Kurt Bell

A life of courage, joy and independence.

The front of a desert river – Going Alone

Emily and me

Japan is a land of water

My adventures in Japan were under the constant accompaniment of water: be in snow or rain falling on my head, waterfalls splashing upon my body, fast-moving streams gliding clear and clean over bare feet hiking a forgotten sacred stream, or simply making the sound water makes, though incessant, constant, forever flowing. I remember wasabi farmers at Nagaguma (the village of the “Long Bear”) who plumbed their village for water by boring a big pipe into the side of a solid rock mountain, which effort somehow liberated such a prodigious flow of biting cold fresh water that every faucet in the village had no need of a tap for more than one hundred years (and counting), as water simply flowed always, 24 hours a day, through every basin in every kitchen, bathroom, workroom and garden in the whole vilalge. As I witnessed that particular village die over the course of a decade, I could never quite tell if the farmhouses I knew were quite empty, as though the farmer and his wife might be gone, their faucets continued a lively babble of wet chatter from deep within the darkened structure. Indeed, though I expect Nagaguma will become a Japanese ghost village within the next five years, the sound of water there will continue for decades, or maybe centuries, to come, though all human need or capacity to appreciate this abundant resource will have utterly dried and withered to nothing.

08-11-17 tgl The Good Life meditation 081117 COVER

Adjusting to a new life in a land with little water

So, returning to the USA, it took some time for me to adjust to the absence of water in the desert landscape. An absence which stands in contrast to that other land I once knew, and which is now plagued by its own absence of a sort; an absence of human existence, and the carrying on of our species in amazing places we no longer choose to live. But now that I put it that way, maybe the abandoned mountain villages of Japan, and the neglected ghost towns of the California desert, have more in common than I originally thought…

Imagine my surprise to be walking alone through open desert and then to suddenly come upon the very leading edge of an ephemeral river. With no rain clouds in the sky, I was clueless about the source of the stream, which may have had its origin tens of miles into the mountains with a brief and heavy downpour. My immediate concern was that I might be standing at the leading edge of a flash flood, and before turning on the camera I carefully surveyed the wash above the stream for any sign of a churning wet debris wall thundering my way. Satisfied that I was witnessing the end—and not the beginning—of a flash flood, I proceeded to record on video the strange sight of an unexpected desert river disappearing as quickly into the sand as it had appeared from the sky.

Snake crossing - Going Alone

Dry arroyo like this can quickly become a raging river of mud and debris

My name is Kurt Bell and I am delighted that you have taken some time to share a little of The Good Life with me. I’m available on social media at the links below and can be reached via email at softypapa@gmail.com

My book is available here:

Going Alone by Kurt Bell

Going Alone is an independent approach to living, uncovering what is real, and making peace with the facts of what is true no matter how the truth makes us feel. I upload at least one video a week for this series on my YouTube channel.

The Good Life is a formulated plan of objectives and principals designed to help us live a more virtuous life in accord with sound reasoning. I upload at least one video a month for this series.


Main Page: https://www.facebook.com/LylesBrother
Journal Page: https://www.facebook.com/Softypapa-337676096304661/







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