Monday, December 12, 2016

Intensity or Communion?

"The search for intensity is the shadow side of the healer."  One of my Yoga teachers, Nitya, said that, something she'd learned from one of her teachers. Now I share it here.

So what in the Sam Hill does that principle of Yoga have to do with DIY country life?

A lot, actually.

Modern farming--to feed a nation of more than 300 million souls--does involve a great deal of intensity, not all of it sustainable. Yet food is the best healer I know.

I suppose that if farmers saw themselves as healers, fewer of them would engage in practices that are fouling our rivers and depleting our topsoil. They'd put back in windrows and riparian barriers around waterways.

If consumers saw that food was healing, those who could afford it would pay more for local food grown sustainably, even if it meant cutting portions and losing a bit of weight. I joked that for our Thanksgiving turkey, I felt as though I knew the turkey. I did now which farm it came from.

If county councils saw the land is what heals us now and will sustain the next generations, they'd not rezone things so suburban sprawl, that odd mixture of cancer and cannibalism, engulfs prime farmland. These "public servants" would thus serve future generations, not merely the next election cycle and the pressure from deep-pocketed developers. As Edward Abbey, whose work so influenced my thinking in my 20s and 30s, put it, "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell."

It's a dream that we'll change our ways, but dreaming is good. In the dark years to come following a disastrous election, we are going to need to keep our own long visions as the evil in high places destroys itself. It so often does.

I'll keep turning the soil, but keep in mind that Shadow, the shadow of intensity.  Edward Abbey also advised us to "Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards."

I plan to do so, and I dream of those days to come.  Begin your own journey by healing yourself, and then spare a little healing for the soil that birthed you and sustains you still.

Blessed Solstice, all.

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful, Joe! Yes, our drive to satisfy the intense experience of life does not serve us at all. In fact it's much like a herd of antelope in constant run from a supposed danger or obstacle or threat. If we were to become calmer, more chill as yoga can do, then we open our selves to heal and our nation might heal. But is this man going to be our president? Can we have strayed this far off the path of healing into the dark cancer of a great unknown? I, my friend, would rather dig my hands deep into the soil of life, plant organic heirloom seeds and reap the reward of sustainable living, compassionate living, transformed living and heal. Blessings - Nitya