Saturday, January 12, 2008
The Queen of Gleen (or another one of my damn hippie pals)
Yesterday I was riding with a reporter from the Seattle Times, helping him out with a story he's doing on Seattle's bike infrastructure. Somewhere in the course of our four hour tour of the city, he asked "So does your Bike Alliance job pay you a living wage?" "I don't need much," I replied, but when I saw his eyes still looking puzzled I tried to elaborate with "I worked in software for over twenty years, let's just say I make a lot less doing this and like it a lot more." I could see him connect the dots the wrong way, but then most folks do. He figured I'd packed away some huge pile of money and now could do what I want. The truth is simpler, I'd given him the simple answer in the first four words, but people seem to want to believe that rich people must be happy and happy people must be rich, so they go with the more complex fable instead of the simple truth. I think Thoreau had it right when he said "wealth is the ability to fully experience life." By that standard, I'm pretty wealthy.
I've never met my friend Jacquie or her husband Charlie, but of course I've known about them damn near forever. A month or so ago I got a big kick when Jacquie sent me a fan letter. I told another one of my buddies, "I feel like a kid playing guitar in his garage who just got a fan letter from Clapton." Since then we've been trading little bits of email and one of these days we may manage to have our tire tracks intersect and actually meet up on terra firma.
Jacquie wrote a terrific article about how being wealthy isn't really about money. You can read it here:
Of all the adjectives I can think of to describe Jacquie, "anonymous" isn't one of them, so I found the byline on this piece to be particularly amusing. Also, since Jacquie ratted out her authorship both on her own blog and in an email to her buddy list, I don't feel bad about spreading the news. Articles by Jacquie are one of those things that makes all our lives richer. You can read more of her stuff on her blog here: