Sunday, April 24, 2005


by Skald

The mystic dances in the sun,
hearing music other's don't.

"Insanity," they say, those others.
If so, It's a very gentle,
nourishing sort.

--A Post-It Poem taken from Rumi


"Gentle and nourishing insanity", does that not describe the Hobopoet path.. whatever form it takes? Strictly speaking, insanity is extreme deviation from the norm. If everyone heard voices, itd probably be thought "normal"... and dullards who heard nothing might be considered mentally deficient.

Much that passes for sanity is little more than conformity- a fact recognized by most non-conformists. Its considered "crazy" to question conventional wisdom and even crazier to go against it. Most people cant fathom a person who actively avoids "work" and a "career". Nor can they fathom a distrust of money, nor a loathing of monotony.

They think it crazy to indulge odd pleasures that have no profit (ie. the post-it poet).

For most folks, the average hobopoet is crazy. Maybe not "psychiatric ward" crazy... but certainly weird, undesirable, and perhaps scary.

This is especially so if the hobopoet extends their non-conformity to appearance.. by wearing "odd" clothes, or sporting shaggy hair, or a long beard, or piercings, or tattoos. Such people experience a great deal of discrimination... discrimination that is considered not only acceptable, but desirable.

Which is why I choose a stealth approach. Normally, I sport a very clean cut appearance.....

As a result, I am never hassled by police... never hassled by dimwitted clerks.... I glide smoothly among the drones and they never suspect.

When I returned to Georgia from Asia three years ago... I had long curly hair and a bushy beard. I wore Thai and Indian clothes. During my first month, I was pulled over by the cops twice... both times for bogus reasons ("crooked license plate"). African-Americans and Latinos, no doubt, will know what Im talking about.

Once I cut my hair and returned to wearing jeans and collared shirts, I was never pulled over again (in two years time).

I dont advocate either approach.... but the more you break from societal norms,.. and the more criminal your activities become (psychedelic drugs, car living, activism, etc.), the more valuable a stealth approach seems.

Most people seem more concerned with the appearance of non-conformity than the actual practice. If you look like them, most will assume you are like them.


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