Wednesday, February 4, 2009

enacting a different story

Still thinking and talking a lot about the feedback we've received from airing our private lives to the general public. While I've been a bit shocked and surprised at the amount of vitriol spewed our way, the knee-jerk self-righteous judgments, and the overall astounding stupidity of some people (you make your child beg for workbooks? you evil people!) in their comments, I have to say, I am equally surprised and amazed at the supportive comments we've received.

There are people who don't necessarily like supporting people on welfare, but give us grudging respect for working hard both on our land and in volunteering in our community, and raising our child rather than sending her off to an institution. There are people who whole-heartedly support what we're doing, and a few others who have written saying "tell me more!" I didn't know this many cool people existed in Springfield, and I encourage y'all to come to a food not lawns meeting, if you can, so we can get in touch.

If interested more about our philosophy and what we're doing, I made a video last summer and put it on YouTube. It should be apparent that I am not a videographer, nor much of a public speaker. But here it is:
Watching it makes me realize how much I miss green growing plants! Those lambs quarters look delicious!

I am hopeful for a future in which the work we do is valued. What if we had as many well-paid jobs with benefits for community organizers as we do for prison guards? What if we as a community put our mental, physical, and monetary efforts behind making a world with low-tech functioning systems that create viable thriving human communities? Would we be in economic and global climate destabilization crises now? Would we force ourselves to toil at soul-deadening jobs that create yet more landfills and deserts and pavement?

Honestly, though, I'm not looking to be paid for what I do. Money is part of the world I hope to leave behind. I feel like I am walking the line between this world and the next. I have one foot in each, and can see each world clearly. Is this what straddling paradigms is like? It's exhilarating, but frustrating. Trying to explain a clear vision of What Else Can Be is difficult. It's like describing over and over the parts of an elephant, but people can't really get what I'm seeing until they see it for themselves.

Well, we'll keep sharing our time and resources with those we care about and who care about us. It starts here (among other places), and we take it out into the world. The more of us that share this vision, and spread these memes, the easier it will be for us all to function, and to share this vision with other people. If we want there to be a future, we're going to have to figure out a different way to live, and to enact a different story in which to raise and nurture our children.



kate said...


I read your story online and just want to say I don't think it's relevant where anyone's money comes from, but only the life choices they make -- and everything you are doing sounds very admirable and interesting to me.

I live a life with very low expenses, designed that way, so I can give my time and effort away for free, and pursue interests that don't pay. I'm a licensed attorney, but my heart is in helping crime victims and people whose civil rights have been violated. I feel very fortunate to have made my life what I want it to be. It sounds to me like you are doing the same thing!

All the best to you!

sharqi said...

Hi Kate. Thanks for the supportive comments. Yes, I feel blessed living a life that feels good, and being able to spend time raising my child.

If possible, could you get in touch with me, via my personal email, zombans at yahoo dot com? A heartful attorney is someone I'd like to talk to right now.