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“Hi Andrea,
I feel like writing you. I read your notice of resignation as columnist, blogger ect- and although I have written you before I still feel like I should somehow apologize  for doing so.
I think it´s because you have given so much of your life to others, your story, opened your home to people, because you have this email, it makes you so accessible somehow… You have become a screen of projection for so many different interpretations and emotions and you have been put in a stall, charged, blamed.

My first thought after reading your book was joy over the many conflicting emotions it seemed to contain; that nature was neither idealized nor placed in imperialistic notions of dominance and pissing territories. It was an experience of either/or, yes/no.

My next thought was that I wished I had met you in real life somewhere and not through a book… all of the people I have felt related to have been people who´s words I have read in books. Maybe it´s the words themselves?

Self consiousness can be a curse and because I have allready stated that you have been made into a screen of projection the thought of how this will be read.. is there. But really I just want to express a respect for what you do. You take a step back when you feel you loose yourself.

Capitalism´s insane ability to turn everything real into products, to self-promotion; the hippie movement, punk, paleo diet, eco communities. Bought and sold.
How do we escape that?
Maybe by doing what you do. To all of the time discover and express when it grabs a hold on you, the culture, and choose, choose, choose to free yourself. Again and again

Kindest regards

I didn´t quit this life. I didn´t give up. I wont be silenced, of course not (and I won that war, of course, of course). I just don´t want a career. I don´t want to ask for permission, approval, I don´t want to sell, I don´t want to compete and I don´t want to obsess about the money.

But I AM a storyteller.
I DO want to weave these threads and tales.

This is a problem all of us alternative lifestyle communicators face (Ben Hewitt, Mark Boyle, Paul Kingsnorth just to mention a few that have recently faced this problem).
It is a problem that has not been solved. Or maybe it has. Maybe this is how we solve it.
I notice similarities in our coping, that´s for sure.

But it goes deeper than that. One level deeper.

The cultural notions about this “autenthical” simple living lifestyle means that you HAVE to 1) hate technology, 2) should NOT be good at working the mainstream.
They´ll hate you if you are a public person (= the anti thesis of “authenticity”) (interesting, isn´t it) but they´ll also hate you if you don´t engage (fucking unsolidaric, ego trippin´freeloaders).
It´s a loose/loose.
Better to not think about it. Better to not care.
Then I become cold. I don´t want to be cold.

I read your comments.
Andy Jukes comment made me cry.
Keep the path clear. Keep it real.
Kind of like you reminding me of who I am when I´ve forgot.
Kind of like restoring my faith in humanity.

This is what happened:
Jeppe said “I see you are tired. Let me be the one who hunts for money for a while”

It never made sense that he should be one travelling into the labor market. I make good money when I do the speeches. He would have to work for a lot longer to gain the same kind of money. So I was the one who got on my high horse and travelled into the labor market, hidden under my veil, up on the soapbox.
Because we do need the money.
Which sucks. Which is defeat. Which is not ideal.
But in order to have an audience I had to be on social media (remember that time when I quit social media? I didn´t get ONE booking. Not a single one). In order to “be a name” I had to fight to get the attractive freelancejobs (“but if you could maybe write less about your social critism and more about every day life”)
To grow my following, to get into the mainstream; be aware of the power structures, know about social capital (you can insert all kinds of curses and swearwords here)

Every second week I get emails from production companies that want to come and film us. I´ve been saying no to this for many years now- while STILL being called “unauthentical” because my voice was…. there.
Then maybe I know someone else they can ask?
This is so popular. This is gold.
I see it everywhere. In commercials, tv programes about bare feeted hippies spending time with their kids as if it is the most revolutionary thing you can do (well, it is)
I don´t want to spend my life trying to make a name for myself, not out on the labor market, hell no, I´d like to have a name HERE.
That´s what I meant.

Jeppe will be the one hunting for money now while I go hunting for something else.
My lost soul for instance.
Or happiness.

I´m still on instagram, I´ll post when it makes sense for me on social media, you can still keep me floating via on patreon. But I won´t…. push it.

This blog will, shall and must be defended as a free space.
My life has.



