Friday, June 17, 2011

Does that dog hunt?

Our life on the farm follows a rhythm, and yet it is a rhythm that changes all the time. Tomorrow I will take the kids who want to go to the Yu-Gi-Oh tournament, and take care of my friends at a horse show. Yesterday husband took off to have lunch with some folks who have been his friends for longer than he’s known me, and to make a new friend too it turns out. He came home with some walker onions as well as barrels and the possibility of mule training and walnut wood. Three days a week I work off the farm. Husband tries to work in his cottage industry at least some every day. I try to train my horse who will be for sale some every day that I’m not working, and some days that I am. We try to work in the garden most days. And eating and cleaning milking is daily. So is play and reading (at least when I can find my reading glasses) and writing and then the other stuff that interests us.

With the hot weather we tend to get to the garden before breakfast . . . but for me it is after coffee. This morning husband transplanted plants, older kids cleaned off a couple of beds readying them for planting. The youngest child and I planted melons. He’s a lot of fun to work with. And it is fun to just be there and listen to the conversations they all get in to.

I scored big bags of broccoli the hay guy at work grew, so this afternoon we froze three steamers full of broccoli. We blanch it, cool it, freeze it, glaze it, freeze it, bag it. We also got our sweet potato slips from him. And we had broccoli salad for lunch and will have steamed broccoli with our smoked chicken for supper.

I am reading William Coperwaite’s A Handmade Life. We got it from the library but we need to own it I think. I think it will be a lot like The Good Life has been, something to dig in to, be inspired by, riff off of. When I get to thinking about the politics and morality of our life, I can get bogged down in the conservative/liberal dichotomy. They are both so wrong. Criticizers criticize, that’s what I’ve been told. I rather think it is the ability, and the willingness, to call a spade a spade. But when it comes down to beauty and simplicity and living a rightful life, well, eyes must be open, and hearts and minds and souls too, and open enough to change, for real (RRR tm). Step outside of the affective world.

People must be independent, doggedly independent. But the fruit of that independence is cooperation. The seed of cooperation is independence. External validation is the thing that gets in the way -- trying to please someone else, or needing someone else to please you. The other side of admiration and respect is fear and loathing and it always gets to the other side. Independence is the antidote. What externally is seen as ego but internally is purpose and knowledge is what keeps one from needing massive amounts of external validation. The validation that is valid is the rather worn Native American saying, “Does it grow corn?” In hillbilly that is, “Does that dog hunt?”

Well, I don’t know quite how I got off on all that. Just the sort of things I think about I guess -- how to live without exploitation, with beauty, with love and all that jazz. Ornamentation is not beauty. But life is.

And life has rhythm. It is a dance.


Kate said...

I loved that book too. I only wish the pictures were larger, because it seemed like the beauty in them deserved to be seen in detail. I got to visit Bill, very briefly, a few years back. His place is every bit as amazing as the book made it look. I thought at the time I might build a yurt. That didn't pan out for various reasons. But I'm glad I explored the possibility anyhow.

CG said...

certainly this book is short on detail . . . but in general it isn't detail (or how to build a yurt) that we need but the idea of how to question how to live . . . that we even CAN question it, that life every day is filled with moral decisions . . . that yes, our values are important. Any more ranting and I sound like a seriously crazy person. Not that I care all that much but I'd prefer to not be picked up.