Since waking up today, I have read 3 different books. A young adult novel about fairy princesses, a collection of short stories and a thoroughly inspiring non-fiction book around radical organizing across barriers.
Also, I have had at least 3 people ask about my blog lately. So, I am reminded that people will read if I write. These 2 factors, add in my new state of unemployment and exciting upcoming transition I have the pieces.
- Content check
- Encouragement check
- Time check
So. Here Goes.
I'm in the process of throwing it all up in the air, hoping I can get the pieces to fall in order, get it right. I'm finished working in Vancouver, starting off on unemployment as soon as it comes through. Just bought a car, a subaru forester '00, real "family goes 4 x 4ing" as a friend said last night. I've got friends scouting mountain hideaways for me and my partner to run away to in the looming very near future. I am taking the steps I need to go and live that dream. The one that almost everyone of my friends admits to having in some variation.
- move to the woods
- grow food
- make babies
Setting off to be that live-off-the-land-lesbian I am deep down inside. Or more like, find-ways-to-make-rural-living-accessible-and-sustainable-queers... but they are only a slight mutation away from one another.
I've been asked if I will be accounting my experiences, to which I say, "sure, when I feel like it." As I am taking on some pretty big exciting things, I may very well get all stoked and want to share it in longer form than status updates allow. And telling y'all now, getting feedback helps. When I hear from readers that I have said something that resonated with them, it sets me up to write more. If you are however the type of reader who reads this to send inflammatory hate driven spews of discrimination, disgust or disagreement- just keep that to yourself. Maybe you should think a bit, about how the things that you write on the internet go to actual people out there. People like me who have opened their heart and experience to you. I hope that my writing can challenge things for people, discuss the topics I write about with your friends, family members, share it on your facebook, tweet it, maybe take it to counseling if it fills you with things that are gross and mean. *hate mail inspired heart rant over
As I write this I have pots on the stove making hot salsa from green tomatoes from my garden. I added habeneros, sweet peppers, red tomatoes, onions, salt, pepper, apple cider vinegar and Innis and Gun beer. I am excited to have things put away for winter, so far peaches, red chunky salsa, tomato sauce, whole tomatoes and now this hot salsa. I am especially excited about these things as I will be moving up to a snowy mountain side in about a month, where I will have a winter filled with dreaming, scheming, crafting, setting up shop, and playing in the snow. My dreams are filled with snowshoes, ice skates, sweaters and wood stoves. I'm hoping that I will be also doing the school starter course through AERO, and that I can use that to help solidify some of the details of my school/learning center/knowledge exchange hub that I have been dreaming about making happen for years now. I'm pretty sure that if I looked through old files I'd find markered up sheets of the first visioning that I did for this project about 5 years ago.
It doesn't all look exactly the same, but here's the basic. I think that a big issue that looms over us as peak oil passes us by, climate change hits hard, economies plummet and governments do stupid things like the omnibus crime bill (which for those readers south of the border and over and about, is an attempt by canada's current super right wing government to "crack down" on crime and make canada safer by locking everyone up. The legislation creates mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent crime like possession, creating more challenges for canadians already taking the shit end of addiction, poverty, pain, and marginalization. I guess I have some opinions. But I feel they are pretty well grounded, like in science and numbers, since research everywhere has proven that prisons don't work as mental health treatment centers, addiction recovery centers, job training centers, health care centers or deterrents to crime. Even the united states is pulling back from mandatory minimum sentences and the war on drugs more than canada, there's a long way to come, as Troy Davis could tell you in his last hours today. Our "criminal justice" are criminal, and busted. The numbers say it straight, prisons cost a shit tonne and they don't "work" for the things that their proponents are proponing them to. Even a coalition of churches is advocating against prison expansion, you can check it out here: The Co$ts of Prisons
*politically inspired heart rant over
As we face a world that is falling apart at the seams and more and more people are catching on to the "we have to do something different if we are going to survive" thought wave, we need to find really good ways to do this. By this I mean share the knowledge, explore the options, make the changes. Can we do that in ways that consider those who have often been left out of such knowledge exchanges? Can we find ways to address the sexism that is often overwhelmingly present in technical learning spaces to ensure that our community members, all of them, have access? Can we find ways to make the ways that we share survival, and THRIV-IVAL skills inclusive of people with disabilities? Can we find ways to involve dialogue around "dirty work" and attitudes around manual labour that involve honesty and growth about the racism and classism interwoven in the ways that we address these issues? I really recommend this book, Bridging the Class Divide: And Other Lessons for Grassroots Organizing for more on these questions and how they may apply to other ideas.
I think we can. That's what I want to do. I want to start by creating a place that acknowledges and processes the intersecting oppressions that are default in spaces of learning the hands-on, creating safe and supportive learning spaces, and using that as a hub for intergenerational, interexperiential, knowledge exchange of the tools we need to make this global shift on a level that is practical and useful to the local area of the West Kootenays. I have been reading a really amazing book that has been a huge reminder and re-inspiration, I really recommend Walk Out, Walk On for those that are nodding along to this dream scheming I am dribbling out here.
So long story short, I am running away to make my dreams come true. I look forward to sharing the stories, and the salsa with you along the way.