Dolly Freed, future rocket scientist and 17 year old possibility thinker, wrote and published this book about living off the land and living her own way in 1978…so I guess that means that “Dolly Freed” (a pseudonym) was “green” before being “green” was cool.
The title of this post is probably inaccurate. I suspect that Dolly Freed knew exactly what she was doing…and if anybody said, “you can’t do that!” she probably, at least inwardly, replied, “oh, really? well….I’m doing it.” The old “it’s easier to ask forgiveness than to ask for permission” maxim must have gotten a real workout in the case of Dolly Freed and possum living.
Living a low cost, low impact lifestyle so that you can be freed up to experience life your own way is an appealing possibility. The old Robinson Crusoe story was engaging because his circumstance allowed him the necessity of simple survival…and his creative ability allowed him to survive with style. He was alone…independent except for Friday…and he survived. Now it’s an alternative lifestyle choice. If you don’t have (or decide not to spend) a lot of money, you can wrap yourself up in the creativity of survival and call it “my alternative lifestyle”…re-frame your situation so it looks a whole lot cooler than it possibly is. Where I live, I suspect sometimes that if it wasn’t for their “trust fund parachute” that a lot of the hipster, dumpster diving, thrift store loving, patchoulie wearing temporary “poor people” would be terrified of not having a fully funded IRA and a good full time job. Poverty is a whole lot more fun when you can jump to the “other side” whenever you want.
I never get the impression that Dolly was one of these posers. I think that she just quietly went about her life and, except for writing the book under a pseudonym, didn’t do a lot to draw attention to herself. It wasn’t a situation of “look at me…I found a banana in the dumpster….look at me!!!”…it was just eating the banana.
There are a lot of simple living books out there now…a bookshelf full of simple living books is pretty funny to me…I have a bunch of them…nothing too simple about a whole lot of simplicity cluttering up your life. Dolly Freed wrote one of the seminal books about freedom and simplicity and possibility…and even though it is an older book it is still in print and still relevant today.