At Home on Hill Haven

Musings, ramblings, and pontifications on motherhood, unschooling, farming, sustainability, spirit, and life in general...

Location: northwest Georgia, United States

I'm a living-working-breathing mom, writing, mothering, teaching, and soul-searching from our home in northwest Georgia. We are whole-life unschoolers, which basically means our kids actually have a say in what happens to them (it actually means infinitely more than that, but's it's a starting point for discussion). We are also hardcore environmentalists, anti-industrialists, trying to escape from our dependence on petroleum, manufactured products and other non-sustainable practices. We homebirth, homeschool, and homestead, and try to make sense of it all, in a constant whirlwind of chaos.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Negativity: A Different Perspective

Earlier today I was swinging with Iris (13 months old now!) outside, having some impatience about "all that" which was clamoring for my attention that I couldn't work on. Among those who think about thoughts and life and what we create and what we attract, the word "negative" comes up often. We talk about eliminating negative thinking and such, and there is usefulness in this practice, but like many other practices we can get carried away, even to the point of judging ourselves for "still" having these negative thoughts. However, as with emotions such as fear, what we may label as a negative feeling serves a purpose. I have seen this concept presented by many authors, most recently Byron Katie, languaged in various ways. Paraphrasing Katie, our so-called unpleasant experiences are wonderful gifts when viewed as signposts showing us needed changes. It was given to me, in that moment on the swing, a different interpretation of the words "negative" and "positive" in regards to experience. What is an experience that makes us happy but an experience we want to maintain? And what is a negative experience but something that we pull away from? These forces are merely opposing flows, ebbing, swirling, opposing each other to create interesting little eddies in our lives. When I observe that I have a "problem" in my life, something that I am displeased with, it merely shows me an intention my soul has yet to finish acting on. After all, if I am hungry, do I get mad at myself or do I simply go and eat? Dynamic homeostasis!

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

I'm a Ravenclaw!

Want to Get Sorted?

a Ravenclaw!

OK, maybe I'm just a nerd :) but it was recently my birthday (I'm a July baby like Harry Potter, although he's technically a Leo while I am a Cancer) and to celebrate my annual solar return I ordered the HP movies on DVD. Thus it should come as no surprise that I've got HP on the brain a wee bit, and if you know that I knit then it should also come as no surprise that I have the HP knitting book, Charmed Knits by Alison Hansel (which is wonderful fun, whether you're knitter or HP fan or both). The upshot here is that I was thinking how I would so be in Ravenclaw rather than Gryffindor, and should therefore use Ravenclaw colors when I knit up my quidditch socks. Ahem. What's hysterical here is that my dear sweet friend Tommasina, who likes to play around in my head, fired off an email to me calling me "dear Ravenclaw" with no knowledge of my recent train of thought! When I told her, she found this online sorting hat... how could I resist? And lo, Ravenclaw I am! Ha!

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Shifting Gears

Balloon (jeez, is that right? French ruined my spelling, I swear) flowers, a Chinese medicinal and truly blue flower, and weeds.

I started a post for the fourth of July. I had all this clever snarky stuff to say about freedom and what we're really free to do in this country and culture and all the ordinary things we're not free to do unless we're willing to fight our way upstream to our very last breath. Then, things changed.

I have a dear friend named Lisa. (Well, actually, I have two dear friends named Lisa. But I digress.) This Lisa has a beautiful daughter named Chelsea, who turned 17 on the third of this month. She is truly amazing, budding into womanhood. She is now also in critical condition, having survived a very, very serious car accident on the 4th. So far she is doing what could be called "well" under the circumstances: a little pneumonia, liquid foods through a tube, pelvis pinned back together, a ventilator still as her ribs heal. In that moment everything changed. Our group of mommas has pulled together to give her as much support as we can, and it's helpful, I suppose, but none of us can give her that day back, that five-second shift that could have created a divergent path.

Events like this throw things into sharp relief, at least for a while. We are reminded about our mutterings about our priorities and spending more time with loved ones and being nice and all that. We might even remember to be grateful for our blessings, which are countless no matter how meager our existence. But then, after a socially appropriate amount of time, we'll slip back into unconscious complacency again, grumbling about the price of gas and the foibles of our spouses and toys with small parts left within reach of mobile babies. All this long before Chelsea is walking again. I know this is true, because I am living it right now, while she's still on life support, for chrissake. I have been livid at my idiot spouse for staying out late and being too tired to function today, furious with my 5-year-old son for his inability to put caps back on markers and keep them out of the floor away from his baby sister. To what end? Did I change anything for the better with this anger? Have I enjoyed my Sunday, kept company by nothing but my fury, too removed by it from my life to actually experience it? What if one of us has that wreck tomorrow? Will I be happy about how I lived today?

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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Now I've Heard Everything: Carbon-Capture-Storage

In today's news from the Discovery channel:

I have to say that this is the biggest load of horseshit the oil industry is pushing, even bigger than their allegations that they give a damn about anything other than fleecing their pockets at the expense of whatever stands in their way, including our own potential future survival. What this article describes is a proposal to trap atmospheric CO2, compress it, and pump it underground for storage. The best part of the story, I think, is this line: "Capturing and storing CO2 is the only realistic way of reducing emissions while delivering the energy that the world needs to prosper," this from Jeroen van der Veer, chief exec of Shell.

Oh, really?

So, Jeroen, you're saying that we can't deliver the "energy the world needs to prosper" without maintaining our current CO2 emissions via consumption of oil? We can't reduce our emissions by reducing our emissions? We can't get our energy from some other source, like, for instance, THE SUN?? My dear Jeroen, if you are truly this stupid (which I am confident you are not), then you must be suicidal, or at least extremely depressed, for surely you have noticed by now that oil is what's known as a non-renewable resource, which means, dear man, that it's going to run out at some point (unless we simply quit using it before we use it up). And in your implied scenario, that is depressing indeed-- no way for the world to prosper without it, with the "without it" part being only a matter of time. I think what you meant was, no way for your company to make gazillions of dollars while destroying the planet without it.

Meanwhile, this carbon-capture-storage concept is still in its infancy, with shaky and as-yet-underdeveloped technology behind it (and most likely, although I have not verified this, the very companies promoting this as a solution are not yet devoting many research dollars to remedying this little snag). Hmm, what about alternatives? Oh yeah, solar and wind power are already in use all over the globe, have been for decades. Microhydroelectric is also already ready-to-go. So how is it you've decided the only way to fuel prosperity is with big profits for Shell and lip service for the environment so you can keep on with business as usual?

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