Friday, April 10, 2009

Jesus was a farmer

Someone mentioned that they might know of a cow for sale, a heifer so I’d have to be training her to be hand milked, but a full blooded Jersey and expecting a Jersey calf too. I sure would like to have a look at her.

And then my husband asked a question, something like “if you had two what would you do with them,” and I misunderstood what he meant because I answered that I’d make sure I could get the new one in milk and then I’d beef our old one (after her due date although I’m very sure she is not with calf -- I’m totally willing to be surprised however). No, what he was asking, he said, was what if I bought this new cow and she had a calf and then my old cow had a calf too?

I’d feel very wealthy, I said.

In school I remember learning about different number bases, like ours is base ten but you can have base eight or base twelve. I had a knack for being able to do this, to throw a switch in my mind and think mathematically in a different base. It was just a trick as far as I was concerned and I didn’t much understand why other people struggled with it.

I also took two years of Spanish in school. I didn’t learn all that much but I did learn that I could only really understand the stuff when something in my brain switched. With the language I couldn’t make it switch like I could with the math but still to this day although I don’t speak Spanish at all really, I can very often understand what is being said (in a general way).

That switch thing is one of the things I think is happening now. The paradigm is changing, is in the middle of a switch, and no one knows the language of the new paradigm. A lot of us are making good guesses I think, but all of us are making mistakes to go with it, dragging along parts of the old paradigm that we can’t even imagine not being there. Take the Lynn Miller essay that I referenced in the last post. I think Mr. Miller is brilliant but later in that essay he tells about a new endeavor he has taken on in order to help farmers keep their insurance paid (among other things). I happen to think that this particular idea is asinine and that the new paradigm is unlikely to have insurances to pay, and particularly not what we know as health insurance because third party health insurance is one of the reasons people are so dang unhealthy today.

Anyway, I don’t want to talk about insurance, or health, or even SFJ. What I want to highlight is the new paradigm, and our blindness to spots of it. Ah, but who knows where my own blind spots are?

I'm sure a new paradigm will have to incorporate that wealth is not money but is production, and that everyone will have useful things to do. I think those refusing to do this will be hungry. I think health by way of a decent (not a restricted) diet and lots of work will largely replace what we've come to know as "health care". "Education" as we know it will be a welcome victim. Energy is the biggest change and is what will lead the change in everything else. I think people will resist these until they are dead. They will refuse to learn the language. They are covering their ears even now and singing "lalalala" to themselves.

I think having two cows in milk, one to sell, a couple calves to raise for future milkers and beef, thus being able to also fatten pigs with the extra milk, not to mention butter and lard and all the other things that come from such adventures, I think all of that is real wealth. I still don't think the current cow is pregnant. But I would be very tickled to be wrong.

One more point: I think there is a real difference in having a blind spot and a refusal to speak the new language. As far as I can tell, our government is in massive refusal mode. But then our government *follows* her people by and large -- our government had a reserve of food when people thought that was important but when people started mortgaging their houses for a vacation, the government wondered what it was doing with these stockpiles and got rid of them. I know people who KNOW what is happening (as surely Obama must) but who insist that there is no higher calling that having a good time now, blast the future or some poor chap starving somewhere -- I have to have my tea and oranges from China now.

I think of the line in the song, "and when he knew for certain/only drowning men could see him/he said all men shall be sailors then/until the sea shall free them."


Madcap said...

Your posts are always such great "balancing agents" for me.

Something I've been thinking about a lot lately is the ephemeral nature of true wealth. People, skills, chickens, eggs, cows... they all need to keep moving through their life cycles in order to retain their value. Not like the rigidity of arbitrary wealth, like metal, that has no flow.

CG said...

I recently read "My Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn. I'd read Ishmael long ago and now my library doesn't have it for me to re-read but anyway . . . in My Ishmael he talks about how societies that know how to live on the earth without killing it or themselves transmit their knowledge -- not thinking each PERSON needs to have the complete picture but each GENERATION *must* have it. Anyhooooo . . .

Alecto said...

This is very balancing for me. Leads me right back to the garden and the aquisition of more chickens (and I've moved on to the idea of a milk goat on the property no matter how badly I want that cow). Also, from the first few paragraphs I am reminded of the story about the 9 cow woman.

CG said...

we started with a milk goat. The one the girls are milking now is her (rather elderly) daughter.

CG said...

oh, and speaking of nine cow woman, you should see the very nice children's flick, The Legend of Johnny Lingo. Entirely charming.