I haven't had much to post about lately. I've got a bunch of things going on in my head, but nothing cohesive to write about, it seems.
I'm still in a bit of a pleasant daze after watching Barack Obama win the US election last week, and I've sort of just been mulling that whole thing over. I'm looking forward to January when President Obama will be in a position to start doing some things differently than they've been done before. I'm trying to strike a balance in my expectations and be hopeful, but realistic.
I was also happy to receive three new books in the mail last week. I went ahead and ordered these particular ones new, because I had a feeling they would be very hard to come by in the used book store. In nearly a year of looking, I hadn't found any of them yet.
The first one is Steve Solomon's Gardening When it Counts. I've only just read the first few pages of this book, but it strikes me as being a very practical book for those who need to make sure they grow enough food. This will be all of us pretty soon I think. It is written in a straightforward style, much like Sharon Astyk's Depletion and Abundance, and I think I will like it very much.
The second book I bought is the Encyclopedia of Country Living, by Carla Emery. This huge tome seems to contain everything anyone would want to know about virtually all aspects of homesteading, be that rural or urban, mundane or emergent. Some topics include how to lay out the dead, how to make a chicken coop, how to avoid poisonous herbs, and everything in between. There are also some personal anecdotes included by the writer, some of which seem to be a bit overly religious for my taste, but obviously very important to the author and relevant to why she undertook writing such a huge book, now in it's 10th edition.
Last but not least, I couldn't resist picking up Thich Nhat Hanh's latest offering, The World We Have: A Buddhist Approach to Peace and Ecology. I'm only a few chapters into this one, and already I'm thinking about things differently. Somehow his writing in this book has already managed to quell some of my apocalyptic angst, and helped me to look forward to the coming changes with less fear and anxiety. As one example, he talks about meditating on the impermanence of all things, using waves in the water to illustrate the point: Focussing only on the waves, one sees that the wave exists one minute and is gone the next. But by focussing on the water, one no longer laments the passing of the wave, since it is still inherent in the water. In this way, we don't have to fear the passing away of one type of civilization, we can take comfort in the knowlege that the elements for a renewed one still remain. I'll definitely be writing a review of this book when I'm done!