Saturday, December 24, 2011

Winter Solstice 2011

I've been observing the wild energies on our land for 6 months now. We put up a wind sock. Each day I write down the temperature, the quality of sky, the animals observed. We've also been noting the movement of the sun and on December 22 I put a marker on the farthermost shadow cast on the north side of our house at the winter solstice. I drew a picture of the exact horizon locations of the appearance and disappearance of the sun on that day. In a permaculture way, this is all very important to note so that passive solar can be done right, plants put in the right spot and all the other interwoven decisions can be made.

But this feeling struck me on the solstice. An actual feeling, not an intellectual construct. I think Galileo must have felt this way. I've seen his drawings. What I felt was the earth turning. No more sun risings and settings...only the earth turning. And I'm stuck to it in the most frightening and sublime way.

Friday, December 16, 2011

When Your Mother is Right

OK. This post is an unabashed maternal celebration of being right. So few times in life does the difference between being right and wrong get to be clear and inarguable. My son is a great musician and songwriter. Like everyone else, he was bemoaning the lack of job opportunities in our crashing economy. I was about to go off to Northern California to get a Permaculture Design Certificate. I lobbied hard for him to do the same and pitched the kind of new frontier of job opportunities in this area. So he bought in (many thanks to the Ex for his tuition). Now, two months later he has a job on a permaculture farm at $20/hour. He loves his job and he still has time to work on his music career.

The world needs this knowledge badly. These two-week permaculture courses are the best kept secret in education. The fee is usually between $900 and $1500 which includes being housed and fed. You come away with some of THE most important information available today and the hands on knowledge to start putting it into play.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Above the Waves

Sometimes it's a serious struggle to stay above the waves. Take this last month. Congress passed a bill that gives the president the power to waive the right of Habeas Corpus for U.S. citizens and foreign nationals that are deemed a threat to national security. Deemed so without need of proof, BTW. The New York Times reports that CO2 emissions into the atmosphere have skyrocketed. And Europe may be about to crumble economically. And just about everyone I know is out of work. And the 29 Palms Band of Indians wants to put a casino in my town...and the Dollar General Corporation (owned by Citigroup and Goldman Sachs who helped bring us The Great Depression #2) wants to put a Big Ugly Box that sells crap made in China in my resolutely rustic town....and and and.

But then I go make some paintings in my studio and feel so fortunate that I can go make some paintings in my studio. This is of course another kind of struggle...but it's the kind that tells me the truth about myself and my relationship to the world. And then I go to a weekly meeting where a group of extremely dedicated community members are organizing a big event that will bring people together to begin the serious business of planning our community's transition to a sustainable life. I look around that meeting table and see genius, love, dedication and tremendous excitement. And then I feel my head pop up above the crashing waves.