this started as an email to my sister at heart and then turned into a blog post, so you will excuse the lack of capitalization or proper grammar, because i don’t typically use those in emails…
i listened to this song constantly as i was writing this, and if you listen to it while you read, you might get the same experience.
i’m listening to this at the moment. and its one of those moments when something is niggling at your consciousness and you just can’t quite grasp it, but you keep reaching for it…
i spent all day sunday planting beans. turned over the whole section, about a quarter of the garden, weeded it, raked it out, made pretty little rows, planted all the seeds. 9 varieties, about 130 feet, with some squash sprinkled in for good measure. and then i did a bunch of other stuff. made a cake. and at the end of the day i sat in the yard and just felt so right. tired and achey in that really wonderful way that only a really productive day where everything just went the way it was supposed to can be, and right in the way that only a warm spring evening can be. hot and humid and pursued by deer flies all day and then everything blown away with the evening breeze and the shade creeping across the lawn.
the garden is in a really good place and is almost all organized. just a little more planting to do and that’s my favorite thing. i was feeling very on top of things until this morning when i had to come to the office. but then the magical combination of factors: i was getting bored and started listening to the golden hearts and one of our farmer friends called me and had an opportunity and i suggested a barter, and whether it works out or not it just came to me again that when you open the doors the universe usually provides. you can fuss and plot and plan and it never works out right, and then you just wait and do the best you can and things fall into place. none of the things i’ve ever stressed myself trying to make happen have ever happened, or been as good as i thought they would be when they did. and all i’ve done so far is make the decision to quit my job- and here things are already coming in the open door.
its like the magic shoes, the ones that i searched for and never found, and then gave up looking and waited for the universe to provide, and there they were. you just have to make the space in your life for it. everyone keeps asking me about my plan. my plan for having a business and exactly where all the money is going to come from and i keep saying, i have no idea, its just going to work out. and i realize that i am extremely privileged in that i can say such a thing, and that part of my having no fear (or very little) is knowing that there are people who can catch me if this all falls apart. but i don’t think it will fall apart. this call today- it reminded me i’ve been building these relationships, here, in this place, for six fucking years now, and now here i am- i’m in the position where i can exchange my skills for food. and it occurred to me, sitting at my desk feeling trapped and discouraged, that this is what’s so beautiful about leaving- i’m making the space for these other opportunities. right now, working full time, i don’t have the ability to say, sure thing, let’s work out a trade, i’ll do ten hours of web work or whatever for you, and i’ll get some food. that’s food i didn’t have to pay for. that’s time well spent helping someone out i really like. and i could do this all the time.
i was thinking all weekend, while i was out planting beans and all, that i could feasibly get my food bill down to zero. i mean, we’d be paying for garden stuff, for fertilizer and seeds and things sometimes, but between growing what we can and trading or bartering for the rest- it could totally happen. and how much money do people usually spend on food? i don’t know what’s normal. i just looked it up on the internet and the usda says for two people it’s $374 a month for the thrifty plan. so that’s like $4500 a year. if i think about it like that, and figure, ok, i’ll “pay” myself $8 an hour or something for weeding the garden, or even $10, so that’s 450 hours a year of work- i think i probably spend a lot less than that on the garden and can make up the rest doing things for people. but the numbers don’t matter. its the feeling of security i get from knowing i can do all this.
people keep telling me they’re jealous, because i can leave my job and sew full time or whatever. and when i ask why, its because i have a skill, and they envy that. i mean, not just the sewing, but that i can grow food and preserve food and the more i think about it the more i realize they aren’t envying that i can sew, i mean, whatever, you can learn to do that. i think they’re (maybe unconsciously) jealous of my confidence, of this weird assurance i seem to have that this is all going to work out, and that i can absolutely provide for myself and i don’t need a steady 9-5 to do that. its not that i’m not afraid- there are definitely some sleepless nights going on right now- but i have every faith that the universe is going to provide. why wouldn’t it?
and i envy it because i know i don’t have it yet, not really, and i have a long way to go before i can let go that much. i’m still clinging to the illusion of security that is a “normal” life. but i watched that video and was just like, i want that life, i want that feeling of ease, that feeling of just laying back in the grass watching it all happen- i’m sure its not always like that for them either, but how beautiful, to even have that most of the time. and that’s how i feel when i’m at the wagenplatz too. “we’ve got nothing but time” and that has so many meanings, because really you can give up all the material stuff, not that you need to or necessarily even want to, but when you do, you always have your time- and that’s so precious. and i’m so tired of giving that up to someone else. is that selfish? i keep asking myself that question, if i’m selfish for wanting nothing so dearly as to spend those hours in the morning gardening or sewing or baking cakes and then to lay out on the grass in the evening and watch the chickens. and to have people to share that with. and god do i need my friends- i miss them so dearly it hurts like all hell. i miss the late nights on porches talking and playing music. i miss the ease of it- there was no rush, no agenda, it was all about just being there, and there was never any plan, and sometimes that drove me crazy, but mostly i was just in love with it all, and i want that only i don’t want it in the city because i find the city exhausting. i want to talk about beautiful things. and making them. and i think that can happen. i think it will once i get more in that space.
i keep catching myself saying, when i leave, i’m going to do this- and i catch myself because i’m not going to be less busy. i’m going to be equally busy. but that’s not the point. the point is it will be my busy, my own, for me, for the handsome fella, for our people. and i’ll finally have my time back. and i’ll finally have space. i’m wondering if i will still be as stressed about working at home, and sewing and all. probably sometimes, especially the times i’m sure will happen when the money is low and the work isn’t coming in or whatever, but those are the spaces where you just have to wait for the universe to provide. and if you’re not busy working you can always be busy scavenging. and that’s so important to remember.
by the way the people whose music i keep linking to are friends (?) or friends of loved ones who happened to stay at my house one day and i hope they come back and stay a lot longer because they are amazing and awesome and i am so grateful to them for inspiring this post.