If I don't get an epiphany sitting
on the toilet, I get one in the shower. So it was regarding our insatiable
pursuit of pleasure.
By way of background, I prefer to
dry camp with my RV. Dry camping is what I do when I don't spend the night at a
proper RV camping establishment with hookups for electricity, water, sewage,
WiFi, and sometimes even cable TV. Dry camping is how I sleep next to a creek
or in a secluded forest, using my RV's batteries for my music & laptop, and
tethered to my cellphone when possible for the internet. Showers are hot but
brief since I'm using my water tank.
A blizzard struck yesterday, and I
made my way to a proper RV camp to hole up for a couple days until the storm
passed. One of the amenities was a bath house with hot showers. I took a long
one -- a glorious, breathtaking, resplendent, red-bellied, magnificent
As the steam enveloped my limp body
and curled my nose hairs, I realized I was enjoying a pleasure that had been
denied me back home. Who had denied me this fine delight? Why it was me. A
shower's heat was a simple dial and its length was how long I cared to stand
there. It was a mindless everyday affair in between other obligations, a
routine cleanup. No more pleasurable than drinking a glass of water, but how
pleasurable that becomes when drinking are difficult.
Not that traveling made showering
all that difficult, just a short affair in a little box, but still a notch
below what last night's bath house offered. To make showering special, all I
needed do was dial back its daily pleasure a little, and then treat myself to
what had previously been mundane.
This also seemed a lot cheaper than
the approach to increasing pleasure as pitched on TV, that is, to go in the
other direction and increase consumption, to rip out our fiberglass shower
stalls and put in travertine marble, until we also rob ourselves of that
pleasure through familiarity. Then we can put in the heated floors.
This simple strategy happened to me
by accident, by the rules of the road, but I realized I could cause it, too. I
could master this pursuit of pleasure so as not to shortchange myself. I could
cut down on restaurants for no reason except to make them special. I could turn
down the thermostat and wear a sweater, just for the night I treat myself to a
I accepted the compromises of
living on the road for the wonders I would behold, unaware that the compromises
themselves would liberate my pleasure principle.
Old stuff set out at White Sands Missile Range
Shutterbugs at White Sands National
Lost on a sand sea
Hat's off to everyone
Very Large Array of the
National Radio Astronomy
Can you hear me now?
Mickey says Hi
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
The eye of the monster
Rooms big enough for several football fields
Stalagtite about to meet a stalagmite,
not in our lifetime
Islands of light
Goodby New Mexico