May 20, 2015

Comments Encouraged



It has been said that a blog without comments is not a blog. I am not sure what a commentless blog would be then (an archive of writing perhaps), but I admit that comments are definitely nice.

Only a small fraction of readers leave comments, and thank goodness for them - comments do turn a blog into something special. They add new dimensions of sharing, encouraging and enlightening from which we all benefit.

Over the past year Linda and I have given away most of our possessions, uprooted our lives on one coast, and replanted them on another 6,000 km away. One of the most noticeable and reassuring constant in our lives throughout this tumultuous trip has been our blog and the amazing, supportive commenters.

We read every single comment together, and marvel at their contribution to our lives and our blog project. We have felt supported on our journey not only with moving, but with living simply as well, which is our larger and most important adventure.

The only problem I have with comments is the fact that I do not always give them the attention they deserve, and write responses in a timely fashion. I wouldn't want anyone to feel that we do not value what is shared with us (and everyone else that stops by here).

Comments on Not Buying Anything are encouraged and appreciated. They make this a blog, which properly is a two way open communication platform.

As NBA reader/contributor Terri said recently (in a comment) "the commenting community on this blog is truly helping me transform my life".

We feel the same way, and we thank all commenters past, present and in the future.

May 18, 2015

Simple Gifts: Spring Colour

Fiddleheads splash green along the banks of Pine Brook, a short walk from our new home.

After a bleak winter of black and white (mostly white) it is nice to have a bit of colour creeping back into the local landscape. Fern fronds called fiddleheads are part of that colour, and are excellent evidence of Spring's exuberant pallet.

Fiddleheads are a nutritious wild food that have been eaten in Nova Scotia for hundreds of years. Scientists have discovered that this green delicacy contains omega 3 fatty acids, and more anti-oxidants than blueberries, another wild food that grows here.

The trees in town are greening out, but up here on the ridge the buds are just beginning to break with the green applied sparingly at the moment.

A few more warm, sunny days and 50 shades of green will flush across the valley below, a pen and ink drawing of tree skeletons no more. 

May 16, 2015

Rubber Time

Life is "wheely" short. The transition from baby carriage to wheelchair can seem like a quick one.


Life can be short. Way too short to waste in activities like shopping for things we don't need. Or working jobs we dislike, or staying in relationships that are toxic.

But when we concentrate on the things that are important, like sitting quietly beside a brook and listening, time can stretch out. When I play guitar or garden I am not even aware of the passage of time. Timelessness.

Seneca was a stoic philosopher that left us with a collection of ageless wisdom related to the art of living and the nature of time.

“It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. 
So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it. 
You are living as if destined to live for ever; your own frailty never occurs to you; you don’t notice how much time has already passed, but squander it as though you had a full and overflowing supply. You act like mortals in all that you fear, and like immortals in all that you desire. 
You must match time’s swiftness with your speed in using it, and you must drink quickly as though from a rapid stream that will not always flow…" 
- from Seneca’s book De Brevitate Vitae, or "On The Shortness of Life"


Life can be short, but it can also be long enough. From experience I can say that there is a time shift when we abandon the distractions of Consumerland. Life is different on Rubber Time - it stretches and life feels not only better, but also longer.

Less pursuit of luxury, and more of simple living is not only ecologically approved, but Seneca approved as well.

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