I Aim to Misbehave
Article ID: 14480
Age Group: Adult
Days Up: 2,263
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Posted: May 15th. 2011
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Children of all ages have dreams, and many are taught that such things are exercises in whimsy and best left in childhood. Their parents teach them that well-behaved children do not waste time on fantasy, and effort is best resolved for the real world. I aim to misbehave.
My dream is for a sort of freedom, now lost to the ages, for all those who seek a simpler, purer way of life, for those of all walks of life and a united peace of mind. My dream is for the realization of a humbler lifestyle that is neither quaint, nor isolated, nor backwater, nor contrary, nor any other euphemism that has been used to describe my goals and those of the like-minded. I dream of a society that is both self-sufficient and grid-connected; both exhibiting the romance of the Victorian age and one that exhibits all of the comforts of home; one of both a purity of spirit and a soundness of mind, I dream of Tir Tairngire.
Its humble roots, while fragile and small-of-scale, do not devalue my dream. Just six families will populate the initial six cottages, and tend the twenty-hectare farmland that has come into my jurisdiction. Six complex families, living as many as twenty-five complex lives, with infinite possibilities and desire for something better. Rearing multi-use goats, sheep and rabbits, cultivating dairy, fiber and meat; brooding chickens and turkeys, cultivating down, eggs and additional meat; harvesting a variety of vegetables, fruits and nuts, from our local soil all at our natural hardiness growing zone. Powered by the sun, we will warm our homes and our hearts, cook our meals and light our way into an existence with only initial dependence on the 'benefits' of a modern society as the Western World has come to understand them. Please retain your television, give me books; please retain your carbine harvester, give me the attention of a human hand and mind; please retain your petroleum-everything, give me that which is renewable and that which I can cultivate; please retain your factory farming atrocity, give me the spoils of the earth.
I am not a Luddite; please do not misinterpret my goals for bland isolationism or blind fanaticism. I do not hate the ways of a modern world, nor do those who have spent so many thousands of hours toiling to polish this dream. Rather we see all systems as imperfect, as ours will be no exception, yours is just no longer perfect for us. Of the hundreds of eco villages in Canada, thousands in North America and tens of thousands world wide, the movement is growing to staggering proportions. Pockets of life have sprouted like saplings all over our planet, collectively inhabited by many hundreds of thousands of like-minded devotees to our planetary ecology. The number of eco village networks, trade agreements and single-mindedness in style and form unite all eco villagers under a common flag, if not a common language or system of laws, we all believe the same thing: There is a better way than the one that a marriage bleeding-edge technology and brute-forced economy wish us to obey.
I intend to lay my brick in the already beautiful road. I intend to contribute, in my own small way, to the work of giants in our world who are visionaries in sustainability and earth-friendly development. I intend to carry that torch towards a small corner of our large world, and fashion a brighter future for my children, and to preserve some of that teaching for yours.
I desire to, one day, know the name of the artisan who built the table that displays the harvest of my own hands. I want to see fine craftsmanship upon wood from sustainable forests, joined by hand, lathed over hours and polished to a mirror-shine. I want the knowledge that the food my children eat was raised organically, fed and loved during it's time on this earth, and slaughtered humanely with the respect it deserved.
I want to eat from bowls and drink from goblets shaped by the hands of a human being, a man or woman who loved their craft, who took the time to perfect the product, to produce a product that will last and be loved in it's function as it was loved in it's birth. I want to wear a shirt, loomed, spun, dyed, washed and shorn by hand, by hands that I know, and I will wear it with pride and reverence in the knowledge of the hours that had been invested, from the animal who shed the fiber, to the plants dyes worked into the fiber, to the loom, built by hand, that wove the textile, and the human being who fitted the garment to my form. There is honour and humility in being thankful for all things in your environment, from the shoes on your feet for the soil beneath them.
I feel that something of that humility has been lost in the past two hundred years, swollen by excess and a disposable modern civilization. An “All Organic” banana, shipped from Argentina to Canada via container ship does not reduce your carbon footprint, nor does buying a new SUV to replace your old one. Some sources suggest that, under ideal agricultural conditions, one people can survive on two hectares of farmland; expanding this logic, the land area of New York State (if entirely in a state of ideal agricultural use) could not completely support the eight-million inhabitants of inner New York City.
Is that sustainable? Are humans living the way nature intended? Are we living our lives in harmony with nature, or in spite of it? Would we be happier in a different environment? Is there not a better way than our New York example, to shoehorn ten thousand people per square kilometer, in prisons of concrete and steel? They live out their rage-filled, self-destructive lives, completely cut off from a mother who loves them, who created for them and provided for them since long before the dawn of recorded history.
The writing is on the wall, the graffiti of civilized existence has become our stage, progress has become our dance, and the sound of our rape of the natural world has become our tune. I intend to leave this insane concert, and assemble my own orchestra to compose beautiful music for generations to come; and no force of man on this earth will silence our symphony.
To you, the governmental powers, who desire blind obedience; I intend to see.
To you, the motivators of the tides of change which require us to motion with the herd, I aim to diverge.
To you, the one-percent of us who control the other ninety-nine, who demand obedience, I aim to misbehave.
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