Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Laura said that my apples and potatoes (and things like that because, you know, each year is different) were a reason she considered me rich.

People might consider me wealthy, and there are many reasons to do so and certainly I believe that I am, but I can tell you this: No one wants to emulate this type of wealth, this scheme of rich. They might give lip service to admiring it, but they choose to live their every day lives as far away from this life as they can.

While Gene Logsdon says that the modern ear cannot hear the song of husbandry, I say that the modern paradigm of life is a siren song that has lured people to abandon their ships of sanity, of subsistence, for the promise of a false abundance; an abundance of debt. Debt is a bad thing. Living or dying by credit is a bad thing. Debt ought to be the last reluctant resort and not the normal, preferred, and first choice of how to conduct business. Any business (or government) that has to borrow money on a continuing basis ought to go out of business.

And any person who relies on debt or impermanence ought to go hungry. It is not a good thing for people to reach 40 and 50 years old, with families, and not have a pot to piss in. Priorities of collecting experiences and luxuries at the expense of collecting skills and durable goods like pots to piss in have consequences. Modern life has taken to the assumption that necessities can be plucked out of thin air, while the trivialities are worth spending their last gold piece on.

Perhaps the current financial crisis is the siren song of modern life passing away. Perhaps my family is Odysseus tied to the mast, and us having passed them by, the Sirens will fling themselves into the water and perish.

Or perhaps the Muses of husbandry will pluck the Sirens’ feathers out.

I believe that within a year’s time, people will not have so much trouble as they do now differentiating between the real and the false. Real will feed you, clothe you, keep you warm. False will lull you into the sense that you are full when your life is empty of any substance.


Anonymous said...


dND said...

They might but I fear that too many people believe what we call the 'American Dream' (from the Hollywood films). People now judge you by the age and cost of the car parked on your drive and the number of exotic holidays you've taken in the year. People now expect this sort of living, it should be their right they shouldn't even have to work for it...

I think I'm getting more and more cynical over the years but that's how I feel the majority of the UK functions now. This is only further reinforced by reading the newspapers and watching the news.

Finding the blog world where it's possible to find people who don't fit this stereotypy has been a revelation - It gives me hope that there are at least some sane people still out there who realise that you never get a free lunch and that you really need to put something in before you take it out.


Red Haired Stranger said...

Living with the rythyms of the seasons and off the pavement definitely puts REAL into focus.
Real is how many cows do I have to sell in order to buy a new stove,
hmm do, I really need it or can I make do for another year. All costs are weighed. Did I can enough to get thru until next summer, is there enough meat in the freezers? Is the pantry full?
Have I remembered everything. I can't just get in the car and drive down to the hardware store to pick up one little screw. How many hours do I have to work to fill the car with gas in
order to get to town to buy groceries. Work is 12 miles away,
town is 65 one way, 50 the other.
Ranch living requires a person to be a packrat, a mechanic, a vet and so much more.
A huge pile of gloves, a wardrobe
of coats, overalls and britches
and hats- the winter wardrobe is huge. Neighbors depend on each other. Do we have enough propane and wood piled up to last the winter? We know its gonna get cold, we know its going to snow, are there enough axe and shovel handles in the shed in case I break one cracking ice during a big freeze in January? Do we have oil in the lamps, candles where we need them?
Do all the flash lights have batteries? There are 7 pick ups, 6 tractors, 2 cars out here. Are all the First Aid kits stocked? Time to be ready for winter, its a coming fast. The trees along the creek beds are flashing leaves of red, gold and yellow. The cats fur is getting thick, the grackles are flocking in great droves.
We're getting ready to wean and ship cows. Cattle prices are not as high as they were last year but somehow it will be enough.

CG said...

Well Red, you said it well. There is always a lot to keep in mind. And if we forget, we pay the price. As I've said in other places, nature is a task master. She's beautiful, insightful, wonderful . . . and freaking unforgiving sometimes.

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

Great post - I wish more people would pay attention to the real things in life...

Anonymous said...

And any person who relies on debt or impermanence ought to go hungry. It is not a good thing for people to reach 40 and 50 years old, with families, and not have a pot to piss in. Priorities of collecting experiences and luxuries at the expense of collecting skills and durable goods like pots to piss in have consequences.

Sister, you're speaking right to me, and I know it. Well, minus the kids and the collecting of luxuries. What I'm really lacking right now is useful skills. The piss pot can wait 'til I have a place to put it I suppose.

I don't know if you really had me in mind or not, but thanks for the kick in the ass anyway. Lord knows I need it.

CG said...

no! I didn't have anyone specifically in mind, and yet everyone. Us too in some ways in that it is these sorts of thoughts that have us here instead of somewhere else. And you are single and could argue for the value of collecting experiences too. But everything has consequences. Like, I milk a cow, I don't travel! But one can choose to be "tied down" to a cow, or "tied down" to not having a cow (not having milk, etc.) -- one is limited in some way either way.

I really think vision needs to change. What can you envision in a world made by hand? What kind of life for yourself and those around you?

Anonymous said...

I know you weren't speaking just to me, but to people like me and worse, of course. All of us. But I could hear the message right up under my skin. Since I don't have kids or spouse or pets or anyone directly depending on me, I travel light. No TV, cable, CD or DVD player, internet connection (though I would like to get that), few clothes, very few dishes or kitchen thingies, free furniture, (in your words) bottom feeder vehicle, etc. But even though I feel I could survive more easily than many folks, I still need to foster myself some useful skills.

And a place... someday a place.

By the way, I finally got ahold of some Logsdon. Lovin' the guy.