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Economy in the forest

This is a picture of the sunset yesterday. When I look at the sunset I hardly ever worry.

Sometimes I almost die of worry.
It´s crazy. With one half of my brain I enjoy this intense and free life-  with the other half of my brain I regularly die. Of worry.

Especially right now.
I´m kinda dying right now.

For 9 months we were registered in Denmark, not sure if we wanted to live like this forever, the rest of our life, for eternity, over and out. We played it safe and clung to the homeland.
Then came the big decision  and we realized that we could not go back. There was only one way. Forth.
We registered ourselves in Sweden and it was quite easy due to the diplomatic relations between our neighboring countries.
What was not so easy, was to understand this whole new system.
This whole new society.
Maybe it was the worry but my pelvic instability came hunting me down until I could not even walk, let alone go find myself a job.
So there we were. Without an income. In a new country.

Living in the wild means living on the edge. Sometimes it´s great and dandy. Sometimes you die.
One thing you can count on though, is this: the community.
The Others.
They carry you when you fall.

The forest does something to the people.
They become different.
For the longest time I really didn´t understand it and the forest economy was foreign to me but lately, maybe due to my death spasms I have begun to understand.

It´s like this:
Shit happens.
Shit can happen to anyone. Shit does not distinct.
There is no moral flaw to the person that shit happens too.
It´s just something that happens.
And when it does – we help each other.
Because the shit could just as well have happened to me. Or you.

Concept of trouble

In my experience people out here deal with problems differently than city folks.

First of all: they acknowledge the existence of problems.

Second of all: they prepare themselves for problems. They stock up. They gain skills. They build relations.

Third of all: they don´t judge (which off course is a lie, people in small communities talk about each other all the time- but when the shit hits the fan… they don´t)

Fourth of all: help is not giving someone a gratitude lollypop to suck upon. Help is pragmatic. If you help me- I help you. There are clear (unspoken) rules regarding help. Receiving help means giving something in return.
I find this article (wiki) about gift economy to be kind of fitting to what goes on here.


A guy lost his driver’s license due to.. Idontknowwhat.
It´s kind of a problem. He can´t do groceries and he can´t get his kid to kindergarten.
He asked if we could drive him and the kid into town a couple of days during the week.
In return we borrow the car, get gasoline, wash our clothes, receive tools and building materials from his barn.

It´s an economy.
It does not involve money.

A handful of homegrown tomato seeds wrapped in paper.

Another example.
There is a woman living in this forest. She´s having a hard time right now. I´m a trained in psychology and worked as a coach for a long time. Once a week I go to talk with her.
There´s a lack of professionals up here, she´s been waiting for help for over a year. It seems only natural that I give what I have to give.

In return she gives me seeds.
Seeds that she has been cultivating for the last 20 years, seeds that are hardwired to grow and produce well in this harsh climate. Her seeds are gold to me and they do not fall on barren ground.

It´s a different kind of economy out here.
It fascinates me and in a way it makes me feel safe and secure.
I know that we will never starve.
I know that a few good people have our backs.

And then I forget.
And then I die from worry.

This entry was posted in Blog.

6 comments on “Economy in the forest

  1. Milan says:

    Stunning story there. What happened after? Take care!


  2. I was going backwards and weed was making me complacent with how
    I used to be residing my life.


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