Apalachicola and There are No Rules


One minute you are biking through protected barrier islands and the next, you are having a beer with a hit man.  That’s what I’m talking about….

This little gulf of mexico beach town is beautiful.  I stayed here three nights and cheated.  I got a room at the Gibson Inn.  It was cold at night and the place was so quaint.  Thank you Doug and Daphne for the good advice.

The first night I went to Hole in the Wall and waited for the oyster boats to come in for raw oysters on the half shell.  They were huge and about 10 minutes old.

There was a local play at the Dixie Theatre, Almost Maine. On the way to the theatre, I stopped at the Owl Tap room for happy hour and dinner.  A very nice fellow sat down next to me and started chatting about all things sustainable.  He was from New Hampshire, a roofer and very articulate…good to talk to.  I was about to head to the play and he looks at me and says, “well, I make ends meet by being a hit man, you look like an angel and no one would suspect you, if you are interested.”  I agreed with him that no one would suspect me of being a hitperson and laughed.  He never laughed and never said he was joking.  So, I gathered my stuff, backed away and quickly walked to the Dixie Theatre.


These past three days have been really wonderful…settling in and having vast amounts of time to contemplate.  I have crayons and markers and colored paper all over the room with thoughts and goals and ideas.   I find myself doing the same thing as at home…a very huge list of things to do and feeling stressed about accomplishing everything in a day.  (what the hell?  I’m on sabbatical and I’ve filled up my days!)  I crash into bed at night exhausted.  I woke up ready to make smoothies for my boys and realized I was not at home today.  Homesick for Lyle and Z & A.

dixie theatre


I’m thinking back to this winter when Lyle and I were studying poetry.  Or he was teaching me about poetry.  I’ve been intimidated by writing and poetry and he said “Anything goes, there are no rules”.  That was extremely liberating.  I’d never tried writing a poem because I thought it had to be a certain way.  There are tons of ways of writing poems and tons of styles, but in the end, it’s about what you, the writer likes.  I suppose if you are trying to get published and impress a lot of people, you should care, but if it’s for you and I think that is what poetry is…a way to express some pent up feelings.

And I think about this sabbatical.  Thoughts come through my head that I’m not doing this right.  Yesterday, it came to me that there is no right or wrong, there are no rules.  We have too many rules in our culture. They suppress us from taking action.  In some ways, we created Abundance Foundation for that reason.  We were tired of the bureaucracy and lack of efficiencies, common sense and wanted progress to move forward.  The women at Abundance will tell you about my rantings about bureaucracy.  We have always taken the “ask for forgiveness” approach.  That has worked, because in the end, it’s about the result, not the way you get there.

Thought for the day; There are no Rules.  Do what’s right for you.  That’s all that matters.  Don’t worry what other people think.  If you believe in it, they will also believe in it.  Stop making excuses and go grab that dream!  In fact, tell me or someone what that dream is!

Tomorrow we ride.  (Me, Baby Blue, and Bruce Springsteen)  To see Paul Beezley and his family in Jacksonville, Alabama.

About tamischwerin

I run a non-profit (Abundance NC) that builds community resilience including health of the earth, our bodies and our spirits. I also am active in creating an Eco-Industrial Park community in Pittsboro NC.

14 responses »

  1. Enjoying your posts Tami! What’s coming up for me, reading how much contemplating, writing, travelling, etc. you are doing is to urge you to do something that is probably as difficult for you as it is for me. Don’t do anything! For a day: Don’t write, don’t spread the papers out on the floor, don’t blog, don’t dream about your options, don’t even think. As you go through the day just notice what is happening around you and if you find yourself telling yourself a story about something move onto noticing something else. When you are noticing things don’t label them. See how the things you are noticing have nothing to do with the labels we give them. Feel the “isness” of them. See if you can lengthen the moments between thoughts. Try it a second day. The space that happens between your thoughts, between your memories, between emotions that come up from the stories you tell yourself – the empty spaces are where spirit will kiss you with revelation.



    • Oh, Trip….super hard… but yes, that is needed. I’ll try and get back to ya!Have some good opportunities for that in TX. Big Bend, I think being out in the state parks might lend itself. Thank you. xxoo tami


  2. No rules? Wait. I thought there were rules. If you don’t cook it, you clean it, for instance. For potluck, you should always bring 1.5 times as many calories as you intend to consume, for another.

    You’re only 8 days in. Please tell me there are still rules…gulp.


  3. Rules

    You’re scaring me now. No, not the part about the hit man hitting on you or the idea that you may look like a woman in trouble who could use a paid-for murder to solve her problems. No, that’s interesting and quirky but not scary. Okay, it’s a little bit scary.

    No, what’s even more scary to me is a world without rules! Like Lyle said.

    I’m made of rules. I’m like rainman when it comes to rules. Without them I wouldn’t even get out of bed. If there were no rules and I had to reinvent myself, or as Trip suggests, spend the whole day just ‘being” (shit!!?!!), the challenge would paralyze me. Now, THAT is really scary.

    Okay, deep breath. What if some rules are arrangements or expectations or morals or mores? Well, then, there wouldn’t be so many true rules left then. Alright, that feels better. Just talked myself down out of the sweet gum tree house where I was going to huddle in fear the rest of the day…


  4. The mantra that helps me every day is coming back to the practice IS the practice. Knowing there are no rules and whatever you do however you ‘do’ this journey, it is the practice of self exploration. onward, L


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