A week ago today I was in another world. A world of dirt, of tires, of mud, of sunshine & rain, of
dreadlocks, solar heated showers and people who crazy enough to pay good money to do hard manual labor for 6 – 8 hours a day in rain or shine.
I was in the fringe of society, at the edge of the world, unexpectedly stoked while flying by the seat of my pants and worshiping every minute. In a word, I was home.
If you haven’t ever heard of an Earthship you’re not alone as they are just starting to enter mainstream culture thanks to the founders tireless work at perfecting his off the grid solution to our societies housing, climate, food and water problems that are so prevalent in so much of the world. An Earthship, simply put, is an off the grid, solar powered, rainwater harvesting, nearly carbon zero footprint house that you can build yourself for a fraction of the cost of a traditional house. Ok that wasn’t simply put but that’s about as succinct as one can get when describing these singularly fascinating dwellings.
Seven days ago I was in another world and it’s taken me a week to even begin to process the entire experience.
Join me as I attempt to catalyze my experience into words.
I remember the first time I can say I was ashamed to be an American. I must have been in my teens in history class and learned of the MS St. Louis, the ship full of Jews that was turned away from at least 3 countries including the “immigrant loving” USA. How could our supposed Jesus loving, Statue of Liberty embracing fellow Americans be so cruel to send Jews back to the Nazis a good portion of whom died in concentration camps? This isn’t the America I was taught to love.
I fear that we as a country have always been a far cry from the heroic Founding Fathers but now our moral hypocrisy is getting harder to hide. Fox News frequently spouts that we’re the greatest nation that has ever existed and yet how great can we be if we can’t shelter some kids who came thousands of miles to escape a drug war that we started and continue to fuel?
To the Americans at the border chanting that “Jesus wouldn’t break the law” and for the kids to “go back to Mexico” I tell you this: read your holy book, particularly Matthew 25 v37-46 and tell me who the righteous are and who the evil people are.
Just signed my name using my left hand. Looks like it registered a 10 on the richter scale!
At least I was successful in transferring my nervous ticks from on side to another.
This month my friends voted for what I abstain from. It was a tie between giving up hot water (a truly brutal task!), right hand dominance, and all disposable products materials (think throw away bottles, napkins, plastic cups etc). I got a few suggestions such as giving up all things yellow. Not sure what the value, other than comedic of course, that would provide but it’d be funny. If I were truely hardcore I would drink SO much water that even my pee wasn’t yellow.
About a year and a half ago just while still in the afterglow of an amazing weekend I harmlessly decided to give up all intoxicants for one month. Simple. After that VERY boring month of living like a hermit I decided to give up a different thing the next month. And then a different thing after that. What lies herein are my journeys as I challenge my status quo, rethink old assumptions, and dive into the bizarre to the extreme that even A.J. Jacobs would be proud (I hope at least).
Admittedly, the title is a bit of a misnomer since, after the 12 months were over, I decided to continue my experiments but I’m keeping the name anyways so you’ll just have to deal 😛
Welcome to my personal eternal lent.
A few weeks back when I told my friend that I was giving up swearing he told me that I needed to start making up exotic curses to fill the void left by my favourite, if oft over used, expletives. He said I should call someone a “pusillanimous son of a bitch” if they pissed me off. I don’t know about you but bitch was a swear where I grew up so I can throw that one out the window. Or maybe I just need to get more creative. Let’s see how calling someone a pusillanimous son of a whore works out for me 😉
This month was an exercise in learning respect for others. When one doesn’t clean up after oneself then there is a disrespect done to another who has to clean up the mess.
I found myself folding the sheets if I slept in someone’s guest room, wiping up a mess I accidentally left in a restaurant and picking after myself around the house. Mostly at least.
I thought I was going to clean the shit out of my room but I never succeeded in cleaning up old messes. I just didn’t create new ones. I suppose that’s being a bit technical. Maybe cleaning up old messes will get it’s own month.
Not doing too well on the no procrastination thing today. Ignoring phone calls and generally taking a long time to get back to people/places/things. I’m hungover so fuck.
I’m pretty sure I know what I’m going to give up for November. The idea came upon me just as my girlfriend did in the attic of my parents house.
I’m normally a fairly cluttered person. My stuff is usually all scattered about my room or car or bag or whatever. I have stuff still in the boxes from when I moved 6 days ago, along with the stuff in boxes from when I moved 5 months ago along with the stuff in boxes form when I went to Europe last year. While at my parents house on Sunday I discovered boxes from when I moved out of their house next to boxes of my old toys along with boxes of old video game magazines dating from the early 90s! I never clean up after myself and I’m thinking that taking a month to get my life clean is just what the doctor ordered.
Now I have this month, the next month (no swearing) and the month after that (no leaving a mess) planned out. My 12 absinances are 1/2 way done!