Organize, organize (thunderboy´s work table)
Organize, organize (the seedlings)
Organize, organize (the pantry, last of the foraged mushrooms, last of the dried leeks- we dry a lot of our food)
Organize, organize (a new shelf for baking ingredients)
Organize, organize…. thoughts, words, past, present, random order, sketches (we cancelled the easter course and decided to write a book instead, this one will be a practical one (but I still think you should buy the emotional one… about our first year in the forest)
I want to show you something
I saw this clip the other day and it just stayed with me. The look in her eyes. His determination. The dynamics. The trying to communicate a deeply personal experience, the small, dark space of the yurt and the fact that the modern comfort you´ll miss the most is the light bulbs (it really is!)
What I see in the eyes and in the determination is hurt and doubt and I RECOGNIZE that.
A bittersweet recognition of people in the midst of a battle.
First year we lived in 16 square meters through winter (while building our first log cabin). Six people.
Second year we lived in two trailers, our kitchen and living room under some bended roofing sheets. We called it “Soweto Paradise” (on the good days) and we lived there while building our second log cabin (here´s our story in pictures)
First year we didn´t make it before winter, we ran out of time, we couldn´t finish the log cabin and thus had to stay in that 16 square meter shed. Alone. In the wild. In the dark.
Second year we barely made it. We just made it. It was close. Working night and day, heating up the trailers by candlelight, eating porrige out of the same old bowl, it was tough… but we made it. We moved into this cabin late november.
Again: the dark… the cold… the incomprehensible amount of work that needed to be done before we could … exhale.
The third winter felt like PTSD.
This is the fourth winter.
The fourth winter has been all right. I mean; we didn´t die.
We always die.
In the winters.
As spring unfolded we began to CLEAN UP THE MESS. Living like pioneers ain´t pretty, the first pioneers who travelled to America had to live in dirt shelters for years before they could allow themselves the luxury of building a log cabin. Food first.
So no, it ain´t pretty, it´s piles of stuff lying around. Building materials. Blankets. Empty glass jars.
As we began to rake and get rid of all of the trash we felt exhilarated (this was just yesterday). As if we´re no longer running behind, as if we are no longer chasing butterflies through eternity.
Then: a second winter.
I´m telling you about the winters to contextualize my emotional response yesterday (in all honesty I DID try to look at the positive side instead of collapsing like a hybrid apple tree breed to bear more apples than it can possibly carry)
I´m also telling you about the winters to warn you.
The lifestyle ain´t pretty. It´s ALSO pretty (more pretty than anything)
It was reassuring to see that clip, it was reassuring to see that this happens to all of us… us, who TRY.
(seems as if we are more and more people opting out, trying to create more resillient homes and relations, more and more people trying to take responsibility for at least their own personal sphere)
When I saw that video I realized just how far we have come (and we don´t even have a saw mill as the couple in the video does) (and sometimes all of these shelves and generators, lego, flour and gardenplans seems like clutter too, I admit).
I know how much heat the couple in the clip will have to take from people sitting comfortable in the chairs, I know how hard they will have to work, how much they will fight… but I think both the doubt and the determination will get them through.
We were in the process of cleaning up the white trash, we were in the midst of sorting through the past when this strange second winter hit us real hard but then again: what else can you do but to pick yourself up and begin to organize your way out of it (from the inside out), baking a cake, writing a blog post about it.
I´m sure spring will come back.