Wednesday, October 11, 2006

natural sickness

I knew it would happen- I could feel it coming. Sickness. And it might seem weird, incomprehensible even, but being sick can be so beneficial. It stops you right in your self-centered, circular tracks. Here I've been, jogging around my life, just going where my schedule in my non-existent planner takes me. So it says I go to the pub, I go to the pub. Drive to NYC, off to NYC. Throw clothes in the laundry, round and round they go in the washer. But there's no time to consider why I do what I do. No time to think to myself about the washing machine we have, or the trees changing colors in Pennsylvania, or the conversation to be had while putting the chairs on the table at the end of the night at the pub. So where does it all lead? In a circle, perhaps. But the great thing is that I got sick. So I sat here, wallowed a little, begged my partner to go buy some juice, and slept, and slept, and slept. And then, intermittently, I would wake up and send an email, write an email, read a few pages in a book, and try to functionally manage an impending 5 year anniversary from Josh's accident (hence some of the emails).
Most of all, I've been wondering, in this short span of life we've been given, at least until it's gone, what is worth doing? What validity does art really hold? What should we be doing with our time? It only makes sense to me that life is about survival, and the first priority to survival is maintaining our biosystem and land and the people living on this land. Where is the balance in this? So I've been learning to grow food and thinking outside the confines of agro-business of which we almost all partake. I've started thinking that there are no other options in this world but to dedicate the self to healthy lifestyles in our relationship with the earth and food.
This morning I have been reading a book called "The One-Straw Revolution" by Japanese author Masanobu Fukuoka. He is not only a subscriber to "natural farming", he goes beyond techniques of even the organic farmer. While not using fertilizers, insecticides, herbicides, or pesticides, he also does not plough or disrupt the soil. I know this is becoming tedious to read, and I apologize to those that love me... but here I am, reading, thinking of all that I know, which is really very little, and wondering if I am somehow going to have to learn how to be an entomologist and soil purveyor in order to live a life of meaning. And then Masanobu says these things after describing the silk of spiderwebs resting on his field of rice:
"The spectacle is an amazing natural drama. Seeing this, you understand that poets and artists will also have to join in the gathering."
Also, "And so the use of chemicals is not a problem for the entomologist alone. Philosophers, men of religion, artists and poets must also help to decide whether or not it is permissible to use chemicals in farming, and what the results of using even organic fertilizers might be."
Also, " Since advanced technology had nothing to do with growing this grain, it stands as a contradiction to the assumptions of modern science. Anyone who will come and see these fields and accept their testimony, will feel deep misgivings over the question of whether or not humans know nature, and of whether or not nature can be known within the confines of human understanding. The irony is that science has served only to show how small human knowledge is."
ah, I love sick, rainy days, the water pouring horizontal from the sky. Time suspended and out of your control. That's just it- sometimes when you think you are most in control and so suave in your choices, you are smacked with horizontal rain, humbly shaking your finger at it while you lie, your back against the ground, laughing just the little bit amongst your sneezes.


bekheinz57 said...

if he doesn't disturb the soil, what does he eat? And are you a proponent of population control? If so, in what form? Can't wait to take you to coin beer night and set you loose amongst the locals. Hope we don't end up in a streetfight with our tiny, ineffectual fists. Well, mine are tiny. More hobbit-like actually. But I can open up a can of whupass if needs be. I've got your back.

Sarah and Joshua said...

you, my hipster sister, are a nut job. Regardless of how ridiculous you are, I know you got my back. And I serendipitously have yours. You think either of us alive will come out alive from Stillwater? Go thundercats go!

sarah said...

Well girls, you appear to be an excellent match for each other! I have nothing nearly as exciting to say, only to mention that I, too had a disparaging cold all this last week. I was initially very disheartened as I couldn't exercise for a whole week! Besides that I felt absolutely miserable and very sorry for myself. Sarah, you know I'm kinda dumb that way, always wanting to be "healthy" in every regard, even when it may not be the best thing for me at that moment. Anyway, I humbly put down my passion of being "fit" and was then allowed in its place an ability to stand back and examine things. You know what I found out? I'm okay, even though I don't know everything. I can still help children and their families at the hospital, even though I can't fix (or even fully understand!) their every ailment. Oh yah, and knowing and loving friends and family is the best ideal, not a thin trim bod.

Simanek said...

I don't know. I've read a little about how much of an influence our eons of unnatural selection has had on the entire makeup of all of our domesticated plants and animals. I guess wild strawberries are about the size of mulberries and the wild ancestor of corn is more or less grass. Are we to turn our back on eons of genetic engineering? Most likely our sense of what is 'natural' is very subjective and innaccurate. However, this is no justification for the disregard so many have for the distruction and waste in our societies.