Thursday, August 19, 2010
My Voluntaryist Project
So there I was, out on one of my long weekend bicycle rides in the Indiana countryside with my husband. We are usually riding side-by-side, but occasionally I drift ahead as I get deep in thought about one topic or another. At around 25 miles, I’ve usually solved all of the world’s problems.
This day was different though. This day I was thinking about improving myself.
I’ve been self-identifying as a Voluntaryist for several years now, yet I’m sure I don’t understand the philosophy as well as I’d like. I subscribed to The Voluntaryist publication when I first discovered it existed, but stopped after a few years.
Now I have some time again and want to get back to it, but what I really want to do is read all of them, from the beginning. I knew it was considered the longest running libertarian publication, since 1982, and I’ve been curious as to what is in each issue. I know an anthology has been published, but I wanted to understand it all in context.
I have questions I want to answer. How did the publication develop over time? What was happening in the world as each issue was published? What treasures of thought remain hidden in its pages? How could I kick myself in gear to actually sit down and start reading them and answer these questions?
Next, my mind trailed off to a movie I saw recently called Julie And Julia, where a lady named Julie decided to cook every recipe in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking and she blogged about it.
Not being one who is above copying a good idea, I yelled out, “Hey, I could do something like that with The Voluntaryist!” I almost swallowed a bug my mouth was so wide open.
So, at 30 miles, as I routed by bike around some road kill, I hit upon the idea that I could do this as a blog project. I could write about what I’m learning, what other questions come up as I read each issue, etc.
I was really pushing the pedals now and what really motivated me was that, unlike Julie, I could reach Carl. Would he participate, perhaps by giving me his thoughts and perspective, in real time, as I proceed? I contacted Carl and he liked the idea. He said he will participate if time and interest prevails. I’m going to try not to bother him much, but hopefully, we’ll get to hear from him here occasionally.
At 34 miles, when I told my husband about this project, and its comparison to Julie and Julia, he was at first very enthused, mostly because he was really hungry. But then he realized he wasn’t going to get any great meals as a result of my project.
“As a matter of fact,” he said, “It sounds like I’m going to have to do all the cooking for a while if you’re going to be so busy.”
He’s probably right. Sorry honey, but I need to feed my mind.