Late March Musing

I sent out a newsletter this morning. Being the socially clumsy and poorly-organized man that I am, I don’t know the precise overlap between who reads what I post here and who reads there. If you’re not signed up and you’d like to be, please feel free. And if not, no worries.

I have been happy lately, in the natural way that sometimes visits, especially when I am not working overtime to force my point-of-view on the world. Chrisoula and I have been half-assed homesteaders for years; Covid-19 reminds us that a more committed practice not only helps our family but expands our ability to be helpful to others.

In dialogue and action, we are deepening our commitment to self-reliance and local relationship in terms of food production. And we are thinking, too, of how to work differently, and otherwise make our living more creative, sustainable, and service-oriented.

This is not for everyone! I hope you will forgive me if I sound preachy. Healing takes the form that is most helpful to us, that most readily reminds us that our identity is not yoked to a body, and that the world of perception is illusory (e.g., T-2.IV.5:2). For me, in part, that has always taken the form of rigorous study and writing.

But it also includes a relationship with the world premised on actively working to balance the scales of justice so that all people enjoy the modest material abundance (and comfort and safety) that characterizes our living here on our homestead. I don’t always know what that means, so I have to be in relationship with others in order to learn. Together, we think out loud about how to help each other and how our helping can naturally extend to others.

This latter work – as opposed to study and writing – is harder for me, because it evokes the body and the body always evokes relationship. I am happiest in the forest or pasture, alone with my thoughts. With others – since childhood – I can be impatient, insecure, haughty, overly-sensitive . . .

I am, as Chrisoula often gently points out, a high-maintenance guy.

So learning proceeds apace, in the company of those with whom learning and healing are presently most effective and, as I consent to the posture of learning, which begins in humility, it is given me to be happy.

Healing is never only of the world (its pandemics, wars, famines or tsunamis et cetera) nor only of the self (its fear, guilt, pride, greed, et cetera) but is rather about discovering – and then gently living in – the nexus that self, world and other is.

We give attention to the life that is given to us, in all its beauty and confusion and pain, and we learn that beyond the flux and chaos is a stillness and peace and that the means to that joyful state is service unto one another, in whatever form appears.

To that end, I hope you are well, and that your families and communities are well, and I thank you for reading and sometime sharing with me here. Truly, without you, it would not mean a thing.


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