As may have been obvious from my last post, I’ve had a rough week or so. It happens. I go through cycles of optimism (or the closest I get to optimism) and despair, directed related to how much time I spend with people.
I was doing just fine. Working away at our plans, on landscape design, hammering our details for the heating system, talking with other like-minded individuals and exchanging updates… It was really good. Times like those I think, “you know, maybe… maybe we can turn things around”. And then I left the property. Within a few short days I became convinced that we are all doomed.
In three days we managed to cover racism, bigotry, genocide, religious ‘reasoning’, and general misery in conversations with one person. Once again, Shane played the role of optimist in arguing against these issues while I sat there shaking my head. Did she just say we should kill for peace? I didn’t bother to voice my confusion and horror aloud. I just sank further and further into a state of despondency. Not because this one person has such extreme views, but in listening to her explain her thinking I realized that she is a member of the majority. Ours is the minority view.
Top that off with the mass consumerism all around us seemingly at an all time high. We don’t celebrate Christmas. We don’t celebrate any holidays, instead choosing to treat each day as special. Saving up our time, money and energy to be spent at certain times of the year just doesn’t make a lot of sense to either of us- so, we are neither rich nor poor at ‘this time of the year’ and decided to look for stove pipe that we need for the mass heater.
“Are you sure this is a good idea on Boxing Day?” I asked Shane. He reasoned that we’re never in the city otherwise, so why not. Reasonable enough. Oh. My. God. Canadian Tire was packed with people, all frantic looking and racing around, children in tow. Didn’t these people just finish shopping? Weren’t there months of shopping done in preparation for that ‘one’ special day? There weren’t even any sales on (except on tin foil and plastic wrap- which I bought lots of). What the f*ck were these people thinking?
Then we went to Walmart to see if they had a couple of Ts that we couldn’t get at Canadian Tire. (Please don’t lecture me- yes, I said Walmart. I will one day resolve never to step foot in Wally World again but so far that day has not come. I’m cheap and I need stove pipe.) If C.T. was a zoo, Walmart was a carnival. And again- no real sales, so what were all of these people doing??? Shopping their way to end times. Sigh. As I looked around I realized that not only would most of these people trade their children’s futures for an extension to the days of mindless shopping, they are actively doing just that.
Add to that the general background noise- popular media reports and so on. Did you know that the top Canadian ‘news story’ (as reported by most popular media outlets) for 2010 was the Vancouver Olympics? No mention of the massive overspending by our government on the G8/G20 and the horrendous human rights abuses by authorities resulting in innumerable injuries and false detentions. Also absent was any mention of Tom Flanagan (former aide to our Prime Minister) calling for the assassination of Julian Assange. Go figure.
I’ve spent the last week trying to recuperate. Focused in on our plans and positive direction, if not monumental impact. We got our application for trees in today, I’ve pretty much settled on my list of seeds, drafted a design for a combination rocket stove-mass heater that looks to have potential, and researched power options exhaustively (again). We also went to the dump earlier today for our own version of ‘holiday shopping’ and picked up some really cool stuff. That alone infused me with some much needed enthusiasm.
So- I’m recovering my focus. I need to live in the solution. I’m going to hermit-up and get my blinders back on- girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. The next few blogs will hopefully see me back on a positive trend.