Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Field Notes on the Economy of Wee

There's a difference between thinking about problems and having problems. "Where experts are thinking about problems, the people who have the problems are usually absent, are not even well represented. The only way out of this is for the teacher, the person of learning, the researcher, the intellectual, the artist, the scientist, to make common cause with a community. They must commit themselves to a community in such a way that they share the fate of that community--participate in its losses and trials and griefs and hardships and pleasures and joys and satisfactions, so that they don't have this ridiculous immunity that they now have in their specializations and careers. Then they'd begin to learn something. New knowledge would come from that, and it would be better than "information."

- Wendell Berry from "Field Observations" ... an interview written by Jordan Fisher-Smith
Click to read the entire interview

Bend, Oregon is part of the high mountain desert of the country. For a water native like me, the adjustments necessary when ever we find ourselves some where new take time. The comfort of familiar things, a culture based on longevity and regularity is different for Travellers for it seems inherent to wanderers to keep culture fluid and intact within.

We are encamped for this while, in a field. Flat, sage brush smelling and as different from the Ledge in the Woods as could be imagined.

In the dark of the night the new dreams were interrupted. The wind was moving in from the east, and the two rescued horses who are living in the field for the next few weeks had come to explore our chattels. They were after the grains that are housed in the tall (clean) can filled with our dry goods. There are oats in there, and the horses were after them.

The kind woman who is renting us a space in her field had said repeatedly, "If those horses get bothersome you let me know." I for one have very little working knowledge of the tall hoofed ones. Sharing an open field with us is a curious thing for those beings, and why would they believe our chattels were not open-market?

Our tiny wheeled home is so different from any other mobile home that has parked in this field. We wave to the neighbors as they drive in and out of their long driveways, and they wave back. A new place has a culture established, and each time we arrive, our chemical and fragrance free culture will be different for the culture that exists.

Just before I settled into bed last night, I was reading an interview with Wendell Berry. Our vision for creating a community of tiny home safe havens has not yet been done. I seek inspiration for creating good community and here in this field where I have no history with the desert, Berry's ideas are seeding me with thoughts that just might be strong and good to take into this next chapter from VardoForTwo. Perhaps, the journey that includes arriving in a wee wheelie wagon, one which Pete and I call 'home' offers a chance for new knowledge to come. I am stirred from my old formula of separating this community of tiny home safe havens from the world, even while I know it is important to be some WHERE that is a pesticide and mcs-safe zone. The Economy Wee is more than a simplification of life it may need to be a hybrid of complex thoughts and acceptance of the equally complicated nature of being human ... more than 'we' ... it is 'wee.'

The storm has eased up. Jots has been fed, and I hear Pete tinkering with bowls of oatmeal ... those same oats which tempted the tall hoofed ones. It is time to break the fast, and learn something new today.

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