Not yet out of the throes of video games, I am (sort of) back in the saddle. As you should remember from my last post, and I know everyone is reading very carefully, I made soap over the weekend with my mother and girlfriend. The idea was originally my mother's, but I think she learned the concept of making our own stuff from me: I am an intense environmentalist, at least I want to be. Before this I have already learned a little of how to dumpster dive, make my own detergent, ride my bike everywhere, and live in harmony with the environment (candles out of beeswax rather than lights, etc.). Even the dumpster diving saves the environment by not adding to the consumption of grocery stores, flying and driving products all over the world only to waste much of it.
The question now is, so what? Why is probably another good question though it's already half-answered: I'm one of those radical environmentalists who have it all wrong by believing in the dangers and realities of global climate change. But for the purposes of this blog "so what" is probably the only appropriate question.
On one hand, I made and will make soap because, as with most writers, I am a strange hippie. Maybe not what you think of a hippie, but a strange person for sure. My resemblance to the strange breed called "writers" means that I might have a future. That's a so what. And now you can think to yourself, "Huh, yeah, he'll go far."
More importantly, though, the "strange" aspect points to something greater: writers must beat their own drum, march to their own drum, whatever the heck the saying is. That's a writer/artist does: he looks at the world and tells the world how it is, what it is, why it is, and how, what, why it should be. To do that, a writer must be slightly apart from the world if not entirely free from the world's concerns. Thoreau famously tried living apart in the woods at Walden Pond. Part of his plan was to show the world that life should be lived more simply, or at least that it could be.
Boil it down and a writer must perceive the world, be able to re-create the world to then mold the world into a new and better form. A writer's ability to do that, as a writer, is intricately and intimately linked to the very life that they lead: the life must be apart from the world and embody the vision of the writer. By making soap, I am both separating myself from most of the world and embodying my vision of a more harmonious living that I have talked about often, most recently in the "I Am A Communist" essay that I posted.