7 comments on “Keeping it real

  1. Dear andrea dragon-slayer
    Your return to my screen this morning made me feel like shouting. Yay! my coffee tastes better! the stove feels warmer!
    Selfish me, wanting to continue my vicarious window on your living and thinking, despite This Thing that is trying to clutch at you.
    the crows are stirring in the woods and the old moon hangs outside the window. The dogs need to be let out. Your day dawned with probably the same elements, except some tougher times inside your house now.
    Tough times fray every aspect of life and present more opportunities to self-destruct.
    Best wishes to be strong and aware,
    ~ Abigail


  2. BeeHappee says:

    I am so glad you are getting much wanted rest and thus things will fall in place. I could babble about these topics above a lot, but instead, will just leave you with this lengthy but worthy poem from the third century China:

    Prince Wen Hui’s cook
    Was cutting up an ox.
    Out went a hand,
    Down went a shoulder,
    He planted a foot,
    He pressed with a knee,
    The ox fell apart
    With a whisper,
    The bright cleaver murmured
    Like a gentle wind.
    Rhythm! Timing!
    Like a sacred dance,
    Like “The Mulberry Grove,”
    Like ancient harmonies!

    “Good work!” the Prince exclaimed,
    “Your method is faultless!”
    “Method?” said the cook
    Laying aside his cleaver,
    “What I follow is Tao
    Beyond all methods!”

    “When I first began
    To cut up an oxen
    I would see before me
    The whole ox
    All in one mass.
    “After three years
    I no longer saw this mass.
    I saw the distinctions.

    “But now, I see nothing
    With the eye. My whole being
    My senses are idle. The spirit
    Free to work without plan
    Follows its own instinct
    Guided by natural line,
    By the secret opening, the hidden space,
    My cleaver finds its own way.
    I cut through no joint, chop no bone.
    “There are spaces in the joints;
    The blade is thin and keen:
    When this thinness
    Finds that space
    There is all the room you need!
    It goes like a breeze!
    Hence I have this cleaver nineteen years
    As if newly sharpened!

    “True, there are sometimes
    Tough joints. I feel them coming,
    I slow down, I watch closely,
    Hold back, barely move the blade,
    And whump! the part falls away
    Landing like a clod of earth.

    “Then I withdraw the blade,
    I stand still
    And let the joy of the work
    Sink in.
    I clean the blade
    And put it away.”

    Prince Wan Hui said,
    “This is it! My cook has shown me
    How I ought to live
    My own life!”

    Chuang Tzu, The Way of Chuang Tzu,
    translated by Thomas Merton

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Love love love. Those of us who love you and share in your experience however we may manifest it and do not think you are entertainment or wimping out in your choices have enough love to push aside the nay sayers and we will continue to do so as we think about you in our daily lives even when we are not reading your words. The words you have said will remain.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. nicoleaugust says:

    Solidarity ! Not Entertainment :).


  5. ncfarmchick says:

    I haven’t commented in quite a while because I felt I had nothing worthy to add to the conversation. But, I must tell you how much your words have influenced me, making me think and taking long looks at myself and my beliefs. As Renee said, the words will remain and I thank you for them (while hoping to read more of them again in the future.) Peace and thanks!


  6. It all depends on one’s intentions, I guess.
    If you use what you do to any commercial intent or to make a few bucks for a living or to cover costs, the hideous beast of commerce will devour you. Plain and simple. As was stated anyone and anything will be turned into a product as soon as there is a commercial or financial aspect involved. And people will treat you as such, demanding product enhancement and availability at will.
    As you said I’ve seen it happening to Ben (books and workshops) and you (speeches, workshops) for instance. And maybe I had a narrow escape by doing that superfood review and I guess my brutal honesty saved me from going down that slippery commercial path any further. 😉
    Not that there is much interest, but I will not allow any commercial or financial interference in or on what I do.
    I do what I like, when I like to, because I like to. No strings attached, so no one can claim anything.
    But that does come with a very thin wallet….. and little response.


    1. Ben Hewitt says:

      On some level or another, we’re all on the take. I’m coming to accept that. I guess for me it’s a question of doing the least damage possible in the process.

      Ps: Hi, Andrea!


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