Not the usual kind of content or material that I post to my Dying to Preserve the Lies blog. I have other blogs for other elements of my life, and sometimes there is a cross-over. Somehow, I think the post I'm sharing here is a crossover -- well, for me, and where I am with myself after 5 years of activism in trying to bring conclusive end to Iraq war. I'm activism weary, war-weary, military family weary, and in trying to resume areas of our lives that I've let drift in my activism intensity, I am reminded of old teachings about the need for balance in our lives in order to have the stamina, strength to pursue with passion the things we love.
Well, I surely don't love anything about the Iraq war, and I grow disheartened with the repetition in the activism activities seemingly not getting any better results in year 5 than in year 1 of the Iraq war. I never much liked politics and these days like it even less and yet politics governs aspects of our daily lives in powerful ways, that ignoring the fact of politics is perhaps why we find ourselves as a country and nation where we are now.
But in the feeling of defeat that direct activism, direct head on activism to end Iraq war, to get out troops home has not brought about that result, I am in need of finding things I can do that bring about positive influence. Being a young wife and mother in the 1970's, I appreciated the back to earth living principles of that time that are revived in 2000 with a whole new look - sustainable living. Before it was called sustainable living in reaction to global climate warming, it was known by other names; homesteading, spirit of independence within community, simplistic living, abundant living, meaningful living, reductionism, communes, living off the grid, communities caring for each other, self sufficiency and/or any other labels by which the lifestyle is called.
Before 2001, before this country's Administration decided to invade Iraq, I was on my own path towards reviving some of those old skills while we tried to fly in the face of the norm by reducing to a one-income household. And along the way, we kept up with that goal, but only with my half-hearted attention and not half the measure of the intensity and focus I was giving to my calling as a military family to speak out in opposition to Iraq war as exploitive of the principles our military holds dear.
My son-in-law says goodbye to his wife and children (my daughter and three grandchildren) to leave next week for his second deployment to Iraq. It will be another extended 'stop-loss' 15 month deployment for him. It is being whispered that it will be an 18 month deployment, a rumor prospect that once he and his unit arrive in Iraq, another 3 month extension, 'stop-loss' will be added on top of the already 15 month stop-loss deployment. I feel a deep sense of personal failure, a difficult sense of futility in not being able to do enough or the right kinds of things that would have prevented he and all the troops from having to do repeat deployments.
Out of that sense of futility, I find myself uninspired to participate with any of the planned 'anti-war' activist projects. I recognize this is not a good place to be with myself, personally. I also recognize that one of the strategies that does seem to be working in holding the supposed 'anti-war' movement in check is that activist will tire and get weary and lose stamina, lose intensity, lose focus, lose heart.
Much as I'd love to see a nationwide 'Consumer Strike' where no one purchased anything for a week or more; or everyone didn't go to work for several days; or everyone got out into the streets to express their concern with the multitude of current issues that are breaking down our country; or my deep concern that a military draft will have to be introduced at some point bringing about the furor of concerned parents and a military draft is not something I want to see but given that the current military is spent and exhausted and no end in sight to war in the Middle East.....
In turning my attention to some positive kinds of things we can do, with absolute results, I post the below as part of my own respite. How does this help ---- well for one thing it suggests in positive ways how to create and build community - commonality - communities caring for each other and looking out for each other, the foundation stones of stewardship for caring for our very home on this planet. Stewardship, caring, actively engaging --- all these are principles that, I like to think, can unite us towards life-giving pursuits, detouring us from this path of fostering hate-mongering and destructive pursuits.
Doing Something Positive - The Urban Pioneers are doing it, so can we!
Excellent video encapsulating wide array of concepts in Sustainable Living. These Urban Pioneers got a jumpstart back when it was called self-sufficiency- meaningful living, abundant living, simplistic living, getting off the grid. And they go even further back ... see the video below. Big hat tip to Path To Freedom Journal blog.
from the Path to Freedom Journal blog 'about us'
On 1/5th of an acre, this family has over 350 varieties of edible and useful plants. The homestead's productive 1/10 acre organic garden now grows over 6,000 pounds (3 tons) of organic produce annually,providing fresh vegetables and fruit for the family’s vegetarian diet along with a viable income.
In addition they have chickens, ducks, goats, brew their own biodiesel (made from waste (free!) vegetable oil) to fuel their car, compost with worms, solar panels provide their electricity needs, a sun and earthen oven is used to cook food in.