“Saluton Nathan,” the voicemail began as I checked my phone after arriving home from an adventuresome drive to and from services on Saturday night. The rest of the voicemail discussed some sort of lack of order at a meeting place along with a twice-deferred hope of meeting someone with a shared and somewhat random interest in languages along with an invitation to go to some sort of Bernie Sanders meeting encouraging revolution (!?) that was meeting in Portland. Admittedly, there are some parts of being a resident of the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area that I manage very well. Portland has a reputation for oddness and quirkiness that I certainly do my best to add to in my own way . I am not sure what there is about me that would even hint to others that I am a partisan of Bernie Sanders. To be sure, I am quirky and somewhat cosmopolitan as a person given my experience traveling and my somewhat rootless existence and a host of other reasons, but I do not tend to think that I give off any airs about being a collectivist person, and for all of my interest in social justice I am strongly hostile to our corrupt government seeking to muscle out other institutions in trying to administer justice to my fellow American citizens. At any rate, that call gave me a bit more time to run some errands during the course of a busy day yesterday.
So, what did I decide to do? Well, I woke up about 8AM, read a book, wrote the book review for that one and for a book I had read the previous week from the De Re Militari concerning the Ottoman siege of Rhodes in 1480, then showered, started my laundry, and went off to do some errands like returning my library books and picking up new ones, eating lunch, and doing my grocery shopping. After a quick stop to drop off my groceries and put my clothes in the drier, I chatted a bit with my roommate who wanted me to help him clear out the drive way, but I was even more in a hurry than I usually am because I had a trip to rural Washington to make. Admittedly, I may not be the most sane of people in driving in this weather two hours each way to a place half an hour east of Chehalis related to my CASA work, but I had a trip to make an obligations to keep and so I made the trip and had a long conversation with a family who expressed their frustrations to me while I asked questions and took notes for a couple of hours. At that point it was dark and time to drive back, where I again questioned the sanity of doing so much driving on such horrendous roads. Clearly, I am not entirely of sound mind myself, as anyone who tried to get around this weekend can probably attest to. On the positive side, I was listening to a fantastic audiobook from an author whose novels I tend not to read that will get a glowing review when I finish it at some point this week.
What is it that makes life so fully of crazy adventures? I do not consider myself a particularly adventurous person. I tend to be a person whose life, like most lives, has its rhythms and its patterns. Of course, being the sort of person, my life is probably a bit more complicated than most people in some aspects, in that my lack of bonds in some areas leads to time that must be productively spend which I have tended to fill with a far-ranging and odd focus on intellectual development as well as service opportunities. At times that means I read two or three books in the course of a day and then write about them at some length. At other times that means I drive off to the homes of strangers in remote areas of the Pacific Northwest on dismal roads. In neither case can such investigations be considered completely ordinary, even if they proceed according to a peculiar and individual internal logic.
There are many people who think of themselves as more individualistic than they really are. One of the main arguments of the fantastic book Cadillac Desert, for example , is that the well-being of the Far West depended on a great deal of concerted effort and government regulation, from federal largess in the form of free homesteads and irrigation systems to turn the Great American Desert into a breadbasket. Likewise, it is striking that those who consider themselves to be individualistic when it comes to manscaping their beards and being hipsters who pride themselves on their critical reasoning show themselves to be not particularly bright members of leftist collectivist groups. So too we see purportedly individualistic businesses and national interests working in cartels to reduce competition for their own benefit and raise prices for their own profit. It is not so much that these people are being inconsistent as much as there is often a tactical element to their joining together. It is hard to know the long-term ramifications or second-order consequences of our actions, and so it makes sense that people look for short term tactical moves, and this short-term behavior tends to lead to a fair amount of crazy adventures since the overall picture is often greatly obscure to us, and we react to those opportunities which we recognize. And we do not often recognize nearly enough.
 See, for example: