Saturday, March 12, 2005

The Opulent Day

With short notice, Thursday was a dentist day – four kids and a check-up. The good news: no permanent teeth cavities!

The other good news: we had several gift cards from xmas that we hadn’t spent, mostly from my most generous and lovely brother and SIL. They were so nice to give gift cards to me and husband AND to the kids so we didn’t only head to the toy store but also hit the book store!

Now, the less you go out and the less you spend the more fun it is to do it. We pretty much never buy anything we haven’t thought about, even gluten or some such because we find much enjoyment in the consideration (not to mention the financial responsibility it enables). It is like knowing what is going to be for supper the day after tomorrow – you get to enjoy it the whole time, not just those few minutes when you are actually eating it. It isn’t about doing without but really about getting more pleasure from it all.

So anyway, after the dentist we went out to eat, and to the bookstore, and to the toy store and used every gift card we had. And we had just the best time, from pulling out from the farm in the sunshine looking forward to what all the day would hold, to the kids considering what they would get (and the boys working together and having money left over to boot), to coming home so tired that naps were taken and some whining done along with the chores.

And husband and I are so pleased with our books. I got the hardcover new Deepak The Book of Secrets which is classic, lovely Deepak at his best. I find so many self-help, spiritual, new age, occult books so, hmmm, stupid, insipid, weak, rehashing the same things. Deepak, while working from the same base, always manages a new spin, an understanding deepened, expanded. And he just writes in a voice I get.

Husband got Collapse – how societies choose to fail or succeed by Jared Diamond which is a spectacular book. I can see our culture as it is now, I can see people I know (probably even you) being the Easter Island-er who cut down that last tree. If you were told that there was only enough gas to run agribusiness and you couldn’t drive all around going to “work” anymore, would you give it up? My assessment is no, you wouldn’t – because from your perspective, what good is food if you can’t buy it so no, you’d drive that last year, until there was no food TO buy, not only no coin to buy it with. And without agribusiness, there is flat out not enough food to feed everyone. And I say that as a more organic than organic farmer, which is why I know that non-petrochemical food can be produced but that fertility takes time to build and wisdom to maintain. There ya go. So, I’m really looking forward to seeing how his thoughts affect my assessment of eschatological things, which always amuse me to some degree because everyone since Paul (and likely before) has been waiting for the end of the world. Including me. Collapse looks how the end of the world has happened already. Multiple times. Just not quite on a global scale. Yet.

This time is fun book-wise too because there are really some new thinkers like this Diamond characters out there. Another that we hugely enjoyed was The Other Greeks by Victor David Hanson. Hanson also writes a conservative column somewhere. He’s a brilliant thinker – unfortunately his writing is thick. He could use to learn how to spin a yarn. Ah, but he has something to say. That is so refreshing. The Other Greeks looks at how the rise of the independent family farm was the real source and strength of classical Greek culture. Since we ARE the independent family farmstead, we rather agree with his assessment, which is also probably why I look for a collapse.

So deep thinking and lively discussions accompany the milking and cooking and planting of spring here on the farm. Thanks to my brother (who I swear looks exactly like Wilford Brimley) & SIL.

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