Highway Blues

The Prudentialist

The Prudentialist

Observing the world from a dissident and realist perspective. Musings on culture, politics, and international relations.

Like many articles on this substack, once again I have found inspiration on the road. Seems to be where I do my best thinking, or so I tell myself. Thankfully writing this all down has been a quiet reprieve as my voice has been strained from recent illness for live streaming or shows. As I type this, my mind wanders to the many trips I take across a certain highway, especially the most recent one which had the unfortunate number of signs and billboards informing us that a locally owned business was shutting its doors for the last time at the end of the month.

“Our Doors Will Close for the Last Time, 17 Years in Business!”

A tragic thing to see.

It’s an odd sort of thing to feel a strong emotional connection to, in the same way that you can watch some animal video on YouTube or Twitter and feel some sort of sense of warmth, but in this instance it’s like watching someone give their dog a good “last day” before going to the vet one last time. As for myself, I went in, bought some magnets and some other little knick-knacks for my extended family come Christmastime.

It’s never easy around the Christmas season, to say the least. Seasonal depression makes it’s meme-able return, although I feel and pray for many knowing that while on top of the usual season of woes in the midst of the Nativity of our Lord, we face the ongoing trials and tribulations that the greater machinations of politics has wrought. As I write, many here in the United States will be dealing with this sort outlook come Christmas.

However, I find myself also thinking about our dear friends overseas, whose respective home nations have told themselves that it will be indeed a very cold winter, even before the sabotage of the Nord Stream 2 Pipeline. Even now in group chats and public channels, the stress of not killing the wallet and not freezing draws a hearty balance. Keep the elderly in mind, and do what you can to help others where possible.

This time of advent, fasting, and the stress of the usual bout of life during the hectic Thanksgiving-Christmas season of consumerism and get togethers, I have found it all the important to take a step back from the world and log off for a bit. I have been tweeting less and consuming less content. I have picked up a few books off of my shelf to actually read rather than say I’m going to get to this eventually or just cite one or two specific passages. Even taking the time to tweet less and get into a routine has been rewarding irl, trying to take my own advice to heart on the necessity of not leaving myself to be uprooted from what’s outside my window.

Yet of course in these trying times I am left often to battle with my own insecurity and what I want to do with myself on this online platform. After all, 2022 has been a good year for my YouTube Channel, closer and closer to that 10K subscriber count. Twitter blew up well past 10k and growing, although I do wish someone took me under their wing when I started that bloody account, I never know what the hell it is I am doing on there.

Metrics don’t bother me, the personality I have does. I am reserved, guarded, and it takes a moment or two for me come out onto the playing field in a way that is somewhat rather the opposite of how I am when I am working. When working it is easy to turn on the light switch and become the necessary salesman or networking aficionado but online I still feel like after two years I am only just beginning to get my feet wet. A terrifying thing to admit, I know there is some severe consequence of letting the guard down on the internet, but I am quite happy with where I am and Lord knows I’m certainly grateful. Nevertheless this time of year always brings that quiet introspection that finds me in the midst of the grey and the decaying leaves on the ground where I walk.

Yet at the same time, when I drive, I pass by another billboard. Another sign that talks about another family business. “First Rate AC and Heating Services Since 1995”. Not bad at all, especially that’s the year I was born (sorry oldheads.) But where I live, we too are facing the ever growing encroachment of the growth of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, the price of gas, and loss of what was once formerly as rather isolated part of the world. I cannot help but find myself wondering how much am I part of the problem, a literal transplant, a third culture kid of sorts that wherein yes, my family is from here but I have no idea what I am in that relationship.

There is much of a blank slate that exists within myself, and I wonder how often it can be found, especially for those who are trying to escape the ongoing decadent decline of the West formulated in the project of Modernity. Growing out of old narratives and ideologies, and returning to one’s roots… but I wish not to get too masturbatory in this regard, after all there is work to be done after nostalgic circlejerks. I grew nominally Christian, but in the same way many church services on post overseas just devolved into social clubs for the adults and nothing more than a thing kids were dragged along to, I didn’t have any sense of religious belonging and like many Americans born around the same time found some kind of atheism or agnosticism when they became teens.

Within three short years of moving from El Paso, I went from a GOP voting, Rand Paul appreciator with atheistic and ubranite tendencies to a man working the land, attending an Orthodox Church, with a notable reactionary personality to his anonymous name. I will admit some of my urbanite, rootless cosmopolitan tendencies stay with me unfortunately.(?) When it becomes so easy after years of moving around as a kid, where you can pack up your thoughts and emotions and reinvent yourself at a new school or duty station, I am here trying to build roots in the places I can. Whether that be my political political machine, or taking up where I can in my Church.

One of the most humbling experiences for example, was beginning to learn the art and tradition of Orthodox Iconography.

The lessons and apprenticeship of sorts came from helping a dear parish friend of mine who had been battling cancer, and needed someone to take care of her elderly mother and dog while she recovered from surgery to excise the tumor. That was the final product, instruction whilst taking care of her and still taking care of her, even now in this Christmas time where both our birthdays are pretty close to Nativity, and she has unfortunately lost her mother to old age. We had both promised ourselves not to have “Crappy Christmases” again, and yet in the midst of loss and shitty medical diagnoses we’re both determined to stay strong and make it work. Meanwhile my ass has to deal with Osteoporosis as per my interactions with my anti-rejection medications I take every 12 hours to live as close to a normal life as I can.

As the Christmas season comes to a head, one of the greater pleasures has been my time out from my home and out in the woods. Whether hunting feral pigs, or simply my time walking around the property line on my usual walking and prayer route. Where I live both on the property but also in my area, has a hefty mix of deciduous and coniferous trees. Along the highway whether I’m running errands or going to Church, the bright greens clash with the decaying leaves and the bare branches to let you know what time has come your way. To prepare for freezes, crazy weather, and most importantly the pursuit of peace on earth and good will toward men.

As our friends from The Restoration Bureau tell us, it’s important to shop local.

This Christmas, focus on the local, your friends and your family and make sure that they aren’t left out in the cold. In a time of great demoralization and atomization, we will be the bonding forces that keep the old order together in time for us to grow out into the new, and spring forth culture, joy, and friendship.

Until then, I’ll be driving along that same highway, praying and thinking of you all.

Take care, and stay prudent.

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