"So the bodhisattva saves all beings, not by preaching sermons to them, but by showing them that they are delivered, they are liberated, by the act of not being able to stop changing. You can't hang on to yourself. You don't have to try to not hang on to yourself. It can't be done, and that is salvation." Alan Watts
I had wanted to say how we lived, examine the choices we make and their results of joy basically, an alternative to all the whiney complainy, joyless, this is what you have no choice but to do, it's not my fault I have to be medicated to get through my day bullshit.
I have a friend now who is mad a lot; mad at the world. I want to take photographs of all the good stuff in her life and make her look at them. With no "but"s. I have had these friends serially now for a while. They have evolved, no doubt as I have, to show me stuff. It is interesting how the anger has come to the surface now, from the sad. Mad often masks sad in men. In women, sad often masks mad. But then there is so much anger in the culture now. Which is so sad. And all of that over fear. Over fear that is there because the culture has stolen and is living on the exploited backs of others and it is not right and it will fail it is just a question of how and when and it scares people and they know it deep down but refuse to look. And they get mad and sad about it.
It does not scare me. I just live as much as I can outside the circle of exploitation. Which is no way no shape no form entirely outside of it. But it is with joy.
When I started blogging I did not work outside the farm. Now the husband doesn't. When I first took this last job (five years ago) and it seemed to want a lot more time from me for ostensibly less money, I said, "Just wait until it settles out. It will settle out." It took it awhile. I quit baking much. He cooks a lot more. I found ways to a little more money. The kids stepped up in household management and paid work both.
But I and thus my family became more of the community and I can't emphasize how important that is, and how not natural to either one of us that is. I must have to meet someone 50 times before I know who they are. He is just anti-social. But if we need anything, there are multiple people to call now. Someone who knows cars. Someone who knows hay. Someone close by. All the vets know me. The feed stores. And the people, there is real connection.
I remember reading books and blogs of people who'd move to a place and then not get along with their vision of how it would be (because I can assure you, whatever your vision is, it will NOT be like that) and blamed it on the locals somehow. Once someone's bees swarmed and we said, "What about your hive?" and she said, "It is not them," and later when it was her own bees who had swarmed we said, "thought so," and she was mad that no one told her. We can't make you listen. You have to figure that out. You have to figure out, I reckon, that you are the problem a lot of the time, and then you have to figure out how to get out of your own way. Whether you are Bonbon or Laylo or Fury or Capitan. Or me.
Is it important to live outside the cycle of exploitation? Is it important to attempt restorative living (where we don't actively kill the earth?) Is it important to be kind and honest and expect the same in return? I mean, really, what IS important? The next generation, is it important? What about it? That they know how to allow their hearts to sing and also how to make a fire and a supper and milk a goat?
Eating. Maybe that is a good place to start. We have to eat: we might as well be passionate about it. It is a place where we can impact our health, the health of our community (don't get too effing high and mighty about this however: $75 turkeys are not helping anyone), the health of the planet, and humongously increase joy and satisfaction. And bread is the staff of life. And yet for some years I did not regularly make bread. After years of making ALL the bread. What is that? Life. In the years of making all the bread, I did not have a relationship with my hay guy. But having hit a stride here, the bread is again a thing. And I have made most or all the bread for far far more years than not. It is not a passing fancy.
Nor is gardening, which is part of eating of course. Way back when, before the husband, before the kids, I bought a freezer. . . to put up apples and green beans specifically. The main things I remember in my grandparents' freezer (which was communal with our family) was apples and green beans and corn. And although the husband is "the gardener", I would have a garden without him and I'm pretty sure the kids would too without either one of us. It is not a passing fancy, a fad, but deep and etched and, frankly, important.
There must be a thousand ways to bake a great loaf of bread. Ten thousand. Or grow a garden. If I had photos, right here would be two: one of my grandfather's weedless rows and one of our weed patch, both of them producing tons of food.
Each heart has its own song to sing and other songs will not suffice.
But I am still here to show; a different life IS possible. Now. Know the difference in waiting for things to settle out and selling out to some lie about "one day".
And everyday it will change and grow and shrink and change some more.