Thursday, 22 October 2009

Dropping the Story

I don't like making phone calls. I especially don't like making phone calls to people I don't know. My family can verify this - I get nervous about calling for take-out pizza. And back when I was in Grade 7, and I needed a mouth piece for my french horn, my little brother made the call to the music shop - I was too afraid. In tears even.

So, when I decided a few weeks ago to put my name down on a list of people willing to make calls to other union members about their opinions about our Local's candidate for president of the union, I don't know what I was thinking. Well, I do know actually: the candidate has really gone to the mat for us over the past two years, and I wanted to help out because I think he would be a good union president. So I put my name on the list.

I had put the whole thing out of my mind until a few weeks later when I got the delegate list in the mail. Once the reality of having to make those calls dawned on me, I began berating myself for being so dumb, and signing up for something I so dislike doing. I worked myself up all into a lather about how this was going to ruin my evenings, and I was busy and tired enough, dang it all, etc., etc.

But then, somehow, another thought managed to sneak into my brain. I remembered something I had read about suffering, and how we create it: by wanting things to be other than how they are, and by projecting stories into the future about how things are going to go, when they haven't even happened yet. I decided I could try Pema Chodron's advice to just "drop the story" I was telling myself about how this thing was going to go.

And so, after reviewing our candidate's platform and familiarizing myself with the purpose of the calls, I dialed the first name on my list. And I spoke to the nicest lady, who had heard about our candidate and who eagerly told me that she was going to vote for him, without me even asking! Then I dialed the next name, and the same thing happened! This wasn't how I had imagined it at all! And it wasn't taking very much time either. People were happy to express their view, but they had other things to do too, so our conversations were just a few minutes long. Over the span of four sessions of calling, the whole thing probably took less than an hour. And instead of being resentful, I ended up being grateful that I was able to connect with other people, people who are eager for change, like me.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Squash Quandary

Last week was our last delivery of veggies from our organic CSA farm. One of the things we got was the adorable pumpkin on the right.

The week previously, we received the two squash further to the left. At first I thought the orange one was also a pumpkin, but it is kinda different from the thing we got last week, which I know for sure is a pumpkin. And the zeppelin squash has thrown me off completely! Does anyone know what these two could be? Are they edible or just decorative?

Friday, 9 October 2009

Carrot Bounty

I just had to post about my bonanza of carrots. I left them in the ground while we were away on holidays in late September/early October. And then we got a really hard frost, and some snow even. And then more frost.

But the carrots survived, and look just beautiful. We will be eating them at our family Thanksgiving dinner this weekend.

I got four ice cream pails full of carrots from my small patch - about 15 lbs maybe? Enough to keep some share some.

Monday, 5 October 2009

Transition of sorts?

Anyone who has stopped by here lately will know that I've been posting at a much lower rate than usual over the past many months. Partly, this is due to it having been a very busy year, with personal and family health matters impacting the amount of time and energy I've had to write down the things I've been thinking about. It has also been due to having had a very strange gardening season, with more disappointment than promise. But mostly, the dearth of posts has been because I am just sick and tired, and I don't want to be posting rants and complaints all the time. And the moments of inspiration I have are so fleeting that they're gone before I even have the motivation to post about them.

More and more I find that news of what the municipal, provincial and federal governments are doing just disgusts me. And I have to not think about it too much, or I just get mad, or nauseous or both, and can't do what needs doing around here. Back when I first started this blog ~ 2 1/2 years ago, I was able to gain inspiration by what others were doing, and my own first steps on the path to sustainability were so interesting and fun that I was certain it wouldn't be long before the whole world was on board.

But as time has gone by, I've become more disheartened and cynical. Things have gotten worse, not better, in terms of corporate control of almost everything, and complete denial of the climate-related challenges that face humanity. The only time being "green" seems to matter, is if money can be made off of it somehow. Greed taints everything, and I find myself clamming up more and more, because speaking out seems to just piss people off and harden their opinions anyway. More and more I feel like a fish out of water. Maybe I will feel differently again in a few months, I don't know.

So, I am not sure what form this blog will take from here on in. I've got to do some serious thinking about what constitutes right livelihood, and how best to work towards it in a way that I can do long-term. It could mean changing quite a few things. I'm not shutting down this blog, but posts will likely remain few and far between. Thanks to everyone who still pops in now and then - I do very much value your comments and support.