Monday, November 08, 2010

Lessons from the Mire, and Inspiration

ever-contemplative ~ self portrait from this summer

Oh my! As you might have guessed, I've been in the thick of it all! Underneath my Now Experience and there for a short time trying to get my head back above water.
I recently retook the Myers-Briggs test, amazingly to find I came up the same as I did in...10th grade(?). I'm sure some of the numbers have shifted under the letters, but still = INFP. Reading the various personality summaries available online for this type left me sheepish in their feeling of accuracy, but also hopeful: I am the way I have been for quite some time. Working with that could be easier than wishing it were another way. Or wishing my husband were another way (heehee). The INFP was described as a dreamy, imaginative sort ~ thinking more about "what could be" or "what might be" than what is, which resonated with me and my uber- passionately idealistic leanings. But what doesn't seem to mesh with that is how I have trouble seeing past five feet in front of me, or thinking past the here-and-now. This might seem like a really Zen way of being, but to me it often seems like I can let myself feel mired in muck when it's actually only a two-foot long puddle. :-)
All that to say that we have SUCH EXCITEMENT coming down the pike. Our dreams are fashioning themselves into reality. I certainly plan to tell you much more about that soon. But at the moment, all I can see is this moment.
And it's been a challenge lately. The move ~ mainly all the STUFF ~ has really brought some personal ... baggage ... up to the surface, has highlighted some of our weaknesses, and caused us to go back to the drawing board day after day: "I'm sorry. I love you. This STUFF is sparking these issues. Let's keep working." This has helped us solidify our agreement that we DON'T WANT a bunch of CRAP. And has called attention, painfully, to the fact that our attachment and reactions to boxes of material items get in the way of our living Life. Whew!

(And it's dark inside our house and we're really disappointed about that.)

The idealist that the Myers-Briggs test affirms that I am, as I have slogged through this present mire, I have had a philosophical soliloquy alive in my head the whole time, about "the way things are done" ~ for us, for most Americans, the industrialized world and the industrial food system, animals, economics, ethics, the ocean, plastic, on and on... And it goes something like this: things don't have to be this way. I look around and most everything I see can be an example ~ especially with the political drama of late.

So I was refreshed and found new focus when I happened upon a website brimming with hope and solutions and beauty and warmth: A Low-Impact Woodland Home ~ about a family building and living by Permaculture principles in Wales. And I followed and read almost every link from start to finish. People are doing what we envision doing! Living intentionally. Living intentionally in Nature. Living with less ~ much less. Getting dirty in the Earth everyday. Creating and crafting and making by hand just because it's worth it (and most likely will be useful again one day..). Living this way with children. And collecting together as community to do it. Beautifully. Abundantly. Joyfully. And finding great satisfaction.

That thought I keep coming back to is: things don't have to be done the way they are usually done nowadays here in the US.
And, what I have been reminded of (from sources like Castles in the Sky) again and again more recently is: things are done differently other places.
And, what websites of projects like this say to me is: most importantly, things can be done differently.

I want to be one of the people doing things differently for the better.

Now to finish unpacking the last of those boxes, and send yet another load off to Freecycle and Goodwill.

(ouch! why did no one tell me i had a glaring typo in that next-to-last line!?!)