I live where I live because I choose to live where I live. I know my choice has resulted in some difficulties and challenges for me personally and professionally. I know if, for example, I lived in Los Angeles-proper I would have more immediate access to producers, directors, actors, and other denizens of the entertainment trade. But there would likely be trade-offs: Environmentally-based C.O.P.D.; three, four, or five divorces; illegitimate children who loathe my existence because I am The Lousy Parent of the Year; countless legal actions manifested as a lack of morals and ethics on my part; tens of thousands of dollars annually for therapy associated with my failure in parenting, marriage, and other adult pursuits; one or two addictions that include alcohol and drugs.
The choice to live where I live instead of Los Angeles was determined in part because I decided the aforementioned trade-offs were not worth the related sacrifices. I decided that I would rather live a financially modest life (comparatively-speaking) than to realize twenty, thirty, forty years on that I had succeeded in only one way: Squandering most of my life, my talents, abilities, and skills to the supposed fulfillment of ego; along with the ruination of my self-respect.
Living as I do has allowed me clarity and focus through relative simplicity. For example, despite the declaration than spring has arrived to this part of the world, winter remains apparent, as expressed by recent events: I awoke recently to find a dusting of snow on the trees, ground, and flowers. Because it had been my intention to rise early and enjoy the dawn, the birth of a new day, which would set the tone for the day of writing that awaited, I swept away the snow from the rocker on the deck, made a hot cup of coffee, dressed properly, and sat, waiting for Nature would bring.
As I did I realized that I had company. With minimal movement I located the source of the presence: A mountain chickadee, who presumed in the early hours of the forthcoming day that I was a source of food.
I moved slightly and the bird flew to the shelter and protection of a nearby pine tree, verbally admonishing me for my physical actions. I ignored what might have been the feathered version of profanity, went inside, and returned with a handful of unsalted, shelled peanut halves that I arranged on the deck railing in a single line before reclaiming my seat and cup.
The light of the day silently arrived and the chickadee returned. Despite the fact half a peanut is almost as big as the bird’s head the chickadee decided to eat, doing so by furiously pecking at it, rendering it to bite-sized flakes and dust. By the time the Herculean-like task was completed and the meal was finished the day had arrived. The warmth of the sun provided comfort to both of us.
Full of food the chickadee moved to a position closer to me and I watched as it dozed.
The nap was short-lived because a Blue Jay and a Fox Squirrel arrived, and their apparent inability to co-exist where food was concerned upset the chickadee, which flew away.
The conflict made me smile and wonder: If this had taken place in Beverly Hills, in an upscale restaurant, as a conflict involving a lecherous movie producer and an aspiring starlet it would have been news, headlines of a salacious nature. Here, it is Life, day by day, and that fact alone provides reason to live where I choose to live.