ORIENTED TO LIFE
LIVE MORE LIFELY!
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A Lifestyle Based in Life
Over the years, in my own life, I have learned there are many words that I think I understand, but really don’t. And some words have a lot of emotional energy attached to them, which affects what I think the meaning is, when it really is quite something else. “Acceptance” is one of those words.
Really understanding the concept of acceptance and gaining the ability to use it in my life has made a significant difference.
To accept, by definition, is to agree to something and thereafter be bound to act in accordance with it.
A reader sent me a piece from The New York Times Magazine, published a few weeks ago, about analog clocks.
Right at the beginning, the writer said that her younger sister (by only ten years) did not know how to read an analog clock! “No doubt that skill is disappearing from the populace,” she said, “Along with an avalanche of others: driving a stick shift, writing by hand, navigating by memory, using stamps.”
And then the next paragraph was devoted entirely to instructions for reading an analog clock.
For some weeks now there have been various reports of how the widespread stay-at-home has been benefitting the environment.
This week two articles came to me on this subject that I want to share with you in particular.
These articles shows the importance of creating a lifely lifestyle.
The most basic thing to know about Life is that it has a basic intent to survive. In language related to humans we call it will to live—the drive for self-preservation along with expectations for future improvement in one’s state in life. But this basic intent to survive is inherent
in every species and even every cell in our bodies.
When I learned this many years ago, I decided if I am part and parcel of nature, then I have within me an inherent intent to survive too. Not just as myself, but to have all of Life that supports my existence survive at the same time.
Even though we have this drive to survive as part of our nature, industrial humans have been demonstrating a tendency to destroy life when we live an industrial consumer lifestyle. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
There is more to survive that simply continuing to continue. There is a whole scale of surviving from barely to abundantly.
Here’s a scale of survival that Larry and I put together.
In our ongoing exploration of the industrial world and the world of Life, we find that there are certain themes that happen over and over again expressed in various forms.
Industrial medicine and industrial agriculture have in common the idea that things will attack the health of a body or a farm and the solution to keep the body or farm from being destroy is to kill that which is attacking. That is the purpose of pesticides and drugs that kill bacteria and viruses.
But there is another way. We know it well in organic farming and gardening. In the care of health it is known as terrain theory.
Last Saturday Larry and I spent the afternoon planting seedlings. Our garden this year is more that twice the size it was last year. The photo is only less than a quarter of the entire garden.
This activity was so emotionally uplifting for me, considering the state of the world today, I had to write a poem.
The week before last, I had a major personal shift. I struggled to write about it and thought I had a finished post, but it didn’t feel right. Now I see there was more to the story, so here it is now.
On 29 April, I had a stunning realization: the industrial news organizations were broadcasting death. Every day we were getting reports of ever-increasing numbers of cases and numbers of deaths. And we are told how horrible this is and it’s all very dramatically reported in the new media. But they didn’t ever tell us how many of those stricken with the virus had recovered. [In fact, most sources of covid-19 statics didn’t include the recovery statistics, though we did find one source in particular that did.]
The thing is, this constant barrage of bad news about the pandemic only reinforces it. Because what we put our attention on is what happens.
For the past week or so, something extraordinary has been happening. Well, extraordinary for me.
As someone who has had a lot of problems with sleep at different times throughout my life, I have suddenly been sleeping through the night, night after night. Quiet, peaceful sleep.
And not only that, I am waking up with the birds.
There is in certain men … a quality of resilience, a sturdy refusal to acknowledge defeat, which aids them as effectively in affairs of the heart as in encounters of a sterner and more practical kind.
— P. G. Wodehouse
Resilience is a word that comes up here, where I live, every year after fire season. I was actually born and raised in Northern California and have lived here all my life except for 15 years in Florida. I have never experienced fire season like we have now, until I returned here in 2017. And every year since we have had massive fires.
But after each fire, we all start cleaning up and rebuilding and putting our community life back together again.
The word that comes up when we do this is resilience.
Our newly-planted half-barrel edible garden. We still need to add handmade bamboo supports.
For the past couple of weekends, Larry and I have been occupied with setting up our organic garden for this summer.
Last year we saw at our a local organic nursery where they had planters sitting on old pallets, which gave them drainage and also elevated the planters to a higher level that is easier to reach than bending over all the way to the ground. Since Larry has an old back injury, we decided this would be a good way to set up our half-barrel planters.
We use planters instead of planting directly in the ground because there are gophers here, and using planters is just the easiest way to protect the plants.
So last weekend we went down and bought potting soil and manure in plastic bags.
And during the week we started buying vegetable seedlings.