Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanks!

I turned some mental corners again this weekend! Yippee! I hope I'm changing in good directions. I feel like I'm learning what I need to out of this situation.

But first, I want to discuss some things to be Thankful for. In the past, I have sometimes had a difficult time being thankful. As in, "F.U. if you think I have to give thanks for the Food Stamps again." Conceptually, I understand that it is wonderful to live in a state with generous food stamps, in a country that can afford food stamps, where there's something to spend my food stamps on. But sometimes I resented the idea that I should be thankful for being stuck on the bottom of the economic dog pile. Ironically, it's being thankful and grateful for stupid things in dire times that gets you through those dire times.

Daily, I am thankful for running water. I am thankful that we don't live in a war zone, or a famine, or a military regime, or in a religiously controlled country, etc. etc. And when I think about the waiting purgatory we seem to be stuck in, I just remind myself that I'm not in a refuge camp, which is similar to this situation only A LOT WORSE. I have also found some other things to be thankful for. I have found that we have an abundance of towels (just not in the bathroom you are currently taking a shower in). No one will ever go needlessly wet in this home. And we had the foresight to buy a house at the right time. And the good fortune to sell it at the right time. And that's keeping this situation tolerable instead of desperate. We now have a new, working car. And the world is full of kind and loving people.

And this brings me to a recent realization. I was moping because I've been wanting my own chunk of earth for a long time. Sure, we could rent land, we could work on someone else's land, etc. But I want my OWN. I want THAT security. My own ability to grow my own food. And I think everyone deserves that security. Land should be a human right, because access to providing for yourself, your own food, is fundamental to survival. But I realized that the other thing I can count on is the goodness and love of other people. It's there. And if someone wants to share their acre with me for growing food, then that kindness is security enough. Perhaps not the most dependable thing in the world. But in general, I think we can depend on each other to survive and to meet each others basic needs, if not more.

I say I've been waiting a long time for what I want and just when we were about to reach out a grab it: DENIED! We've been working on our long term plan now for over 7 years. When Huck was laid off in 2001, the plan hatched. And we've been working towards it since. And now he's been looking for work for 13 months. He had those 8 days. And that was 5 months ago. Five months isn't that long to have waited for a dream. Recently, I had a sudden sense of immense patience. These are my dreams, and they are worth waiting for. I can wait. I will wait as long as I need to. But I will get there, maybe in a year, maybe five, maybe even 10 or 20. And it's interesting to suddenly feel that I can wait, even that long.

Lest I get to Polly-anna-ish, I am going to gripe about the weather inside our apartment again. The air that is forcing itself on us is driving us INSANE! We are constantly freezing cold. And it's gotten louder too. It's this loud whooshing and the sensation that you are standing on the beach, in winter, in Alaska. It is SO LOUD! I can't emphasize that enough. IT's LOUD. So we've got our electric fireplace on again. It's quaint reel of painted fire cranks round and round. And to simulate warmth, it has a little blow dryer stashed in a vent at the top. This is where we go to get warm. But to get your feet, you have to lay down and put your feet in the air. I may need to remind you that the picture of the fire isn't hot. It's just the blow dryer they installed in the top. What a CUTE idea!

The point of civilization is lost on me these days. Didn't humans build up the whole thing to bring us peace and security from Nature? Wasn't the economy supposed to insulate us against bad weather and bad crop years? And now we have weather AND an economy just as uncontrollable. And wasn't housing supposed to protect us from the elements? But now we find the elements have invaded our house and are just as uncontrollable as they were outside these walls.

I know we're supposed to be conserving energy to save the planet. But honestly, this electricity all comes from dams that aren't going anywhere and aren't contributing to global warming and are about 1 mile from our house. And that makes our monthly electricity bill a whopping $35. I'm not sure that conserving energy in these parts really does anything to help global warming. If someone knows something about this... and I mean, KNOWS, not pretends-to-knows, please let me know if I am supposed to be conserving electricity in these parts and exactly how that will help with global warming. And then, would you please come fix my apartment weather system!

I've about broke-even on my card business. I sold 80 cards to local businesses yesterday. I'm not sure it's worth it, monetarily. But it is something productive to do. And it is worth it to see people, even well known and respected artists, go gaga over them. I haven't turned a profit. But I did have start up costs that need to work their way through the finances. And my ego's been a little stoked by all the positive feed back. Kate's constant advocacy has given the endeavor it's forward motion. THANKS KATE!

And I spoke at church this week, during "Joys and Concerns" about the economy: big impersonal thing which is actually affecting us all deeply, dreams are shriveling, saving accounts are dieing, etc. And yet, I'm also thrilled for the opportunity to move our society in a different direction, with different values. But then, I'm not getting what I want. Many many people appreciated my comments. I was even stopped in the grocery store by someone who wanted to thank me for my words. It was a satisfying experience. Both to know that I touched people and to know how many people felt the same way I did.

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