power comes back on, all enthusiasm is gone because I'm deep into my book!

That's a great poem.

Cherie said...

We should have L and Tom camp together in ONE place and we go in another, and they can tend to BOTH fires! Nah, that'd be no fun. We should all camp together and let the boys grin and chop it together. Yeah, that sounds better.

Pam, I know what you mean. When the power went back on I was like, "Well, no, I don't reaaallly want to stop reading." Glad you liked the poem!

tshsmom said...

Sounds good to me!!

Cherie said...


Ann said...

Rushing to "buy some more chains." Interesting way to put it!

Cherie said...

I see it all the time...you?

Annie said...

The wonders and wisdom that come out of Alaska.

I'm copying that poem and letting my husband read it. I know he'll agree wholeheartedly! Thanks Cherie for another fun post.

Cherie said...

You're welcome, Annie! Thanks for your constant friendship and encouragement. And yes, the wonders and wisdom that come out of Alaska. Nicely put!